Portsmouth Fire Department is an all career fire department that is augmented with civilian emergency dispatchers. The department was organized in 1936 as Portsmouth Volunteer Fire Department. Over the years, the Department transitioned from a volunteer organization to a combination department, and now a fully paid fire department.
All Department staffing and equipment is housed in a single station at 2300 East Main Road. Portsmouth Fire Department's jurisdiction includes the northern end of Aquidneck Island and several smaller populated and un-populated islands. The second largest land area is Prudence Island, which is protected by Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department with regular assistance from Portsmouth Fire Department. In total, Portsmouth Fire Department protects 23.2 square miles of land and 36 square miles of water.
Portsmouth Fire Department provides other services in addition to fire suppression. The Department delivers advanced life support medical service with 3 licensed ambulances(2 of which are staffed)and 2 licensed ALS Fire Engines. Many of the responders are certified in various types of technical rescue disciplines; including high angle rescue, trench rescue, confined space rescue, water rescue, and hazardous materials.