|Frequently Asked Questions|
Q: Why do fire engines respond to emergency medical calls?
Q: How many firefighters are on duty?
A: The Maumelle Fire Department currently has 21 career firefighters divided among the three shifts. Taking into consideration vacation leave & sick time, this allows for a minimum of four firefighters on duty at a time -- two assigned to each engine company.
Q: What type of shift do firefighters work?
A: Firefighters work one 24-hour tour of duty followed by 48 hours off. Presently, at least six firefighters are assigned to each of the division's three shifts. When accounting for vacation & sick leave, this insures that at least four firefighters are on duty in the department 24 hours a day.
Q: How does the daily operation of the fire department function?
A: The functions are divided into two primary areas -- emergency and non-emergency. Emergency operations consist of responses to fire calls, medical runs, auto accidents, etc. Non-emergency duties include fire inspections, hydrant testing, training, station maintenance and public education activities.
Q: What do you do when you are not responding to emergencies?
A: Responding to emergencies is only one portion of a firefighter's duties. Firefighters are also responsible for the care and upkeep of all apparatus and equipment used in the department. All equipment must be in top condition and ready for any type of incident. Firefighters also conduct annual inspections of all commercial, industrial, educational & public assembly occupancies in the city. Firefighters also test all fire hydrants in the city and conduct safety presentations.
Q: Do you get cats out of trees?
A: Not usually. Cats often climb trees to avoid perceived dangers that they encounter at the bottom of the tree. Given plenty of time for them to calm down, most cats climb down on their own without incident. You can speed the process up by leaving a can of their favorite food on the ground near the tree. Suprisingly, cats aren't as happy to be "rescued" as their owners and a cat with claws actually pose a danger to a firefighter who attempts to pluck it from its perch before the cat is ready.
Q: Why do firefighters drive that big red truck, even when not on a call?
A: Firefighters must be ready to respond to an emergency at all times. This means that they must drive the engine while conducting fire inspections, testing hydrants or just going to the store.
Q: How do I get tour of the fire station?
A: Tours for groups or individuals may be set up by calling the station at (501) 851-1337 during regular business hours. Every effort will be made to accommodate the date and time you want. Individuals may stop by the fire station and request a tour. Any available firefighter will be happy to show you our station, let you get a close look at our apparatus and, perhaps, demonstrate some of our equipment for you.
Q: How many vehicles do you have?
A: Our fleet currently contains three engines, one truck, a brush unit, three staff vehicles and a mobile air supply trailer. Engine 1 and Engine 2 are staffed 24 hours a day by career firefighters. They are equipped to respond to fires, auto accidents, medical emergencies and other incidents. The other firefighting vehicles in the fleet are staffed by additional personnel or volunteer firefighters when needed. Be sure to visit our apparatus photo gallery for more information on our current apparatus or the retired apparatus gallery to see vehicles that have served us in the past.
Q: What is the difference between an engine & a truck?
A: The engine's primary function is to carry hose & water for fire attack. The main component of a truck is the large compliment of ladders it carries, including a large aerial ladder mounted on top.
Q: How much water is carried on a fire engine?
A: It depends on the apparatus. Engine 1 and Engine 2 are equipped with a booster tank with 500 gallons of water. Engine 3, meanwhile, hauls 750 gallons of water on board -- more than 20 full bathtubs worth.
Q: What do you look for while conducting a fire inspection?
A: On new construction, we look for life safety issues and to check if what was shown on the plans is actually what has been installed. On annual inspections, we look for potential safety hazards that can be abated before they become a serious problem. Mutual cooperation is our main objective to get code compliance. Our only interest is safety -- not to cite the owner or to shut down the business.
Q: What is your Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating?
A: The city of Maumelle enjoys a Class 3 rating. The rating falls on a scale of 1-10 with Class 1 being the best possible rating and a Class 10 indicating no fire protection whatsoever. Maumelle currently has the second-highest rating in the metropolitan area.
Fire Station Life
Q: Do firefighters live at the fire station?
A: Sort of. Firefighters often spend 24 hours at a time at the firehouse followed by 48 hours off duty. During this time they eat, sleep, shower, work and relax at the firehouse. So, they essentially live at the firehouse for approximately 1/3 of their career.
Q: Does the city pay for firefighters' meals while on duty?
A: No. Firefighters are responsible for their own meals while on duty. Often, all of the firefighters on a shift will pool their money to purchase their own groceries to cook meals at the firehouse. Also, you may see firefighters patronizing one of the local resturants.
Q: Do firefighters get breaks for sleep, eating or bathing?
A: Although there is downtime in the fire serivce, firefighters on duty must be ready to respond to an emergency at any time during their shift. Emergencies are not scheduled and they often cause interruptions in sleep time, meal time and bathroom time.
Q: Who cooks and cleans at the fire station?
A: While firefighters are on duty, the station is essentially their home away from home. Firefighters take turns preparing meals. As they don't have the luxury of a janitorial service, firefighters are also responsible for cleaning the station's living quarters.
Q: How do I find a street that isn't on my map?
A: The Maumelle Fire Department maintains very comprehensive maps of the city -- including house numbers as well as new streets and subdivisions. If you need directions, please stop by one our stations and we'll be happy to assist you.
Q: Will the fire department recharge my fire extinguisher?
A: We are not equipped to perform this service -- not even with our own extinguishers! There is a comprehensive list of local businesses that do offer such services in the telephone directory.
Open Burning Laws
Q: Am I allowed to burn leaves in Maumelle?
A: No. Open outdoor burning within the Maumelle city limits is regulated by ordinance. In an effort to ensure safe neighborhoods and help preserve clean air, residential burning of yard waste or trash is not allowed. Burn permits are available for fires required in the clearing of land for development. To obtain a burn permit, visit Fire Station 1 at 2000 Murphy Drive. Issuance of a permit is dependent on a number of factors -- including the proposed burn site and weather conditions.
Q: What is the best kind of extinguisher for my home?
A: A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. Look for an "ABC" label on the packaging. This designation means that the extinguisher can handle every type of fire in the home. An extinguisher should be placed near the kitchen and in the garage.
Q: How many smoke detectors do I need in my home?
A: You should have at least one smoke detector in each bedroom, the hallway and at the top of all stairways. Smoke rises, so the best place to install a detector is on the ceiling or high on an inside wall approximately 6-8 inches below the ceiling.
Q: What type of smoke detector should I buy?
A: A battery-operated smoke detector that carries the UL logo. Be sure to test the batteries monthly and replace them once a year.
Q: How do I know if my smoke detector is working properly?
A: We recommend that you test your smoke detector monthly. Batteries normally last up to one year. Although many models provide an audible warning when the batteries are low, it is recommended that you change them once a year to keep them fresh. As a reminder, we suggest you "Change your clock and change your battery" each fall with the ending of Daylight Savings Time.
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