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 are not 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 additional personnel 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.
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 have the ability to perform advanced medical procedures including IV Therapy, drug administration, and advanced airway management.
Why do I see fire vehicles from other cities at fires or other major incidents?
Kirkland, like all communities in King County, has formal agreements in place with our neighboring jurisdictions to provide and receive “automatic aid.” These agreements allow for the dispatch of the fire department resource closest to the emergency, regardless of municipal boundaries. A person experiencing a major medical emergency in south Kirkland or north Bellevue, for example, will likely receive a response from both Kirkland and Bellevue. These agreements also acknowledge the reality that mitigating major emergencies requires a collective effort. In order to safely and efficiently manage a building fire, for example, personnel from four engines, two ladder trucks, two command officers, and a variety of other resources are typically needed. Most Eastside jurisdictions would be hard-pressed to provide these resources on their own.
Are you firefighters or EMTs?
Our responders are both and are cross-trained as Firefighter/EMTs!
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 sometimes seems to start and stop all the time. Why?
Usually we are looking for an address. Unfortunately, finding the marked address on a building can be difficult: sometimes the address is obscured or too small to see from the street, and sometimes the address may not be displayed on the building. That’s why it’s critical to have addresses highly visible!