Can you imagine a fire department in the driest, coldest, and windiest continent in the southernmost continent on the South Pole? But why does a thick ice covered desert needs a fire department?
Yes, Antarctica has a fire department! The fire department aims to provide fire and rescue support services. Surprisingly it is a professional fire department located at McMurdo Station and Amundsen Scott Station.
Due to its windy and very dry climate, fires easily break out. Firefighters have a hard time combatting the fires because of the extreme weather condition in the place.
It is during the Antarctic summer that the Antarctic Fire Department has the highest number of personnel. The department maintains around 55 personnel with approximately 21 firefighters. Antarctic Firefighters are given one-week training to different strategic approaches during a fire. Dry chemicals are usually being used over water since The Antarctic has a very cold climate and getting water is a challenge.
Raytheon Polar Services Company (RPSC) provides logistics, operations, and fire alarms for the Antarctic. It is also responsible for the procurement of transportation and issuance of equipment and supplies. It assists in maintaining the stations and terminal operations.
Antarctic Fire Department also serves as an emergency response unit that attends to people who get hurt and injured and sick patients. They have available ambulances to rush their patients in the hospital and accompany these patients if hospitals are full. Antarctic Fire Department is like a superhero of the Antarctic as it also provides full assistance during fuel spills. It also keeps a regular schedule for building inspections and training on Antarctic’s different departments. It is also interesting to know that this fire department provides quick assistance in any emergencies like any types of injury, trauma, small or large fires, frostbite, electrical shock, and even mental health issues.
Antarctic Fire Department receives almost one call a day. Whatever type of calls that the department receives is being given appropriate attention.
The firefighters stay in this office on their bunks to make sure they are ready to run during emergencies. There is a heated garage where two fire trucks that hold 750 gallons of water are ready to rescue. McMurdo station has insulated underground lines that keep eight fire hydrants. You can call on the Antarctic Fire Department anytime by dialing 911 and 2555.
The National Science Foundation fulfills the Presidential Memorandum that directs an “active and influential presence in Antarctica designed to support the range of US Antarctic interests.” Antarctica has been the main focus of the American government as it aims to support all their needs not isolating them from the rest of the world. It also gives significance to the preservation of its living resources.
Life of the firefighters in the Antarctic is difficult. It is a great challenge to be saving lives sacrificing their own welfare. This is why the US government expresses its full support and assistance to the Antarctic Fire Department to ensure that the Antarctic is a safe place to stay like other places on earth.