FAQ

How do I schedule a fire station tour?

Fire station tours are conducted Monday through Fridays between 10 to 11:30 a.m. 1:30pm to 4pm. A tour can be scheduled by calling the fire station (414) 768-8191, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Why do I see fire trucks from other communities at in South Milwaukee?

The safe, effective, and efficient response to a structure fire involves the performance of many simultaneous fire ground tasks that would quickly overwhelm the available on-duty staffing of the SMFD. Water supply, search & rescue, hose line deployment, forcible entry, raising ladders, and ventilation are just a few of these tasks. In order to perform them, additional assistance is automatically and immediately requested from our neighboring communities through a system of alert receivers located either in the dispatch centers or the individual fire stations. Without their help, the exceptional level of service provided by the SMFD would not be possible. In return, the SMFD provides to each of these agencies.

 

Why do I often see two ambulances together at one call?

The SMFD maintains both a Basic Life Support (BLS) and an Advanced Life Support (ALS) level of emergency medical care. When the nature of the request for service requires response by a BLS ambulance, such as for general illness, sprains, strains, and most fractures, and other non-life-threatening, one ambulance responds to the scene. However, when the request is of a life-threatening nature, such difficulty breathing, chest pain, and serious injuries, two ambulances respond to provide sufficient personnel to perform any advanced life-saving measures that are necessary. When the on-scene patient care is completed, the appropriate ambulance, providing the necessary level of care, transports the patient to the hospital for definitive treatment.

 

What about Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

South Milwaukee Fire Department has responded to hundreds of calls to investigate carbon monoxide. More and more the fire department is faced with calls from citizens requesting help concerning the possibility of carbon monoxide in their homes.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, deadly gas and is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in America. It is a by-product of combustion, present whenever fuel is burned. In a home it can be produced by appliances like your furnace, hot water heater, cloths dryer, stove or fireplace. If these appliances or their exhaust systems are malfunctioning, CO can build in the home to lethal levels. An automobile running in an attached garage can also poison occupants of the home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that every household have at least one carbon monoxide detector. The South Milwaukee Fire Department also recommends buying only detectors that are UL listed and display a Blue Star seal authorized by the American Gas Association. These CO detectors feature a digital readout showing parts per million, (PPM) of CO and plug into your homes electrical outlets. The fire department has found that most false alarms of carbon monoxide detectors are caused by battery and sensor failures in battery (DC powered) CO detectors. For this reason the department recommends buying electric (AC powered) CO detectors. Now more than ever carbon monoxide detectors are reliable, affordable and can be as important to home safety as smoke detectors. For more information about carbon monoxide call the Poison Center at 1-800-815-8855.

 

Are you up to date with your home fire protection?

Today, home fire protection is more affordable and more reliable than ever before. Quality smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and portable fire extinguishers are inexpensive and can save your life.

It is the law in the State of Wisconsin, that homes have at least one working smoke detector. The law requires that there be at least one detector on every living level of the home. In most homes, this means at least 2 or 3 smoke detectors are required. If your detectors are not powered by your home electrical system, then they probably operate on batteries. It is recommended that the smoke detector battery be changed once a year and that the unit be cleaned, by lightly dusting or vacuuming it. Smoke detectors also wear out and should be replaced after 10 years of service.

The South Milwaukee Fire Department also recommends that every household has at least one carbon monoxide detector. We suggest buying only detectors that are UL listed and display a Blue Star seal authorized by the American Gas Association. These CO detectors feature a digital readout showing parts per million, (PPM of CO) and plug into your homes electrical outlets. The fire department has found that most false alarms of carbon monoxide detectors are caused by battery and sensor failures by (DC powered) CO detectors. For this reason the department recommends buying electric (AC powered) CO detectors. Now more than ever carbon monoxide detectors are reliable, affordable and can be as important to home safety as smoke detectors.

It is a good idea to have a portable extinguisher near the primary exits of your home. Portable extinguishers are to be used on small fires, usually no larger than a small trash can fire and only after the fire department has been called and the occupants have started exiting the building.

 

What are the different classes of fire extinguishers and why is it important to choose the right model?

There are four classes A, B, C, and D. Each is used for different kinds of fires. It is necessary to use the correct type because using the wrong model may further excite the flames, spread the fire and increase the level of danger.

    • Class A is used on ordinary combustibles, like paper and wood
    • Class B is used on fires fueled by flammable liquids and gases
    • Class C is used for electrical fires
    • Class D is used for fires involving combustible metals (industrial)

How many fire extinguishers should you have in your home, car and office and where should you keep them?

It’s a good idea to have at least one on each floor of your home or office installed near the exits and safely away from potential fire hazards like stoves and fireplaces. Also, keep one in your garage and one in your car, stored under the seat.

 

What maintenance should you practice with fire extinguishers, and how often should you inspect them?

Ideally, you should inspect all units once a month to check their pressure gauges. Look for damage, corrosion or tampering. Make sure they are easy to remove from hooks or wall brackets. Establish a maintenance schedule and keep records of your inspections.

 

What should you consider before using a fire extinguisher?

When deciding to fight a fire it is important to be sure that:

    • Someone has dialed 911
    • Everyone is out of the building or in the process of leaving
    • There is a clear exit nearby
    • The correct type of fire extinguisher is within reach

What is the PASS system?

PASS is an easy way to remember the basic steps for using a fire extinguisher. It stands for:

    • Pull the pin or lever
    • Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames while holding the extinguisher vertically
    • Squeeze the handle to discharge agent
    • Sweep rapidly side-to-side at least six inches past the edges of the flames