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It remains the mission of the Mayfield Heights Fire Department that the primary goal of every member must be to promote and achieve honorable and dedicated service to the community. If life and property are protected, if destructive fires are prevented, if public security and tranquility is sustained through the efforts of highly motivated firefighters, the mission of the Mayfield Heights Fire Department shall be fulfilled.

The key services provided by the department include emergency medical, fire suppression, fire prevention, public education, and the special operations of technical rescue and hazardous materials.

The fire station is centrally located at 6154 Mayfield Road. Fire Department quarters are part of the overall municipal complex located at the same address. It is a two story building constructed in 2002 with eight fire bays, complete living quarters for firefighters, administrative offices and a large training classroom. The full-time staff is comprised of a Chief, Executive Captain/Fire Marshal, a Fire Prevention Bureau, Administrative Secretary, and three shifts of 11 men each. Each shift has one Captain and at least one Lieutenant. Nine firefighters round out the manpower strength. Dispatch services are handled through the city's communication's center in the Police Department. The Department operates three rescue squads, or ambulances, two pumper fire trucks, one aerial ladder truck, six utility vehicles, and the Hillcrest Mobile Air and Rescue Truck.

In 2012 the Department responded to approximately 3,400 calls for service in a city where the population is almost 20,000 permanent residents and up to 50,000 people who travel through or work in Mayfield Heights. Almost 80% of all calls are medical-related. These, like all reported calls for emergency service, require a safe and rapid response by Fire Department personnel. The primary goal of the emergency medical services is to assure that responding units provide excellent pre-hospital care and transportation to the closest and most appropriate medical facility in order to reduce morbidity and mortality. The Department considers its Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics to be the most experienced and highly trained in the area.

The Mayfield Heights Fire Department takes great pride and strives to achieve minimal fire loss to all calls for service. It remains the Department's primary goal to protect lives and property, while at the same time protecting the economic base of real property that generate the tax dollars that makes our community strong.

Perhaps even more important than fire suppression is preventing fires from starting in the first place. Education of the public, especially children is accomplished through programs in the schools, fire drills, Fire Prevention Week, and safety lectures by Fire Department personnel. The Fire Prevention Bureau also focuses on educating its senior citizens where they work, live, and meet.

The Hillcrest area Mobile Air and Technical Rescue is a specialized group of highly trained personnel from nine area departments including Mayfield Heights. They maintain expertise in the following areas: portable breathing air refill (SCBA), building collapse, swift water, ice, dive, rope, trench, and confined space rescue, along with hazardous materials decontamination.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Why do firefighters break out windows and cut holes in a roof during a fire?

Firefighters ventilate smoke and superheated gases for safety and visibility. This allows firefighters to get inside the building to find and extinguish the fire, thereby reducing property damage. This also reduces the chances of a possible backdraft explosion.

2. Why do firefighters block traffic lanes at motor vehicle accidents, and more lanes than are necessary?

We block traffic lanes for the safety of our personnel and our patients. Blocking extra lanes keep our personnel safe when they go back to the apparatus to get more equipment and help protect the victims we are trying to stabilize.

3. Sometimes I see fire apparatus with lights and siren in operation proceeding through intersections and then after they go through they turn off their lights and slow down?

When several fire units are dispatched to the same incident, the first units that arrive may have assessed or "sized-up" the situation and determined it is under control and/or the Fire Department is no longer needed. All other responding units are subsequently cancelled and returned to service. Therefore, when you see an emergency vehicle proceeding lights and siren through an intersection and then slow down and turn off their lights, they have probably been cancelled from the call they were going on.

4. Why does my water turn brown when firefighters turn on fire hydrants?

The Department inspects fire hydrants for proper operation at least once every year. We turn the fire hydrants on to make sure they operate properly. The hydrants are turned on slowly so as not to stir up the sediment that is in the pipes, but at times the sediment does get stirred up and the water coming out of your faucet can be brown in color. Simply let the water run for several minutes and it will eventually clear.

5. Why do firefighters shop at the local grocery stores?

Firefighters are like everyone else. We need to eat. We work 24-hour shifts and must supply our own food. We combine our own money to purchase food for our meals.

6. Why are smoke detectors so important?

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 3,000 people died from fires in 2008 with 84 percent of fatal fires happening in homes and other dwellings. Unless you see a fire start, you can only find out there is a fire if you're awake to smell the smoke. If you happen to be asleep, a smoke detector is probably the only way to save your life and the lives of everyone sleeping in your home. Smoke detectors are intended to sound an alarm when they sense smoke. Smoke rises so place the detectors near the celling or directly onto the ceiling. Make sure there is a smoke detector on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for installation of smoke detectors.

Bruce Elliott
Chief of Fire