What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than fighting fires?
Firefighting actually represents a relatively small portion of the work of a typical fire department in today’s world. The number of residential and commercial fires has steadily decreased over the years due to a variety of factors including improvements in construction, a greater public awareness of the risk factors leading to fires and a significant reduction in smoking nationwide.
Fires, however, are only some of the emergencies to which the Harvey Fire Department responds. A large number of the calls are, in fact, for motor vehicle accidents and requests for medical assistance from Ambulance NB. Other calls for emergency response involve hazardous materials releases, response to fire alarms and other calls for public assistance like off-road rescue.
Firefighters also spend quite a bit of time maintaining equipment, doing routine safety inspections for of our equipment and facilities, training for all types of emergency responses and filling out the reports and paperwork associated with these activities.
Why did you chop that big hole in my roof? The fire was in the kitchen, not the attic!
During a fully involved structure fire, temperatures inside a structure are often 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. By cutting a hole in the roof and ventilating the building, the heat is allowed to escape through the roof thereby making it safer for firefighters to enter the building and apply water directly on the fire. This extinguishing strategy is key to stopping a structure fire quickly, and actually helps minimize damage to other rooms.
Why does a fire truck sometimes respond when a request is made for an ambulance for a person with a medical condition?
Sometimes Ambulance NB may request our assistance for moving a patient to and from a residence. Many older houses have narrow doors and stairways and a stretcher cannot always be easily wheeled into a home with a patient on it.
When would be a good time to come to the fire station so my children can see the fire truck?
We encourage you to stop by and see our stations and apparatus anytime, but as we are a volunteer department, there is not always someone onsite. If you would like to schedule a time to come by the fire station, please call (506) 366-3503. The fire station is located at 2234 Route 3.
Are smoke detectors needed in my new home?
Yes. Smoke detectors are required on every level and in every sleeping room. We recommend the same configuration for existing homes.
How often do I need to change the battery in my smoke detector?
We recommend that residents change the batteries in smoke detectors every six months. A good time to change the batteries is during the spring and fall time changes.
Does the Fire Department recommend CO (carbon monoxide) detectors?
Yes, at least one and it should be placed on the first floor.
Should I have a “Fire Escape Plan” for my family?
Yes. The plan should include 2 ways out of every room and every floor. It’s important to have a meeting place for family members and practice the drill monthly; more frequently if children live in the home.
What type of extinguishers and how many are recommended for the home?
A minimum of one 5-pound ABC extinguisher accessible to the kitchen area. Always keep the fire in front of you with your back toward the exit.
Does the Fire Department fill private swimming pools?
No. As a volunteer department, this would be too time consuming in addition to the commitment that we already make for training, meeting with the public, and responding to incidents.
Does the Fire Department have social halls for private parties?
Does the Fire Department rescue cats from trees?
We will try to assist you when possible, however public safety is always our first priority.
Does the Fire Department pump water from flooded basements?
No. Our portable pumps are only to be used for fire ground operations.
Will the Fire Department respond to help me if I lock myself out of my residence?
I called the Fire Department and asked if they would send someone out because my smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector, etc. was going off. I just wanted them to take a look at it, and they sent numerous fire trucks to my house, with lights and sirens blaring. Why did they do that?
The Fire Department is required to send a certain number of trucks to the scene of any structure-related incident, based on the type of incident. Since we have no way of knowing the exact situation when we are dispatched, we have to assume that there is a fire or other emergency situation until we determine otherwise.
Do firefighters have to do any extra training?
As the world changes, firefighters have to change and train along with it. The members of the Harvey Fire Department continually train to remain current with medical standards, fire suppression tactics, and even new vehicle technologies (we respond to numerous car accidents).
How much does a firefighter’s gear weigh?
Different manufactures make their gear out of slightly different materials that can determine the weight. However, the gear the Harvey Fire Department uses weighs approximately 50 pounds. The HFD turnout gear consists of a fiberglass helmet, nomex hood, bunker coat & pants, gloves, and boots that collectively weigh roughly 25 pounds. Firefighters also wear a SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) with a full 30-minute bottle, adding another 25 pounds.
Why do firefighters break all the windows during a fire?
Firstly, breaking out the windows during a fire is something you should NOT do! It can make the fire much worse and decrease the chances of survival for trapped occupants.
When the HFD breaks out windows during a fire, there is a science to it that we are trained in. Windows are broken in coordination with firefighters on the inside so when they place water on the fire, open windows allow the steam to escape. Without the windows being broken, the steam would cook firefighters in their suits. The openings also help to release smoke and increase visibility inside a building.
What type of training does it take to become a firefighter?
HFD will pay for you to take Level 1 Firefighter’s course that is accredited through the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC). This is a 200 hour classroom / practical course that are held on evenings and weekends spread over a period of 3 months.