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Portsmouth Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services (PFRES) is a community focused department committed to providing an unmatched caliber of public safety services. PFRES has proudly served Portsmouth, Virginia since 1830; making it one of the oldest fire organizations on the eastern seaboard. Rooted with a wealth of history and tradition, our contemporary department is a regional leader in modern fire suppression and prevention, pre-hospital emergency medicine, and public education.

Portsmouth’s highly trained and motivated professionals protect life, property, and the environment by providing comprehensive emergency services that include much more than fighting fire. We also include specially trained teams for hazardous materials mitigation, heavy and tactical rescue, maritime incident response, emergency management, arson and environmental crime investigation, and disaster planning. Each member of the PFRES family is committed to being highly responsive to the public while performing their duties in a safe and competent manner.

PFRES has a complement of 8 fire stations, staffed at all times, which are strategically incorporated in neighborhoods throughout the city to maximize response efficiency. Last year, PFRES answered more than 18,000 calls for assistance.


“Focus on the Community” is more than the Portsmouth Fire motto, it is our passion and our promise. Whether responding to emergencies or assisting with local charities and neighborhood events, our members are always answering the call. The needs of our community are diverse and require a multi-faceted response system. This means we need an equally diverse workforce with various special skill sets. Whether you want to focus on a career of Firefighting, or Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine; our vocation requires exemplary personal values of courage, honor, integrity, and a commitment to serve.