Atlanta fire stations might officially be known by their government-given numbers, but for decades the men and women who sleep, eat, and wait for emergency calls inside those buildings have been adopting mottos inspired by their crews’ attitudes, personalities, and specialties. Many firefighters sport custom patches on their uniforms. Here’s a look at some of the city’s most interesting firehouse mottos.
Station No. 19
According to Dave Williams of the Metro Fire Association of Atlanta, Virginia-Highland’s beloved station celebrated the arrival of a new “Bulldog” engine by cracking a bottle of bubbly across its bumper.
Station No. 15
Located in the heart of Midtown, the station has recently taken on mottos that signify its large number of late-night calls.
Station No. 30
Two fire stations have called themselves “the Border Patrol.” This (albeit politically incorrect) image refers to the station’s location near the city’s southern edge.
Station No. 13
Before this East Atlanta outpost opened in 1921 no fire station had been given the unlucky number 13. The newer facility turned the superstition on its head, hanging a shamrock above its bay doors.
Station No. 6
Organized in 1879 as the African-American Blue Eagle Fire Company to protect Summerhill, the volunteer company battled blazes with white firefighters until it was disbanded when the city created a paid force in 1882. It was reorganized two years later in Old Fourth Ward.
Station No. 17
In the late 1980s this station located in Westview riffed on TBS Superstation Channel 17, which aired Atlanta Braves games.
Station No. 18
This Kirkwood station—once known as “Atlanta’s Last Outpost” because of its proximity to the city limits—used to run medical assistance calls, says Atlanta Fire and Rescue Sgt. Cortez Stafford.
Station No. 10
Drawing inspiration from Zoo Atlanta just down Boulevard, the Grant Park station features a rhino, giraffe, and lion on its patch.
Station No. 23
The Berkeley Park firehouse once used the slogan “Chasing the Devil from Buckhead to Bankhead.” More recently, the station adopted “Savoir Faire,” a French phrase roughly meaning “able to perform.” Bravo.
This article originally appeared in our November 2017 issue.