Jamestown Fire Department

50 Narragansett Avenue

Jamestown, RI 02835-1167

(401) 423-0062



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JFD is asking the town for $2.5 Million Dollars …. why?




There are several issues we are trying to address … and one builds on the other.


First, we need to replace Engine 2. The typical life-expectancy of fire apparatus is 25 years. Engine 2 was built in 1984 (31 years old) and does not meet today’s NFPA standards. NFPA is the national organization who make and adopt the standards that fire apparatus has to be built or modified to.

Engine 2 has an open cab so the personnel are exposed to the outside elements. We’ve really over extended the life of this engine and need a new, safe replacement.


v  We need to replace Engine 2


A standard fire pumper costs around $300,000. However, the physical size of the fire station will not accommodate today’s standard fire engine. A customized engine would cost around $550,000. Due to the current fire stations space restrictions this is the route (custom apparatus) we chose when our Ladder 1 was purchased in 2001. Our experience is that this truck is frequently out of service and needs much more maintenance than is typical. It doesn’t make sense to follow this path again


Another consideration is that in a few years, Engine 3 will need to be replaced. It is currently 23 years old. We will face the same dilemma (standard vs custom) at that point unless we address the situation now. We think the best solution is to remodel the existing fire station in order to accommodate modern, standard fire engines now and in the future. . LARGER STANDARD TRUCK = MORE WATER


v  We need to purchase standard fire engines now, and going forward


We looked into elevating the structure and enlarging the existing bays which would cost approximately $750,000 - 1.0+ million which would still not give us proper space, accommodations or ADA compliance. A north end building with 3 bays could house limited fire apparatus with no additional space for offices or training would cost approximately $ 750,000. No matter what we do, this remodel will require the station be brought up to code, including the addition of an elevator in order to conform to the ADA. Our conclusion is that there is no simple, straight-forward fix to this situation


v  There is no simple, quick-fix solution which allows the current fire station to accommodate standard fire engines.


Recognizing that the fire station remodel will be no small effort, we decided to take a look at other existing JFD issues. One major nagging issue for JFD is the facilities available to our EMS division.


JFD’s EMS division is based at 11 Knowles Court at “the Barn”. This building houses Rescue-2, Rescue-3, and Car-5. It has one uni-sex bathroom, a small kitchen, one sleeping area and a general open area.


Each EMS shift is staffed with four people (a driver and 3 EMTs) 24-7-365 and often a fifth person (EMS student). The on-duty crew (males and females) share this space in 3 shifts (0600-1200, 1200-1800, and Overnight (1800-0600)). This building also houses the drugs and supplies required to support the ALS capabilities of the service. Most of the training supplies are stored at the town-owned house next to the fire station (4 Grinnell). The EMS division also uses the house at 4 Grinnell on a regular basis to conduct training activities that require more space.


v  11 Knowles Court (“The Barn”) does not meet the needs of the EMS division


Given the EMS situation, one alternative is to renovate the existing EMS building with an additional bay and second story which would cost approximately $ 750,000.00. This option results in many of the same issues we need to address for the fire department remodel (Ada, building codes, etc…). This led us to consider how we could accommodate the EMS division needs as part of the fire department remodel.


v  Could we solve BOTH the fire and the EMS issues with the remodel at 50 Narragansett?


Our current plans incorporate the house at 4 Grinnell and address the major issues of both the fire and EMS divisions. Additionally, this has the benefit of consolidating all of the department’s personnel and activities under a single roof. For the town, this frees up “the barn” to be sold, turned into parking or used however the Town desires.


What equipment does JFD have?




Chief/Command Vehicles

Engine 1 - 2006

Rescue 1 - 2003

Special Services Pickup - 2007

Car-1 –Chief - 2011

Engine 2 - 1984

Rescue 2 - 1998

Squad 1 (Utility Truck) - 2006

Car-2-Deputy Chief - 2012

Engine 3 - 1992

Rescue 3 - 2011

Truck 7 (Bucket Truck) 1996


Ladder 1 - 2001

Car-5 (ALS OIC vehicle) - 2015

Marine 1 - 2004


Tanker 1 - 2008




Tanker 2 - 2008









Why does JFD need so many (THREE) fire engines (pumpers)?


For a typical fire, the responsibility of the “first-in” engine is to pull hoses and apply water to the fire. The more water the “first in” engine can get on a fire prior to the water supply being set up, the better the potential outcome. The “second-in” engine is responsible for establishing a water source and providing additional water to the “first-in” truck. The “first-in” engine can use all of its on-board water in less than 5 minutes. Therefore it is imperative that the “second-in” truck set up to provide this additional water.


The water source can be many things. Ideally, it would be a nearby fire hydrant. However, in Jamestown, less than half the island has fire hydrants. Fire Hydrants are only located in the Water District. The Fire Hydrants are rated Class C which means they do not meet fire flow standards for water pressure. Therefore, with either no hydrant, or insufficient hydrants, the “second-in” engine would be drafting water from a large plastic pool into which the tankers dump their water. This is known as the dump-site. … So how do these tankers get refilled?


That is where the third engine comes in. The third engine is responsible for setting up the fill-site. Their job is to go to a nearby pond or other water source, draw water from it, and fill the incoming empty tankers so they can bring more water to the dump-site.


Another critical reason for a third engine is as a relay pumper. Our engines can pump water a maximum of 1000 feet. If there is more than 1000 feet between the fire and the water source, then a relay pumper needs to be inserted in the path in order to get the water to where it needs to be. Many houses in Jamestown are more than 1000 feet from what would be their source of water in the case of a house fire.


The amount of fire pumper trucks that is required for a Town is directly related to your homeowners Insurance. The International Service Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the numeric rating for a homeowner’s insurance policy. This directly effect’s your homeowner’s insurance premium cost. Three fire pumpers are required to meet the pumping rating required.


Even then for any significant fire, JFD will also call our neighbors in North Kingston and Newport for additional engines and manpower. However, getting our three engines set up and performing their tasks quickly and efficiently is key to fighting the fire.






The bottom line is that for $2.5, Jamestown

·         purchases a new standard fire engine now ($300 vs $ 550)

·         eliminates the need to purchase custom fire equipment in the future ($300 vs $ 550)

·         provides the facilities to accommodate the needs of the EMS division

·      &nbsnbsp;  consolidates JFD personnel and services into a single building

·         this will free up 11 Knowles Court for the town to use as it sees fit.



2014 Response Data:


Total Incidents: 864


Fire Incidents 287 33%



EMS Incidents 577 67%

EMS Patient Transports to ER 429

EMS Patient/Life Assist no Transport 148


Incidents for North of Weeden Lane 302 35%

Incident for South of Weeden Lane 562 65%