These are some of our most common questions with general answers that were available at the time of publishing. We hope to be helpful and will be happy to provide additional detail or answer questions that you don’t see presented below if you contact our business office at 501-821-9320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Q: Do I dial 911 or contact WPFD directly?
A: You should always dial 911 in an emergency. Operators from your local sheriff’s department will automatically dispatch West Pulaski Fire Department, sheriff deputies, and an ambulance (if needed).
Q: How long does it take to respond to an emergency call when I dial 911?
A: We begin responding very quickly once dispatched by the county sheriff dispatchers. WPFD volunteers respond from anywhere in our service area (usually from our homes, stations, or somewhere in-between). We might have a firefighter that lives nearby to begin helping and assessing the scene in a matter of a few minutes.
Q: How does the fire department know when I call 911?
A: WPFD volunteers carry voice pagers and portable radios to be in constant reach for emergency response. Each firefighter will be notified with an alert and voice dispatch of an address and the nature of response needed. From there, we use our radios on a dedicated department radio frequency to coordinate our resources.
Q: How do you all know what to do when I call 911?
A: Lots of training and planning allow us to be ready at a moment’s notice for just about any type of emergency call. All station officers and many firefighters have portable/ mobile radios to know how many people are responding and what additional help will be needed.
Q: When an emergency vehicle (fire truck or firefighter in a personal vehicle) is approaching that is displaying emergency lights/sirens, what should I do?
A: Please PULL TO THE RIGHT AND STOP at the nearest safe* location that will allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. This will allow the emergency vehicle adequate room to get around you using visibly clear passing lanes to safely and quickly continue its response.
*Don’t stop on a blind curve or hill where the fire vehicle cannot see oncoming traffic. Just proceed to the next safe place to stop and allow the vehicle to pass you.
Q: How many people will respond in an emergency?
A: The personnel from your closest station will begin responding from either the station or their personal residences. If the call is substantial in size, automatic responses are engaged from additional WPFD stations to meet the need of the particular emergency response request.
Q: Why do so many people and trucks respond for just a small fire?
A: We never know how large fire will be once we get our equipment and people to the scene of a call. We begin assessing the incident at the moment we are dispatched. We send the appropriate number of vehicles and people to manage an active fire. Once we get a person on the scene, we will advise what additional manpower and equipment will be needed. If the fire isn’t large, we can always turn back any vehicles or personnel that won’t be needed.
Q: What happens when an incident gets too large for my local station to manage on its own?
A: West Pulaski Fire Department has procedures to automatically dispatch people and equipment from multiple stations in some instances (possible structure fires, grass/brush/forest fires, etc). Each call is different, but we plan to be quick and productive based on the nature of the call dispatched.
WPFDF can even call in additional fire departments from areas outside of our district to bring equipment, trucks, and manpower when needed. This is called Mutual Aid. WPFD has signed agreements with other departments to help each other when large fire incidents require larger than normal manpower or equipment (like extra water tankers and fire engines)
Q: Why does the emergency equipment run with lights and siren, and then just turn them off?
A: On occasion, the fire engine (or other fire vehicles) will be driving with lights and sirens and then suddenly turn them off. Be assured that when this happens it means we have received new information about a particular emergency call through our 911 dispatchers that either the original caller or the specific incident is no longer a dire emergency. It is what we call “being canceled”. Usually, all of the apparatus will simply return to the Fire Station, but we do NOT do it just to practice responding. We only use full lights and siren for a valid emergency call where life or property is being threatened.
Q: Is outdoor burning allowed?
A: Yes, open burning is allowed anytime a ‘BURN BAN” has not been issued for your respective county. State law does permit the burning of organic matter only (tree limbs, brush, leaves, etc).
1. WPFD recommends that you use EXTREME CAUTION to restrict outdoor burning to times safe burning can be managed (Controlled Burning). Never start open burning when the combination of high temperatures, low humidity, and moderate to severe sudden winds can cause your fire to escape your control.
Check out these maps to determine if wildfire risks are present or burn ban orders have been issued in your county: http://www.arkfireinfo.org/index.php?do:showWildfires
2. NEVER burn trash, plastics, rubber, foam, or building materials. Fines for burning trash and prohibited materials are very steep! (See #4)
3. Contact your local sheriff dispatch office to advise them when you are intentionally burning on your property (this saves you from having a neighbor called in a 911 call for wildfire!)
