Coeur d'Alene Fire Department
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. Do you have a volunteer firefighter program?
A. No. The CDA fire department is a 100% paid professional department.
Q. How many paid staff does the department have?
A. 48 line firefighters/officers, 1 fire chief, 3 deputy chiefs, 2 fire inspecters
and 3 administrative staff.
Q. How do I become a CDA firefighter?
A. Refer to the employment section of our web site.
Q. What kind of shift schedule do your line personnel work?
A. We work 24 hr shifts on one of three platoons. We average 10 shifts per month
or a 56 hr work week. Our schedule is commonly referred to as a modified Detroit.
Q. Is an Emergency Medical Technician certification required?
A. Yes, State of Idaho EMT Certification License is required as a condition of employment, but is not required at the time of application. Applicant will have 30 days from date of hire to obtain and provide proof of Idaho State Certification.
Q. Can I come visit the CDA fire department?
A. Yes. We highly encourage everyone to come and visit.
Station tours can be scheduled by calling 208-769-2340
or e-mailing your request by clicking here.
Q. I'm locked out of my car. Can the Fire Department help?
A. No. Unless there is a child or animal locked inside.
Q. What do I do with unwanted old household hazardous waste?
A. Call Kootenai County Landfill at 208-446-1430.
Q. How do I get a copy of a fire investigation report?
A. Call Fire Departments Prevention Bureau at 208-769-2245.
Q. How do I get a burn permit?
A. Call the Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau at 208-769-2340.
You can view a yard waste burn permits by clicking here.
Q. Where can I go to get my blood pressure checked?
A. Any fire station in the City.
Q. Why is a fire engine sent when I call an ambulance?
A. Coeur d'Alene has three ambulances and three fire stations covering about 14.90 square miles. Since most of our full-time firefighters are cross-trained as emergency medical technicians (basic, intermediate & paramedics), we can also provide emergency medical services on our fire engines. In order for us to respond in four to six minutes, we send a fire truck and an ambulance on serious calls and when the ambulance response will be longer than six minutes. This way, we get an EMT to you fast, quickly followed by the ambulance.
Q. What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my house?
A. A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. Look for the rating to be at least 2A:10B:C on the label. This extinguisher can be used on any type of fire commonly found in the home. It will often be labeled A-B-C.
Q. Why does the Fire Department break windows or cut holes in the roof during a fire, it seems they are causing more damage?
A. As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof acts like a chimney and allows fresh air to fill the building. This action alone can save a tremendous amount of property. It cuts down on the smoke damage and makes conditions more favorable for firefighters to enter the building.
Q. Why does the Fire Department tear open walls, when it seems there is no fire in the room?
A. Fire often travels up, inside walls undetected for a long time. Fires that are left undetected can re-ignite several hours later and cause extensive damage. Coeur d'Alene has thermal-imaging cameras that allow firefighters to see heat via infrared technology, helping to reduce the need to always cut holes.
Q. Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?
A. The Coeur d Alene Fire Department needs a minimum of 15 to 18 firefighters on scene for any report of a structure fire to meet many of the standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Our minimum response to a fire includes: two engines (pumpers); one ladder (aerial) truck; two ambulances; one medic rig, two mutal aid engines and a Chief officer. It may seem like the Calvary but it's the necessary response.
Q. How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?
A. Sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call. Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle go with lights and siren through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going on.
Q. What should I do when a fire truck or ambulance pulls up behind me when I am stopped at a red light or a stop sign?
A. Never pull into oncoming traffic or into an intersection. While we recommend you pull to the right to make way for emergency vehicles, we also caution you to never pull into traffic to avoid a fire truck or ambulance. Stay calm, play it safe and wait until you can safely get out of the way.
Q. Why are the firefighters at the grocery store?
A. Our full-time firefighters work 24 hour shifts, which means they eat lunch and dinner at the firehouse. To do so, they may need to stop at the store to purchase groceries. Rather than sending one person and reducing the engine staffing, the entire crew goes together so, if needed, they can respond to 911 calls immediately.
Q. Does CDAFD accept donations of toys or stuffed animals?
A. No, at this time CDAFD does not accept donations of any toys or stuffed animals. While we appreciate the offer, we are not currently in need of these items. Please contact the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.
Q. My smoke alarm is beeping, what should I do?
A. Most battery powered smoke detectors will chirp sporadically when the battery is weak. We recommend that you change the batteries once a year, perhaps a significant day such as your birthday, or when you change your clocks in the spring or fall. Also, vacuum the detector once or twice a year to remove any dust or cobwebs. This will cut down on false alarms. Remember to always test battery powered detectors after a vacation or having been away from home for more than a week. The battery may have gone dead and you may have missed its warning alarm.
If a smoke detector is sounding, there is a reason! Never ignore the sound of a smoke detector! You and your family must be able to escape quickly and safely.