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When a call for service is dispatched, CFD responds with specific apparatus and manpower, depending upon the type of call. When a CFD representative (Chief Officer, first-in Engine, etc) arrives and conducts a "size-up", additional resources may be canceled from the call or told to reduce their response to a routine response.
When a fire alarm company contacts our dispatch center (Johnston County E-911 Communications) and they dispatch us, we have to respond to the incident for insurance purposes. Sometimes, the dispatcher will inform us that the alarm company has requested to cancel, and at that time the Officer in-charge will inform the additional responding apparatus to cancel and the closest unit will respond to the incident. When we arrive we check for things such as:
Yes. For Town of Clayton residents, there is an alarm ordinance. A false alarm is an alarm in which the system malfunctions for no apparent reason, or where a system is activated (manual pull station) when there is no fire. A fire alarm that goes off for accidental reasons such as burnt food is not considered a false alarm (the system is doing what it's designed to do) but repeat offenses may result in suggestions and/or recommendations from the Fire Marshal.
Fire reports can be picked up from Fire Station 1, located at 325 W Horne Street, Clayton NC 27520. Prior to going to pick up the report, you can contact the Operations Manager at 919-553-1520 and make sure it is ready, or discuss other means of sending reports (email, fax, etc). Report information is completed while on each call and after returning to the station. However, the report is not finalized in our reporting system until the start of the next business day. The Officer in charge of an incident will also relay the report process to the affected party(s). There is currently no fee for fire reports.
Recovering from a fire can be a physically and mentally draining process. When fire strikes, lives are suddenly turned around. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and whom to contact. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) has gathered information to assist you (PDF) in this time of need. Action on some of the suggestions will need to be taken immediately. Some actions may be needed in the future, while others will be ongoing. The purpose of this information is to give you the assistance needed as you begin rebuilding your life. Clayton Fire Department representatives are also available to assist in this process.
If you live inside town limits; you cannot burn anything (Town of Clayton provides pick-up for trash, yard debris, etc). To schedule a special pick-up, contact the Operations Center at 919-553-1530. It is illegal to burn trash or other debris (construction debris, yard/land debris that did not originate on the property, etc), regardless of the location. If you live outside town limits, you may burn your own yard debris. If someone sees smoke in the area and is concerned, they may contact 911 and we, the Fire Department, will respond to investigate the origin and make sure the public is not endangered. At times, burn bans are put into effect, especially during unusually dry conditions. Refer to the Division of Air Quality for specific information on open burning.
For emergencies, you need to call 911. Regular business hours for the non-emergency numbers are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. There are other personnel at each station 24 hours a day, but depending on fire calls, projects (hydrants, pre-incident surveys, etc), and/or training drills, personnel may not be available to take your call. As mentioned before, if you have an emergency, call 911.
When you call 911 in Johnston County, the call goes to the Johnston County E-911 Communications Center. They ask questions in order to relay important information to responding personnel (Fire/Rescue, EMS, Law Enforcement). This information can range from finding out if people are trapped in a fire to giving medical aid directions over the phone. Dispatchers are required to obtain certain certifications (Emergency Medical Dispatch, Emergency Fire Dispatch, and Emergency Police Dispatch, to name a few) that allow them to give directions and/or assist you while emergency responders are responding. Most of the time, while one person is asking the questions or giving directions, another is dispatching the appropriate agency(s). Please be patient and provide as much information as possible. For CFD, the information is "real-time," since our apparatus have mobile data computers (MDC's) which are a direct link to the dispatcher's screen. As they enter it, we see it!
It varies. Our Admin personnel (Fire Chief, Deputy Chiefs, Fire Inspector, and Administrative Coordinator) work a typical Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm work schedule (this time can also vary depending upon calls for service, on-call duty, etc). Our Operations personnel are divided into 3 shifts and work a 24-hour shift on a 9-day cycle (Work 24 hours, off 24 hours, work 24 hours, off 24 hours, work 24 hours, off 96 hours).
There are 2 answers to this question.
