FAQ

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Why is a fire engine sent when I call an ambulance?

In today's world firefighters do more than just put out fires.  Nearly all of the Victoria Fire Department staff is certified by the Department of State Health Services as an EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, EMT-Paramedic, or Licensed Paramedic. Certain types of critical medical calls (unconscious persons/ major trauma to name a few) automatically have a fire company respond with the ambulance.  With critical patients the more help the better as treatments can be given quicker, scene times are reduced, and the patient is in the Emergency Room faster.  Fire companies also respond to both critical and non-critical medical calls if the ambulance assigned to that particular area is not available.  Basic lifesaving care can be started by the fire company in a matter of a few minutes--in some cases those minutes can be the difference between life and death for the patient.  

How do I request a tour of a fire station?

You may request a fire station tour for you or your group by contacting the Fire Marshal's Office Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm at 361-485-3460.  Please be aware that tours may be interrupted, delayed,  or cancelled without notice due to emergency calls. 

What if I have a question about my ambulance bill?

Ambulance billing has become a very complex item over the past several years.  Working with Medicare, Medicaid, insurance companies, and self paying customers would require us to employ several people specialized in that area and dedicated to nothing other than billing.  A more efficient and cost effective method is for us to contract with a third party to do all of our billing issues.  We use Emergicon to provide this service. 

Any billing questions should be directed to Emergicon at 877-602-2060.  Their mailing address is:

Emergicon

PO Box 610287

Dallas, Texas  75261-0287

What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my house?

A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. Look for the rating to be at least 2A:10B:C on the label. This extinguisher can be used on any type of fire commonly found in the home. It will often be labeled A-B-C.

Can a fire engine visit my children's school?

To request a station tour or to schedule a fire engine to visit your site, call the Fire Marshal's Office 361-485-3460 Monday through Friday 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.  Please be aware that tours may be interrupted, delayed,  or cancelled without notice due to emergency calls. 

Why does the Fire Department tear open walls, when it seems there is no fire in the room?

Fire can travel unseen in areas that appear to be untouched by the original flames.  Embers can drift through voids and smolder, heat can be transmitted along wiring, metal pipes, or nails and ignite materials inside ceilings or walls.  We would rather cause some additional minor damage to make sure none of those things are happening than to come back to another structure fire that is causing thousands of dollars in damage and putting lives in danger.  

Who do I call if I have problems with bees?

The Victoria Fire Department does not remove bees unless there is imminent danger to a person. If such a situation exists, firefighters destroy the bees and the hives. To have bees removed, look in the Yellow Pages under Beekeepers. 

Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?

Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The Victoria Fire Department thinks pessimistically when they respond to citizens in need of help. In other words, the firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen.

A computer selects the closest unit to respond to an incident. The fire department's philosophy is to get our firefighters there as soon as possible. In preparation for the worse case scenario, an ambulance often is dispatched as well.

There may be multiple fire department vehicles on the scene for what appears to be a "simple" incident. However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is "simple," we can be horribly mistaken. Plus, we respond as fast as we can prepared to encounter the worst. The winner in these situations will always be the citizen who needs help. 

How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?

As explained in the previous answer, sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call.

Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle go "Code 3" (lights and siren) through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going on.