NFTA Transporter

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buffalo Airport Fire Department Turns Thirty

Buffalo Airport Fire Department Turns Thirty
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority commemorated the 30th Anniversary of the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting unit at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Sept. 7 recognizing active and retired firefighters at the BNIA firehouse.

The BNIA ARFF unit got its start in March 1981, when it was created as the Public Safety department by the NFTA board of commissioners to handle both safety and security functions at the then Greater Buffalo International Airport.

In April 1981, the NFTA’s Public Safety unit assumed control of the airport’s fire department duties from the Buffalo Fire department. The unit assumed control of the safety aspect by staffing four security checkpoints in the east and west terminals with 42 public safety officers and became the fire department for the Greater Buffalo International Airport.

From its humble beginnings in 1981, the unit has progressed into an elite firefighting department capable of responding to all types of aviation related emergences, in addition to medical emergencies in the terminal such as cardiac arrests. in the past year, the unit has had 450 calls.

The ARFF department now has a complement of 41 firefighters. The unit trains each day in various aspects of firefighting and conducts periodic tabletop exercises and drills at the airfield with area first responders to ensure that when they do work together in the field they are all using the same techniques and methods to maximize their collective efforts.