Firefighters in the nation's capital do much more than respond to crashes, medical emergencies, alarms, smoke and flames.
They're also out there in the middle of the night fighting -- or watching -- for crime.
Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., a fire engine or two as well as a truck are parked not in their firehouse, but on a city street in northeast. The idea is that criminals will think twice if they see firefighters.
They are under orders from the city to remain there unless they are dispatched to an emergency, WTTG reporters discovered.
The crew assigned to the "soft post" are from the firehouse known as the 'House of Pain' where Engine 10 and Truck 13 are stationed.
The deputy mayor for public safety is the one who not only requested, but wanted written verification the firefighters were in their assigned spot in the Trinidad section of D.C., the station noted.
Fire department spokesman Tim Wilson told the reporter: “These units were 'soft posted' as part of a crime deterrent initiative in the Trinidad area that has proven to be an effective tool in the past.”.
IAFF President Ed Smith in a statement saying, "Not only are my members not trained as police officers they are not properly equipped to handle police matters, yet could be called upon to become involved in various situations that places them in harm's way!”