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  • Rockland Fire & EMS

    Fire & EMS Department

    Rockland’s Fire & EMS Department delivers a very high level of service to our residents in comparison to both local area services and services across the State

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    Latest Fire & EMS Department News

    Fire & EMS Newsletter

    In the past month, the Rockland Fire and EMS department responded to two incidents. One occurred on July 11, in the South End of the city. A call was placed to the fire department alerting them [...]

    Fire & EMS Department FAQs

    Can I burn debris in my yard?

    Burning of clean wood products is allowed in Rockland with a burning permit issued by the Fire Department or online by the Maine Forest Service. Below are some of the conditions that are required for obtaining the permit:

    1. You must be the landowner or have express written permission from the owner to have the fire.
    2. Permits are only issued on the day of the actual intended burn to ensure safe weather conditions.
    3. The weather must be cooperative for a safe fire. This means little to no wind and the ground must contain some moisture.
    4. Most often the permit will require you have some protective measures such as shovels, rakes or other tools to assist you in safely managing the fire. Also most fires will require a charged garden hose or other extinguishment method is present. .
    5. Someone must be present at the fire at all times. If not, we will revoke the permit, extinguish the unattended fire, and summons the permit holder. Unattended fires or smoldering ashes lead to unintended fires and the permit holder will be liable for the associated costs of extinguishment.
    6. To obtain a burning permit you must come to the Fire Station or go online to the Maine Forest Service site:
      • Permits issued at the station are free while those obtained online cost $7.00.
      • Most often a call to the station (207) 594-0318 before you come for a permit will allow us to give you some indication as to whether or not you will meet that day’s requirement to burn.
    7. Only clean wood, leaves, grass, and debris may be burned. You may not burn painted wood, pressure treated wood, plastics, coated cardboard, paints, solvents, etc.
    8. You may not use gasoline, kerosene, diesel or other ignitable liquids to start the fire.
    9. You do not need a burning permit to have a cooking fire in a safe fire pit on your property. This does not allow you to clean the yard and burn it while keeping a bag of marshmallows nearby! We do recommend you call us to let us know you plan to have a fire, even for cooking, so as to minimize the chances of us showing up unexpectedly at your cookout when a well intentioned passerby reports smoke.

    Download a Maine Department of Environmental Protection brochure on burning construction materials (PDF 110k).

    Do you offer classes on how to properly use a fire extinguisher?

    The Life Safety Code requires that all businesses that have mounted fire extinguishers provide their employees with proper training. The Rockland F.D. currently provides this training at no cost. Classes usually take 30-45 minutes and include live fire evolutions where participants actually utilize fire extinguishers. Businesses must provide their own extinguishers for the hands on portion of the training. The training can be held either at your business or here at the Rockland fire station. Individuals may also request fire extinguisher training and we will try to accommodate by gathering a list of names and contacting you when a suitable class size is gathered. You may schedule fire extinguisher training by calling the F.D. at (207) 594-0318.

    How are extension cords hazardous?

    Extension cords are made to be used as temporary devices and must be suitably sized for the appliance or device they are supplying. Common household extension cords are generally not suitable for powering heating appliances or devices that use a lot of electricity. Overloading extension cords causes them to heat to a point that could melt their covering and cause a fire. Another frequently found related issue is running extension cords under rugs, carpets or furniture, which allows them to heat up to unsafe levels. Generally speaking an extension cord that is used to power an appliance should be replaced by a suitable hardwired outlet within reach of an appliance’s factory installed cord.

    What should I do if I break a fluorescent or compact fluorescent light bulb?

    The lamp contains a small amount of mercury, but you can clean this up yourself: the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has detailed instructions on how.

    What should I know about fire sprinklers?

    The Rockland F.D. wholeheartedly believes in fire sprinklers. The combination of fire sprinklers and smoke detection has been proven nationally to provide the highest margin of safety to humans from fire. There is a lot of misunderstanding about fire sprinklers, such as:

