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Building fires create a tremendous amount of heat and smoke. In many instances, firefighters must remove this heat and smoke before they can get close enough to extinguish the fire. Heat and smoke rise, so cutting a hole in the roof and breaking out windows in strategic locations allows the smoke to vent upwards, allowing cool air to enter the structure from below.
Most fatalities are caused by breathing the smoke and not the flames. This strategy is a lifesaving technique for any occupants. It also improves visibility and lowers heat conditions for the firefighters inside, allowing them to quickly and safely extinguish the fire. Remember, heat and smoke cause damage too, so ventilation will reduce overall damage to a building and contents.
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Emergency lights and siren are used only when responding to a call. Apparatus responding to calls are frequently cancelled when the first arriving unit determines that the call is not an emergency. Our firefighters shut off their lights and sirens when it is safe to do so and continue to the call in a non-emergency mode, or to return to their station.
This all depends on you and the fire protection features of the building you are in at the time of the fire.
Relying on the expertise and resources of your local firefighters to save you in a fire is risky at best; the best rescue is self-rescue.
Yes. State law, and common sense, dictates that vehicles yield to emergency vehicles that are operating their emergency lights and siren. Emergency vehicle drivers are taught to pass on the left whenever possible when responding in an emergency mode. When safe, slow down, pull over to the right, and stop.
However, there are circumstances where that may not be possible (if your car is already stopped, and you don't have anywhere to pull over). Simply stay put until the emergency vehicle goes around you. Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching.
If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should pull over and stop.
Stop in at the Fire Station located at 185 West Sauk Trail, any day of the week between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Yes, check our web site under Public Education or contact our Public Education Coordinator Kristine Roszak by email or by calling 708-755-9589. Email is the preferred method. We are always glad to meet with you.
Firefighters are hired through the Assistant Chief Chad Vlietstra’s Office. Call the station at 708-755-9589 or email the Assistant Chief.
You can stop in the station and pick up an application, or look through our online Employment Opportunities.
Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 911 operator. We base that response on the worst case scenario based on the information in hand. The fire department's philosophy is to get our firefighters there as soon as possible.
There may be three or more fire department vehicles on the scene for what appears to be a "simple" incident. However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is "simple," we can be horribly mistaken. The winner in these situations will always be the citizen who needs help.