Welcome to the City of Portsmouth Fire Department's website! We would like to take a moment to thank you for visiting our site and briefly introduce you to the department.
Our story dates back to 1756 when the citizens of Portsmouth decided to organize and regulate fire protection. In the years to follow, they would improve the community's fire protection capabilities by purchasing fire engines and the building of fire houses. By the late 1800s the city would boast four steam fire engines and a horse-drawn hook and ladder. The first motorized fire engine was delivered in 1912 and in 1945 the department would begin providing ambulance service in the city. Today we are a modern, full-service fire department made up of sixty-one extremely dedicated professionals operating out of three stations. Throughout our history, we have taken pride in balancing tradition with innovation, and demonstrating a strong commitment in celebrating the past while at the same time looking to the future.
Whether you are a resident, business owner or a visitor to the City of Portsmouth, the Fire Department is committed to providing quality emergency, life safety and prevention services to you. We value your comments and welcome you to contact us at any time.
Again, thank you for visiting.
Steven E. Achilles
The Portsmouth Fire Department provides fire protection, advanced life support ambulance, fire prevention, hazardous materials response, and special rescue services to the seacoast community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The department provides these services through a compliment of forty-two firefighters, twelve fire officers, one fire inspector, three chief officers, an executive assistant and an administrative secretary. The Portsmouth Fire Department responds to over 4500 request for services a year. The types of emergency and community requests consist of medical responses, motor vehicle accidents, structure and vehicle fires, fire alarm activations and services related to weather events such as flooding, lightning strikes and power lines down.
The department maintains three fire stations staffed 24 hours a day. Located in the historic downtown district, Station 1 houses the administrative and prevention offices, Engine and Ambulance Company 1 and command support resources. In the southern portion of the city, Station 2 houses Tower 5, Ladder 2, and Ambulance 2. Station 3, at the Pease International Trade Port, houses Engine and Ambulance Company 3. A forestry unit, rescue, rescue boat, two reserve engines, and a reserve ambulance compliment the fleet.
Firefighting personnel are constantly engaged in firefighting, emergency medical and rescue training. Through the support of the community and city officials, along with the dedication of the employees, the department is staffed with advanced EMTs and paramedics, NH Fire Standards and Training certified Firefighters, and highly credentialed shift and staff officers. Achieving and maintaining an educated and high caliber force ensures that the Portsmouth Fire Department is always poised to protect a diverse community.
The Bureau of Fire Prevention is committed to the reduction of loss of life and the destruction of property from fire through providing fire safety education, code adoption and enforcement, property surveys, and investigation of fires.
Programs available through the Bureau include residential and commercial safety inspections, fire extinguisher and safety classes, and fire station tours
The department maintains three fire stations staffed 24 hours a day. The department's "Central Station" situated in historic downtown is known as Station 1. This station houses the Administrative and Prevention Offices, Engine and Ambulance Company 1, Rescue 3, Engine 4 and Command Support Resources. The department's fire and rescue boat, Fire Boat 1 is located at the NH Port Authority and is staffed by the Station 1 companies. The southern portion of the city is covered by Station 2 which houses Ladder 2, Tower 5, Forestry 1 and Ambulance 2. Station 3 is located on the Pease International Trade Port. Engine 3 responds out of the station with an ambulance and engine in reserve.
Becoming a Member of the Portsmouth Fire Department
The Portsmouth Fire Department prides itself as a modern fire service agency that uses the most up-to-date and state of the art equipment available. We also provide extensive services beyond that of a traditional fire department, many that require us to perform on the forefront of technology. It therefore demands much of those who would call it their profession and who wish to serve others. A career as a Portsmouth Firefighter can offer a life of rewarding public service to the community and many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Those interested in a career with our department must recognize the time, commitment, and basic requirements for employment. The minimum requirements include:
- Minimum of 18 years old
- High School Graduate or GED
- Certified as NH Firefighter Level II
- Certified as a National Registry Advanced EMT or Paramedic
- Completion of the State of NH Statewide Firefighter Entrance Exam.
When the department does have a vacancy, identified individuals that meet the above are asked to participate in a program that consists of a resume review and an oral board evaluation. From there, those candidates that are considered for employment must successfully complete a process that includes a criminal and driving record check, and a physical examination. This challenging process insures that the department and community can be confident that a Portsmouth Firefighter is well qualified, is sound in judgment and character, and is prepared for the physical demands of the profession.
The department always welcomes inquiries on becoming a member of the department or embarking on a career in fire and emergency medical services. The NH Division of Fire Standards and Emergency Medical Services is also a valuable asset in learning more about becoming a firefighter or EMT in New Hampshire. They can be contacted at:
The Portsmouth Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of customer service possible and we encourage citizens to tell us how we are doing by completing the feedback form below. We will use the information you provide to continuallyevaluate and improve our performance.