GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT FD12

1. What is a fire insurance rating?

The fire insurance class rating is based upon fire department and dispatch communications, water supply, quality of the fire department, including adequacy of equipment, sufficiency of staffing, level of training and the geographic distribution of fire companies.

The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) evaluates fire districts and assigns a protection class number from 1 to 10.

A “Class 1” generally represents exemplary fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the community’s fire suppression program does not meet PIAL’s minimum criteria.

2. What is FD12’s fire insurance rating?

FD12 currently has a Class 3 rating, and has constantly worked for more than 10 years to maintain this rating. As the district grows, it becomes more of a challenge and provisions must be made to maintain this classification.

3. What is Fire District 12’s coverage area?

The District’s boundaries wrap around the City of Covington to the south, east and north, and take in one of West St. Tammany’s busiest corridors – Hwy. 190 between I-12 and Covington. From rural areas north of Covington to the densely populated Tammany Hills and Crestwood subdivisions, FD12 provides service to more than 25,000 people and 1,200 businesses.

The 40 full-time fire suppression personnel of FD12 proudly serve 63 square miles of unincorporated Ward 3.

4. What are the ranks of firefighters?

The ranks of FD12 personnel are: firefighter/operators, fire captains, district fire chiefs, chief of operations  and fire chief.

5. How do I become a firefighter? How do I become an employee at Fire District 12?

FD12 is always seeking good applicants to the fire service. Becoming a firefighter is a process which begins by applying to the civil service, taking the entrance firefighter exam, then applying to the appropriate fire district.

For information on the entrance firefighter/operator civil service exam, visit http://www.ose.louisiana.gov/testing_entrancefirefighter.asp.

To see Fire District 12’s requirements for a firefighter/operator, download this PDF.

6. What is the different apparatus used in firefighting?

A pumper is the primary firefighting tool. A tanker is used in areas where fire hydrants are inadequate or unavailable. An aerial truck is used in high rise or commercial buildings and heavy rescue, which carries extraction equipment and other necessary tools needed by firefighters, is also used.

7. Is it possible to tour a fire station?

Yes. FD12 welcomes the opportunity to have the public visit any of our stations. If you would like to request a fire station tour, please call the business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours.

8. How many uniformed personnel do you have in your department?

FD12 has 3 district chiefs, 12 fire captains and 27 firefighter operators.

9. What type of training do firefighters receive?

A firefighter receives ongoing training his entire career.

Initially, each recruit must attend a comprehensive 13 week recruit training academy to learn how to function as a firefighter, and an apparatus operator. During the academy, recruits receive training, and become certified in Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Hazardous Materials Operations , First Aide, CPR/AID (automatic external defibrillator), Vehicle Rescue, and Driver/Operator-Pumper.

Upon the successful completion of the academy, the now probationary firefighter is assigned to a shift, where he will serve as a member of a company. Soon after being assigned to a shift, the probationary firefighter will begin to further his EMS education. Within one year from his date of employment with the fire district, he is required to become a nationally and state licensed EMT (emergency medical technician). This course is approximately 12 weeks long.

After completing these initial courses, the firefighter will begin to attend more advanced classes at his own pace over the course of his career to make him a more effective firefighter, as well as make himself eligible for promotions.

In addition to attending advanced classes for promotion, each firefighter is required to complete a minimum amount of continuing education each year as it relates to their rank. All officers must complete 12 hours of officer training. All operators must complete 12 hours of driver/pump training. All members must complete 4 hours of hazmat training, 240 hours of company training, 36 hours of EMS (emergency medical services) training, and 8 multi-company drills.

10. How many stations does your department have?

Fire District 12 currently has 5 stations, with one under construction on Harrison Ave., set to be completed  early 2015, and additional stations planned to accommodate the growth in the district. For a complete list and to find your nearest fire station, click here.

11. What type of schedules do firefighters work?

Fire District 12 firefighter works ­­­24 hours on duty and 48 hours off duty. They are divided between three shifts: A, B and C.

12. Why do firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs when the fire is inside a building?

Firefighters ventilate (chop holes in a roof and break windows in a building) to remove the blazing heat, smoke and toxic gases.  As a fire burns, it moves upward and outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof stops the damaging outward movement and enables firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently, actually resulting in less damage to the structure and its contents.

13. Why does the fire department respond to medical emergencies and not just paramedics (ambulance)?

Our firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s).  The fire truck carries much of the equipment that you would find on the ambulance. The fire truck crew can secure the scene, provide an assessment of your medical condition and begin treating most conditions before the ambulance arrives on the scene.

