Frequently Asked Questions
Why does a fire engine or rescue unit respond when I call for an ambulance?
The fire department responds on serious or life threatening calls. The fire vehicle may be an engine, ladder truck, or rescue unit. The personnel assigned to these vehicles assist the ambulance crew with equipment, patient care and transportation.
When I call for an ambulance, why does the ambulance sometimes come from Moses Lake?
During the course of the day it is not unusual for two calls for the ambulance to come in at the same time. If the AMR ambulance scheduled for Ephrata is busy, an AMR ambulance will be sent from Moses Lake-area station.
Why do I see fire engines or ambulances go through intersections with their red lights flashing, and then turn them off? Are they just in a hurry to go somewhere?
Emergency lights and siren are used only when responding to a call. Apparatus responding to calls are sometimes cancelled, or the first arriving unit determines that the call is not an emergency and tells the units to respond in a non-emergency mode, or to return to their station.
Why do firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs when the fire is inside a building? It seems that they are causing more damage than the fire.
Fire in a building creates a lot of heat and smoke. In many cases, firefighters must remove the heat and smoke before they can get close enough to put out the fire. Heat and smoke rise, so cutting a hole in the roof and breaking out windows in planned locations allows the smoke to vent upwards, allowing cool air to enter the building from below. This is called "ventilation". 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 can cause extensive damage; ventilation will actually reduce overall damage to a building and contents.
If I were trapped in a burning building, would firefighters be able to rescue me?
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.
When I see an emergency vehicle approaching while I am driving, should I always pull over to the right and stop?
State law, and common sense, dictate 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 you car is already stopped, and you don't have anywhere to pull over). Simply stay put until the emergency vehicle goes around you. If you are blocking the route of the emergency vehicle, and you are able to pull ahead and over into a clear area, use your turn signal to indicate your intentions, and proceed at a safe speed. Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching. Make no sudden moves. If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should pull over and stop. You have no idea if they are proceeding down the road, or are planning on turning into a driveway or intersection right in front of you. You are not required to slow down or pull over for emergency vehicles that are responding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.
Do not tailgate, "draft", or follow a responding apparatus closely.
Not only is this illegal, you run the risk of collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by.
How do I get a copy of a Fire Report?
Call the Fire Department at 509-754-4666.
How do I get a copy of an ambulance report or if I have a question about my ambulance bill?
Call AMR at 509-765-2155
I need a CPR course. Who teaches these courses locally?
The Ephrata Fire Department offers CPR Courses on a regular basis. If you are interested in signing up for the next class simply call 509-754-4666 and ask to be put on the CPR class list. You will be notified when the next class will be offered.
Where can I get my blood pressure checked?
Blood pressure testing is done at the Ephrara Fire Station, 800 A St SE, Monday-Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Can we schedule a fire engine presentation or station tour?
Yes, contact the Fire Department at 509-754-4666 and we will be happy to assist you with your request.
How does the strength of fire protection in your community affect your homeowners insurance policy premium?
Part of the premium is determined by the strength of the fire protection provided to your home by the City. The quality of fire protection for a given area is determined by an organization sponsored by the insurance industry. This organization is known as the ISO. ISO grades fire protection for an area on a 1-10 grading system (1 being the best).
The Ephrata Fire Department has an ISO Class 5 rating.
Lower ISO Rating = Lower Insurance Premiums = More Property Development = Lower Property Tax
I recently received a telephone call asking for a donation that benefits my local fire department. Who receives the donations?
The Ephrata Fire Department does not solicit donations via the telephone. All Department funding comes from the City budget. If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact the Ephrata Police Department at 509-754-2491.
Can I get a "child locator" window decal from the Fire Department?
The Ephrata Fire Department does not recommend the use of child-locator window decals. View our position statement on this issue.
Firefighters thoroughly perform search and rescue in the event of a fire. Parents should be aware of safety concerns when using child-locator decals. Per the Home Safety Council, these decals may signal intruders to an area of vulnerability in the home, especially where children are sleeping.
Rather than using decals, teach children home fire safety.
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