54 E. Water Street

Chillicothe, Ohio 45601-2544

Jeff Creed, Fire Chief


We often get questions from the public that relate to our day to day operations and how we do our job. This section will attempt to answer some common questions.


Q I called for a squad. Why did you send a firetruck?

A. We currently operate 2 EMS units on an everyday basis. Our run volume is quite large, so those units are frequently tied up on other calls. When that happens, we try to send a firetruck to assist you until we can either get one of our Squads or another agency's unit to take you to the hospital.

Q. Why did you break the windows out of my house when i had a fire?

A. In order to quickly locate and extinguish a fire, we muct first determine what is burning and where. In order to do that we have to get as much smoke out of the structure as possible. That is accomplished in a couple of ways. We either open or break out any windows that can vent smoke, or we cut a hole in the roof to make a "chimney" of sorts, to vent the smoke and heat. Not only does this allow firefighters to get to the fire, it slows the spread of fire into other uninvolved parts of the structure.

Q. Why did it take so long to get water onto my structure fire?

A. There are several strategic goals that are established prior to a fire call even coming into the fire department. First and foremost is to save lives. Even if we are told that everyone is out, we do a search. Many lives have been lost in fires where people have darted back inside to get something like clothes or a favorite pet. Even if told that everyone is out, we search. With that being said, we are simultaneously stretching a fire hose to cut of the spread from other areas of the structure.

Q. I told the dispatcher that I didn't want you to use lights and sirens. Why did you?

A. We are an emergency service, and in order to do the most good in a timely manner, we have to get there as quickly as possible. Many times we have been told this, only to arrive finding a much more serious and dangerous situation than when it was originally reported, or people that were much more seriously ill than the caller was aware.

Q. Since you all work a 53 hour work week, do you get 26 hours of overtime for each 2 week pay period?

A. The simple answer, is no. Federal Law (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires overtime for all hours over 40 in each week, however firefighters are excluded from this protection until they exceed 53 hours in a work week. The 24 hours on with 48 hours off schedule used by the City of Chillicothe averages out over a year as a 56 hour workweek. In order to get under the overtime threshold for hours in excess of 53 hours in a workweek, firefighters are allowed an extra day off every 8 weeks. This brings the average workweek down to 53 hours and eliminates scheduled overtime. This, coupled with a lower hourly rate of pay than would be paid in a 40 hour week ends up saving the community a substantial amount of money over the traditional 40 hour work schedule..





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