    • Myth #1: All sprinkler heads activate at once: In almost every case this is untrue. Fire sprinklers are designed to activate when the individual sprinkler head reaches a specific temperature. The activation of one head often suppresses the fire preventing further heating of other heads. Unlike fires in Hollywood movies and on television, sprinklers do not activate when smoke detectors go off or fire alarm systems are activated. The only thing that will activate a fire sprinkler is heat.
    • Myth #2: Insurance companies charge more for fire sprinklers due to potential water damage: The Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office conducted a survey of most major insurance carriers in Maine and found that not one raised their rates for buildings or homes equipped with fire sprinklers. In fact they found that the majority of insurance carriers fully recognized the benefit of sprinklers and gave an average discount of 15% on fire insurance premiums.
    • Myth #3: There will be significant water damage if the sprinkler system activates: Most sprinkler heads only discharge 13-30 gallons of water per minute and most activations are limited to 1-3 heads for a total of 13 to 120 gallons of water per minute. Consider that if a fire occurs the sprinkler is like having a firefighter with a charged hose directly in the room with the fire and it will begin extinguishing the fire in less than two minutes. Without a sprinkler, fire can grow rapidly, frequently doubling in size every minute until someone arrives with a hose to begin suppressing it. This means the fire must be discovered, 911 must be activated, the F.D. must respond (our average time is 4.5 minutes from the time 911 is called), the crew must deploy a fire hose and begin fighting the fire. In this time the fire will have grown significantly and generally cause significant damage. The fire department’s hoses flow 150-180 gallons of water per minute. So we can conclude that without a fire sprinkler, the fire will be larger and require more water to extinguish, with damage being far greater all around.  This also does not account for the safety of the occupants, who will have had much safer conditions in which to escape from the building with sprinklers present.

    The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) is an excellent resource on the topic and hosts powerful video footage showing the benefits of sprinkler systems. We strongly urge everyone to learn how these systems can ensure your quality of life for years to come.

    What should I know about smoke detectors?

    Time and again smoke detectors are proven to make the difference between escaping a fire or not. It is far too common for us to observe smoke detectors that either have no batteries or have been removed due to nuisance alarms. Smoke detectors are generally very accurate devices and nuisance alarms can be avoided by proper placement or replacing the device with one less prone to alarms from steam or “cooking smoke”. All smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year to ensure proper operation. Changing your smoke detector batteries when you change your clocks is a great way to ensure their ready to protect you and your loved ones.

    Why is it important to keep exits unblocked?

    One of the most important points of fire safety is maintaining safe ways to leave the building or home in a fire or smoke situation. This usually means ensuring all doors are readily accessible without moving any objects or furnishings, but can also mean utilizing windows. Frequently furniture blocks windows which may prevent an occupant from escaping when a door leads toward the fire or smoke. It is imperative that you have at least two ways to get out of any room that is normally occupied (living rooms, bedrooms, offices, etc.) There are some exceptions in the Life Safety Code to this, such as in sprinklered buildings or in bathrooms or closets, though two ways out is always a safe bet.

    Why is there a fire truck at some EMS calls?

    Because the Rockland F.D. provides EMS to the City and the residents of Owls Head, all our career personnel are cross trained. Due to staffing we attempt to cover as many scenarios as possible with personnel staffing multiple apparatus. This means that if an ambulance requires assistance, a fire truck may be utilized by the crew to respond while ensuring other emergencies can be efficiently covered. There are also many safety related issues that are addressed by sending a fire apparatus to assist EMS crews. These include time where forcible entry may be necessary to gain access to a patient or when the crew or patient maybe exposed to vehicular traffic and the fire truck is used as a barrier.

    Will the fire department inspect my chimney?

    The Rockland F.D. does offer chimney, woodstove and fireplace inspections to anyone interested. At this time, we are able to offer this service at no cost. All solid fuel burning appliances and chimneys are inspected for compliance with NFPA 211, the nationally recognized code. While these inspections often reveal deficiencies, strict compliance is not enforced in one and two family dwellings unless an egregious hazard is present, though it must be noted that a property owner should understand their homeowner’s insurance policy’s rules before overlooking any code issues. In all multiple dwellings or commercial properties code compliance is mandatory and deficiencies must be corrected in a timely manner as agreed upon between the F.D. and the owner. You may schedule a chimney or solid fuel burning appliance inspection by calling the F.D. at (207) 594-0318.

    Fire & EMS Department Documents & Forms

    Here is a list of some of the commonly used Fire & EMS Department documents & forms. Note that you can also obtain these forms directly from the Fire & EMS Department. If you do not find the document or form you are looking for, please feel free to call us (207) 594-0318 or request your document online.

    About Rockland Fire & EMS Department

    Rockland’s Fire & EMS Department delivers a very high level of service to our residents in comparison to both local area services and services across the State. The average response time for an EMS call in Rockland is 4 minutes and 41 seconds compared to 10 minutes and 54 seconds in nearby communities. Due to the rapid response of highly trained staff, a person suffering a cardiac arrest, among many other medical crisis’s, has a much greater chance of survival. Rockland Fire & EMS CPR success rate for those presenting in a “shockable rhythm” is 40%, while the National average is 28.3%.

    To maintain this high level of service to Rockland residents the department operates three advanced life support ambulances as well as four frontline fire apparatus and two support vehicles. The department is staffed by a Career Division (18 full-time employees) and a Call Division (16 paid per call) employees. The majority of the career staff work 24 hour shifts (1 day on, 2 days off) that equals an average workweek of 56 hrs. Two of the career paramedics work a staggered 12 hour shift, providing each of the three shifts with an additional paramedic 50% of the time.