Pulaski County Sheriff 501-340-6963 Perry County Sheriff 501-889-2353 Saline County Sheriff 501-303-5648
Report your name, address, and what/when you intend to burn. Don’t forget…a controlled burn means YOU will stay with the fire while it is burning. If you don’t stay with the fire, you cannot control the fire if it grows out of control.
4. It is recommended you contact the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for more information about outdoor burning. Permits may be required for burning and lack of permits or burning of unauthorized material could lead to substantial fines. Don’t illegally burn ANYTHING…you could be fined $10,000 (TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS) for non-compliance to state environmental laws!
Follow this link to learn more… http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/branch_compliance/yardwaste.htm
Q: Who pays for the volunteer fire department?
A: People that reside and operate businesses in the fire district area pay for fire protection through dues that are assessed on an annual basis. These dues, along with public and private donations/grants fund the operation and capital needs of the fire department. We are a non-profit group with good fiscal management that works to continually improve services and capabilities within our budgeted revenue.
Q: How much are my dues owed to West Pulaski Fire Department each year?
A: Residents are charged $50.00 annually.
Business Owners are charged $100.00 annually.
Q: I thought my dues were paid with sales taxes?
A: WPFD services unincorporated areas in Pulaski, Saline, and Perry Counties. There are no ‘City or County Tax’ assessments or distributions of revenue to the West Pulaski Fire Department. Since there is no municipality within our district, a ‘Volunteer’ organization was created to provide fire protection to residents and business owners in our area. WPFD serves an area known as Arkansas Fire District #23.
Q: Are my dues to WPFD paid with property taxes?
A: YES-If you live with 5 miles of a WPFD fire station in Pulaski County, your dues are accessed (automatically charged) to your residential real estate property tax bill. When you pay your Pulaski County Real Estate Taxes, in full, your dues are paid. (Please check with your local county assessor’s office to ensure your fee has been assessed to avoid a lapse in coverage and per-incident charges).
A: NO-If you live in Saline or Perry counties OR are greater than 5 miles of WPFD Station#1, 2, 3, or 4 in Pulaski County; you will receive an annual notice/statement yearly. You can always contact our business office at 501-821-9320 for more information about dues.
Q: I just moved into the district and need to make sure my dues are paid for by my insurance company.
A: If you just built a home or moved to our district, don’t wait for us to notify you that your dues have not been received. Register with WPFD immediately by sending a check for current years dues ($50.00) with your Name, Address, Contact Information, Physical / Mailing Address to:
West Pulaski Fire Department
Attn: Fire District Assessor-Fire Dues
2810 Whispering Pines Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72210
Q: I paid my dues to WPFD, does the fire department charge an additional fee to respond to an emergency at my address?
A: No, West Pulaski Fire Department will not charge a fee to respond to your incident IF you are a paid dues member.
Q: What if I have not paid my fire dues for the current year and I have to call 911?
A: If your membership is not current, WPFD will still respond to your emergency, however, you will be liable for costs incurred by the fire department (include manpower, equipment, and fuel) that are expended for your response. This can add up to a sizeable amount quickly. Please don’t let your membership lapse.
Q: How many firefighters are on duty at each station?
A: West Pulaski Fire Department is a Volunteer Department. We have 50+ volunteers that are spread out among 5 area fire stations in our district. Our stations are not staffed at all times. There are no living quarters; therefore, no personnel is guaranteed to be on-site at all times. We often respond from our homes or stations (when we are there….which is often).
Q: What do you do when you are not responding to emergencies?
A: Maintenance, Training, and much, much more. Come by any of our stations on Tuesday Nights (around 7 pm) to learn more.
Q: Can I tour the fire station? Can I bring my kids to see the trucks?
A: Absolutely. Most Tuesday* Nights (around 7 pm) is the best time we can provide tours at a station and be available for visitors. Just drop by your local station. If you need to bring a large group, give us a call at 501-821-9320 to arrange a special group.
*Sometimes we have department training on Tuesday nights and may be scheduled to work out of other stations. Usually, this is just once a month that we are not at our own stations. If we aren’t there on the night you visit, call our main number and let us know when you would like to drop by.
