FAQs

     


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     

     

    1. How do I obtain a burn permit for inside the City limits of Columbia?

      We have 5 fire stations located within the City limits of Columbia.  You may go to your nearest fire station between the hours of 7:00 am – 7:00 pm to obtain a permit.

    2.  Is there a charge for a burn permit?
      No, there is no charge to get a burn permit.

    3.  Can I burn leaves in my yard? 
      No, city ordinance prohibits outside burning leaves within the city limits.

    4. What happens if I burn without a permit inside the City limits?
      Per Ordinance No. 3402 you will receive a bill from the City of Columbia at a rate of $45.00 per hour (1 hour minimum) per apparatus, $15.00 per hour (1 hour minimum) per person that was on the call and any materials used at cost.

    5. How do I obtain a burn permit if I live outside the City limits of Columbia?
      You can call 1-877-350-26876 or visit the website at:

      https://agriculture.tn.gov/OnlineBurnPermitPublic/default.aspx

    6. How can I get a copy of a Fire Report?
      Call the Columbia Fire Department at 931-560-1700 and request a copy of the report.  The office hours are 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. 

    7. Is there a charge for copies of fire reports?
      There is no fee for copying reports, unless they are 10 pages or more. 

    8. What information is needed to obtain a copy of a report?
      1. Address of incident
      2. Date of incident
      3. Name of property owner

    9. Why do you send a fire truck to a medical emergency?
      1. Fire Engines usually arrive first and STOP the response clock.
      2. Columbia’s fire engines are staffed and equipped to provide Basic Life Support (BLS) care when they arrive.
      3. The amount and size of equipment needed on emergency calls has continued to grow over the years.

    10. How do I get a fire truck at my event?
      To schedule a fire truck for a special event, contact the Columbia Fire Department’s Public Education office at 931-560-1725.

    11. Who do I contact to arrange a fire safety presentation?
      Contact the Columbia Fire Department’s Public Education office at 931-560-1725.

    12. Who do I contact to arrange a visit to one of your fire stations?
      To schedule a tour of a fire station, contact the Columbia Fire Department’s Public Education office at 931-560-1725.

    13. What is an ISO rating?
      The Insurance Service Office (ISO) conducts independent evaluations on fire departments throughout the United States.  This evaluation reviews how the fire department receives and dispatches its fire alarms, where the department’s fire stations are located throughout the city, what equipment is carried on the department’s fire apparatus, the training received by the city’s fire personnel and the availability of water supply to conduct fire operations.  Based on this grade, a public protection classification is determined for the city.  These classifications range from 1 to 10.  Class 1 denotes exemplary public protection and Class 10 denotes not meeting ISO minimum criteria.  These classifications are used to establish appropriate insurance premiums for the city.  Currently the Columbia Fire Department is an ISO Class 1 Department.

    14. How do I obtain a patch or T-shirt from the Columbia Fire Department?
      To receive a fire department patch, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

      Columbia Fire Department
      1000 S Garden Street
      Columbia, TN  38401

      Attn:  Patch Request
       
      The Columbia Fire Department does not give away or sell department t-shirts.

    15. Why do you block traffic lanes at auto accidents, sometimes more lanes than necessary?
      The Columbia Fire Department uses fire apparatus to block traffic lanes for the safety of emergency workers and patients. Blocking extra lanes keep our personnel safe when they go back to our apparatus to get more equipment and help protect the victim we are trying to stabilize. Over 25 firefighters are killed or injured each year while working at incidents on streets and highways.

    16. What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than fighting fires?  Emergency calls represent only a small percentage of the work of a typical fire department. The number of residential and commercial fires has steadily decreased over the years due to a variety of factors including improvements in construction, a greater public awareness of the risk factors leading to fires and a significant reduction in smoking nationwide. Fires, however, are only some of the emergencies to which the Fire Department responds. Nearly eighty percent of the Fire Department's emergency responses are, in fact, calls for medical aid, including illness/accidents at home and work, and injuries resulting from vehicle crashes. Other calls for emergency response involve hazardous materials releases, technical rescues, response to fire alarms and other calls for public assistance. Firefighters also spend much of their time maintaining equipment, doing routine public safety inspections for businesses and rental housing, training for all types of emergency responses and filling out the reports and paperwork associated with these activities.

    17. Why do we see fire department crews at the store? 
      Fire personnel with the Columbia Fire Department work a 24-hour shift with no scheduled breaks and meals are not provided by the City. They must eat their lunch and dinner at the station. At times firefighters all eat the same meal, as a group. The crews pay for their food out of their own pockets. So, after the equipment is checked and the housework completed, one of the fire trucks will then make a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase food for the shift. All crews remain in service to respond to calls during this time.

      Fire personnel do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call.  All units maintain constant radio contact with Fire Communications and the crew must always be together with their apparatus.  Firefighters are always ready to respond to an emergency, regardless of their current location. 

    18.  How often should I change the batteries in my smoke detectors? 
      We recommend you change the batteries in your smoke detectors every 6 months. An easy way to remember is to change batteries when you reset your clock for daylight savings time.

    19. Where can I go to have my child safety seat inspected or installed?  Columbia Fire Department has Child Safety Seat Technicians at all stations.  Please call 931-560-1700 to inquire about the station located nearest to you and personnel available to assist you.

    20. Can I get my blood pressure checked at the Fire Department?
      Yes, all personnel with the Columbia Fire Department can check your blood pressure for you.