Q. Why does the fire department respond when I call for an ambulance?
A. Shallotte Firefighters are certified by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Services as Emergency Medical Technicians.
Our Firefigfhter/EMTs are trained to stabilized or convert an otherwise unstable patient by administering early Defibrillation or any one of a variety of medications.
Q. Why does the fire department respond to the doctor's office and nursing home when they have the trained staff to handle an emergency?
A. When a situation extends beyond the capabilities of the Doctor's office or long-term care facility, the employees call 911.
Our Firefighter/EMTs will arrive to either assist in stabilizing or converting the patient or they will assume the role so that business can continue as usual for the Doctor's office or long-term care facility.
Once Paramedics arrive, the either stable or critical patient will be transferred for more extensive treatment and transport.
Q. Why does the fire department respond to the motor vehicle collisions?
A. Shallotte Fire Department is certified as a Light Rescue Provider.
The apparatus responding is capable of deploying EMS, rescue and fire fighting equipment and certified Firefighter/EMTs to every incident.
In the event there is an immediate medical need for anyone involved, a need to extricate the occupants, the need to handle a hazardous materials spill or the need to extinguish a fire, the Firefighter/EMTs are ready and equipped to respond.
Q. Why does the fire department respond an Engine Company to all incidents?
A. The Engine Company meets the Light Rescue Provider certification and carries all of the equipment needed for EMS, rescue and fire related incidents.
The Engine Company is staffed with four personnel who are each assigned and trained to a task.
In the event of an EMS, rescue and fire related incidents, each staff member's role is predetermined and the deployment is orchestrated.
The result is a demonstration of efficiency and proficiency by the staff.
Q. Why do I see the Engine Company servicing fire hydrants and looking at the businesses?
A. Among many things required by law, each fire hydrant is required to be serviced and pre-incident surveys are to be conducted.
Every six months the Engine Company services each fire hydrant and conducts a pre-incident survey of every business in Shallotte and the ETJ.
This insures that each fire hydrant is operating properly and has sufficient water and that each firefighter is familiar with the layout, utilities and hazards of each business.
Pre-incident surveys are NOT inspections and the Fire Inspector is not employed within the Fire Department.
Q. Why doesn't the fire department use smaller vehicles?
A. In actuality, the Engine Company that responds to the majority of the incidents in Shallotte is rather small for a Class A Engine is comparison to the standard.
Shallotte Fire Department is the busiest fire and rescue department in Brunswick County responding to more than 1,500 incidents per year and quite often responds from one incident to another.
By responding an Engine Company, which is an essential piece of apparatus with regards to State and Federal compliance, we have found that it is more efficient.
By removing non-essential apparatus from service and only responding essential pieces of apparatus, we have reduced the number of apparatus to staff, and reduced the number of pieces of apparatus responding to an incident. This results in reducing liability and maintenance costs, a reduction in the response times to an incident by 30% by having all essential equipment and personnel on one apparatus for a compliant response and a 50% reduction in fuel consumption.
Q. Who in charge of the fire department?
A. The fire department is managed by the Fire Chief and focusses solely on all emergency response outside of law enforcement.
The Fire Chief is not responsible for fire inspections or code enforcement. That is the responsibility of the Town's Fire Inspector.
The Fire Chief is charged with complying with State and Federal Laws, Regulations and Standards with regards to fire and life safety education, fire suppression, hazardous materials emergencies, technical rescue and emergency medical services.
An annual budget is proposed by the Fire Chief and is submitted to the Town Alderman to provide these services.