Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority charge you for our services?
A. No! There have been a number of occasions that we responded to a medical emergency, or even fire related events, where the individuals have waited too long to call 911 for help. When we ask why, we are told that they were afraid of getting a bill from the fire department. This worries us - a lot. Any delay in calling 911 is likely to result in a worse outcome for the victim(s) and/or the property involved. As residents of Hartland and Deerfield Townships, our taxes pay for that service (via millage and SAD, respectively). We are highly respectful and appreciative of that support, and very deliberate in ensuring we provide service to our residents without any other fees attached. So in the interests of rumor control, we do not charge for our services – with a couple of extremely unusual exceptions:
1. If we are sent to an open burning complaint and the individual responsible continues to violate the Open Burning Ordinance (details listed in the HDFA open burning guidelines on our website), they may be billed for the response (apparatus and responding firefighters used).
2. If you are NOT a resident of either Hartland or Deerfield, you may receive a bill; however, it will likely be covered by your insurance company. This does not apply to friends/family visiting your home - it is usually a non-resident that is the at-fault driver in a motor vehicle crash.
Aside from these very limited and unusual circumstances, we do not charge for services. Even in these rare cases, we are very cooperative and reasonable in how we seek payment and collection, so if you need us, call us. We still make house calls - and won’t send you a bill! If you have further questions, please contact us at (810) 632-7676.
Q. When I call 9-1-1 for a Medical Emergency, why does the fire department show up?
A. Because the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority is a Medical First Response (MFR) provider, all firefighters are required to undergo medical emergency response training. Most of our firefighters are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or Medical First Responders (MFRs), and some are even Paramedics. When a 9-1-1 call is received for a medical emergency, there are many times when the fire department can arrive before the ambulance and begin patient care. Other times, we help the ambulance crew by assisting with patient care, removing the patient from a dangerous area, or even riding the ambulance to the hospital assisting the paramedics.
Q. Can I burn leaves, brush, or other yard waste on my property?
A. Yes, provided you contact us before you burn at (810) 632-7676 to verify the open burning conditions. You may NOT burn building materials, garbage, etc. Please call the Fire Station with questions regarding burning or see the Open Burning guidelines page.
NOTE: The Pines of Hartland area has a permanent burning band due to the high amount of pine trees in the area.
Q. Why do I sometimes see an emergency vehicle go through an intersection with lights and sirens on, and then, after they go through, turn them off and slow down?
A. Many times, several units are dispatched to the same emergency incident. The first unit may have arrived on scene, surveyed the situation, and informed the dispatcher that it was under control, or that more units were not necessary. All other responding units were cancelled and placed back into service, ready to take another call. Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle go through an intersection "Priority One" (lights and sirens) and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going on, or requested to continue "Priority Three" (non-emergent, normal traffic).
Q. Sometimes I see a car, pickup truck, or other every-day vehicle with flashing red lights and a siren coming down the street. Is this a fire department vehicle? What do I do?
A. Many of our on-call personnel equip their personal vehicles with lights and sirens. They are activated when responding to a priority (life threatening) call. If you see one of these vehicles coming down the street, treat them as you would any other emergency vehicle, by stopping and yielding to the right. These dedicated members utilize their own vehicles for Fire Department responses, and all are required to carry basic emergency medical equipment.
Q. Why do some fire trucks park down the street from an incident?
A. In situations when a scene is deemed unsafe due to a potentially violent patient or family member, or if there are dangerous drugs or weapons involved, Fire and EMS units may "stage" until the police department has secured (made safe) the scene. On fire calls, vehicles may stage until they have been provided an assignment by an "Incident Commander". Because of the number of things that must be done near simultaneously during a fire attack, it is important to only have those units/personnel that have an active assignment on scene, with the rest staged and ready to deploy.
Q. Why do firefighters cut holes in the roof of a building during a fire? Doesn't this do even more damage to the house?
A. The practice of cutting holes in the roof of a burning structure is known as ventilation. Ventilation helps firefighters inside the building by allowing smoke and superheated gases to escape, which eliminates some of the smoke in a building and makes the environment a little easier to work in, in addition to keeping the superheated gases from igniting an attic fire. Unlike the movies, it is normally pitch-black inside a burning building because of all the smoke. Ultimately, ventilation helps firefighters who may be searching for someone trapped in the building by eliminating some smoke and heat, or those who are trying to put the fire out by allowing hot steam to escape rather than come back at them and burn them. This helps us save people who may be trapped, and to put the fire out quickly, saving more of the building.
