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Division of Fire and Rescue Services

Contact Information

Division of Fire and Rescue Services  Office of Research Services
National Institutes of Health
Building 51 
Phone: (301) 496-2372 
Fax: (301) 480-0348 

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Division of Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS)

The NIH Fire Department provides fire, emergency medical, hazardous materials and specialized rescue services to the NIH. Many of the technological hazards at the NIH are unique and require specialized knowledge and originality in devising methods to prevent and mitigate the effects of the exigency Each type of operation presents vastly different and unusually difficult problems regarding the types and variety of hazardous conditions which must be efficiently, yet safely, handled.

What We Do

The NIH is characterized by a complex research environment, presenting a wide variety of hazardous operations including 3,500 research laboratories; a research hospital; animal facilities; computer facilities; high hazard bio-containment laboratories; day care and infant care facilities; dormitory and apartment facilities; single family residential homes and an underground mass transit train station. The NIH Fire Department:
  • Serves as the principle liaison with the NIH scientific community and support organizations during emergencies.
  • Develops and conducts in-house training initiatives in fire suppression, pre-hospital emergency medical techniques, fire safety initiatives, confined space rescue and other specialized emergency procedures which are necessary to mitigate the effects of incidents involving hazardous chemicals, bio-hazardous and radioactive materials.
  • Provides inspection and maintenance on approximately 5,000 fire extinguishers
  • Responds to fires and other emergencies at the National Naval Medical Center and in Montgomery County, Maryland in accordance with current mutual aid agreements.