Inside Irmo Fire District

Irmo Fire District FAQ’s

Why does a fire truck come when you call for an ambulance?

If an ambulance takes somebody to the hospital, it will be at the hospital for a while so the EMT’s and the Paramedics can help transfer care to the doctor and restock the ambulance with supplies that were used. Also, if the injury or situation is not life threatening, the patient may request to go to a hospital that is several miles away. In cases of minor injuries, a fire truck may be closer. If you call 911, rest assured that a well-trained first responder is on the way. Irmo Firefighters can stabilize the patient and report the patient’s disposition to EMS while they are driving in.


In cases of life threatening injuries or illness, manpower is a must. Irmo Firefighters are fully trained treating traumatic injuries as well as defibrillator usage and emergency airway establishment.


Our response time from dispatch to arrival is usually under seven minutes. Time is critical for every medical call. Our fire stations are strategically and centrally located so response time is at a minimum.

What if there is a fire in the area and I have a fire or medical emergency?

We have automatic aid agreements with every fire department in the area. If you need a firetruck or an ambulance, feel assured that somebody will be there very quickly.

Why does a firetruck with a bunch of firefighters come when I just need an inspection or help with my smoke alarms?

We just don’t hang around the station playing Xbox waiting for alarms to sound.

Area familiarization is key. If you own a business, is it not advantageous to have a fire crew familiar with your business? This way we can make informed decisions if we ever have to come out in an emergency.


If you are a small business or homeowner, we want to interact with you at a time when there is no emergency. We would like to see if you have any concerns with fire safety in your home. We will also quiz your children to see if they know exactly what to do if there is a fire in your home. We have business and home fire prevention programs

I had a fire at my home. Why did the firefighters cut a hole in my roof, break windows, and poked holes in my ceiling and wall?

Homes today are sealed up tight. There is a great deal of heat and poisonous smoke that accumulates in a home during a fire, even a small fire.


Heat and smoke rise, and then bank down to the floor. If the smoke is thick enough, even the smoke can catch on fire. It is very important to let out the heat and smoke so we can find people, pets, and the seat of the fire.


Fire hides in walls and void spaces due to construction. We have to make sure the fire is completely out.

Why do you block lanes of traffic at car accidents, even if you don’t really need to?

We block traffic so we can have room to work safely. Firefighters get hit by cars quite frequently. Over 25 firefighters are killed or injured every year while working at car accidents. Please don’t stop to look at accidents. Keep your eyes on the road and keep moving.

I drove over a firehose and got a very expensive ticket. What is the big deal?

It is almost like pinching off an IV line or oxygen line for a sick person. Water is what keeps us safe. Please be patient, we don’t block off the road on purpose. A broken fire hose can dent cars and kill or injure people.

The fire hydrant in my yard is ugly. Why can’t I grow some bushes around it?

If your house catches on fire, don’t you want us to get water very quickly? Fire hydrants must have a three foot clear radius.

Will you get my cat and drone out of a tree?

When firefighters arrive to get a cat out of a tree, the cat runs higher in the tree. Many firefighters have fallen out of trees while trying to rescue cats. When the cat gets hungry, they always, ALWAYS come down.


The directions to your drone state you should not fly around trees.

How can I schedule a fire drill for my business or home?
How many smoke alarms do I need in my house?

A one story, three bedroom home needs at least four smoke alarms. One in each bedroom and one outside each sleeping area.

Do I need a Carbon Monoxide alarm if I don’t have gas to my home?

If you have gas logs, propane heat, or an attached garage-YES ! One on each floor of your home.

I am handicapped and I can’t install alarms in my home. Who can I call?

The Irmo Fire District has a program to help those in need. Please call if you are handicapped so we can install some alarms for you.

But I am hard of hearing. I’m afraid the alarms won’t wake me up at night. What should I do?

We have special smoke alarms for qualifying residents. They shake the bed if the alarm activates!

What if something happens in the middle of the night? Do I have to wait for volunteers to show up to my home?

Volunteer firefighters are extremely valuable in fire departments nationwide. The Irmo Fire District is manned by full time firefighters, 24 hours a day including all holidays

Why did I see a firetruck and it’s firefighters at the grocery store? Isn’t that a waste of taxpayer money?

We never take a ride to the grocery store. It IS a waste of taxpayer money. We work 24 hour shifts and once in a while, we may need toiletries or food. We are only allowed to do this on the way back from a call. If we don’t have a call to come back from, we don’t go to the store.

So if you are not playing checkers in between calls, what do you do all day?

We ran over 5,000 calls last year between only three stations. There is not much time to do anything else. BUT, we have spare time once in a while. In this time, we train and practice. A well trained firefighter is a safe firefighter as well as an injury free firefighter. In addition, the more training we complete, the better rates you get on your homeowners insurance. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance company knows we are a ISO 2 rated fire department.

Exactly, what am I supposed to do if an emergency vehicle is coming toward me or up from behind while driving?

This was on your driver’s license test. Please slow down or stop while safely moving to the right. Please don’t go into the emergency lane, which is OUR lane. Please don’t go into the turning lane, we may have to use it. Please don’t try to anticipate where we are going to go and move to a different lane. We may meet in a very undesirable fashion.

I changed the batteries in my smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and they still chirp once in a while. What should I do?

Throw them away and get new ones. Smoke alarms expire after ten years and carbon monoxide alarms expire after seven years.

But when I push the test buttons on my alarm they still beep. So they are okay even though they are very old, right?

Wrong! That tells us it is getting electricity. The sensors go bad. Don’t mess around with old alarms.

How often should I replace the batteries in my alarms?

Every six months unless you have the new 10 year battery smoke alarms. We use daylight savings time as a benchmark.

Can the Irmo Fire Department fill my fire extinguishers?

You DO have a fire extinguisher in your house don’t you? We do not service fire extinguishers. Business can get theirs serviced every year because they have several or many. But homeowners should by a new one every year. If you don’t know how to use it, call us.

Can I burn trash or other items in my yard?

This is a big no-no in our area. Yard debris only. Please refer to our website for all of the rules. You MUST HAVE a burn permit available at our stations.

Well what about a fire pit or outdoor fire place in my yard?

Please refer to our burn permit on line.

Can I ride along one day with the fire department?

You must be involved in some sort of public safety program to ride on the trucks. Our insurance does not cover people who just want to ride.

How much will the fire department charge me if they have to come to my house for a fire or false alarm

Nothing! That is what your tax dollars go for. If you have multiple false alarms, we will have a chat to see if we can fix the problem.

Does the fire department teach lifeguard or CPR classes?

No, please visit the American Red Cross.


What can we do for you? If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the fire department at any time. We are fully manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Please bring your children by for a tour. Weekends are best.

Have Additional Questions?

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