F.A.Q.

Why do I see fire trucks with lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?

Sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call.

Why does a fire truck come when you call for an ambulance?

Why does a fire truck respond when I wanted an ambulance? Because firefighters can and do get there first, and time is critical in a medical emergency. Each fire truck is A.L.S. (advance life support) certified. This means each fire truck has the same capabilities as an ambulance except they cannot transport patients.  Every Shelbyville Firefighter is cross-trained in Emergency Medical Services.

In the early days, fire stations were strategically located so the crews could quickly get to burning buildings. Obviously, time is an important aspect of firefighting, because flames can rapidly spread through a building. The ability to quickly respond to a fire provides more time to rescue people inside, and save property by suppressing the blaze in the early stages. It soon became apparent that the firefighter's ability to "get there fast" could be used for other types of emergency response, such as heart attacks, strokes and trauma.

Four minutes is a critical time frame for someone who has experienced a heart attack, injury, or other illness that makes them stop breathing. The heart and brain have a better chance of full recovery they receive oxygen in four minutes or less. After that, a person can suffer brain damage or worse. Our firefighters, many of them educated to the level of paramedic, can use life saving techniques including defibrillation and medications to help prevent death or permanent injury. These life saving techniques are much more effective if they can get to a patient within the first four minutes.

Each Shelbyville Fire Station is part of a much larger, intricate dispatch system. The system is designed to provide adequate emergency coverage for the citizens who live here, by carefully managing response resources. Fire stations are not isolated or randomly located. They are strategically positioned to provide the best coverage with the least expenditure of resources.

 

When you dial 911 for a medical emergency, expect a Shelbyville fire truck. The expertise that they bring is truly lifesaving.

 

Can you get my cat out of a tree?

The Fire Department does not assist in rescuing cats from trees.  Please contact the Shelbyville Animal Shelter for any questions regarding animals at 317-392-5127.

 

Why do we see fire department crews at the store?

Because the crews work a 24-hour shift, they must eat their lunch and dinner at the station. At times firefighters all eat the same meal, as a group. The crews pay for their food out of their own pockets. So, after the equipment is checked and the housework completed, one of the fire trucks will then make a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase the food for the shift. All crews remain in service to respond to calls during this time.

 

What should I do when I see or hear an emergency vehicle coming towards me when I'm driving?

When it is safe to do so, you should pull over to the right and stop until all emergency vehicles have safely passed. If you cannot safely maneuver to the right, simply stop and stay stopped so the vehicles can go around you safely.

 

How can I obtain a copy of a fire incident?

A copy of a fire report can be obtained from the Administrative Assistant during business hours of 8-4.  The fee is $5 for a fire report.

 

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

A copy of a medical incident report can be obtained from our billing service, MEDBILL.  You may contact MEDBILL at 1-877-849-6628.

 

How many calls does the Shelbyville Fire Department go on per year?

In 2014, the Shelbyville Fire Department responded on 4406 runs.  This was a 22% increase from 2013.

Can I tour the Shelbyville Fire Department?

Yes!  Tours of your local fire station are available upon request and  include viewing the fire station, our apparatuses and firefighting equipment, as well as talking to the firefighters about their job.  Please contact Public Education officer Dyan Current to set up your tour at dcurrent@cityofshelbyvillein.com

Will you take me to the hospital of my choice during an emergency?

Transport decisions are based upon your condition at the time of the call, your preference, your best interest, the closest appropriate facility and medical direction from the hospital.

What is a typical day like for a fireman?

A Shelbyville firefighter starts his/her day at 06:30.  They then move their gear to their assigned apparatus.  They begin truck checks and clean all vehicles.  The shift then prepares and eats breakfast together.  Each firefighter has assigned station duties that include sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming, taking out the trash, cleaning bathrooms, washing windows, and laundry.  They also are responsible for mowing the grass, trimming the shrubs, cleaning gutters, shoveling snow, and cleaning the parking lots.  After cleaning, the firemen have daily training.  This is followed by lunch which is normally prepared and eaten as a group.  While firefighters typically respond to multiple emergency calls during the day, during their down time they spend time studying, exercising and relaxing, as they could be up throughout the night on emergency calls.  Around 22:00, the firefighters go to sleep. They will then wake up the next day and put away dishes, prepare coffee, put their gear away and give their report to the next shift.  All of their meals, cleaning, training and sleeping are many times halted by any emergencies that may come in during that time. Shelbyville firefighters work 24 hours followed by 48 hours off.