Q. What is the Township's Fire Insurance Protection Class?
A. Protection Class 4 applies to anyone within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant.
Protection Class 6 applies to everyone else.
-Feel free to contact the fire station during business hours and we can verify what yours is. We recommend contacting your insurance company to verify that your rating is correct. In addition, getting prices from other companies will give you a good comparison to see if you could save more.
Q. Where should I install smoke alarms in my home?
A. This is quite possibly the most important topic we can discuss - perhaps literally the difference between life and death. First, lets discuss what type of smoke alarms. We strongly recommend and only provide Photoelectric Smoke Alarms with standard 9v batteries. Regarding where, we recommend one smoke alarm in each bedroom and the hallway outside the bedrooms, and one on each floor (near the top of the stairs), including the basement. Simple maintenance of a monthly test, change batteries every six months, vacuum out once a year, and replace the smoke alarms every 10 years. We have a lot of information and assistance available to help you with this critical fire and life safety device, so please contact us with any questions or needs - there is no reason for anyone to go to sleep tonight without working smoke alarms!
Q. My carbon monoxide alarm is sounding. What should I do?
A. Get everyone outside and Call 9-1-1. This is an emergency! Advise the dispatcher whether or not you, or anyone else in the building is exhibiting signs of carbon monoxide poisoning (headache, lightheadedness, nausea, fatigue). This will help the dispatcher send the proper units to your location. Leave the house closed up; do not open all the windows and doors - it makes finding the source much more difficult. If no one is exhibiting symptoms, the Fire Department will respond non-emergent, to check carbon monoxide levels. If symptoms are being exhibited by one or more people, you can expect the Fire Department and EMS to be sent to your location "Priority One" (lights and sirens) to begin helping those who have been affected.
Q. I've stopped by the fire station several times and nobody seems to be there. Where is everyone?
A. Although there is always at least two people on duty at the main station 24 hours a day, they are sometimes called away from the station for emergency calls, errands, inspections, or maintenance functions. The Deerfield station is staffed Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm and the Parshallville station is unmanned.
If you have an emergency, always dial 9-1-1. There is an emergency telephone located outside of the fire station on Hartland road. This is a direct dial 9-1-1 line to the emergency dispatcher.
If you would like to speak with someone in person, please call ahead and request a meeting time.
Q. How many firefighters work for the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority?
A. We have five full-time personnel, including the Chief, who are supplemented by daytime and night time duty crews along with the 52 Paid/On-Call personnel. There are never less than two people on duty, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q. How do I request a copy of an incident report?
A. Call the main fire station during business hours. We will need the date, approximate time, and location of the incident to efficiently process your request.
Q. Do you inspect child car safety seats?
A. Yes. Please call the station during business hours. We can set up an appointment for a car seat inspection.
Q. Do you fill swimming pools or pump out basements?
A. Because this makes units unavailable for emergency calls, and may potentially damage pumps and lawns, we do not fill swimming pools or pump basements. Try looking under "Swimming Pools" and "Water Delivery" respectively, in the Yellow Pages.
Q. Do you repair fire extinguishers, or recharge fire extinguishers that have been used?
A. No. We recommend contacting a local hardware store. They may work with vendors who can perform this service. If your extinguisher has a plastic head or is over 5 years old, it is much better to replace it.
Q. How can I get a fire inspection for my business?
A. If your business is in Hartland and or Deerfield township please call the fire station (810) 632-7676 to schedule an inspection. The Fire Marshal's office can assist you with this task.
Q. Does the HDFA coverage area have Severe Weather Warning Sirens?
A. Yes. There are a total of 11 weather sirens located in the Hartland and Deerfield area. However, not all homes are within range of them. Current sires are located in densely populated areas. As funding becomes available, additional sirens will be installed. They are outdoor warning sirens, which means hearing them indoors varies. we highly recommend each home and business have a NOAA Weather Radio monitor. These monitors stay silent until severe weather watches or warnings are issued for our area, then they alert with a tone and then voice messages. Most units are able to be purchased for under $50.00, and are available at most electronics stores. Many monitors can be programmed for emergencies other than weather, such as community emergencies involving hazardous materials releases, flooding, etc. These are called "All Hazard Monitors". For more information, go towww.weather.gov/nwr/.
If you have a question....please contact us - we look forward to helping!