Q: How many fire trucks do you have?
A: We have many vehicles that do all types of jobs. Currently, we have 20+ vehicles scattered across our district at 4 different stations. Take a look at our Apparatus Photo Gallery to see some of our trucks… http://www.wpfirerescue.org/photo-galleries/apparatus/
Q: How many different types of fire trucks are there?
A: WPFD has several types of vehicles to allow our department to do many different jobs. Each of our stations has at least one of each vehicle type
- Fire Engine- The engine’s primary function is to be the first truck to a fire scene and bring enough hoses & water for the initial fire attack. This vehicle usually carries many hoses and 1000 gallons of water to begin the fire response. Subsequent trucks that will follow later in the response will bring additional hoses/tools/water and more.
- Brush Truck- This vehicle is the first response unit dispatched to grass, brush, forest, or wild-land fire because of its all-terrain capabilities to travel on or off-road to get the manpower, water, and tools to the fire.
- Rescue Truck– This is a first response unit for motor vehicle collisions and medical calls. Carrying a large array of specialized tools, this vehicle is designed to take care of patients’ trauma/medical needs by providing tools for life support/stabilization and preparing for transport to the hospital by ambulance.
- Tanker Truck- Water Hauler sums up the large water tank and powerful chassis that carry large volumes of water to the scene of a fire. This vehicle can bring 2000-3000 gallons of water to areas that don’t have water hydrants for firefighting.
Q: How much water is carried on a fire engine?
A: Each fire engine is designed a little differently for the types of uses it needs to fulfill. Most fire engines are equipped with 750-1000 gallons of water to initially begin a fire attack.
Q: Should I request a fire inspection for my home/property?
A: Our top priority is safety and protecting you and your home. If you would like a fire/safety planning consultation or if your insurer requires an onsite evaluation/inspection, contact our business office at 501-821-9320 and we will be happy to provide an onsite safety review at no charge.
Q: What is your Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating?
A: WPFD has a split rating called Class-6/9. The rating falls on a scale of 1-10 with Class-1 being the best possible rating and Class-10 indicating no fire protection whatsoever. In the areas nearest our stations #1, 2, and 3 (5-mile radius), a class 6 is available. In areas outside of the 5-mile area of stations 1, 2, and 3 and in the area of station 4, a Class-9 rating is assigned. More info is available at the link below:
Q: Do firefighters live at the fire station?
A: No living quarters are available for overnight accommodations.
Q: I often see cars parked in front of my local fire station, what are people doing around the fire station when waiting on a call?
A: We don’t live at the stations; we just work there a lot. Our stations provide storage, maintenance, administrative, and training functions. Since we are a100% volunteer department, our firefighter members are OFTEN working on equipment/vehicles. Cleaning and preparation for the next response is the largest job function.
We are occasionally standing by at our own station when another WPFD station or nearby department might be tied up with an emergency call. If we are standing by, we are ready for a quick response should those extended areas needing extra assistance/equipment.
Q: Will the Fire Department refill my fire extinguisher?
A: The Fire Department does not refill fire extinguishers. We even have to have a vendor refill our own fire extinguishers. An approved and the licensed vendor can be found in your local phonebook.
Q: I noticed you have a large water tanker truck, can the Fire Department help fill my swimming pool or hot tub/spa?
A: No. Due to legal liability, our insurance carriers will not allow us to use our water trucks to fill swimming pools, hot tubs, spas. These trucks are large and heavy and should only be used for fire department business in the community interest. We don’t want to damage anyone’s property or our equipment.
Q: I would like to help the fire department but I don’t think I can be an actual firefighter? What else can I do to help my community?
A: Being a member of our fire department is not all about fighting fires. We are a large volunteer organization made of your neighbors. Come speak with us ANYTIME and we might find an opportunity for you to help. Not everyone has run into a smoking building with a fire hose to help out. W we can always use assistance with the station, vehicle, and grounds maintenance. You might even want to help be a server at our annual fundraiser dinner. We can find a place for anyone that wants to be a part of the WPFD team. Just let us know you are interested and we can find a supporting role for you!
Q: I think I might want to be a volunteer firefighter, but I don’t know where to start?
A: No previous experience is necessary. We provide all the training and equipment you need to be a firefighter at your local WPFD station. Follow this link to learn more…