Frequently Asked Questions

Can I tour a fire station?

Yes, please call our Community Outreach Specialist and arrange a tour: 410-313-6000.

Why do you send so many vehicles to a fire, even if it is a small fire?

Firefighters have specialized roles for each fire call. It is necessary to have enough firefighters on scene to cover all aspects of an evolving incident.

How often should I change batteries in my smoke alarms?

A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms every 6 months. Remember to change your clock, change your batteries.

Why do firefighters and paramedics go to the grocery store while on shift?

Firefighters and paramedics work a 24-hour shift here in Howard County beginning at 7am each day. The company an individual firefighter is assigned to becomes a surrogate family. They eat together, train together, work together, make split second decisions together, and learn from each other. Recognized as one of the most stressful careers, sitting down to enjoy a meal at the kitchen table generates a lot of laughter and great conversations.

In order to have these meals while on shift, they are required to purchase food using personal money. Typically, the group will pool their money together for the day’s two meals. Also, grocery shopping is limited to one unit at a time and they must shop at a store that’s located in their first due area.

So why take a truck to the store? Firefighters and paramedics must be available to respond to 911 calls while they’re buying groceries. Their meals don’t come before you!

How do I request a recreational burn permit?

By contacting the Office of the Fire Marshal. Fill out the online form here.

How can I join the department?

Applications are now closed for Trainee Class 29. Please check back often for updates and more information on the next class.

Why should I learn CPR and AED use?

According to the American Heart Association, 70% of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 88% of cardiac arrests occur. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.

How many fire stations are there in Howard County?

There are currently twelve stations in Howard County. 

Where can I find a list of AEDs?

Sign up for the PulsePoint app for a list of AEDs in Howard County.

How can I obtain a patch or sticker?

Due to Homeland Security constraints, we can no longer send patches or stickers. Thank you for understanding.

I'm having a recreational fire, what is permitted?

Please read this PDF and contact our Office of the Fire Marshal for further information: 410-313-6040.