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November 19, 2017

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Frequently Asked Questions

I saw a City of Norwich fire truck at a local grocery store and some of the firefighters were inside shopping for food. Why do firefighters use fire trucks for non-emergency purposes while they are on duty?

To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain with their fire trucks during their entire shift. Our crews work 24 hour shifts with no scheduled breaks, and meals are not provided by the City. Personnel on each shift must purchase their own food and prepare their own meals, so they may make a daily trip to the nearest grocery store to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals for the entire shift.

Crews  do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. Since all City units maintain constant radio contact with Norwich Emergency Dispatch, they are always ready to respond to any emergency, regardless of their current location or non-emergency assignment. Very often, our firefighters spend long periods of their day running calls, without returning to the station or stopping to eat, and they frequently have to return to the grocery store several times to finish purchasing food that they might not get a chance to cook during the shift.

Why does a fire engine come when I only requested an ambulance?

A fire truck will sometimes arrive at an incident first because it is the closest emergency unit to the scene and we are committed to getting help to your location as fast as possible. The City of Norwich Fire Department has two fire stations in strategic locations within the City. All firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. Firefighters respond to all calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the paramedics en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional advanced life support equipment that will be needed on the scene.

Why do you send so many fire vehicles to a fire, especially a small fire?

Each fire truck only carries two firefighters and a company officer and it is necessary to have enough firefighters on the scene of an incident. There are a number of specialized roles that firefighters undertake at the scene of a fire, and firefighting is a very labor-intensive activity. If you get behind because there are not enough firefighters on the call, it is more difficult to extinguish a fire quickly.

Why do you block traffic lanes at auto accidents, sometimes more than necessary?

We block traffic lanes during incidents to ensure the safety of our firefighters and patients. Blocking extra lanes keeps our personnel safe when they go back to the apparatus to get more equipment and helps protect the victim they are trying to stabilize. You may notice we do not necessarily only block traffic at car accidents, but other emergenices as well. This is to make sure that the public stays at a safe distance while we operate at scenes such as gas leaks. Often times the Battalion Chief will park his pick up truck off the road, allowing better access for the larger apparatus. 

How do I arrange to tour a fire station?

Please call the Chief's Office Monday-Friday between the hours of 8am-4pm at 860-892-6080 to arrange a tour of the fire station. We would be glad to show you around.

Page Last Updated: Feb 27, 2016 (14:41:10)
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