Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are we volunteers?
No. Frederick County uses a combination system, comprised of career personnel and volunteer members, to provide fire and rescue services to its citizens. Our members are career personnel who work for the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services
Frederick County employs over 300 dedicated men and women who provide high quality emergency response, training, fire investigation, code enforcement, emergency communications, emergency management planning, and other critical services - all funded by tax dollars NOT donations.
Our 300+ members operate out of 22 of the 30 fire/rescue stations in the County. Of these stations, twelve (12) are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and ten (10) are staffed Monday – Friday 12 hours a day.
2. Why do I see Fire Department personnel at the grocery store and exercising in the parks and gyms in my neighborhood?
As mentioned above, our personnel work 12 or 24 hour shifts. As a result, they eat many meals together, which is why you sometimes see us at the grocery store getting supplies. As for the exercising well our job is a very strenuous and phsically demanding profession. Each year we are required to pass a thorough medical exam and in order to acheive this we must maintain physical fitness. Our daily exercise or physical training (PT) is not only a good way for us to maintain that required fitness but it is a good way for us to build camaraderie and interact with the citizens we serve. Also, you may notice that we carry radios with us when we are out gathering groceries or exercising. This is because we are on duty during these times and responding to emergencies is always the 1st priority no matter what other activities we may be out doing.
3. Do the firefighters check child safety seats?
Part of the outstanding services that our members provide to the community is Child Safety Seat Inspections and Installations. We have members that are certified Child Safety Seat Technicians located throughout Frederick County. To take advantage of this service please contact the Child Safety Seat Hotline at 301-600-6619 to schedule an appointment, obtain information for upcoming community child safety seat checkpoints, or to request to speak to a Child Safety Seat Technician. There is no cost associated with this service however donations are always welcome as they are used to support the "Keep Kids Safe" fund.
If you would like to make a donation to the "Keep Kids Safe" fund please send it to:
IAFF Local 3666
P.O. Box 371
Frederick Maryland 21705
4. What do firefighters do all day and night?
In addition to responding to the many emergencies throughout the county our days are filled with many daily tasks, routines and responsibilities. Our shifts begin at 6:00 am each day and crews generally spend the early morning hours completing apparatus and equipment checks to ensure everything is in good working order and ready for emergency response. Once this has been accomplished we spend the remainder of the shift (in between responding to emergencies) performing a variety of the following tasks:
• Physical Training - Our job is a very strenuous and phsically demanding profession. Each year we are required to pass a thorough medical exam and in order to acheive this we must maintain physical fitness.
• Child Safety Seat inspections/installations - We have members that are certified Child Safety Seat Technicians located throughout Frederick County to provide this service throughout the day in the fire stations.
• In-station drills/training - We train daily in order to maintain our skills and build knowledge so that we may provide you with the best service possible.
• Housekeeping - We live in the fire station while on duty, which means that the floors need to be mopped, bathrooms cleaned, trash taken out, laundry done, etc. just as if we were home.
• Preplans – We develop these documents to provide important information about buildings and facilities in our response area so that we may better serve the community. They generally contain fire hydrant locations, elevator and stairway locations, contact information, and descriptions of pertinent hazards (chemicals, building construction, etc).
• Mapping – Frederick County no longer the quiet rural county it once was and it seems new developments are springing up all the time. Because of this we must go out and map areas so that we may keep our maps current. This is done to ensure that we are able to quickly and safely respond to emergency incidents.
• Public Education (Pub Ed) – Community outreach and education are high priorities. We go out to a multitude of businesses, schools, public assemblies and various events throughout the year to conduct public education and fire prevention programs for the community. Firehouses are a favorite stop for children and thier parents and we are always available to give tours and answer questions.
• Apparatus/equipment maintenance – It’s critical that our equipment and apparatus are well-maintained and ready for response. We are always cleaning, inspecting, testing and making routine repairs to equipment.
• Documentation and completion of reports – We complete reports for every Fire/EMS incident to which we respond; paperwork and documentation are an important part of our job.
6. Why does a fire truck respond when I called for an ambulance?
We are cross-trained as firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs); some have advanced training as paramedics. Sometimes the fire apparatus are closer to the emergency than the nearest ambulance and they can arrive quickly to begin providing emergency care while waiting for the ambulance. Fire apparatus are also routinely dispatched to assist the Ambulance crew with seriously ill patients or to help move patients down stairs or over rough terrain.