Q1. How do I become a firefighter?
Q2. Why did a FIRETRUCK show up at my house when I called for an AMBULANCE?
A2. Anytime someone dials 9-1-1 for a life threatening, medical emergency the closest firetruck is sent along with the ambulance.
Each firetruck is staffed with four firefighters trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s). With eleven fire stations strategically located around the city compared to two ambulance stations, the caller can rest assured knowing that life-saving assistance is only seconds away – when seconds truly count!
Q3. When I am driving, what am I supposed to do when a firetruck (or other emergency vehicle) is approaching with lights/sirens on?
A3. If a firetruck is behind your vehicle with their lights/sirens on you should pull your vehicle to the right side of the road and stop. If you can’t get your vehicle to the right side of the road (due to other traffic, etc…) STOP and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes your location. Many times precious seconds are spent trying to maneuver a large firetruck through unyielding traffic.
Q4. What hours do firefighters work?
A4. Amarillo Firefighters report to work each scheduled shift at seven-thirty in the morning; work for 24-hours, leaving at seven-thirty the next day.
An example AFD schedule:
Mon. – work 24 hrs, Tues. – OFF, Wed. – work 24 hrs, Thurs. – OFF, Fri. – work 24 hrs. Sat., Sun., Mon., Tues. – All 4 of these days OFF on so on….
Q5. Why do I see firetrucks/firefighters at the grocery store?
A5. AFD firefighters usually eat two meals per shift. Each crew is responsible for shopping and preparing their meals at the fire station. There are four firefighters at the store and although they are shopping – they are ready to respond at a moments notice to answer emergency calls. That is also why you have probably seen firefighters sprinting from the grocery store on the way to their firetruck.
Q6. Who pays for the firefighters’ groceries?
A6. Each firefighter pitches in a set amount of money (usually 10 bucks) each shift to purchase meals.
Q7. Why do I sometimes see a firetruck drive through a red-traffic-light using their lights/sirens only to turn them off only moments later after passing through the intersection?
A7. Each day firefighters respond to dozens and dozens of emergency calls. Of these emergency calls, a few each day result in the firefighters being disregarded prior to their arrival to the emergency scene. If a firetruck goes through an intersection and seconds later you see their lights/sirens shut off – you can be sure that the firefighters were moments ago disregarded from the emergency call.
Q8. What type of emergency calls do AFD firefighters respond on?
A8. AFD firefighters respond on: medical calls, all variety of fires (house, car, dumpster, trash – you name it!), vehicle accidents, hazardous material incidents, aircraft accidents, high angles rescues, elevator rescues, incidents involving water rescues, industrial entanglements, lifting assistance calls, and including gas/smoke/odor investigations.
Q9. Why do firefighters show up for school/work fire drills?
A9. A firefighter’s main responsibility is to assure life safety on all emergency calls. During a fire drill, firefighters get an opportunity to familiarize themselves to the layout of each building during non-emergency conditions as well as, and most importantly, monitor the progress of the building evacuation.
When firefighters show up to a fire, ensuring all occupants are out of the building is the first priority. Extinguishing the fire is the next step and many times firefighters can find trapped/impaired/lost occupants easier and faster by extinguishing the fire and removing the fire products.
Q10. Can I arrange a tour a fire station?
A10. Absolutely! Call 378-9360 to arrange a tour of the fire station in your community or to visit the downtown “Central” fire station.
Q11. Why do I sometimes see firefighters, during the day, turning on/off the fire hydrants and flowing water when there is no fire?
A11. AFD firefighters are required, twice a year, to inspect and/or flow each fire hydrant (approximately 5,000 hydrants!) to ensure that each hydrant is in good operating condition if needed for a fire. This also allows sediments to flush free from the hydrants ensuring that the residues will not clog and damage the water pumps of each firetruck.
During these inspections, fire hydrants are sometimes found to be out-of-service and in need of repair. A fire emergency is a horrible time to find out your water supply is not available!
Q12. What does an AFD firefighter’s typical day consist of?
A12. In between responding to emergency calls, a typical day consists of: reporting to work by seven-thirty, placing all personal protective equipment (fire hat, boots, pants etc…) next to the firetruck, ensuring that the SCBA (breathing equipment) has the required amount of air and/or operating correctly, checking the truck’s equipment (tools, medical equipment etc…), working-out for at least thirty-minutes, station cleaning duties, medical and fire related education to keep up annual training hourly requirements, work/school fire drill supervision, pre-fire planning, fire hydrant maintenance, as well as the shopping/preparation for both meals.
AFD Firefighters usually accomplish the above duties during the hours of 8:00 am until 5:00 pm
(M-F) and remain at the fire station, standing by for emergency response.
During the weekend basically the same routine exists minus most scheduled training activities.
Q13. Does AFD provide or install SMOKE ALARMS?
A13. AFD firefighters will help install smoke alarms and/or provide smoke alarm(s) to anyone who needs one. To schedule an appointment please call Captain Jacob Oehlert at 378-9340.
Remember !!!! – change your smoke alarm’s batteries each time-change! (Spring & Fall)
Parents!!!! Make sure your kids know what the alarms sound like!
Q14. How can we plan our family’s escape if we have a fire?
A14. Click HERE for information to help you and your family design an Escape Plan!
Exit Drills In The Home (E.D.I.T.H.)
Make your plan today!!!
Q15. Where do I need to send my Tier II reports for hazardous material storage?
A15. For all inquiries regarding Tier II Reports click HERE!
Q16. Where can I find more information to keep my home safe from wildfire?
(or my community safe from disaster?)
A16. For information to help protect your home from wildfire danger, click HERE!
To make emergency preparedness a priority for you and your family, click HERE!
Q17. What is the ‘Vial of Life’ and where can I find out more information about what it’s used for?
A17. The ‘Vial of Life’ is a program to assist registrants with maintaining their important medical information. For more information and for a printable form click HERE!
To ask another question click here!