Frequently Asked Questions
Example: Questions in BOLD.
Example: Corresponding answers are shaded just below to question.
How do I rent Barron Hall for an Event?
Please Visit the Barron Hall Rental Page.
Why does it take so long for you to get here?
The national recommendation by the NFPA is under 8 minutes from dispatch to the scene. The Shepherdstown Fire Department, even with our rural response area, is proud to maintain a 7 minute, and :48 seconds average response time – at or just below the recommended standard. Still, you may ask, why does it take about 8 minutes, or feel longer? In part, your nervous and need help. This will make time slow down. Additionally, once you call 9-1-1 you’ll be on the phone for 2-4 minutes answering questions. The dispatch center then alerts Company 3, and depending on the call type, our volunteers will respond immediately (if they are at the firehouse), or will get dressed and drive to the firehouse. We have 5 minutes to respond before the next apparatus is alerted. You then must take into account the drive time between our firehouse and your address – 8 minutes passes pretty quickly in this scenario, and depending on drive time, may be longer.
I have questions about an Ambulance Bill, who do I contact?
I called 9-1-1 for an ambulance, and then the ambulance showed up without any lights on, why?
Driving with lights and sirens is extremely dangerous for the emergency responder, and the general public. For this reason, the Jefferson County Communications Center (the people who answer your 911 call) are using a nationally accepted dispatch standard referred to as Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and from that process response guidelines called Priority Dispatching are generated. Priority dispatching and EMD provides the ambulance with a response guide dependent upon the nature and severity of your emergency – this response includes 3 methods: 1) no lights and no sirens, 2) lights and sirens, or 3) first unit lights and sirens, all other units no lights and sirens to you.
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 get inside the building to find and extinguish the fire, thereby reducing property damage. This also reduces the safety risk to firefighters.
Why do you block traffic lanes at auto accidents — more lanes than are necessary?
It’s for the safety of our personnel and our patients. Blocking extra lanes (normally, lane +1) helps to keep our personnel safe when they go back to our apparatus to get more equipment, and it helps protect the victim we’re trying to stabilize, or other emergency personnel on scene. The best thing you can do is SLOW DOWN, and MOVE OVER.
Why does my water turn brown when firefighters turn fire hydrants on?
We inspect fire hydrants for proper operation, use them for training, and, of course, use them for firefighting. We turn the fire hydrants on to make sure they operate properly. We turn the hydrants on slowly so as not to stir up the sediment that is in the pipes, but at times the sediment does get stirred up and the water coming out of your faucet can be brown in color as a result of sediment in the pipes.
How do you become a firefighter or EMT with the Shepherdstown Fire Department?
Check out the Join Us page, and hopefully your questions are answered.