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Fire Department Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you send a fire engine when I called for an ambulance?
All Concord Fire Department members are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). During a medical emergency minutes, in fact seconds, count! The response of the closest fire engine to your emergency brings trained firefighter/EMT's to your home or office within minutes. Emergency life saving equipment such as oxygen, semi-automatic defibrillator and other medical equipment are carried on the fire engine for use by these trained firefighters. Additional staff on a fire engine also provide supervision and it is necessary to have additional trained personnel to assist in moving stretchers through buildings, carrying patients down stairways or when slippery conditions are encountered; this helps to reduce back injuries to personnel handling unwieldy stretchers and heavy patients. It is also necessary to have more than two people perform certain treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation while moving a patient. At traffic accidents, the fire engine personnel extricating the person from the wreckage and keep the area safe if there are fuel spills, fire or other hazards present.

I'm selling or refinancing my house; how do I have my smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inspected?
Print and fill out the form below with the location of the property, owner of the property and signature. Call the fire prevention office at 978-318-3451 to make an appointment for your inspection. Tell the fire prevention office that you have an application.  See the fee schedule below for the cost. The certificate is good for 60 days. You must bring the signed certificate to the closing.

Where do my smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be installed?
Here is a useful guide:

Why is the Maltese Cross the symbol for the fire service?
The insignia of the fire service is the Cross Pattee-Nowy, otherwise known as the Maltese Cross. The cross represents the fire service ideals of saving lives and extinguishing fires.
The fire service borrows the emblem of the cross from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers), a charitable, non-military, organization that existed during the 11th and 12th centuries that helped the sick and poor in setting up hospices and hospitals. Later, they assisted the Knights of the Crusades through their goodwill and also through military assistance in an effort to the Island of Malta, the island for which the Maltese Cross was named.
The need for an identifiable emblem for the knights had become crucial. Due to the extensive armor which covered their entire bodies and faces, the knights were unable to distinguish friend from foe in battle. They chose the cross of Calvary as their symbol, since they fought their battles as a holy cause. The cross was later called the "Maltese Cross" and represented the principles of charity, loyalty, chivalry, gallantry, generosity to friend and foe, protection of the weak and dexterity in service.
During the Crusades, many knights became fire fighters out of necessity. Their enemies had resorted to throwing glass bombs containing naptha and sailing their war vessels containing naptha, rosin, sulfur, and flaming oil into the vessels of the knights. Many knights were called to perform heroic deeds by rescuing fellow knights and extinguishing fires. In acknowledgement of these feats, the cross worn by these knights was decorated and inscribed. This was considered a most honorable acclaim.

Why are Dalmatians considered firehouse dogs?
Dalmatians have shared the barns and the hunt courses with horses for centuries. When fire-apparatus was horse-drawn, nearly every firehouse had its resident Dalmatian to help direct the horses, keep the horses company and guard the firehouse. The horses are gone from fire stations today, but the Dalmatians aren't! Firehouse dogs nearly always were called "Sparky" so Sparky was the obvious name for NFPA's fire prevention symbol.

Frequently Asked Firsts

First Volunteer Fire Company in America
In 1736 in Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin Franklin formed the first volunteer fire company, called the Union Fire Company. Franklin served on it as America's first volunteer fire chief.
First Paid Fire Department in America
A large fire in Boston in 1679, led to the organization of the first paid fire department in North America, if not the world. Boston selectman imported a fire engine from England and employed a fire chief, Thomas Atkins, and 12 fire fighters to operate it.
First Firehouse Pole
David B. Kenyon, Captain of Engine Company No. 21 of the Chicago Fire Department, was the inventor of the sliding pole in 1878. Information from: A Synoptical History of the Chicago Fire Department... , published by the Benevolent Association of the Paid Fire Department of Chicago, Chicago, 1908.
First Automatic Sprinkler
The idea of automatic sprinkler protection dates back to about 1860. The first automatic sprinkler system patented in the United States was developed by Philip W. Pratt in 1872 in Abington, MA. From 1852 to 1885, perforated pipe systems were used extensively in textile mills throughout New England, and from 1874 to 1878 Henry S. Parmalee of New Haven, Connecticut, continued design improvements on his invention: the first practical automatic sprinkler head.
First Fire Alarm Telegraph
The fire alarm telegraph was invented by William F. Channing of Boston, MA, and Moses G. Farmer of Salem, MA, in 1847. After many attempts, Channing was successful in getting the city of Boston to agree to test the device. Channing, working with Farmer, tested the system, solved the problems, and installed the first municipal fire alarm system using a telegraph in Boston, MA, in 1882.     

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