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Why do both a fire truck and an ambulance always show up for a medical emergency?

When a 911 call comes in, our dispatchers often do not get precise or complete information. As such, our dispatch is based on a worst-case scenario. To ensure the highest level of care, we send first responders to major medical calls to assist the Ambulance. 

No medical call is "routine." Most require assessing the patient, obtaining their vital signs, providing oxygen therapy, and moving them, at a minimum. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what we will encounter on a call until we arrive. We work in a "what if” and "all risk" business. Responding to the unknown is public safety.

Why do I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at an intersection but then turn off their lights and slow down?

Most likely, the call has been cancelled. This might happen if the first unit arrives on the scene, surveys the situation, and informs the dispatcher that things are under control. The other units will then be cancelled so they are ready to take another call.

Why are the fire engines left running on calls?


Power from the running motor is required to run the pump and distribute water. It is also needed to control climate within parts of the engine so we can properly store and transport medications that may be needed during a medical emergency. We also run the motor to power lights and emergency flashers. In the fire station, engines are always plugged into a "shore line" to keep the batteries charged and the engine warm so it is ready to go.

How hot does a house fire get?

It depends on the materials that are burning. Now, more than ever, our modern conveniences are made of synthetics instead of Mother Nature's raw materials. When plastics or other petroleum-based products burn, temperatures can reach 1,200 degrees.

 When should I call the Fire Department? 

Anytime you feel that something is not right in or around your home. Example:

  1. If you have any type of fire in your home (small or large).

  2. If you smell of smoke or unknown odor.

  3. If you see downed electrical wires

  4. If a tree has fallen on your house

  5. Your carbon monoxide or smoke detector is going off for no reason



When should I call for an Ambulance? 

Anytime you or someone in your house does not feel well or needs help. Example:

  1. Someone is experiencing any type of chest pain or shortness of breath

  2. Someone is confused or is acting disoriented.

  3. Someone has fallen and needs assistance getting up

  4. Someone needs assistance getting to or from a vehicle.

When you are in doubt, call the Fire Department.  We are only minutes away and always ready to respond to your emergency.

If I see a wire down in my back yard what should I do?

Stay away from the wire(s). Call 911.  We will come out and investigate the wire(s) down. We have the equipment to test to see if the wire is charged or has no energy going through it.  If there is a problem, we have emergency numbers to call for the power company, cable company, or telephone company.


How do I become a Firefighter?

For information on how to join the South Amherst Fire Department, please call (440) 986-5901 and leave a voicemail for Chief Al Schmitz.

Who do I call about a fire extinguisher that doesn’t work or needs service?

The Fire Department does not service nor inspect fire extinguishers. Check the Yellow Pages under Fire Extinguisher or Fire Extinguishing Systems for a service contractor.

When an emergency vehicle is approaching that is displaying emergency lights and sirens, what should I do?

Ohio law requires all drivers to pull to the right side of the road and stop.  This allows the emergency vehicle adequate and clear lanes to safely and quickly continue its response.  

Why do so many fire trucks respond to simple incidents?

Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The South Amherst Fire Department thinks overcautiously when they respond to citizens in need of help. In other words, the firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen. Discovering that we need more units once we arrive is often too late. We have learned from experience that its better to have too more help on the way than not enough.

A structure fire requires a number of firefighter and various equipment to do all the assigned tasks.  Firefighting teams are assigned certain responsibilities such as fire extinguishment, search and rescue, ventilation, salvage, safety, accountability and rapid intervention teams when firefighters become trapped or injured.

Why do fire trucks respond to motor vehicle accidents?

Two reasons.  First, automobile accidents present other hazards such as potential fire, ruptured fuel tanks, and/or the presence of hazardous materials.  Second, most firefighters are trained First Responders.  Therefore they can provide patient care or assist in extricating (removing) trapped occupants of the vehicle.

How do I call for services of the South Amherst Fire Department?

For an emergency, call 911 and give the dispatcher your name, address/location, call-back phone number, and the type of emergency. Never panic, stay calm, and be prepared to give the dispatcher as much information as you can give them. This helps the dispatcher and the department with preplanning the emergency while they are enroute.

Non-emergency calls, you can call the Station and leave a message. (440) 986-5901

What area do you cover around the Village of South Amherst?

The South Amherst Fire Department provides fire protection and rescue for the Village of South Amherst, Amherst Township, New Russia Township, Henrietta Township, and Birmingham Township. 

What are the statewide burning restrictions?

Please see our page related to open burning. "Link"

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