Frequently Asked Questions

Education Activities

To schedule any educational activities, such as classes, arson information, safety tips, etc., contact the Public Education Office at 251-208-2891. For Station Tours contact the station of choice.

 



Frequently Asked Questions
 

I collect patches of Emergency Service organizations. How can I get a patch for yourdepartment? Send a self addressed stamped envelope with your request to:

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department
Supply Division
701 Saint Francis Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
E-Mail: mfdctrsupply@cityofmobile.org

I work for a fire department in another city/state. Can I transfer to the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department?
No. All persons seeking employment with the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department must go through the entire employment process (submit application, take written test, CPAC Test and Oral interview, etc.)

The fire hydrant in front of my house has started to leak. Do you take care of that?
Any leaking or broken fire hydrants should be reported to the Mobile Water and Sewer System, Hydrants Service & Repair Division at (251) 694-3165. Mobile firefighters check hydrants in their territory and do preventative maintenance on them on a regular basis, so they should spot any potential problems when doing so. Please do not paint any hydrants yourself, as hydrants are painted special colors based on national standards and tell firefighters how much water they will discharge based on those colors.

Are there any volunteer positions in the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department?
No, all personnel are paid full-time employees.

Are there any women firefighters in Mobile?
Yes, there are currently 12 female firefighters on the department including 4 Captains and 1 District Chief.

I was sent a bill for ambulance transport. Who do I call to provide with my insurance information or ask questions about this bill ?
To provide your insurance information, you may call EMS Billing for Mobile Fire-Rescue. Their phone number is (251) 208-7063.

I just received a bill in the mail from Mobile Fire-Rescue for my son who was hit by a car while riding his bike and transported by your rescue to the hospital. I have some questions about this. To whom may I direct my call?
Any billing questions should be directed to our EMS Billing Office at (251) 208-7063. 

How do I schedule fire safety/prevention classes or a visit from the fire truck? What fire safety classes do you offer?
For a list of classes offered and information on scheduling the classes contact the Public Education Office at (251) 208-2891.

My son and daughter are interested in becoming an Explorer with Mobile Fire- Rescue. How can they participate?
The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department has an Explorer program for young adults ages 14-19. For more information, please call Firemedic Driver Todd Norsworthy at (251) 660-0389.

Does Mobile Fire-Rescue participate in telephone solicitations? I received a call from a group that said they were raising money for the fire department?
No, Mobile Fire-Rescue does not participate in phone solicitations.

How can I get a fire report and where can I get help after a fire?
Fire reports are available through Mobile Fire-Rescue Department Bureau of Fire Prevention, (251) 208-7484. Copies of the fire report, which are limited to basic information concerning the date, time, location of the fire, etc, are available for a $5 charge. Detailed Investigator reports are not public record and are governed by the Code of Alabama, Section 12-21-3.1. 

Several agencies assist the residents of Mobile after a fire. The two main agencies are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. They can provide temporary shelter, clothing and medications to fire victims. The IRS also has tax breaks for fire victims. The breaks are outlined in IRS Publication 547, Tax Information on Disasters, Casualty Losses and Thefts.

Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns about possible fire code violations, parking in fire lanes or facility overcrowding?
The Bureau of Fire Prevention enforces all codes of this sort. They can be contacted at (251) 208-7484, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–4 p.m. If they cannot answer your question immediately, they will research it and get back with you as soon as possible. If it is an emergency after hours (such as over crowding) contact the Communications Division at 208-7311.

My neighbor is outside burning brush/trash. Do they have to have a permit for this? Whom shall I report it to? 
In 1989 the City of Mobile passed a "No Burn Ordinance" This means that burning outdoors of any kind is prohibited in the City of Mobile and violators can be fined for burning trash, leaves etc. Anyone living in the Public Safety Jurisdiction may burn if certain conditions are met and also depending on the time of year. Yes, a permit may be required for burning in those areas. Contact the Fire Marshal’s office at (251) 208-7484 for more information. To report a fire dial 911. 

Can someone come to my home and do a Courtesy “Fire Safety” Inspection? 
The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department has a free home "Fire Safety" Inspection program. If you or someone you know needs a home inspection, contact the Business Office at (251) 208-7351. 

I saw a fire truck at a local supermarket, and some of the crew was inside buying food. Why do firefighters use fire trucks to tend to non-emergency business? 
To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain with their fire apparatus during their entire shift. Our crews work 24-hour shifts, and they have no scheduled meal breaks. It is possible that on the way back to the fire station after a call, the crew could stop to pick up food or supplies for the station.  Each shift, firefighters and their crews pay out-of-pocket for groceries and meals.

They maintain constant radio contact with the Communications Center and will respond to any emergency, regardless of current location or non-emergency assignment. They don't necessarily have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. Very often, our firefighters and firemedics spend long periods of their day running calls, without returning to the station, or stopping to eat. 

Why does a fire truck come to my house when I called for an Ambulance? 
A majority of all firefighters with the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department are licensed and certified as EMT-Basics (Emergency Medical Technicians) and are trained to handle medical calls. On some fire trucks there are also Firemedics (Paramedics) assigned to the truck. Because there are more fire trucks strategically placed throughout the city we send a fire truck along with the Rescue Unit (Ambulance) because they can, in most cases, get there first and begin to render care for the patient. Also in the event of a Cardiac Arrest the firemedics will need extra hands to assist with the patients care or to drive the rescue unit to the hospital. When you call 911, the operators are trained to ask "Medical Priority Dispatch" questions. The answers you provide to these questions indicate the severity of the call. If the injuries you describe fit into the BLS (Basic Life Support) category, you may only get a fire truck and a private ambulance. 

Why do so many fire trucks respond to a building fire? 
To answer that, you have to consider what is needed to extinguish a fire. A caller reporting "smoke coming from a house" could be anything from an unattended pot on the stove to a raging fire in the home's attic. Assuming the worst, dispatchers send at least 3 engines, a ladder truck, a rescue unit (in case an occupant is injured or a firefighter gets hurt) and District Chief. 

The District Chief supervises the operation. The engines, ladder truck and rescue truck bring approximately 17 firefighters to the scene to ensure that necessary task are quickly accomplished. Hose lines must be laid out to get water from nearby hydrants and fight the fire. The pumps on the engines need someone at the controls to ensure the right amount of water pressure. Entry into the building may have to be forced and, until proven otherwise, we assume every building is occupied, and conduct two separate searches. If the fire is large enough, crews ventilate the building by sometimes removing windows or cutting holes in the roof to release hot gases and smoke. This ultimately helps get the fire out quicker. At the same time that some firefighters are fighting the fire, others begin the process of salvage - protecting possessions inside the home by covering them with traps or plastic and working to remove water. Additionally, outside the building, a "rehab" function is set up where firefighters can exchange empty air tanks, get fluids for rehydration, and be evaluated in case of injury or heat 
stress. 

Our response to fires has changed in recent years due to legal mandates and new standards. The federal law "Two-In, Two-Out" now requires that before our firefighters enter a burning, unoccupied building, they must have at least four firefighters on scene: two to make entry as a team, and two outside, masked up and ready to perform a rescue if needed. The tragic incidents in Worcester, Massachusetts (six firefighters died in an abandoned warehouse in 1999) and in Coos Bay (three firefighters died in a commercial building November 2002) are grim reminders about the dangers of fire.