FAQs (Fire)



How do I contact the fire department?

All emergencies should be reported to 911. There are times when all staff is out of the building on details or operating at emergencies. Many times messages are left on the fire department voice mail that could be of an emergent nature. If there is any chance your situation is an emergency please do not leave a message but call 911! The non emergency/administrative number at the fire department is 859-441-8393.

Are you hiring?

Fort Thomas Fire Department establishes an eligibility list from time to time. The list is generally good for two years. The department hires only firefighters meeting the Kentucky Fire Commission 400 hour status combined with Kentucky or Nationally Certified Paramedic. Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit an application through the city clerk, Melissa Kelly at any time by calling 859-572-1202. You will be contacted when an eligibility list is being established. The Fort Thomas Fire Department will be utilizing the CPAT system as administered by the Kentucky Fire Commission as their agility test.

Can I have a grill on my apartment balcony?

Life Safety Code NFPA 101 10.11.7 states ”For other than one and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, gas-fired, charcoal grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose, shall be used or kindled on any balcony or under any overhanging portion or within 10 ft (3m) of any structure. Listed electric ranges, grills, or similar electrical apparatus shall be permitted.” The fire department encourages single family residents to exercise caution when using grills on decks or near their homes. Provide for at least 36″ clearance from any combustible surface.

How do I have an open burn?

Residents are permitted to burn brush as long as they secure a burn permit. No fee is required for the burn permit. Burning in an approved fire container is allowed without a burn permit. In order to secure a burn permit, call the fire station, 441-8393, in the morning you are planning to burn. A firefighter will come to the site, inspect it, and issue a burn permit for that day so long as the following conditions are met:

  • 10′ of clearance on all sides of burn area
  • Garden hose at burn site with a water supply
  • No building materials can be burned
  • No accelerants used to start fire
  • Adult present at all times
  • Fire out by dark
  • Any complaints such as smoke will require extinguishment of fire
  • Burn permits will not be issued during open burning bans, strong wind or dry conditions, or at the discretion of the fire department

Why does the fire engine show up when an ambulance is needed?

Often our ambulance is on another run so the fire engine responds to a second EMS call to provide treatment of the patient until another ambulance from a surrounding community arrives. The firefighters on the engine are paramedics and can provide the same care as the staff on the ambulance except they cannot transport a patient to the hospital with the fire engine.

Why do I see other fire departments responding within the city?

Several reasons can require this situation.

  • If the cities only paramedic transport unit is on a response a fire engine is dispatched with paramedics and equipment but they cannot transport a critically ill or injured person. Mutual Aid Ambulances are used for this transport. The Engine Company Staff provides immediate emergency care while waiting for out of town ambulances.
  • Another situation that requires mutual aid is responses that exceed our staffing level. This could be one large fire or rescue situation or a storm that creates multiple simultaneous emergencies. The fire department, like any business, is bound to operate under certain NFPA, OSHA and other safety standards to provide for citizen and responder life safety. For example, on a working structure fire, per NFPA, a minimum staff of 11 is required for interior operations. We are normally staffed at 6. Use of mutual aid provides the required level of safety.

How many firefighters are on duty at one time?

We have 3 shifts of six firefighters on duty every day of the year for twenty-four hours a day. Due to vacations and illnesses we may have a minimum shift staffing of four personnel at times. This staffing allows us to always have 2 firefighter/paramedics on the ambulance and at least two personnel on the fire engine. If an incident occurs and more personnel is needed, we issue a ‘recall’ which alerts off-duty personnel of a need for more staffing and they respond to the station to provide additional staffing. Surrounding communities are also used to supplement staffing at some incidents or when multiple incidents occur where staffing is more than is available at that time.

How do I get a copy of a fire incident report?

Fire incident reports full under public knowledge and may be obtained by stopping by the fire department or notifying the fire department in writing to request for a copy of a specific report. Usually, the copy can be made at the time of the request but in the event we are busy, the report will be available sometime within five business days according to Open Records Requests laws. Duplication charges may apply.

What type of training is involved in being a Firefighter?

