Fire Return Codes

An extremely niche post, but for scanner listeners who wonder what the numeric codes given after the fire department responds somewhere, e.g., “We’ll be returning. Code this a 136,” the answers are varied:

  • Many places seem to have their own codes. Boston uses these codes, while someone kindly scanned the codes used by Waltham here.
  • There’s a national standard, NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System), that people seem to want to standardize on, but change is slow. You can get the complete guide here (; you probably want page 3-21, which is page 41 of the 491 page PDF.

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