As part of the United Kingdoms emergency services, the fire brigade is an important and essential sector of the fire and rescue services.
Their job primarily is to attend emergency calls from the general public and provide cover and help in putting out fires as well as rescuing people. Some but not all of these call out incidents will be of a serious nature.
In the UK many different cities and town have their own fire brigades, these are themselves divided into divisions and regional fire stations. They tend to have their own names for instance The London Fire Brigade, also known as the LFB covers Greater London. They will all have a main emergency control room where 999 calls are received by operators. These emergency calls are then immediately transmitted by a command and control system to the local fire station.
Each fire authority will have specialist equipment to deal with incidents like chemical spillages and hazardous toxic substances releases from say industrial units. Fire crews receive regular fire training and refresher courses to ensure they can deal will all circumstances.
In these stations the fire engines or appliances and fire extinguishing equipment will be kept. Typically these stations will have a small sleeping area as well as a kitchen for the employees and also a small control room and administrative area. Some of the old ones still have a firepole!
They have to attend many different types of incidents from car crashes, to burning buildings and even cats stuck up trees. The fire brigade is also one of the first emergency services, along with the police and ambulance service to attend very serious accidents like plane crashes. Fire crews are also highly trained medical staff, and can provide advanced first aid to patients until the ambulance service arrives.
Another part of the job of a local fire brigade is to advice local businesses and the public on fire safety and prevention matters.
It should be noted that unfortunately many fire brigades across the country receive many hoax calls, wasting their time and putting the public at risk.
Fire brigades are usually financed by local authorities through council tax. The recruitment for fire service jobs is the responsibility of each local authority. You should note that there are volunteers working in some fire departments.
Fire crews are have their own rank structure, with the chief fire officer at the top and the fire fighter at the bottom. Promotion is based on merit, examinations as well as experience. All employees including administrative and civilian staff will work shifts to cover a 24 hours period, for 365 days of the year.