In October 2001, the Daytona Beach International Airport Fire Department was transferred to Volusia County Fire Services. The Airport Fire Station, designated Station 17, is located on the south side of the airport and houses four Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicles with a total of seven firefighters assigned to the station. These firefighters respond to a wide range of emergencies at the airport from medical emergencies (both on-board an aircraft or in the terminal) to aircraft emergencies. These emergencies can include warning light indications, smoke in the aircraft, aircraft crashes or structural fires in the hangars and other buildings on airport property.
Aircraft Rescue Firefighting is a new facet for Volusia County Fire Services. Commercial aircraft landing at Daytona Beach International Airport are at least 126 feet but no more than 159 feet in length. This means the personnel at Station 17 must protect the lives of up to 250 passengers in the event of an emergency on-board a commercial aircraft arriving or departing Daytona Beach International Airport. Station 17’s personnel are also required by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to be in place on the runway for a declared aircraft emergency within three minutes of notification. These firefighters must have knowledge regarding the types of aircraft arriving/departing, maximum number of passengers possibly inside, location of emergency exits on the aircraft, and location of critical systems on the aircraft which could increase the danger to passengers exiting the aircraft if it was on fire. As the thin walled aluminum exterior of a large commercial aircraft burns so hot and quickly, all lives on board can be lost in less than five minutes making immediacy of response critical.
In order to provide an improved response to emergency incidents at the airport, Volusia County Fire Services will be integrating the services currently provided by personnel at the Airport Fire Station with our existing efforts throughout the county.