Indianapolis Fire Department

IFD Shops - "The Shops"

IFD's Maintenance and Support Facility has always been referred to as "The Shops." The Shops have served as the silent backbone of the Fire Department since its inception. IFD's Support Services has a long tradition of exceptional service and offering creative ideas to enhance and maintain the city's modern frontline and reserve apparatus fleet.


IFD Support Service - "The Shops" - 2551 Belmont Avenue
Completed in 1993, the shops are located on the city's near southwest side at Belmont and Raymond Streets. This building provides fleet service and support to IFD's entire fleet. Engines, Rescues, Ladder Trucks, Squads, Ambulances and administration vehicles are all serviced on the building's west side. The City of Indianapolis services their Waste Removal and Street Department vehicles on the building's east side. IFD moved to this location from the old DPW building on Sanders Street. Support Services encompasses two divisions: Fleet Services, led by Capt. Mark Harvey and Buildings & Grounds led by Capt. Julius Stovall. These Captains report to Division Chief of Human Resources, Dudley Taylor. The Shops employs 6 full-time IFD personnel and 11 civilian mechanics dedicated to working on IFD apparatus. Prior to 1984, everyone at the Shops was an employee of IFD. Now the 6 members oversee various IFD-related mainenance, records and civilian personnel.

Building 1 - Repair Bays
Building 1 includes 6 maintenance bays dedicated to IFD apparatus. Some of the these bays include heavy-duty hydraulic lifts that can support the whole rig up in the air. IFD's shops have also been known for their creativity in searching for ways to make their equipment more durable. The Indianapolis Fire Department is using a process known as cryogenics to help cut the cost of maintaining the braking systems on its trucks. Cryogenics, the science of freezing objects to favorably alter their molecular structure, is often used by the racing industry to enhance performance and increase the life of mechanical parts. Now applied to all of the trucks in operation, the process saves the department more than $50,000 each year. This process involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze objects (like brake pads) to temperatures of -240 to -300 degrees.

Engines 6 & 18 undergoing engine maintenance
The mechanics at the IFD shops are well-equipped and trained to work on a variety of manufacturer's apparatus. IFD's fleet currently includes rigs from Pierce, Ferrara, American LaFrance, Sutphen and KME.

Complete Maintenance and Repairs
About the only repairs not performed by the Shops are chassis fabrication, suspension and alignment. Unless an apparatus is still under it's original warranty, everything else is handled here. Pump maintenance, electrical wiring, aerial hydraulics, tires and brakes are all repaired and replaced here.Until 1993, IFD shop personnel even helped fabricate body panels and rebuilt damaged apparatus as needed. While most of the heavy-duty welding has gone away, the Shops perform all other maintenance to the entire IFD Fleet.

Building 1 includes 6 maintenance bays dedicated to IFD apparatus.
Some of the these bays include heavy-duty hydraulic lifts that can support the whole rig up in the air. Now if we could just time our visits to get an actual shot of that!

Custom Equipment Mounting
While most of the apparatus ordered by IFD are customized to their specific needs, minor work is still required after the arrival of each new rig. Engine 1's new Ferrara is seen here having brackets installed by Shops personnel to custom-fit each individual company's hand-tools and equipment.

Lighting and Electronics Maintenance
Due to the unique electrical and equipment mounting needs of fire apparatus, the Shops handle maintenance for all types of IFD apparatus. Here a Mechanic troubleshoots a lighting issue inside an EDO vehicle

Oil, Filter and a quick Lube?
Medic 6 is shown here in Building 1's drive-through oil-change bay. This large bay can accomodate apparatus of all sizes for their routine and regularly-scheduled fluids maintenance.

Reserve Engine 107 - 1995 Pierce Lance Pumper - 1500gpm/500gal/40gal foam
While each apparatus is in for maintenance or repairs, a reserve apparatus is ready to take it's place. For short-term maintenance completed in one day, there are "Ready-Reserves" that carry a full compliment of firefighting tools and equipment. The crew simply drive up in their apparatus, switch over their medical gear and take off in the Ready Reserve.

Building 2 - Home of the Reserve Fleet
In 2011, IFD took over the remainder of Building 2 and is now able to keep it's entire reserve fleet under one roof. SEen here are a variety of the most frequently used reserves. An entire row of reserve Engines are located behind the trucks on the right. Additional administration apparatus are located behind this photographer to the left.

Building 2 - Reserve Apparatus and Equipment Storage
Building 2 houses some of the long-term reserves as well a few older apparatus that are kept to provide parts to in-service rigs. Seen here are several reserves including xE26, xE22, a brand new unasssigned Ferrara, the last two 1991 HME/Grumman Pumpers and Reserve 108 (xE447). In the foreground are two of the department's reserve rescue squad/battalion vehicles and the last City Service Truck - Reserve Ladder 112.

Reserve Apparatus Lot (Behind Building 2)
Long-term reserves are used for apparatus undergoing more lengthy repairs. Long-term reserves can last from 2-days to several months. When these are used, the apparatus crew switches over all of their equipment and tools into the empty compartments of the reserve truck. Shown here are Reserve Engine 105 (xE32), Reserve Ladder 127 (xL1) and a Reserve Hazmat (xHM31). In the back are parked out-of-service apparatus that are no longer used as spares. That's xL31's tiller and xR7 shown in the background.

Adding the Graphics
To avoid the weather, all striping, lettering and graphics are added inside of Building 2. In 2009, all IFD apparatus began the process of having safety chevrons added to the rear of each truck to meet NFPA standards. IFD continues it's tradition of a large gold stripe over a thinner white stripe and a classic badge on each door. Most apparatus have a large white number designation on each side's rear compartment with a large gold number on the back of each truck. Squad 29's brand new rig is shown getting it's final graphics in July 2009. Ironically, this truck would need more graphics work as it was later assigned as TSU 10 and then TSU 25! A brand new Safety Officer truck awaits its stripes in the background.

Former Fuel Tanker 555 - GMC Top Kick/
This apparatus was finally replaced at the end of 2011 after nearly 3 decades of service.

IFD Fuel Tender 555 - 2011 International/KME - 2000gal Diesel/1000gal Unleaded
This apparatus is kept at the shops and responds to longer incidents that requires the refueling of apparatus on scene. It entered service in October 2011.