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Believe it or not (A major Midwest Fire Department that is growing)

Believe it or not for New Year's 2011, Indianapolis, the 14th largest city in the country (according to 2009 Census Bureau statistics) and the 3rd largest city in the Midwest expanded it's fire department by 3 stations ..

On January 1st 2011 it officially absorbed the Lawrence (Castleton) township fire department into the Indianapolis City Fire Department. Along with the stations, three Engine companies, two (straight) aerial Ladder companies, one Tactical (Heavy Rescue) Squad, two ALS ambulance companies two Lake Rescue boats and some reserve apparatus also are now part of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

In 1970 the City of Indianapolis absorbed most of Marion county (with the exception of about three towns) into the City which had included the government's of eight surrounding suburban townships which became part of what is called the Indianapolis Uni gov (United Government) district however the separate township Fire Departments had remained separate for over 30 years. Twice in the mid 2000's an effort was made in the Indiana legislature to consolidate those eight fire departments into the Indianapolis Fire Department.

The legislative efforts to consolidate the 9 fire departments failed for basically petty political reasons, however in 2007 the Washington Township Fire Department merged independently into the Indianapolis Fire Department and since then 4 additional township Fire Departments also separately merged into the Indianapolis Fire Department during the last 4 years. The fifth consolidation which just took place was with the Lawrence township fire department ,which shouldn't be confused with the Town of Lawrence Indiana, which is a separate municipality. The Indianapolis Fire Department which just absorbed the 3 stations belonging to the former Lawrence Township FIre Department and also in a unique new operating agreement put a new Truck company in service at the Town of Lawrence's fire station 36 in which it shares with an Engine and ALS ambulance from the Town of Lawrence. That was done so as to better cover the east end of the Township of Lawrence which is nearby.

Currently 5 out of 8 Townships in Marion county have merged into the Indianapolis Fire Department and there are 3 remaining that have not , however given the fact that since 2007 five of the townships have merged into the IFD, I see no evidence of the trend slowing down. Remember that for most practical purposes the townships were merged into the city in 1970, so it is only logical that their fire department's should do the what really should have be done over 40 years ago.

As far as EMS service goes, Wishard General Hospital has provided and still does provide Emergency Ambulance service within the old (pre 1970) city limits of Indianapolis while of the five former township fire departments that have recently merged into the Indianapolis Fire department since 2007, four of them had provided fire department ambulance service and one them of (Perry Township) had contracted with the Rural Metro Corporation to provide (fire station based) ambulance service to their township.

In three of the five former townships the Indianapolis Fire Department still maintains the former fire department ambulance service, while in one township (Franklin) Wishard General hospital now provides the paramedics on the ambulance. Perry township (for the time being) is still maintaining it's contractual ambulance service with the Rural Metro corporation.

As of today the (recently expanded) Indianapolis Fire Department runs from 45 fire stations (including one that is shared with the city of Lawrence fire department ) and one that only runs with a Battalion Chief and a 2 man paramedic Squad and has 43 Engine companies, 23 Ladder (truck) companies , and 6 two man Paramedic (light duty) Rescue Squad companies.

The Indianapolis Fire Department also maintains a number of "Tactical" companies ,which are basically Special Operations Units that are assigned as either Heavy Rescue, air and lighting support, Hazmat units or Hazmat Decontamination Units. They all have the word "Tactical" in their company designation. They run with 4 manned and 1 "cross manned", "Tactical" Heavy Rescue companies, 2 "Tactical" Hazmat companies. 2 "Tactical" Hazmat Decontamination units, 4 Tactical (air) support companies and two "Tactical" Collapse Units in the Indianapolis Fire Department. They also have 7 Battalions in service.

To give you an idea how much the Fire Department has grown since January 2007 when the first of the "Township" fire departments merged into the Indianapolis Fire Department, before the merger the IFD only had 26 fire stations with 25 Engine companies and 14 truck companies as well as only 4 Battalions.
Even though the remaining 3 "Township" fire departments haven't yet announced their plans to merge with the Indianapolis Fire Department, if and when they do the IFD could add as many as 13 additional fire stations and even more fire and ems companies to it's fleet.

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