Whose Station?

I'm not a native Texan, so I try to save myself the embarrassment by asking about Austin grammar early.

I heard it first at Station 5 ("5's" rather) and had to ask... why does everyone put an "s" on the end of the Station #?

Across the board, everyone's answer has been "I've always wondered that too!!" Occasionally, someone would suggest that it might imply ownership... but by whom?

This simple yet difficult question led me to the answer of another; of whom (or what) the station's "rock" really is.

When I applied to the AFD residency I imagined the finished drawings would show a mix of motion and stillness, most likely of a blurry Fire Engine zooming to a burning building punctuated with some Fire Fighters in sharp focus.


The Engine would have to be in focus, because it's the rock.

Think about it. There are three shifts per station, A, B, and C, each running for 24 hours, and the calls come in any time they want. Everyone works tirelessly during their shift, but the Engine is there for every call, every hour of every day*.

The respect that's given to the truck extends to the station too. From what I understand it's possessive: you ride out on Engine 22, and go to 22's. Sort of like how you'd go to your friend "Leo's" (house) you'd go to "24's". It's not Station 27, it's 27's Station.

If anyone knows where this originated, or can offer any insights, please leave a comment. 


*Except when it's at the shop, then the reserve truck is sent out (see photo above, it's pretty common).

Rachel SmithComment