Frequently Asked Questions
Do you help install United States flags?
Time permitting, we will assist businesses located in the City with the installation of United States or West Virginia state flags. Contact the Fire Chief’s office at 304-424-8470.
Can I burn trash?
No, the burning of refuse or building materials is not permitted. Residents are permitted to burn vegetation only. Please refer to the website section under Frequently Asked Questions related to burning permits.
Why did that firetruck go through a red light and then turn their lights and siren off?
Fire trucks are dispatched by the 9-1-1 center via two-way radio. If the fire department is dispatched to a fire alarm or other event, the first arriving units may cancel incoming trucks if they feel they are no longer needed.
Where can I get fire safety tips?
Fire safety and other general safety information is available on our website. If you have a question about anything not listed, please contact the Fire Chief’s office at 304-424-8470.
How many people work for the Fire Department?
The Fire Department employs 57 career firefighters
Why do I see fire fighters playing basketball or exercising?
Firefighting is a physically challenging profession that requires a high level of physical and mental readiness. The nature of the occupation demands a great deal of physical strength and stamina. To insure the safety of our operational personnel and the well-being of our residents and visitors we serve, our crews are required to perform physical fitness activity while on duty.
I saw a  fire truck at a local grocery store , and some of the firefighters were inside shopping for food. Why do firefighters use fire trucks for non-emergency purposes while they are on duty?
To ensure the most effective service at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain in their designated response territory with their fire trucks during their entire shift. Our crews work 24-hour shifts with no scheduled breaks, and meals are not provided by the City. Personnel on each shift must purchase their own food and prepare their own meals, so they usually make a daily trip to the grocery store within their territories to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals for the entire shift.
Fire crews do not have to be sitting in the fire station to be dispatched to a call. Since all units maintain constant radio contact with the 9-1-1 center and the entire crew must always be together with their truck, they are always ready to respond to any emergency, regardless of their current location assignment.
Why does a fire engine come when I only requested an ambulance?
In the event that the ambulance services are unusually busy or their truck is out of zone, a fire truck will be dispatched to an incident because it is the closest emergency unit to the scene and we are committed to getting help to your location as fast as possible. The City has six fire stations spaced strategically around the City. Firefighters are trained to provide basic emergency medical treatment. Firefighters respond to calls involving life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pains, and severe bleeding. They initiate treatment to stabilize patients and provide information to the ambulance en route to the call so they will be aware of any additional advanced life support equipment that will be needed on the scene.
Why do you send so many fire vehicles to a fire, especially a small fire?
There are a number of specialized roles that firefighters undertake on a fire call, and it is necessary to have enough firefighters on the scene of an incident. Firefighting is a very labor intensive activity. Having enough firefighters on scene allows us to extinguish the fire quickly and provide for the safety of the other firefighters.
How do I arrange to tour a fire station?
Call the Fire Chief’s office at 304-424-8470. We suggest contacting us 30 days prior to desired tour date.  We will put you in contact with the closest fire station for your tour.
How can I get a copy of a fire incident report?
You can arrange to receive an incident report by calling the Fire Chief’s office at 304-424-8470.
How can I get a smoke detector from the Fire Department? Will you change the batteries?
The Parkersburg Fire Department receives a limited number of smoke alarms for distribution to City residents who meet household income limitations. If you have a question or concern regarding installation of your own smoke alarm or batteries, please contact Fire Station 1 at 304-424-8471.
Where can I go to have my child safety seat inspected or installed?

The fire department does have a child safety seat installation and inspection program.
Please contact the Fire Chief’s office at 304-424-8470 to confirm that a certified Fireman is on duty.