Fire and Aid Response Questions
- Why do I see fire department vehicles using lights and sirens and then all of the sudden turn them off?
Usually they are "down graded" or cancelled by other fire units on the scene of an incident after those units determined that they weren't needed.
- Why do I see many fire department vehicles responding to one call?
Even though it may seem many incidents can be handled with just one vehicle, most of the calls require manpower from multiple units.
- Why do I see a fire engine followed by an aid car around town?
We cross-staff our fire engines and aid cars with the same personnel. We keep these vehicles together to handle either an aid or engine call.
- What does cross-staffed mean?
At each fire station there is an aid car and an engine/truck. If the call is medical in nature we take the aid car and place the engine/truck out of service. If it is a fire related call we take the engine/truck and place the aid car out of service. Station 21 and Station 24 usually only have an aid car in service.
- Why do I see two ambulances at calls?
As part of King County Medic One, the Kirkland Fire Department strives to respond in the most efficient manner. The KFD staffs Basic Life Support aid cars, which is equipped to perform basic medical procedures and heart defibrillation. This is the first "ambulance" that you see.
Most medical calls only require a basic response. For calls that require more advanced medical procedures a medic unit from either Evergreen Medic One, Bellevue Fire, or Shoreline Fire Medic One. These units can have the ability to perform advanced medical procedures including IV Therapy, drug administration, and advanced airway management.
- Why at a fire or major accident, do I see fire vehicles from other cities?
Kirkland is part of an agreement with surrounding cities to provide automatic aid to neighboring department or receive the same aid. Most fires requires 3 engines, a truck company, and a command officer. Some fire stations in neighboring areas are closer to calls than other Kirkland fire stations, providing faster response to calls. The KFD also responds into other jurisdictions.
- Are you firefighters or EMTs?
We are cross-trained in both areas.
- Why do fire department vehicles arrive on scene at separate times?
Each vehicle that arrives responds from a different station located in different areas.
- When a department vehicle approaches a scene, I notice it seems to start and stop all the time, why?
Usually we are looking for the address of the place we are responding to. Unfortunately many addresses aren't labeled properly or at all making it hard to find the place that we are responding to. That is why it is important to have the addresses highly visible.