Frequently Asked Questions
Should I call 911...
-  If I smell something burning inside a building, but I don't see any fire or smoke?  Can I just call the firehouse? Call 911 from outside, immediately and evacuate the building.  Calling the firehouse will actually delay the proper response.
-  If my fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is going off what should I do? Call 911 immediately and evacuate the building.  Call 911 from outside the building with a cell phone or at a neighbors.
-  My basement has flooded from excessive rain or a drain backup, will the fire department get the water out? If there is a large amount of water we MAY be able to pump out the water with portable pumps.  We can not do much with just wet carpet or a small amount of standing water.  For cleanup of a flooded basement a restoration contractor would be the best option.
-  Will the fire department rescue my animal out of a tree or off a roof? We feel it is not necessary to perform these type of rescues because if animals can get up on a tree or a roof they will be able to get themselves down.  It  can be hazardous to our members since animals in distress can be very unpredictable.  Sometimes leaving an animal alone is all it takes.  If a crowd has formed the animal may be choosing not to come down because of the chaos.
 
Emergency Response and Response Area
-  Why is my fire department not Milford Community Fire Department even though I have a 45150 zip code which is Milford? The Milford zip code and school district extend greatly beyond the City of Milford.  When people refer to Milford sometimes they are actually not referring to the City of Milford, but the surrounding area within the zip code or school district.  This means that MCFD may not be your fire department.  If you are not sure you may call the fire station and we can assist you to find out which fire department serves your house.

911 WILL ALWAYS GET YOU HELP IN AN EMERGENCY NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE.  DO NOT CALL THE STATION DIRECTLY FOR EMERGENCIES.

-  The Milford fire station is right down the street from me, but why are they not my fire department? Political boundaries determine what municipality serves your house, in some cases it is not always the physically closest department.
-  I do live in the City of Milford, but why did another fire department's ambulance come to my house when I called 911? Sometimes all of our units are out on emergencies, so we rely on mutual aid from other departments to help when we are unavailable.  Mutual aid is a mutual agreement between communities to help each other when needed.  We receive mutual aid if all of our units are tied up or on large incidents and give mutual aid to other communities for the same reasons.
-  Why, when I call 911, do they ask a lot of questions that I don't think are important? The 911 operators try to get as much information about a situation as possible.  It may not seem important to you, but could actually be very important us when we are responding.  It is important to follow the 911 operator's instructions and answer all of their questions, which in turn will help them properly dispatch the call correctly and efficiently.
-  Is there anything I can do to help Fire and EMS find my house in an emergency? While we have detailed map books, having visible address numbering is critical for locating your residence or business in an emergency.

Some suggestions are:
- Use a minimum of 4 inch high numbers with high contrast coloring, preferably reflective.
- Shine landscape or building lighting on the numbers, but make sure it doesn't cause the numbers to appear "washed out" from the street.
- If an address has a letter (A,B, etc) or suite, include that next to the numbers (ex, 687-B).
- Numbers are much easier to read quickly than written out addresses (687-B vs. Six Eighty Seven B).
- Do not use script or a font that is difficult to read at a glance.
- To see how well your numbers can be identified, try reading your address while driving by at the speed limit in the dark.
- For businesses or apartments with rear entrances, placing the address numbers on the rear will also help in an emergency.

-  Why did the Police come when I called for an ambulance or the fire department? Milford Police are very helpful to the fire department and in many cases can arrive on the scene faster than the ambulance or fire truck if they are close.  The Police can help give us updates before we get there to help with locating an emergency or so we have details before we get there.  They also help care for patients, assist with equipment, and control traffic if necessary.
 
