The Raleigh Fire Department responds to fires and fire alarms in all structures within the city limits and provides assistance to neighboring departments under North Carolina Mutual Aid Agreements. In addition to fire suppression, the Raleigh Fire Department is a first responder in medical emergencies.
Fire units begin patient assessment and stabilization, usually before the arrival of the ambulance. All firefighters are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). Medical calls comprise approximately 70 percent of the Raleigh Fire Department’s call volume. Ambulance service and transport is provided by separate EMS agencies. The Raleigh Fire Department and Wake County EMS share a medical director, Dr. Jose Cabanas.
Other frequent types of emergency calls include motor vehicle accidents, vehicle accidents require extrication of a patient using rescue tools (or “jaws of life”), technical rescues, grass, brush, or woods fires, indoor and outdoor natural gas leaks, carbon monoxide emergencies, spills or leaks of substances that can cause health or environmental damage, children locked in vehicles, and general service calls.
The Raleigh Fire Department also operates a fire investigation unit. They are based at Station 1. A fire investigator is dispatched on all working structure fires. They are responsible for determining the cause and origin of all fires whether suspicious or not.