Big Spring Frequently Asked Questions

Why did a fire truck respond first when I called for an ambulance?

The BSFD is a dual department; all of our personnel are trained and certified in both fire suppression and emergency medical services. The BSFD routinely send a fire truck to assist ambulances since each ambulance only has two personnel on board. This procedure allows a minimum or four personnel on scene to assist with patient treatment, lifting, and loading.  In situations where a fire truck is closer to a call location than an ambulance, sending a fire truck shortens the response time.

Why does the Fire Department use water by flowing fire hydrants?

Flowing of hydrants is a vital function and is required by the Insurance Service Organization (ISO). The ISO sets the classification of our fire department in addition to determining homeowner’s insurance rates.  Flushing the hydrants allows the department to verify that each hydrant has sufficient water pressure to provide adequate fire suppression flow for that area.  It allows us to detect and repair any deficiencies in the water system before it is needed for a fire.  It also allows us to flush out any debris or other substances that are in the water lines. This prevents debris from entering the fire engine pumps; debris that can cause damage or disable the fire engine during a fire.

I have seen ambulances and fire trucks that seem to be aimlessly wandering around town or just driving around.  This seems to be a waste of taxpayers' money.  Can you explain what is going on?

This is a very good question that could have many answers.  First of all, there is a steady influx of new employees at the BSFD.  As part of the initial and on-going training, new firefighters are required to learn how to safely operate both the ambulances and fire units. The best way to accomplish this is to allow them to operate these vehicles under direct supervision of a more experienced firefighter.

Secondly, the firefighter may be learning a particular part of town by driving that area to familiarize themselves with the streets, dips, curves, etc.

Lastly, the department performs periodic checks of fire hydrants throughout town. This includes checking hydrants for damage, paint condition, location, etc.  Citizens can rest assured that all units are available for immediate response to an emergency, if needed.

I see ambulances and fire trucks at various businesses about town. Can you explain?

One of the department's many responsibilities is to perform pre-fire plans and safety surveys for our local businesses. We routinely go out to local businesses to assess the building, familiarize ourselves with the layout, and make recommendations to help prevent fires and safety issues. Firefighters perform these assessments on duty, driving the emergency units to the location which allows both the units and personnel to be available for immediate response, if needed.

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