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Baltimore Firehouse Is Busiest In The U.S.

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- One Baltimore firehouse is the nation's busiest. Firefighters and paramedics handle everything from hazardous waste to car wrecks.

As Gigi Barnett explains, there's no such thing as a slow day at the Steadman Fire Station.

Baltimore's Steadman Fire Station has a nickname. It's called the Superhouse. The volume of calls reaches into the thousands. This week, Firehouse Magazine deemed it the busiest station in the nation.

"I used to call this place-- because it was handed down to me-- an insane asylum and it is," said Rick Hoffman.

Hoffman started his career at the Superhouse. Now he's president of the firefighters' union. He says Steadman's heart-of-the-city location and the number of lifesaving vehicles cause dispatch workers to call them first. It's action some firefighters crave.

"The firefighters who want to stay here, they have to know that they're getting into everything: Hazmat, rescue, engine work," Hoffman said.

Last year, this firehouse handled more than 30,000 calls. About 20,000 of them were for paramedics. If you think that's a high volume, wait until the next few weeks, when winter starts. That's the real busy season.

"'Cause of the cold. Everybody's starting up furnaces, homeless people trying to stay's just a lot of fires at that time," said hazmat firefighter Matthew Petty.

This isn't the first time the Steadman station earned the title. It was also the country's busiest back in 2008.

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