Stafford County Fire & Rescue Department
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 Stafford County Fire and Rescue
Frequently Asked Questions

 
  
 
 
Have another question?  Need more information?  You may also email us at firerescueinfo@co.stafford.va.us to receive an electronic response to your inquiry. 
 
 
You may call 540-658-7200.
 
Call the Fire Department at 540-658-8648. You can either pick up the report or we'll mail you a copy. The cost for this service is $5.00.
 
Yes, the Department holds classes for both individuals and groups. These classes follow the American Heart Association guidelines. The department also assists Scout troops in obtaining merit badges related to fire safety and first aid. Classes are scheduled on an "as-needed" basis.
 

What are the educational and physical requirements to be a firefighter?
The physical demands can be great for short periods of time. We function in hazardous environments and under great stress during emergency operations. Current minimum educational requirements to become a Stafford County Firefighter are a high school education and certification through the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. In addition, all firefighters must be licensed by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic (EMT-P). Local EMT, EMT-I, and EMT-P classes are taught through Rappahanock EMS Council (540-373-0249).
 

 
 
The Fire Department does not service fire extinguishers. There are many fire extinguisher companies in the telephone book that have the proper equipment to service them.  Most portable fire extinguishers available at retail facilities are "disposable" after use, and do not require refilling. 
 
 
 
Yes, tours are offered at all stations. School-aged children are the most prevalent visitors to the stations, but everybody is welcomed. Call the individual fire station that you are interested in visiting to set up an appointment.
 
 
 
Yes, the Fire Department will install smoke alarms to those in need. It is our goal that all homes have working alarms and that the community is diligent in the care and maintenance of them.  The department also participates in "Get Alarmed, Virginia!," a grant program that is funded by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs to purchase smoke alarms for citizens in need.  To learn more and to set up an appointment for firefighters to visit your residence for a courtesy home fire safety check, please contact us via email or call 540-658-7200.  
 
 
 
All permits are issued by the County Code  Department. The Fire Department will do the plan review simultaneously with the Code Department and forward our comments to them. Once all of the comments have been addressed, the actual permit will be issued by them.
 
 
 
Yes, blood pressure screening is available at all stations. As a community service, you are welcome to stop by your local station.  Naturally, if you believe that you are experiencing a potentially serious medical emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.   
 
 
Please pull safely to the nearest shoulder/curb and stop.  This will allow fire apparatus or other emergency vehicles adequate and clear lanes to safely and quickly continue its response. 
 
 
 
Why do so many fire trucks respond to simple incidents?
Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center. There are pre-determined algorhythms that dispatchers utilize depending on the information received.  As an example; a medical emergency may have a fire engine dispatched along with an ambulance/paramedic unit if the fire engine is closer to the address.  This allows trained personnel to arrive and administer care more rapidly. 
 
 
 
Why do fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?
As explained in the previous answer, sometimes multiple units are dispatched to the same incident. The first arriving unit on the scene performs an assessment, notifies the dispatcher of the situation and what equipment should continue or be canceled from the incident.   This maximizes our use of resources, freeing emergency units to potentially take another call.
  Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle with red lights and sirens go through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled or "placed in service" from the call to which they were responding.
 
Why do firefighters cut holes in the roof of a building on fire? 
This is called "venting the roof." There are two basic reasons for this practice. Dangerous superheated gases and dark smoke accumulate in a burning building. Unlike the movie versions of fires, it is impossible for firefighters to see in such an environment or for victims to survive. When a hole is made in the roof, and the building is “vented,” the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It increases the victim’s chance for survival and makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft (explosion) and flashover. Another reason for venting the roof is to see how far the fire has progressed. One of the fastest avenues through which fires spread is the attic. Heat and smoke rise into the attic where the fire can move quickly. Firefighters may go ahead of the fire on a roof and cut holes to access the attic to stop the fire from spreading through the attic.
 
 
Why do firefighters break windows in a building that is on fire?
Dangerous superheated gases need to be ventilated to allow firefighters to safely and quickly rescue trapped occupants and extinguish the fire.   By venting the window (horizontal ventilation) of a room that is on fire, it actually helps to contain the fire within that room of origin.  Otherwise heated gases spread throughout the inside of the house.  Breaking the window really prevents a great deal more damage than it appears to cause. Replacing broken glass is much less expensive than repairing structural damage from the fire.

Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle crashes?
Two reasons.  First, automobile crashes present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials.   Second, Stafford County firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics. They assist with patient care or in extricating (removing) trapped occupants of the vehicle.

Why do fire trucks respond to emergency medical calls?
As mentioned in the statement prior, firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or Paramedics.  Our primary mission is to save lives and alleviate suffering. The strategic location of Stafford County's Fire and Rescue Stations allow us to quickly arrive and begin emergency medical treatments and life saving techniques such as CPR and/or use cardiac defibrillators.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department
P.O. Box 339
Stafford, VA 22555

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General Info: (540) 658-7200
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