Settled in 1752, Portsmouth, Virginia covers 33 square miles of land and boasts 76 miles of shoreline. Lying crosswise along the western Hampton Roads Harbor from the Norfolk Naval Base and marine terminal, Portsmouth’s navigable waterways, military bases, and seaports have been a dominant force in America’s history and economy. Portsmouth is the home of one of the oldest professional fire departments in the eastern seaboard, Portsmouth Fire Rescue and Emergency Services (PFRES), which was established in 1830. The department employs 255 highly trained Firefighters, Paramedics, and support staff, who respond to approximately 17,000 calls for service each year. PFRES is a consistent leader in modern fire suppression techniques, fire prevention, emergency medical services, and public education, maintaining an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 2. Only 7 other agencies in Virginia can boast this rating, which is the highest in the state. A modest city, Portsmouth is home to 96,000 citizens. The Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and the US Coast Guard Base – Portsmouth establish a strong military presence in Portsmouth. PFRES continues to provide its hallmark prompt, courteous, and professional service, which is commiserate with the department’s traditions and the City of Portsmouth’s high standards.