Fire Department FAQs
- Does the Fire Department help get cats down from trees?
No. Cats eventually climb down on their own when they are hungry or thirsty.
- How do I obtain a copy of the fire report after having a fire at my property?
Call the Fire Chief’s Office – 518-270-4471 and arrange a time to come to the administrative office to receive a copy of the basic fire report.
- How do you become a firefighter?
To become a firefighter, you must meet the minimum requirements and take a firefighter entrance exam. You can get a list of the qualifications at Troy Civil Service, 433 River Street, Suite 5000. Troy, NY 12180, or call the Personnel Department at 518-273-7123. For information on future recruiting efforts, contact the Fire Department Chief’s Office at 518-270-4471.
- 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 spend long periods of their day training, running calls, without returning to the station, or stopping to eat
- Is it illegal to burn leaves and brush on my property?
Yes. New York State prohibits the burning of leaves.
- What should I do if I have questions about my ambulance bill or I am unable to pay my ambulance (Medic Unit) bill?
You can contact the EMS Billing Company, COMSTAR at 1-800-488-4351. COMSTAR’s Customer Service Representative will be able to answer your questions
- Why do firefighters break out window and cut holes in roof during a fire?
Firefighters ventilate smoke and superheated gases for safety and visibility. This lets firefighters to get inside the building to find and extinguish the fire, thereby reducing property damage. This also reduce the chances of a backdraft explosion.
- Why do firefighters get upset when you drive over fire hoses?
The fire hose is the lifeline of a firefighter when fighting a fire. If you drive over it, the hose can be damaged, and any firefighter at the end of a nozzle will have the water interrupted -- possibly causing injury or death.
- Why do firefighters’ shop at the local grocery stores?
Firefighters work a 24-hour shift and must supply their own food. They combine their money to purchase food for meals. Often, you will see them at a grocery store in a fire engine. The only way the Troy Fire Department can ensure that firefighters will respond and arrive in an average of less than 4 minutes is by using the vehicle they respond in -- with all the firefighters present and available. Sometimes they receive a call while shopping for food, which means they leave directly from the grocery store and must come back later to finish their grocery shopping.
- 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 City of Troy Department of Public Utilities at (518) 279-7100. Please do not paint any hydrants yourself, as hydrants are painted special colors and tell firefighters how much water they will discharge based on those colors.
- Why do you send a fire truck along with an ambulance (Medic Unit) to a medical emergency?
All fire companies have first responder personnel and can get help to you more quickly. The Medic Unit will provide transportation to an emergency room, depending on the nature of the call. All members of the Troy Fire Department are certified Emergency Medical Technician or Certified paramedics. All fire companies are staffed with at least one paramedic on board.
- Why do so many fire trucks respond when we call 911?
In the business of emergency response time is of the essence. We pursue a goal of arriving in as few minutes as possible for any emergency. Especially with fire since it doubles inside with each minute while the fire department responds. Sending multiple units ensures quick arrival to the scene so that the fire fighters can begin extinguishing the fire.
Once that process is started many times other responding units are returned to service. As well, an actual fire is very dangerous. The robust response ensures our members can perform the task of extinguishment in the safest way possible. That response is always under constant review and subject to adjust as circumstances change.