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The mission of the Worcester Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of the visitors and citizens of Worcester from the adverse effects of fire, medical emergencies or any other hazardous condition both man-made and natural. The Worcester Fire Department provides fire protection and life safety services to an area encompassing 39 square miles and a population of close to 175,500. The diversity in scope of protection in this area ranges from densely populated multi-family dwellings to office high rise buildings and a mixture of manufacturing and industrial complexes. Also, a major state highway passes directly through the city (I-290), producing potential hazards of undertemined proportions, due to the nature of the materials traveling along the highway.