If I have an emergency of any kind, do I dial 911 ?  

          Yes. Daviess Central 911 Dispatch will assist you with any type of emergency.

How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through an intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?

Sometimes several fire response units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units may be canceled or put back into service, ready to take another call.

Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle going “lights and siren" through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been canceled from the call they were going on.

Fire trucks and ambulances use lights and sirens to warn the public and clear traffic while enroute to an emergency call.

There is an element of risk every time a fire truck or ambulance drives through town with their lights and sirens on. Accidents while going to and from emergency calls are the second leading cause of death for firefighters. When a fire representative arrives on the scene and finds the situation is not as serious as they led to believe, they will "downgrade" or cancel the rest of the fire response. "Downgrade" means to have them continue without their lights and sirens, reducing the risk of firefighters and the public. This also reduces the disruption to normal traffic flow.

What is the difference between a FIRE DISTRICT and a FIRE DEPARTMENT?  

A FIRE DISTRICT is an independent organization with set boundaries in a county as a political subdivision of the state. They may service one or more municipalities as well as unincorporated areas of a county. Fire Districts are governed by their own elected Board of Directors and are funded from property taxes collected within district boundaries. They are not affiliated with any municipal or county government.

Fire Departments are part of a municipal government and funded by the general revenue of the city. They are over seen by the same municipal council that over sees all city departments, and their service area falls within their city limit boundaries.

Gallatin Fire Protection District protects 94 square miles including the town of Gallatin. Our boundaries cover from Major Ave on the North to Waltz Ave on the South, Hwy V on the east and Hwy CC/DD on the west. 

 I just bought a new house, my insurance company is asking what the ISO rating is? 

Gallatin Fire Protection District has an ISO class rating of 6/6Y. Within city limits is 6, out in rural is 6Y.

     (ISO) Insurance Services Office

 Why do firefighters get upset when you drive over firehose?

Firefighters are very concerned with anyone running over firehoses because the hose can be damaged and any firefighter at the end of a nozzle will have the water interrupted and possibly cause injury or death. 
Also, pumps on fire apparatus may suffer damage as well. This damage can run into $10,000+ for repairs or higher for replacement.

 I hear sirens and air horns from my home and they seem very loud, is it necessary to always use them all hours of the day & night?

While no one desires to create unnecessary 'noise' and disturb the public's rest, the use of sirens and air horns are necessary and in fact required by law to alert drivers and pedestrians of the presence of emergency vehicles responding to an incident. In today's world with drivers using air conditioning, cell phones, and loud car stereos, many drivers have a difficult time hearing and responding to oncoming emergency vehicles. While every effort is made to limit the use of sirens and air horns at night and early morning hours, their use cannot be eliminated completely.

Can I cook on my wood deck ? 

It is not recommended you place grills on wooden decks.  If you do, you must take measures to keep any burning ash or grease from falling onto the deck.  Keep children and pets away from the grill.  Stay with the device while it is hot or a flame is present.

Can you burn waste or trash within the city limits? 

Check the city ordinances for this information. Rural areas must follow Missouri's Open Burning Laws for any type of burning.

When smoke causes vision to be obscured of oncoming traffic upon roadways the fire must be extinguished immediately.


Why do firefighters break windows or cut holes in the roof during a fire? 

As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) slows the damaging outward movement, helps remove blinding smoke that obscures the actual fire, and enables firefighters to fight the fire more efficiently. The result of this action is less damage to the structure in the long run. This tactic is used along with fire suppression with hoses.

Why do firefighters cut holes in the wall during a fire? 

This is done so that firefighters are absolutely sure that the fire is completely out, and that there is no fire inside the walls or other hidden places.

Why should my home have smoke alarms? 

In the event of a fire, a smoke alarm can save your life and those of your loved ones. They are the single most important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal.

My building has a sprinkler system. Are there things I should do to maintain the system? 

If you own the building, you are required to see that the system is tested annually by a reputable contracted agency and the documentation of this test should be kept on file.  If there is a system in your building, it must be in operational condition at all times.  If you are a tenant or owner-occupant, there are other things you can do to be sure your system is ready in case it is needed.  Never paint a sprinkler head.  Each sprinkler head is designed to cover a certain amount of area in your building, so before you build walls or large shelving units or stack storage to the ceiling, check to be sure that you do not prevent the sprinkler head from doing its job.  Also, never hang anything from a sprinkler head.

When a sprinkler head begins to spray water, they all do. Is this how my sprinklers will work?

No, most sprinkler systems with a few exceptions, (and those are found only in heavy industry situations), are designed to activate only where the fire is.  The heat from the fire activates the sprinkler head closest too it.  If the fire is large enough it may activate more than one head in the area but it will not activate every head on an entire floor.

My building has a fire alarm system. Are there things I should do to maintain the system?

If you own the building, you are responsible to see that the system is tested annually by a reputable contracted agency and the documentation of this test should be kept on file.  Also, it would help if someone who is likely to be in the building on a daily basis knows where the alarm panel is located.  If you are a tenant or owner-occupant, there are other things you can do to be sure your system is ready in case it is needed.  Never paint a detector surface.  Each detector is designed to cover a certain amount of area in your building so before you build walls or large shelving units or stack storage to the ceiling, check to be sure what you do not prevent the detector from doing its job.  Also, never hang anything from a detector.

Our alarm system keeps having false alarms. The alarm goes off but no fire is found. Can't we do something about this?

 Fire alarms seldom malfunction.  Usually, if they are sounding, there is a reason.  Sensing devices may need cleaning or replacement.  Other reasons causing alarm activation may be as simple as a bag of popcorn that overcooked in a microwave, a co-worker smoking in an area where they shouldn’t be, or dust from re-modeling.  In all of cases, even though big flames were not shooting from the building and hoses were not needed to put the fire out, the system was doing its job of alerting everyone in the building to a possible danger of a fire. I f your system activates, immediately leave the building and do not re-enter until the proper authority investigated the alarm and gives the all clear to enter the building.  Take every fire alarm seriously, follow your established evacuation plan, leave the building until someone of authority (building maintenance, security, the fire district, etc.) tell you it is safe to return.

I have a smoke alarm in my house that is making a sound but there is no fire. What makes it do this?

First you need to know if it is battery operated, electric or electric with a battery back up.  If it is battery operated it is probably making a chirping sound which more than likely means it needs a new battery. If it is electric, there may be a problem with its power supply or possibly the smoke alarm is too old.  The average life of a smoke detector is 8-10 years. If it is electric with a battery back up it could be any of the above problems.  Another thing you may try is giving it a good cleaning with the vacuum. Sometimes dust gets in them.  All smoke detectors should be cleaned and checked once a month. 

How do I keep my smoke alarms working? 

If battery operated, simply replace the battery once a year. A good way to remember is when your clock changes for daylight saving time change your batteries.

 I've heard quite a lot about carbon monoxide. Could I have this in my house and do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

There are many things that give off carbon monoxide.  They include gas appliances such as furnaces, water heaters and stoves.  Fuel burning space heaters and wood burning fireplaces can give off carbon monoxide.  Even warming up your car or barbecuing in your garage can fill your house with carbon monoxide.  The problem is that it is an odorless, colorless gas so until you begin to see symptoms, you don’t know it’s there.  People experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning feel like they have a flu that came on suddenly.  This also affects small pets and even plants.  Carbon monoxide detectors will sense excessive levels of the gas early and warn you to leave. If your family is having symptoms or your detector is sounding an alarm, call 9-1-1 for Fire & EMS response. Sometimes we can shut off the source of the problem but you will need to call out a technician to check the appliance and make repairs.

Frequently asked questions