The state of Kentucky requires 400 hours of training in specific categories to be certified as a professional firefighter. After the initial training, a professional firefighter needs at least 100 hours of training every year including specific areas such as hazardous materials, respiratory protection, certain OSHA required classes, among other classes unique to the fire service. In addition to these hours, most of our firefighters are paramedics that need at least 60 hours every two years of continuing medical education in specific topics after they have completed their initial EMT and paramedic training of about 900 hours.

Does the Fire Department offer CPR/First Aid Classes?

Yes – the Fort Thomas Fire Department offers CPR/First Aid classes on the second Saturday morning of every month. Classes are held in the Fire Department’s training room located in the City building and are taught by certified Paramedics/CPR Instructors. All classes conform with the American Heart Association and American Safety & Health Institute guidelines.

Is there a cost associated with the CPR/First Aid Class?

Yes – because an off-duty Firefighter/Paramedic is brought in to teach the class, there is a fee. The CPR and First Aid Class fee is $40/person. This cost covers all materials and certification cards issued. If you wish to take CPR or First Aid only, the cost is $30/person.

How do I register for a CPR/First Aid Class?

The easiest way to register for a class is to call (859) 572-1258. This is the direct line to Chris Wulfeck, CPR Coordinator.

Can I go to a hospital besides St. Luke East?

It is department policy to only transport patients to St. Luke Hospital – East unless a specific reason exists which may necessitate transport to another hospital. Some of these reasons may be that a medical procedure is necessary which St. Luke Hospital – East is not able to perform; St. Luke Hospital – East is on diversion due to maximum capacity of patients; or the Doctors at St. Luke Hospital – East request that a patient be transported to an alternative facility. In any case, the ultimate authority to deviate from transporting a patient is given to the paramedic in charge along with the medical command physician of the fire department.

Why do I receive a bill for EMS Services?

The City of Fort Thomas has opted to add staffing to the fire department to better cover emergencies in the city. EMS billing was initiated to cover the cost of 3 additional staff through payments from insurance carriers. Prior to this billing fire department staffing was at 5 persons per shift.

What buildings require inspection?

The Fort Thomas Fire Department is deputized by the Kentucky State Fire Marshall’s Office to act in matters of inspections in the City of Fort Thomas. The department acts in accordance with the Kentucky Standards of Safety (815KAR10:060) and NFPA Standards. The Standards of Safety apply to all properties except one and two family dwellings.

What is the Fire Department annual budget?

The department budget amounts to 2.3 million dollars. This budget covers salaries, new equipment purchases, equipment maintenance, fuels, training, purchase of disposable equipment, and EMS supplies.

Is assistance provided for car seat installation?

The fire department has two staff that provides this service by appointment only. The training consists of 32 hours of specialized training in proper car seat installation and covers a multitude of different manufactures and styles of seats. The employee also gains experience through considerable hands on training. The staff is required to be periodically re-certified.

What public education opportunities are available?

A variety of opportunities are available by appointment. In addition to schools, day-cares, church groups, senior groups, and scouts, all residents are encouraged to contact the department for programs.
These include:

  • Group tours of the station and operations of the department.
  • Classroom presentations on a variety of topics.
  • Sparky Robot visits to day-cares, schools or special events.
  • Hazard House presentations for students or adults in the classroom or at special events. This is a table top presentation that promotes group involvement in finding and resolving household hazardous situations.
  • Assistance with smoke detector testing and maintenance.
  • Providing smoke detectors and batteries to those that are in need. The American Red Cross, Cincinnati Chapter provides the detectors at no cost. CO Detectors are provided when available. The department will install these crucial items for those that are not able to do so on their own.
  • Mobile Fire Safety Trailer. This unit provides students and adults with hands on experience. The staff walks the audience through a full size mobile home finding and correcting unsafe practices. The conclusion of the demonstration finds the home being filled with theatrical smoke and the occupants must exit according to the prearranged plan.
  • Fire Extinguisher training on live propane gas fed fires in a very controlled setting.
  • The department has a 911 simulator to assist in training of the proper use of the 911 system. Students are walked through scenarios and must provide information to a simulated dispatcher.
  • Printed materials including the Risk Watch and Learn Not To Burn Curriculums.
  • A collection of videos are available to assist in presentations.

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