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Fire Department

How Do I? Questions & Answers

How can I obtain a copy of a fire incident report?

Fire incident reports are available through the fire department administrative offices located at fire station no. 2, 1022 South Main Street, weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Is it legal to burn debris in the city limits?

Yes, however there are ordinances in place which limit the type of materials that can be burned as well as the amount. You should first contact the fire department before burning outdoors.

How do I obtain a burn permit?

Burn permits are available through the fire department administrative offices located at fire station no. 2, 1022 South Main Street, weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Can I get a blood pressure check at my local city fire station?

Absolutely. All city firefighters are certified in emergency medicine and can check your blood pressure free of charge.

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

You can contact the fire department administration offices at 859.885.5505 for scheduling. This should be done at least two weeks in advance.

How do I become a firefighter?

For information on becoming a firefighter with the city of Nicholasville fire department, please see the Employment page.

Why do so many emergency vehicles respond to simple incidents?

Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. With the recent implementation of an enhanced 911 system and computer aided dispatch (CAD), a computer assists that operator in selecting the necessary units to respond based on the information received. With no way of knowing for sure exactly what awaits, and the fact that all incidents are different, the fire department must think pessimistically when responding to an alarm. In other words we must be ready to deal with the worst when arriving at a scene.

A typical response to a structure fire in the city, whether perceived or actual, is three engine companies, a ladder company and a battalion chief. Depending on the caller's information, an ambulance may be dispatched as well. Therefore, there may be as many as five fire department vehicles and an ambulance on the scene for what may appear to some to be a "simple" incident.

If, after investigating the situation and it is determined that certain units are not needed, those units are returned to service immediately whether they have arrived at the scene or still in route. This determination is made as quickly as possible to eliminate congestion at the scene and also to free-up units in case another incident were to occur elsewhere.

Sometimes I see emergency vehicles go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and siren and slow down. Why is this?

As explained in the preceding answer, sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. After the first unit arrives they may determine that they can handle the situation and no other units will be needed. Once this information is received, the dispatcher will cancel those units still responding and "return them to service." At that time the emergency vehicles that have not yet reached the scene will shut down their emergency warning equipment and return to the normal flow of traffic.

Why do firefighters have to cut holes in the roof of a building that's on fire?

This is known in the fire service as vertical ventilation. There are three primary reasons that firefighters have to perform vertical ventilation-first and foremost is safety.

Most everyone has heard the term "backdraft". Backdraft or "smoke explosion" as it is sometimes called is just that- an explosion that takes place within a confined area when oxygen is introduced into an oxygen deficient atmosphere during a fire.

This can be a deadly phenomenon to anyone inside the building whether it is a firefighter or a victim they may be trying to locate.

The best way minimize the potential of a backdraft is to ventilate the fire at the highest point so that the intense heat and smoke necessary for a backdraft can escape to the outside where it is no longer a danger.

The second key reason for vertical ventilation is, by allowing this heat and smoke to vent to the outside, we are able to reduce the amount of damage that is being done not only to the structure but also to the contents. It also helps save lives if someone is unable to escape. Here's why: as a fire burns it gives off such things as heat, smoke, carbon monoxide and various other harmful products. The heat being generated by the fire will rise causing the other products to rise with it. As these products of combustion reach the roof or ceiling of a room and are unable to escape they will begin to bank down and eventually fill the entire space. By opening the roof these products are able to escape to the outside and can be replaced below by fresh, cooler air.

The third primary reason for vertical ventilation is to see where the fire is or where it may be heading. One of the fastest avenues for fire to travel is through attics. As mentioned earlier the heat and smoke will rise and once it encounters the roof will begin traveling laterally through the attic. By venting the roof we are able to form a "chimney" and direct these products of combustion to the outside making extinguishment of the fire quicker and less dangerous. The damage done by the trapped heat and smoke within a building will far surpass any damage that is done by cutting a hole in the roof.

517 North Main Street · Nicholasville, KY 40356 · Phone: 859.885.1121 · Fax: 859.881.0750 · Email: info@nicholasville.org
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