Fire

Fire

How can I find out what programs the Fire Department offers?

Go to the "Programs/Community Outreach" toolbar in the main menu for a list of programs that the fire department offers.

Is counseling available if my child is setting fires?

Yes, a Juvenile Fire Intervention Program is in place at the Cedar Rapids Fire Department to assist with juveniles that are playing with fire or intentionally setting fires. Call the fire department at 319-286-5200 to schedule an appointment. For further information about the program, you may visit the Juvenile Fire Intervention Program link on our Web site.

How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?

Please give the fire department at least two weeks notice prior to your event. To schedule an event, call the fire department at 319-286-5200.

Why do I see firefighters cutting holes in the roof of a building on fire?

This is called "venting the roof." There are two basic reasons for this practice. First of all, dangerous 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. When a hole is made in the roof because the building is "vented," the smoke and gases escape because heat and smoke rise. It makes it much easier for the firefighters in the building to see. It also reduces the possibilities of backdraft (explosion) and flashover. The other 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, cut holes to access the attic and stop the fire from spreading through the attic.

Why do I see firefighters breaking windows in a building 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 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.

Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle accidents?

There are two key reasons that firefighters respond to motor vehicle accidents. First, automobile accidents present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials. Second, Cedar Rapids firefighters are trained Emergency Medical Technicians. Therefore, they can assist ambulance personnel with patient care or assist in extricating (removing) trapped occupants from the vehicle.

Why do fire trucks respond to emergency medical calls?

Firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). Our primary mission is to provide supplementary support to our local ambulance personnel. With additional fire stations and personnel on duty, we can often arrive prior to the ambulance personnel and begin life saving techniques such as rescue breathing, CPR, and defibrillation.

All Cedar Rapids fire stations are scheduled to be staffed with at least one paramedic. Paramedics provide advanced life support, can administer medications and start intravenous therapy.

How can I become a career (paid) firefighter?

See Employment on the Cedar Rapids Fire Department's website or call Human Resources at 319-286-5000.

Can I ride on a fire truck?

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has a Ride-Along program. You must be 16 years of age and complete an application with the fire department. To get further information, contact the Fire Department at 319-286-5200.

What kind of smoke alarm should I buy?

The Fire Department cannot recommend specific manufacturers. However, we do recommend that electrical smoke alarms (hard wired) be C.S.A. approved. We also recommend any battery-operated smoke alarm be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved.

My smoke alarm goes off a lot. What is wrong with it?

First, clean the unit with a vacuum cleaner. Dust particles can and often do set off false alarms. Second, the unit may need to be relocated. It could be too close to the kitchen, bathroom, heat register or it could be defective and need to be replaced. Consult the installation instructions.

My smoke alarm beeps. What is wrong with it?

The problem is usually a weak or dead battery. Replace with a fresh battery as recommended by the manufacturer.

Who do I call if I think a building is a fire hazard?

Our Fire Marshal's Office will answer your questions by calling 319-286-5200. You need to provide the address of the building and the owner or manager’s name, if you have it. You also need to provide your name and contact phone number. Once the investigation is complete, your name will become part of the public information file on the building.

Where can I get general safety information?

Call the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at 319-286-5200 with your particular question or visit other sections of our Web site, including the Safety Topics page.

How do I receive a fire department patch?

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department does not have fire department patches available for the general public. They are not available to anyone that is not an employee of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.

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