14. How can I obtain a fire report or E.M.S. report?

Visit the business office during the normal business hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to request one.

15. How can I have a representative from FD12 visit my civic group or bring a fire truck to my community event?

Please call the business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours to make your request.

16. How can my home owner’s association or other community group have a meeting at one of the fire stations?

FD12 has limited space but does hold a few home owner’s association meetings at several of our stations. To inquire about the availability of space for your community group’s meeting, please contact the business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours to make arrangements.

17. Where is the closest fire station to my house?

Please click here to see our Stations and Maps page.

18. Who is the governing body of Fire District 12?

FD12 is governed by their Board of Commissioners. The board is designed to make the entire organization accountable to the citizens we serve. A five-member Board of Commissioners is appointed by the Parish President and the Parish Council. Once appointed, the Board of Commissioners elects its own officers. The Board of Commissioners holds regular meetings, generally on the second Thursday of every month. The public is always invited and welcome to attend.

19. Does FD12 have ambulances?

Yes. In September 2014, FD12 introduced a fire-based emergency medical transport service to the other services they provide within their district. After comprehensive research, it was found through an ambulance feasibility study, that fire district 12 traditionally responded to all medical calls since all firefighter operators are also certified emergency medical technicians, and because of the strategic placement of fire stations, firefighters frequently arrive prior to the ambulance allowing for patient care to begin sooner.  After examining three years of emergency calls, the number of medical calls and the number of transports has been steadily increasing. And because of an aging population base, general population growth, and an increase traffic count on district roadways, as well as changes in healthcare, adding a fire-based emergency medical transport service with additional certified personnel and continuing the fire/ambulance response to emergencies, would allow all FD12 personnel  the ability to effectively and efficiently provide the best emergency medical services to the community, improve patient care and save lives.

EMERGENCIES

1. When should I call 9-1-1?

We recommend dialing 9-1-1 for injury or life-threatening emergency incidents, fire or police matters.

2. What is the average response time to an emergency?

Most calls are dispatched within 1 minute of being received. We strive to have the first unit on scene within 6 minutes, but response time depends on personnel and equipment.

3. How many emergencies (fire, medical) does FD12 respond to per year?

FD12 responds to approximately 2,600 calls a year, with 80% being medical related.

4. What do I do when I see an emergency vehicle approaching?

Motorists should pull their vehicles safely to the right when an emergency vehicle is approaching. It is not recommended to stop in the middle of the road or proceed through an intersection against the signals.

5. When reporting a fire, what do I tell the dispatcher?

To report a fire, remain calm, make sure you are in a safe location and provide the dispatcher the following information:

  • where the fire is located (provide the entire physical address, including street, boulevard, road, and any cross streets).
  • what is on fire.
  • who is in danger or trapped.
  • give brief details about the fire (for example: odor, smoke, or flames).

*Dispatchers are trained to gather all of the necessary information when you call 9-1-1, so they will ask the appropriate questions to get this information during the call. This list is to simply give you an idea of the general details they may need in this type of emergency situation. The questions asked by the Communications Officers (dispatchers) are not delaying response to the emergency.  As soon as an address is obtained, units are dispatched.  All of the information obtained is relayed to and aid the responding units.

6. When reporting a medical emergency, what do I tell the dispatcher?

To report a medical emergency, remain calm and provide the dispatcher the following information:

  • the location of the sick or injured person (provide the entire physical address, including street, boulevard, road and any cross streets).
  • what the symptoms are of the injured or sick person.
  • does the person have a known history of illnesses?
  • does the person take medication?

*Dispatchers are trained to gather all of the necessary information when you call 9-1-1, so they will ask the appropriate questions to get this information during the call. This list is to simply give you an idea of the general details they may need in this type of emergency situation.

Our Communications Officers (dispatchers) are trained to provide Emergency Medial instructions through the APCO Emergency Medical Dispatch program.  We are able to provide pre-arrival instructions to callers, including CPR and childbirth, to aid the patient until response units arrive on scene.  The questions asked and instructions provided do not delay responding units, as they are dispatched once an address is obtained.

7. When reporting a vehicle accident, what do I tell the dispatcher?

To report a vehicle accident, remain calm and provide the dispatcher the following information:

  • The location of the accident scene
  • the number of injuries at the accident scene
  • how many vehicles are involved in the accident

*Dispatchers are trained to gather all of the necessary information when you call 9-1-1, so they will ask the appropriate questions to get this information during the call. This list is to simply give you an idea of the general details they may need in this type of emergency situation. The questions asked by the Communications Officers (dispatchers) are not delaying response to the emergency.  As soon as an address is obtained, units are dispatched.  All of the information obtained is relayed to and aid the responding units.

