The Fire Branch of Black Rock City Emergency Services brings the talents and skills of volunteer and professional firefighters from around the world to the Playa. Our goal is help create a safe environment for the participants and artists of Black Rock.
The idea of a Fire Department may seem counterintuitive at an event called Burning Man, but the Fire branch works with the Art Department, The Pyrotechnics Team, the Fire Art Safety Team (F.A.S.T.), Rangers, and vendors to provide planning and safety teams for all the major art burns. In addition, just like any fire department, we respond to calls for aid and assistance. We put out car fires, trailer fires, provide technical rescue, and respond to reports of hazardous materials as necessary. Our teams of fire fighters are trained and equipped with the same tools found at fire stations around the country. We are prepared to deal with anything from burn barrels to plane crashes.
Our Fire crews provide services 24/7 during the event from three stations strategically placed around the city. We operate two Type-6 engines with 300 gallons of water each and a three to four person crew. We also have a full HazMat response rig and team. Our contracted fire service vendor, Lightening Suppression, brings two Type-2 tenders, one Type-1 engine, and one Type-6 engine with a total of over 55,000 gallons of fire fighting capacity. We also have a special operations unit with a three to four person crew trained in Hazmat response and technical rescue.
For large art burns, the Fire Branch provides RIT’s, (Rapid Intervention Teams) to secure the perimeter of the burns and standby in case there is a need for intervention or rescue. Fire crews also secure the collapse zones until they can be called safe for participants to approach. Planning for these burns is one of the major efforts of the ESD Fire Branch.
And here are some videos to whet your appetite for volunteering with BRCVFD:
Want to volunteer? Go to the Burning Man website to participate!