The Penn Daw firehouse was the 28th busiest station in the country in 2018, according to a survey taken by Firehouse Magazine.
Part 3 of the magazine’s National Run Survey, which was released earlier this month, examined data provided by 248 fire departments in 45 states. Penn Daw’s station 11 had 12,027 total runs, topping many similar-sized stations from larger jurisdictions.
Station 11 had been the 39th-busiest station in 2017, according to that year’s survey. In 2016 it was the 36th-busiest station.
No other station from Fairfax County made the 2018 list, although Washington D.C., Prince George’s County and Montgomery County each had one station in the top 15. Los Angeles’s station 9 had the most runs in 2018 with 35,518. It was the second consecutive year station 9 topped the list.
One of the reasons that “The Pride of the Highway,” as station 11 is nicknamed, is so busy is that it’s among the larger stations in the county. It has six units based out of it — an engine, ladder truck, rescue squad, two Medic Units, and a brush truck. Penn Daw’s ladder truck had 2,002 runs, the 76th-highest total in the nation, according to the survey
The station’s location near higher-density areas, as well as its proximity to the Beltway, the City of Alexandria and the Wilson Bridge also are factors in station 11’s brisk tempo, said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Bill Delaney.
Fairfax Fire and Rescue ranked 27th overall in total calls last year with 105,297 — more than Richmond and Virginia Beach combined. Of those calls, 20,995 for fires, 75,862 for EMS and 9,498 that turned out to be false calls.