Emergencies & Preparedness
- When should I call 911?
Immediately call 911 any time there is an emergency or you feel your safety or health is threatened. If you have a doubt, call 911. For non-emergency questions, call 211.
- How do I get information on an emergency?
Basic information on our current emergency responses is available on Fireline. During major emergencies, special yellow boxes will be posted on the home page with the latest information on the incident and links to related sites. The Information Office works with the various local media sources, TV, radio and print, and other first-responder agencies to keep the public fully informed. Our Incident Information Center phone, 805-388-4276, is available 24 hours a day. For major incidents outside of our area, check Inciweb .
- How do I prepare for an emergency?
Being prepared for emergencies is one of the most important steps you can take to make those around you and your property safe. Check out the Ready-Set-Go Program http://www.vcreadysetgo.org/ , Links section and Preparation.
Throughout the year, we have information posted relative to seasonal hazards. FEMA offers assistance on many types of hazards. Please consider joining a local CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) team and be a part of your community’s emergency preparedness.
- Where do I learn CPR/first aid?
Learning CPR or first aid is an important step anyone can take in being prepared for emergencies. Contact your local hospital to see what training classes they offer to the public. The American Red Cross , or American Heart Association both offer good training resources.
- Why do I have to clear around my house?
Our FHRP (Fire Hazard Reduction Program) is a cooperative effort between the Ventura County Fire Department and the property owners to create and maintain a "defensible space" around structures. This provides a safe area for firefighters to defend the property and offers the best chance of survival when threatened by wildfire. The value of the FHRP program has been proven many times over the years. For requirements on clearing around your house, see Wildland Brush Clearance & Landscaping Guides.
- Where do I go when I have to evacuate because of an emergency?
Having to evacuate during an emergency can be a very frightening experience. The more prepared you are, the safer and more efficient your evacuation will be (see http://www.vcreadysetgo.org/ ) . Law enforcement agencies are responsible for evacuations. They will inform you when, where and how to evacuate when it is needed. See questions 2 and 3 in this section.
- What do I do with my pets in an emergency?
Your pets should be a part of your emergency preparedness plans. Arrangements should be made well ahead of the actual need for evacuation. The County of Ventura Animal Regulation has excellent information on caring for your pets during emergencies.
- How many Fire Stations are there in the Ventura County Fire Dept.?
32 strategically located fire stations serve the cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County. We also have mutual aid agreements with all adjacent fire agencies so the closest available resources will respond to an emergency regardless of jurisdiction. See our Stations for more information.
- Which Fire Station protects my house?
Use the map in the Stations section to determine which fire station is closest to your home. Remember, in an emergency the closest available resource will respond regardless of where it is normally assigned.
- How do you determine who responds to an emergency?
When our FCC (Fire Communications Center) receives a call for help, the type of incident and location are entered into a computer. A computer program determines the type and number of resources needed. GPS devices on our apparatus tell the computer which resources are the closest and they are dispatched. See FCC/Dispatch Center and our Response for more information.
- Can I visit a Fire Station?
The public is always welcome to visit our fire stations. Throughout the year, there are special "open house" activities scheduled. Remember, the firefighters are always subject to being responded to an emergency. See the Community Education Programs section for more information and for scheduling a fire station tour. So when you see firefighters, give us a wave. We are always happy to see you.
- What is a Fire Engine, Fire Truck?
Basically, a "fire engine" carries the hose and pumps the water that firefighters use to extinguish fires. A "fire truck" has a large ladder and numerous other specialized tools used to perform rescues and other tasks that support the firefighters who are attacking the fire. See the Apparatus section for information on all the various vehicles we use to accomplish our mission.
- Why are the fire engines yellow?
Depending on the agency, you will see that fire apparatus come in all kinds of colors. We paint our apparatus "Sunshine Yellow" for safety. Yellow is a much more visible color, especially under low light conditions, than the traditional red. Yellow is also an easier color to maintain and stays looking new longer.
- What do the big numbers on the fire engines mean?
The large numbering serves a number of purposes. The number indicates which fire station that apparatus is assigned to. It is the means by which commanders and other units identify one another when communicating with them, especially at an emergency when there are multiple units involved. There are large numbers on the roofs so they can be identified from the air. The numbers and striping are made from reflective tape making the apparatus more visible at night for safety.
- How do I become a volunteer?
Our Community Service Volunteer program allows the public to use their special skills and talents to be of service to the Ventura County Fire Department and their communities. See the Volunteer page for more information.
- What fire department activities are going on in my area?
We have many ongoing programs and activities. Throughout the year, special activities or events are scheduled. These will be highlighted on this website and may also be featured in the media. See the Community Programs section to view what the Community Education unit is involved in. An Events Calendar is being developed at this time.
- How do I get or trade patches?
Many of our stations and units have designed unique patches that are popular with collectors. We are not able to distribute patches, although the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association does have some of them available. To view the patches within the fire department, see Patches.
- Can a Firefighter speak to our group/class?
We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you. We have many different programs available or have the ability to tailor one to fit your needs. You may schedule a speaker through the Community Education unit.
- How do I install a child safety seat?
The Ventura County Fire Department, along with other agencies, offers installation and operation instruction at locations throughout the county. The real value of a child safety seat can only be realized when it is properly installed and used. See our Child Passenger Safety Fitting Stations section for more information.
- What do I do if my child is curious about fire?
The Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Program seeks to reduce playing with fire through education and determining the child's needs.
- How do I apply for a job?
The Ventura County Fire Department employs over 560 men and women in a variety of exciting jobs. There are also volunteer opportunities available. Visit our Jobs and Volunteer section for more information.
- How can I get an overview of the Ventura County Fire Department?
Our Annual Report gives an overview of our activities and achievements during the previous year. The Backdraft is our quarterly, in-house newsletter.
- What do I need a "Burn Permit" for and how do I get it?
When you have agricultural materials that need to be burned, a "Burn Permit" is required. Only agricultural materials (no trash) from properties zoned for commercial agriculture may be burned on designated "Burn Days". A Burn Permit must be obtained from your closest fire station. The Burn Permit may only be used as per the conditions on the permit.
- What are the fire prevention requirements for my project?
Fire prevention requirements depend on the type of project, if it is allowed and where it is located. You can start by contacting the "Fire Prevention Counter" at 805-389-9738. The Documents section has the basic requirements. You may also want to visit the Venura County One-Stop Permitting website http://onestoppermit.ventura.org/ .
- How do I get a copy of a "Fire Report"?
The Custodian of Records is responsible for compliance with the Public Records Act. Forms for requesting records and reports can be found on the Public Records section. The Custodian of Records can be contacted at 805-383-4718.