HOME | BUSINESS SAFETY | FIRE PREVENTION:

1. What does it mean when my smoke alarm chirps?

Generally, the smoke alarm chirps when it’s time to replace the battery. We encourage residents to change the smoke alarm battery when they change their clocks for Daylight Savings time in the Spring and Fall each year.

2. How many smoke detectors do I need in my home?

It is generally recommended to have at least 1 smoke detector per bedroom, and 1 smoke detector in any large common area of the home.

3. What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my home?

Any ABC type fire extinguisher is suitable for home use, and can be found at your local home improvement store.

4. How do I schedule an inspection of my home or business for fire safety?

Please call the business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours and they will transfer you to the appropriate person  in the Fire Prevention division.

5. Is it the law to have a smoke detector in my house?

All building codes require smoke detectors for any new construction or major structure remodels. However, for life safety reasons, every home should have adequate smoke detectors.

6. Can the fire department check or refill my extinguishers?

Fire District 12 personnel do not fill or check fire extinguishers. Please consult the Yellow Pages under “Fire Safety Equipment” for a company that provides this service.

7. What are some fire safety tips for your home?

For around the home fire safety tips, including cooking, candles, heating, smoking and electrical, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website to download fire safety tip sheets.

8. How can I properly display my address so emergency responders can locate my house in the case of an emergency?

Clearly visible house numbers are vitally important in saving precious time when firefighters, police or paramedics must respond to your home. Here are some simple guidelines to follow:

  • Always display numbers horizontally
  • For Residential, every single-family house should use numbers that are at least 4″ high. Multiple dwelling units such as apartments and duplexes should use numbers that are at least 6″ high.
  • For Non-Residential, including new office, commercial, retail, industrial and other non-residential buildings, they should have numbers that are at least 6″ high.
  • Numbers should be placed on, above, or at the side of the main entrance, so that they can be detected from the street.
  • Numbers should also be displayed on your mailbox.
  • If your house is not visible from the street, post numbers so that they are clearly visible from the road either on a pole, sign or post.
  • Make sure your address numbers are a color that is a strong contrast with their background and make sure the numbers on your house are under a light or illuminated.

9. Does Fire District 12 offer CPR classes?

Yes. FD12’s Fire Prevention division offers CPR classes once each month on the first Saturday of the month. If you are interested in taking a CPR class, please call the business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours to sign up. The class fee is $27.

10. How do I get my child’s car seat inspected?

Fire District 12 does not conduct child safety seat inspections, however,  Louisiana State Police-Troop L does conduct child safety seat inspections every Wednesday. Please visit their website for more information.

11. How often are fire hydrants flushed and checked to see that they work properly?

They are inspected annually.

12. Who do I call to report a broken fire hydrant or a fire hydrant covered with weeds or brush?

Call your local water company, or the FD12 business office at 892-5161 during normal business hours.

13. What are the burn regulations for Fire District 12?

FD12 follows the parish and state guidelines for residential open burning regulations. A controlled fire or open burning of leaves and yard debris, such as pine needles, pine cones, shrubs, brush and cut timber, in Fire District 12 will not be in violation, if the following parish regulations are adhered to:

  • The fire shall not be greater than 8 feet in diameter.
  • The height of burning material shall not be greater than 4 feet.
  • Burning shall only occur between sunrise and one hour before sunset.
  • The fire site shall be attended at all times.
  • A functional water hose attached to an operating water supply shall be located next to the fire.
  • The fire site shall be at least 10 feet from the property line.
  • There shall be no more than one fire site per home site or parcel of land.
  • The fire site shall be located at least 50 feet from any structure. if closer than 50 feet, a container must be used.

The preceding information is for informative purposes only. It is not a burn permit, nor does it give you permission to burn in violation of any other local or state regulations.

Please be mindful of weather conditions.

Also, if the fire becomes a nuisance fire, creating dense smoke, noxious fumes, gas, soot or cinders, in unreasonable quantities that injures or endangers the health, safety or well-being of others, it will be extinguished immediately.

It should also be understood by the property owner, that even if the fire is not in violation of parish code, it may still be a violation of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s “Air Quality Regulations.” Compliance with the parish ordinances is no protection against being cited/fined by the D.E.Q.

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