Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Fire Department offer programs and speakers?

Yes, the Fire Prevention Bureau offers a wide range of fire safety programs for preschool-aged children to the elderly.

The programs cover a variety of information, including general fire safety, fire extinguisher training, kitchen fire safety, elderly housing safety, severe weather training and child fire safety.

We will send a speaker to your group meetings or business, along with an engine company if you desire. Our programs are given using a power point projector, VCR, or just a speech if you wish.

We also have a wide variety of handouts and booklets for you to read and take home. Call the Fire Prevention Bureau for further information at 328-4671 and ask for the Public Education Officer.

How can I schedule a fire truck or a firefighter at my function?

If you wish to have an engine company or firefighter attend a group function, please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 328-4671 and ask for the Public Education Officer. Please have a date and time available for scheduling purposes. We also ask that you give at least 48 hours notice.

How can I schedule a tour of the Fire Department?

Call 328-4646. The information needed for scheduling a tour is the date, time you want the tour and how many children and adults will be touring the station.

If a tour is scheduled during the evening or on weekends you need to call 328-4648, which is the Assistant Chief's line, to remind them you have a tour schedule and also to make sure someone is in the station to let you in.

If there is no answer, you should wait a few minutes and call back they probably are out to a fire and will return.

What happens if my child starts a fire?

Consequences can vary widely, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the fire. Many children experience a natural curiosity about fires, however, there are several things we can do to educate the child.

The Council Bluffs Fire Department has a very successful Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention program in which we teach the child about the hazards associated with this type of play.

The program is adjusted to the child's age and curiosity level and during the session we also offer fire safety tips to the parents. If the fire setting activity goes beyond the natural curiosity level, the consequences can vary.

There are several areas under Iowa code which allow a child to be charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies and penalties are determined by the Court.

For more information or answers to specific questions about youthful fire setting, please call the Fire Marshal's office at 328-4671.

Is counseling available if my child is setting fires?

Although the Council Bluffs Fire Department does not offer clinical counseling, they do sponsor a Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention program. Further referrals can be made by the Fire Department if it is deemed necessary.

Why do fire trucks respond when I call for an Ambulance?

The Paramedic Specialist and EMT's who respond in the ambulances are all Firefighters, and the Firefighters on the fire truck are Paramedic Specialist's or EMT's.

We send a Fire truck to insure a timely response and that there are more medically trained personnel on the scene to deal with whatever emergency may present itself.

We often times do not receive complete information from 911 callers so we prepare for the worst case scenario and send at least 5 highly trained personnel to each call.

How can I become a Council Bluffs firefighter?

The road to becoming a Council Bluffs Firefighter is long, but well worth the effort. The first step is to complete and mail the Job Bank Form available at this website under personnel or visit City of Council Bluffs Personnel Department at 209 Pearl Street.

You will be put on a list of prospective applicants. When the City begins the testing process for Firefighter/EMT-Basic or Firefighter/Paramedic Specialist. You will be notified by mail.

A written exam will come next followed by the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). Upon successful completion of these steps, a number of canidates will be invited to interview with current members of the Fire Department.

If chosen from the pool of applicants you will begin your career as a Probationary Fire Candidate. You will then participate in eight to ten weeks of recruit training with the Council Bluffs Fire Department Training Division.

Can women become fire fighters?

YES! Women are welcome to apply for the position of Firefighter/EMT-Basic or Firefighter/Paramedic Specialist. They must complete the same steps in getting hired as their male counterparts including the same physical and mental requirements.

My smoke detector goes off a lot. What is wrong with it?

There are several possible reasons for a smoke detector sounding. It may need to have the battery replaced. This is usually indicated by a periodic single chirp of the detector.

Sometimes, frequent false detector signals are a result of the detector simply being dirty. This can sometimes be corrected by vacuuming the detector or blowing air through it to clear it of dust.

Finally, the detector may simply be placed improperly, usually too close to cooking appliances or dust-producing devices such as a saw. This can be corrected by moving the detector to a different location, sometimes just a few feet away.

Another important point to remember is now manufacturers are recommending that smoke detectors be replaced every ten years.

Who do I talk to about my ambulance bill?

The City of Council Bluffs has decided to outsource the ambulance billing process. The company to contact with questions or insurance information is MediBanc at 800-248-2262 ext 3476. Their courteous staff will be best able to assist you with all billing matters.

Is there an Arson problem in our city?

No, there is not an identifiable arson problem in our city. Although we do have arson fires in Council Bluffs, the incidence of arson is no more apparent here than in other communities of similar size and demographics.

Copyright 2012 City of Council Bluffs, Iowa , All rights reserved.