Tokyo Fire Department

The Tokyo Fire Department (TFD) (Japanese: 東京消防庁, Tokyo Shōbōchō) is a fire department headquartered in Ōtemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.[2] The TFD was formed on March 7, 1948, and is responsible for fire prevention in the Tokyo Metropolis Area. The Fire Department is the largest urban fire department in the world. Covering the 23 Wards of Tokyo and parts of Western Tokyo. It provides assistance in case of fires, biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, as well as earthquakes and flooding. First response for medical practices and all types of rescues are also provided. The department handles varied challenges from urban settings to mountain forests. The department is a part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. However, this department is distinguished from Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which is an external agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Tokyo Fire Department
FormationMarch 7, 1948 (1948-03-07)
TypeFire Department
Legal statusMunicipal Fire Service
Headquarters1-3-5 Ōtemachi
Fire Chief
Toshio Andō
¥245,932,000,000 (2015)[1]
Insignia of the Tokyo Fire Department

Duties and ServicesEdit

Firefighting operations

  • Fire suppression
  • Technical rescue
  • Hazardous materials mitigation
  • Airport fire and rescue
  • Seaport fire and rescue

Fire prevention

  • Inspection of buildings
  • Hazardous materials safety measures
  • Fire prevention inspection
  • Fire protection management guidance
  • Fire investigation

Emergency medical services

  • First-aid education and training
  • Emergency telephone consultation

Earthquake preparedness

  • Fire rescue task forces (Hyper Rescue)
  • Volunteer fire corps

Fire districts and fire stationsEdit

Overall of stations in Tokyo Metropolis Area

  • Fire station divisions: 3
  • Fire stations: 81
  • Fire station branches: 207

Fire districts and fire stations

Mobile unitsEdit


Pumpers = 489
7 classes

  • Small-sized pumper
  • Normal-sized pumper
  • Tank pumper
    • 2 ton tank
    • 5 ton tank
  • 15 meters ladder and 950 liter tank pumper
  • 13.7 meters tower and 950 liter tank pumper
  • Long-range mass water supply pumper
  • Obstacle removal and pumper

Rescue Trucks = 40
4 classes

  • Rescue truck (29)
  • Special Rescue Trucks (2)
  • Mountain rescue truck (5)
  • Water rescue truck (4)


Ambulances = 259
2 classes

  • Ambulance
  • Super ambulance (bus)



Special trucks = 86
5 classes

  • Special Incident Truck (18)
  • Earthquake Rescue truck (4)
  • Heavy Vehicles for Rescue (8)
  • Heavy Vehicles for road clearance (6)
  • Foaming truck (48)
  • Heavy Vehicles for aircraft loading (2)

Aerial ladder = 86
3 classes

  • Ladder truck
    • 30 meters ladder truck
    • 40 meters ladder truck
  • 23 meters water tower truck
  • Aerial basket truck

Fire boats = 10


Command units = 93


Helicopters = 7


Motorcycles = 20

(As of April 1, 2019)[3]

Demonstration and preparedness trainingEdit

(video) A fire hose drill training session.

A few times a year, the department has demonstrations and preparedness training. These are small and others might be large-scale events.

Demonstration The demonstrations are mostly public awareness events for the people who live in the Tokyo area. This also shows the taxpayers where the funding of the department was spent, and the department's state of preparedness. This is also used as a recruiting tool for future firefighters. Commonly one sees a small demonstration every so often in district centers, schools, and shopping arcades. The firefighters would give rides, tours, or maybe let you touch equipment.

Mass casualties tag

The biggest demonstration is Dezomeshiki. It's the New Year Tokyo Fire Department Review; and happens in January every year. They present all the resources and training that the Department currently are using. They perform a fake disaster where the firefighters use their equipment. They also set up a showroom for equipment and a small museum. About 2,800 people participated in Dezomeshiki in 2018.[4]

Preparedness training Every so often a fire district performs a preparedness training. They train with a fake disaster in a real district area. This training is for the firefighters, support staff, and local volunteers. The training means they can better know an area if a disaster happens.

