The Tacoma Fire Buff Battalion (TFBB) held its first meeting on November 23rd, 1986. In the early years, we responded to incidents only in our private vehicles, providing service out of the trunks of our cars. This changed on December 20th, 1994, when the Tacoma Fire Department and the Tacoma City Council donated one of Tacoma’s former rescue units to the club. This rig was designated, “Rehab One.” Operating before and after duty hours, the Tacoma Fire Department’s Fire Garage converted the unit from its Medic function to a rehab function, adding a propane stove, a small refrigerator and a microwave oven. The Department repainted and relettered the unit. Private citizens donated supplies and equipment to help make this happen.
Currently, the Battalion uses a combination of private vehicles and a newer Rehab One. This allows us to respond faster and to multiple locations.
The Tacoma Fire Department communicates with the Tacoma Fire Buff Battalion through text messaging, cell phone, and official radio. Fire buff members communicate with each other via an organized method of dispatch using text messaging, cell phone communication, and handy-talkie applications on smart phones.
The Tacoma Fire Department has assigned a chief level officer to serve as the liaison between the Department and the Fire Buff Battalion. All fire buff members have Fire Department identification tags and have passed a criminal background check. Our organization has come a long way with the help and support of the many wonderful volunteers, the Tacoma Fire Department, and Local #31.