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Survey: Liberty City Fire Truck Busiest In North America

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A Liberty City fire truck is the busiest in North America, according to a survey that appeared in the June, July and August issues of Firehouse Magazine.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's (MDFR) Aerial 2 truck responded to 5,190 calls in 2011, ranking it as the busiest aerial-ladder-truck in North America for the third consecutive year.

"It's just one call after another after another after another.  Go to the grocery store.  Get into the store.  Fill the shopping cart.  Get a call.  Get on the fire apparatus go on the call," said Captain Bill Gustin. "wo hours later go back to the grocery store.  Try it again. Get another call."

If each call was spaced out evenly over 2011, that would make for one call every 1.7 hours.

"You get a chance to help people.  Sometimes it's tragic but you get to make a difference," said firefighter Stephen Whitehurst.

Officials say the station is so busy due to the violence in the area.

"Unfortunately there is a lot of violent crime," said Capt. Gustin. "You see a lot of people that are hurt in assaults. We see a fair share of gun shots."

Firehouse Magazine, a leading publication in the fire-rescue industry, included nearly 220 career fire departments in the survey.

MDFR was also ranked in the following categories:

  • MDFR is the fifth largest fire department in the U.S., with 2,580 personnel.
  • Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, which serves a population 1.9 million people, responded to 235,629 emergency calls in 2011, making it the eighth busiest fire department in North America.
  • Sweetwater's Station 29 responded to 15,598 calls making it the tenth busiest firehouse in North America.
  • Engine 7 was listed as the 14th busiest fire engine, with a total of 4,287 calls for the year.
  • Rescue 2 ranked No.15 in the busiest rescue/ambulance category, with 5,170 calls.
  • HazMat 17 was the fourth busiest hazardous materials unit in North America with 1,189 calls.
  • In addition, Battalion 4 ranked as the tenth busiest battalion chief for 2011, with 2,093 calls.

"I am extremely proud of our firefighters for making us one of the best fire-rescue departments in North America." said Fire Chief William W. Bryson.  "Our department's high rankings demonstrate that we are committed to delivering the highest level of service possible to our community."

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