The preparedness training also uses Mass Casualties Tags. These tags are used in major disasters. These tags give information about the person and sort out many who could be saved with the current status of medical service, a form of triage.

Tokyo Fire Department responding to a fire in Shinjuku.
Tokyo Fire Department participating a disaster relief exercise in Taipei, Taiwan.


Fire-fighting robotics

The department currently has 12 different types of fire fighting and rescue robots. These robots are designed to handle disasters that are too dangerous for personnel during an emergency. Some types of robots can shoot water or foam on to fires. One type can rescue a person and another type are able to move large objects. Currently all robots are controlled by remote operators.

Future firefighting robotics might have simple artificial intelligence to search for life and be able to move on terrain without operator's assistance.

Ranking system and uniformsEdit

Rank insignias are on a small badge, pinned above the right pocket. Rank is denoted by stripes and Hexagram stars. The design of the insignias came from older Japanese-style military insignias. Some rank badges are different colors such as the fire jacket for a station commander.

Fire Fighter Assistant Fire Sergeant Fire sergeant
Fire Lieutenant Fire Captain Battalion Chief
Assistant Chief First Assistant Chief Deputy Chief
Fire Chief

  • The dress uniforms are a blue suit and normal firemen wear jumpsuits in the same color with orange reflection stripes. A normal fireman's fire jacket are brown with orange stripes.
  • Gray and white are reserved for Emergency medical services with their work uniform. They are mostly seen with a light blue raincoat over them on a call.
  • Orange is reserved for rescuer where they wear a jump suit with the same color. The fire jacket is orange with yellow reflection stripes.
  • Black fire jacket with yellow and silver reflection strips are for specialized firemen or officers.


Japan's first fire service was founded in 1629 during the Edo era, and was called Hikeshi (Japanese: 火消し, lit. Fire eraser). During the Meiji Period, when Japan opened its doors to the West, the Hikeshi was merged into the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in 1881. During this time period, pumps were imported and domestically produced, and modern firefighting strategies were introduced. The fire service would remain part of the police department until 1948 when the Tokyo Fire Department was organized.

Tokyo Fire MuseumEdit

Tokyo Fire Museum
Old fire motorcycle

The Tokyo Fire Museum is at Yotsuya 3–10, Shinjuku-ku. It has a large collection of historic fire fighting apparatuses. The museum has fire fighting history of the 17th and 18th centuries with large, scale-model dioramas showing scenes of destruction from past events. Models shows the uniforms and equipment that was used during that time. Other parts of the museum shows old pictures and films. They have scenes to show the birth of modern fire fighting vehicles, equipment, and fire suits. The museum has some of the very first pumps and hoses that were used. Twentieth-century firefighting history is also shown and the future of firefighting is exhibit at the museum, such as high-tech robots. A current working fire station is right next to the museum.

In popular mediaEdit

  • Firefighter! Daigo of Fire Company M the Manga and its Live Action TV series Fire Boys (Megumi no Daigo) was based within the Tokyo Fire Department. Most of the cast act as Fire Department personnel.
  • 252: Seizonsha Ari a Disaster film; has Tokyo Fire Department personnel as main characters in the film. They are rescuing people during the aftermath.
  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 The Animation shows the Tokyo Fire Department saving the city from the aftermath of a major earthquake that hits central Tokyo.
  • Fire Force En'en no Shōbōtai features firefighters as the story's focus in a fictional post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The organization in Fire Force is instead dubbed the titular "Special Fire Force". However, rather than simply partaking in real-world firefighting, firefighters in the series primarily battle "Infernals", fictional fire-based monsters, in live combat.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "[1]." Tokyo Fire Department. Retrieved on February 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Website Policy." Tokyo Fire Department. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). Tokyo Fire Department. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "dezomeshiki". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2023-01-23.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°41′19.8″N 139°45′41.6″E / 35.688833°N 139.761556°E / 35.688833; 139.761556