    A strong Fire & EMS Department provides safety to the community and minimizes property, job, and most importantly the loss of life, when a fire or other emergency occurs.

    Fire & EMS Department Additional Information & Statistics

    It is the vision of the Rockland Fire & EMS Department to be the most respected department in the region, providing excellent service by continually improving personnel through high quality training; strengthening bonds with the community through participation and transparency; growing to meet new challenges to the community through constant hazard evaluation and introspection; all while dedicating ourselves to providing a safe and enjoyable workplace.

    The Fire & EMS Department provides all-hazards emergency response services to the citizens of Rockland and primary emergency medical care to the citizens of Owls Head. Our tier one services include providing 24/7 fire, medical and other emergency incident response. However, the Fire & EMS department is active in a variety of tier three – proactive and preventative initiatives such as:

    • fire prevention education
    • local emergency management
    • developing incident action plans for large public events
    • Code Enforcement of Life Safety and related codes

    To fulfill the EMS mission, the department utilizes three four wheel drive ambulances, licensed at the Maine EMT-Intermediate Level, meaning there is at least an EMT-I on every medical response. Our personnel live up to our motto “Professionals for Life” by regularly attending training, seminars and providing excellence in care. Our staff maintains an in-house Quality Assurance Program which reviews all advanced life support calls to ensure the most appropriate care is provided at all times.

    The Rockland Fire Department operates 3 Fire Engines, 1 Tower Ladder, 3 ALS ambulances, 1 command unit, 1 utility pick-up and a small inflatable boat. The daily career personnel staff one engine, the tower and an ambulance for fire incidents. EMS coverage is provided by on duty personnel cross-staffing the three ambulances as needed with and career staff being either Maine EMT-Intermediates or Paramedics. The Call Division, as our paid call personnel are known, respond to all first alarms and whenever incidents leave the station with fewer than two duty personnel in house.

    The Call Division is a dedicated force of “volunteer” firefighters who regularly train and respond to the multitude of incidents the department covers. They are paid by dividing a fixed sum of money in equal monthly sums, then dispersing it based on the number of times a member reports to training, incidents or staffing recalls. Many of our call division members are also EMS licensed personnel and provide quality EMS care when staffing ambulances.

    • Three firefighters began coursework toward becoming Fire Officer I certified, while another completed the Fire Officer Academy and became certified at the Fire Officer I & II levels.
    • Firefighter/Advanced EMT Katy Vanorse began the paramedic program, which upon successful completion in Spring 2017 will bring our paramedic level staffing to 7. Paramedic certification is critical to our ability to provide the highest levels of care to our patients and having in-house staff is much less costly than utilizing mutual aid paramedics.
    • Purchased and brought on line, three mobile computers for use by our personnel for EMS call reporting. The mobile units communicate directly with our cardiac monitors and reduce data entry time for every call where this equipment is utilized. This coupled with a new State supported reporting platform that will be up and running this summer should significantly reduce staff time for reporting our medical calls.
    • Worked with the Code Office and Council on the Short Term Rentals ordinance – working to ensure occupant safety while trying to encourage new opportunities for revenue for property owners.
    • A fire in an apartment building this past year proved the value of the combined Code Enforcement/Fire Department Apartment Building Inspection program when one of the smoke alarms required to be installed was triggered. This alerted the occupant and allowed him to control the fire and escape without injury. Previous to the inspection just months before, there were not working detectors in the apartment. The layout of the unit and the amount of readily available fuel would most likely have resulted in a tragic fire and far more property damage had there not been a detector present.
    • The department struggled with an ambulance that had motor issues that could not be identified or corrected. In February of 2016 the city negotiated the sale of that unit to Ford and completed the purchase agreement for two new ambulances that will be delivered in August of 2016.
    • Continued to be part of the conversation with local law enforcement, the medical community and community members working on ways to mitigate the opiate addiction problem. Along with law enforcement, EMS staff continues to be on the frontline of dealing with this issue.
    • Continue succession planning and training under the guidance of the reestablished Fire Chief.
    • Employ the new incident reporting platform hosted by the State to reduce staff data entry time.
    • Work to reduce the number of non-emergency medical calls that tie up our resources through education and investigating a fee for service system.
    • Study the effectiveness of utilizing citations and fines to reduce the number of re-occurring code violations with regard to alarm systems, exits and related housekeeping type issue that can negatively impact occupant safety.

    EMS Response Times Comparison

    Calls For Service – Monthly Breakdown

    Contact the Fire & EMS Department

    You can contact the Fire & EMS Department using the details below or by completing the online form. Always dial 911 in an emergency.

    (207) 593-9132
    Knox County Dispatch

    (207) 594-0318
    Fire & EMS Department Office

    Rockland Fire & EMS Department, 118 Park St, Rockland, ME 04841
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