The Methuen Fire Department was organized in 1846 and is designed to operate with 96 uniformed fire personnel. When fully staffed, fire personnel are as follows: 72 firefighters, 16 Lieutenants, 2 Captains, 4 Deputy Chiefs, 1 Assistant Chief, and 1 Chief. The Department runs 4 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Rescue, 2 Ambulances, and 1 Incident Command Vehicle (Deputy Chief) out of 4 Stations. All personnel are trained at the Massachusetts Fire Academy's nine-week recruit training program.
Firefighters work a 24-hour shift, which consists of 24-hours on-duty, 24-hours off-duty, 24-hours on-duty, and 5 days off. There are 4 Groups (Shifts/Units) that are each on-duty 48-hours per week, working an 8-day rotating schedule.
In addition to firefighting duties, fire personnel provide emergency medical care to the citizens and visitors to the City of Methuen. The Methuen Fire Department provides emergency ambulance service. The Department provides Basic Life Support (BLS), while Advance Life Support (ALS) is provided by Paramedics from the Lawrence General Hospital. All Fire Department personnel are trained and certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's), at both the Massachusetts and National level.
All of the fire apparatus are equipped with medical equipment and supplies to handle most medical emergencies. In addition, all of the fire apparatus are equipped with Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). These devices are instrumental in saving the lives of people in cardiac arrest.
The 4 Engine Companies, the Ladder Truck, and the Incident Command Vehicle all carry an ISG Thermal Imaging Camera to assist firefighters in locating victims in a fire. Thermal Imaging Cameras can "see" through darkness or smoke. They allow firefighters to quickly find the seat of a structure fire, or see the heat signature of visually obscured victims. They can be used to search for victims outdoors on a cool night, spot smoldering fires inside a wall, or detect overheating electrical wiring. Thermal imaging cameras are credited with saving multiple lives per year through victim identification and removal from low visibility conditions.
The Department also provides effective educational activities to its residents and actively promotes fire prevention. It is our mission to do our part in improving the quality of life for our community.
The methods employed by the Methuen Fire Department to accomplish this mission are as important as the mission itself. Our employees are the source of departmental strength. They provide the intelligence and vitality that will determine our success. Involvement and teamwork are our core values.