Fire Hydrants and Water System
-  Why does the fire department or water department turn on fire hydrants and let them run?  Doesnt that waste water? It is critical that we know all of our fire hydrants are in ready working condition in case of a fire.  By checking and flowing the fire hydrants we can find any problems and flush out any sediment or debris.  Sometimes it is necessary to let a fire hydrant flow for a while to get all of the sediment out.
-  Why does my water turn brown when a fire hydrant is opened? When a fire hydrant is opened it stirs up sediment in the water mains.  When we open a fire hydrant we make every effort to completely flush the sediment out, but it can still turn the water brown. The water is still safe to drink.  You may open a faucet and let it run which will help to clear out the sediment stirred up.
-  My neighbor has planted plants around the fire hydrant, what should I do? Whether planted on purpose or naturally, fire hydrants should not be obstructed by plants or any other object.  If a fire hydrant is obstructed you may call the fire department and we will take care of the situation.  We will attempt to contact the property owner and have them remove the obstruction in a mutually agreeable way.  The fire hydrant should have at least a three foot clearance all the way around it and be completely clear and accessible from the street.
-  Will the fire department come fill my pool? We do not fill swimming pools.  Filling swimming pools with large fire hose can cause damage to the pool and/or liners.
 
Help with my Child Safety Seat and Bicycle Helmets
-  I need a car-seat, does the fire department give them out free? No we do not give away car-seats.
-  I would like my car-seat inspected can I just stop by at any time? We ask that you schedule an appointment.  Not all of our personnel are car seat technicians, so there is not always one at the station.
-  My child needs a bicycle helmet, do you give them away? We do not give out bicycle helmets.
 
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
-  When should I change my smoke detector battery? You should change them at least twice a year when the time changes unless you have an extended life battery.  Refer to the instructions that came with your detector.
- How often do I need to replace my smoke and/or carbon monoxide detector? Most detectors have an "expiration" date or date of purchase on them.  Please refer to the instructions that came with your detector for replacement cycle.  The U.S. Fire Administration recommends to keep detectors absolutely no longer than 10 years, but always refer to the instructions from the manufacturer.
-  I need a smoke detector do you have any to give out? Yes, for residents of the City of Milford, we offer free smoke detectors courtesy of the American Red Cross and other donations.  Our supply is limited so we may have to limit the number we can give out at a time.  We can also provide guidance for installing them.
-  I can not get to my smoke detector or don't know how to change my smoke detector battery, can you help? Yes, for residents of the City of Milford, we can come and assist you with changing out your smoke detector batteries.  We can not guarantee that we will be able to get to your detector depending on where it is installed, it may be necessary for you to contact a contractor.  We also do not service hard wired smoke detectors or detectors that are part of an alarm system, for those, a licensed contractor should be used.
 
Out and About
-  Why do I see the on duty crew at the store and at restaurants? The fire station is staffed 24 hours per day 365 days per year.  The on duty crew does not get time off for meals like most jobs, so they must eat while on duty.  Sometimes the crew chooses to cook which requires them to go to the store for supplies.  The crews may also choose to eat out, which supports the local businesses in the city.  We encourage the crews to support local businesses whenever possible.
-  Why do I see fire department cars out in the city when it looks like they are off duty? When you see these cars and people out they are usually on call and required to respond to  emergencies at any time.  The Chief and Assistant Chiefs have cars because they respond at all hours to any emergency.  They have the cars while they are out so that they are available to respond from wherever they are, without having to go get their cars and then respond.
 
Fire Lanes
-  Why did someone on duty tell me that I had to move out of the fire lane when I was parked there? The fire lane is just that, it is for emergencies only.  The fire department and businesses designate fire lanes to make sure the fire department has access to necessary parts of buildings.  It is not a temporary parking, pick-up, drop-off, or run in real quick lane.  Please help us by not parking or stopping in the fire lane.  It is illegal to park in any fire lane or block any fire hydrant.
   
Reports & Privacy Policy  
-  How do I obtain a copy of a Fire report or EMS report? Copies of reports may be obtained from Assistant Chief Mark Flanigan or Assistant Chief Mark Baird, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.  Reports may not be immediately available until they are entered into our records management system.  Other personnel are not permitted to give out copies of reports.
- I was told that I could obtain a copy of the Privacy Practices upon request, how do I get a copy? A copy of the Milford Community Fire Department Notice of Privacy Practices can be downloaded by clicking here.  If a hard copy is desired you may stop by the station Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm to pick one up.