05/26/12 265 W - + 5 - 4 Fire Station Information on Web Pages

You know what would be great? If every fire department listed their fire station locations on a single web page, with street addresses and the year opened or built. Just a single, simple, flat list. Easy to read, easy to print. Plus bonus points if they include companies or apparatus, locations of prior locations, and/or which direction the building faces. (The last one's great for buffs or media, both of whom might take pictures or film in front of the station.)

The above was a Facebook status update this week. It prompted a couple comments on fire station phone numbers. Didn't mention phone numbers, as that's its own kettle of fish. But let's the blog audience. Good or bad, making fire station phone numbers public?

Arguments against include (a.) people might call there instead of 911 to report a fire and (b.) reporters will call in the middle of night for details about fires on the other side of the city or county. Arguments for include (a.) easier for community members to contact their neighborhood fire station, (b.) people with forethought will call the station instead of 911 to ask about checking their smoke detectors.

I've observed both. Some cities (and big cities) list all their station addresses and phone numbers right along side. Maybe the crews hate it? Maybe they love it? And I've seen the opposite, where you can't find but a single phone number for an entire fire department. (What other angles am I missing here? Homeland security concerns? Traditions of secrecy or withholding? You tell me...)

As a member of a dept with our number avail through information and in the phone book, I can say it increases phone activity a little bit. We do receive calls that should have been directed to 911, of course at that point we direct them there. They are not numerous thou. We receive them from Raleigh and Durham. Much of the time they are simply looking for general information or help with a smoke detector. I think it would be much easier for the public to have access to said list. However the larger problem is most of the public really doesn’t know which fire dept services them. Even after explaining we aren’t their fire dept, they still want us to come right over. They may just continue to call the first number on the list.
Doppler - 05/27/12 - 01:28

Per ISO you should have your fire departments number posted in your local phone book in at least 2 sections a)Under the stations actual name and b)under the listing of “Fire Department”. You are supposed to list them with the 911 number and a non-emergency number.
John Maynard (Email) - 05/27/12 - 16:58

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