Frequently Asked Questions
- If I have an emergency, who should I call ?
Effective June 17, 1998 Luzerne County implemented the “911” system. To report an emergency, even on a cellular phone, just dial 911. Be prepared to give the dispatcher necessary information, such as phone number, type of emergency, etc.
- What should I do when weather related damage happens?
Recently, firefighting resources have been taxed responding to storm incidents. The public should be aware that events such as telephone or cable wires down, sparking electric transformers and other similar incidents should be reported ONLY to the public utility who controls them. Firefighters do not handle PPL issues or handle any downed power lines. When calling PPL, have a location and/or a pole number that is close to the problem. PPL will then dispatch an emergency team to handle the situation.
Trees that are “leaning” on power lines or telephone wires should also be reported to the public utility, as we do not remove them.
We encourage everyone to contact their public utilities and encourage them to have an aggressive transmission line maintenance plan. This will help keep trees and limbs away from the lines and ensure that you have power, cable and telephone service in a storm. Over the past several years we have seen a decline in this program and have subsequently seen a drastic increase in these types of calls.
- What is the most common mistake ?
The most common mistake people make is by telling the dispatcher that they live in “White Haven” or “Freeland” when they actually live in Foster Township. The person making the call should specify that they have an emergency in Foster Township. We have had several emergencies when crucial minutes have been wasted by this mistake. Also, please make sure that your Alarm Company knows that you live in Foster Township.
Remember Foster Township !
- Is “911” all I need to get help quick?
No, in order to provide the quickest response possible, you must make sure that your house is numbered or marked very clearly. The best way to see if your house is properly marked, without turning any outside lights on, drive your car in front of your house and see if you can see the number! If you can’t you should make corrections. You can also make sure that your driveways are cut at least 12 feet across, so that apparatus can get in your driveway.
- How are you dispatched ?
The Fearnots Volunteer Fire Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are dispatched through the Luzerne County 911 Center, located in Hanover Township, Pa. We use Motorola Minitor pagers which receive a tone and voice message and by use of a smartphone app called Active911. The dispatch frequency is on Luzerne County Fire/EMS Dispatch – 157.4500.
- How are additional alarms determined?
The alarm system currently in place is based upon past experience and a detailed inspection of the area. These alarms have been designed to provide the quickest response with the needed equipment. They also take into consideration the fact that the possibility exists for limited manpower and equipment in the event of a daytime event. When a fire company officer responds to a particular emergency, he uses the alarms to summon neighboring fire departments to assist.