1: to become familiar with the area and to know the hydrants are in working order and their flow rates, and 2: as part of the North Carolina Response Rating Schedule (NCRRS), which determines your insurance rating, there are certain criteria we have to meet, and one of those is hydrant maintenance. Our Hydrant Maintenance Program consists of flowing and flushing hydrants 2 times a year, and we have set months established for this. If there are any immediate concerns, we address them accordingly, and we are always mindful of environmental conditions such as droughts and modify our program if needed. Caution is taken during the flowing of hydrants so as to not disturb surrounding landscaping or cause traffic hazards.
Side note: the colored bands on the fire hydrants let fire personnel know the flow rate (depending upon the color) and the hydrant's ID number is for referencing in our system.
This question has 2 answers.
1: to become familiar with the layout, hazards, features, etc in the event of a fire, and 2: as part of the NCRRS, we have criteria we have to meet, referred to as Pre-Incident Surveys or Pre-plans. The information gathered is entered onto a "Data Sheet," and we also do a drawing of the area to show hazards, features, water supply, etc. This information is updated at least twice a year (or as needed - business change, contact information, etc) and is only used by Fire Department personnel via our mobile data computers. This information is obtained two ways: phone updates and site visits. During phone updates, CFD personnel identify themselves, give a contact number the business owner can contact for verification, and obtain specific site updates and contact information over the phone. If there are any structural changes (additions/demolitions), a site visit is required to update the drawing. During site visits, CFD personnel are required to be in a departmental uniform. If at any time a person states that they are with the fire department and are not in uniform and/or cannot show you their ID, contact 911 and request law enforcement.
Note: Pre-incident surveys are only conducted at businesses and these "surveys" are not fire inspections. However, any life safety hazards or obvious violations are forwarded to the Fire Marshal. At no time will a firefighter request to "preplan" your private dwelling (residence).
Yes. NC Law G.S 20-156 requires vehicles to yield to emergency vehicles when the emergency vehicle is giving a warning signal, such as emergency flashing lights, and an audible device, such as a siren. In addition to yielding to emergency vehicles, NC Law G.S. 20-157(f) (Move Over Law) requires motorists to move over one lane when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of a roadway. In the event the motorist cannot move over, they shall slow and be prepared to stop.
Yes. One stoplight in Clayton (Highway 70 Business/Robertson Street) is equipped with a special receiver that reacts to a special light on emergency apparatus. This signal turns the traffic lights which the emergency vehicle is approaching to green (including the turn lane), and all other lights are changed to red. This allows safe passage of the emergency vehicle(s) through a rather busy intersection with multiple turn lanes. This signal is approved through the North Carolina Department of Transportation and is only used for emergency events.
As mentioned above, our personnel work 24-hour shifts, and like everyone else, they have to eat! In order to be able to respond quickly to calls for service and maintain response requirements (time frames and personnel safety), the crew will take the fire truck to get their groceries, or they may decide to eat as a group at a local restaurant. Also, meals are paid for by the crew, not through the Town of Clayton.
The gear that is worn by firefighters is commonly referred to as "turnout gear," and can weigh as much as 50 pounds, depending on what each firefighter carries in his pockets (a variety of hand tools, specialty purpose tools, etc). By the time the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and other equipment is added (depending upon the type of call), firefighters have to carry as much as an additional 100 to 150 pounds.
When we schedule a "station tour" or "fire truck showing", we incorporate a fire prevention presentation to educate children and adults on the importance of fire safety. Instead of focusing on Fire Prevention during the one week of October designated as "Fire Prevention Week", we focus on it throughout the year! The schedule is maintained through our Risk Management Division/Fire Marshal's Office, and we reach over 4,000 people annually, ranging in ages from 3 years old to senior citizens. To schedule an event, contact Clayton Fire Department at 919-553-1520.
Side note: Events may be interrupted, postponed, or sometimes canceled depending upon calls for services, other events, etc. We recommend that anyone that has a scheduled event contact Clayton Fire Department at 919-553-1520 on the day of the event to make sure there are no schedule changes or issues. Even with contact information on our calendar, fire department personnel may be busy handling a call and not have an opportunity to make a phone call.
No. Most fire stations today do not have a fire pole. Mainly this is due to insurance reasons. A fire pole can still be put in a firehouse, but in all likelihood, if one is put in a new station today, it wouldn't be able to be used. Some older fire stations still have them and still use them today, but most fire stations built today do not have them.
Yes, they do. Water is carried in the trucks all of the time.