What is an Engine Company?

The Engine Company is the basic unit of a fire department. It provides the primary fire fighting agent – water – and the personnel to use it at the fireground. The objectives of an Engine Company include rescuing victims, protecting exposures, confining the fire, extinguishing the fire, and overhauling the fireground. All but the last of these objectives are carried out in an atmosphere of flame and smoke. Therefore, it is essential that fire fighters understand the nature of fire and the factors that affect its spread, including building construction, type of occupancy, and types of fuel available to the fire.

The Billerica Fire Department runs 5 Engine Co.’s. One Engine Co. is located at each of the 5 stations in town.


What is a Ladder Company?

Ladder companies are sometimes called “truck” companies. Ladder Company operations include planning, personnel, equipment, and training that are coordinated in an efficient manner. The ladder company provides access to, and exits for, all parts of a fire building. Ladder company crews also are responsible for removing heat, smoke and gases to allow greater visibility and permit engine company crews to move rapidly and safely within a fire building or exposed buildings. These examples do not by any means include all the duties of a ladder company, but they do illustrate two important points about ladder company work.

The Billerica Fire Department runs 1 Ladder Company. It is stationed at Fire Headquarters located on Good Street.


What is a Rescue Company?

Rescue companies have a broad mission that goes beyond firefighting and can sometimes involve incidents that may be outside the capabilities of a normal Engine or Ladder Company. The typical purpose of a rescue company is to rescue trapped or injured civilians and firefighters. The rescue company is specially trained in a variety of technical rescue techniques including rope rescues, confined space rescue, trench rescue, surface water rescue, advanced vehicle/machinery extrication, and ice rescue. More information on the capabilities of Billerica’s Rescue 1 can be viewed under the Special Operations menu tab.

The Billerica Fire Department runs 1 Rescue Company. It is stationed at Fire Headquarters located on Good Street.