About the Bedford Fire Department
History & Protection Reach
The Bedford Fire Department was established in 1750 and protects approximately 21,000 residents living in both a rural and suburban area of 32.83 square miles in southeastern New Hampshire. The town is well known for its large mansion type homes and estates. During the daytime hours it is not uncommon for the population of Bedford to well exceed 100,000 people.
Bedford Fire Rescue answers approximately 2,300 calls in a year, of which 40% were fire incidents. The Department provides fire suppression, Advanced Life Support EMS response, and technical rescue.
Staff & Station
The Bedford Fire Department is commanded by Chief Scott Wiggin and has one station which is strategically located near the intersection of Route 101 and Route 114, two of the busiest roadways in town. Twenty-four firefighters along with four lieutenants work a rotating shift schedule of four shifts of seven. The Bedford Fire Department also has a Call Force of nine members that also provide Fire and EMS protection for the town.
In addition to responding to Fire, Emergency Medical, and Rescue calls, each shift is also responsible for performing maintenance on the station/apparatus/equipment, performing life safety inspections at local businesses, and providing training for it's members.
The Fire Department Administration includes a full-time chief, a deputy chief, captain, and fire inspector. The Deputy Chief of Operations and Training maintains the profession levels of the personnel, while the Fire Captain oversees Prevention and Safety.
Communications Center & Dispatch
The Bedford Fire Department is self-dispatched from its own Police and Fire Communications Center "Bedford Headquarters", located in Safety Complex. They dispatch on 156.180 MHz with a PL of 94.8. The Bedford Communication Center also dispatches the Bedford Police Department.
Bedford Fire Rescue is prepared to respond to many serious target hazards in and around the Town. Some examples include:
- 2 large shopping areas
- 8 nursing and assisted living facilities
- The Energy North Propane holding facility (on site are four 100,000 gallon tanks)
- A large lumber distribution company
- Several manufacturing companies that use chemical processes
Major roadways include State Routes 101, 114, and 3, as well as Interstate Highway 293 (with a portion of this being the Fredrick Everett Turnpike). During the rush hour periods these roadways, as well as the town roads within the mall district, are routinely grid locked. This results in many serious motor vehicle accident responses, as well as extremely stressful emergency driving conditions.
The town is bordered by Amherst, Goffstown, Merrimack, New Boston, and Manchester, New Hampshire. The Bedford Fire Department has great working relationships with the neighboring communities and uses a mutual aid system sending and receiving apparatus and personnel for major incidents and/or times of overwhelming call volume.