Hanford Fire Department


Why does a fire engine respond along with an ambulance to medical emergencies?

When dealing with medical emergencies – seconds count. In the City of Hanford, ambulance response times are usually around ten (10) minutes; whereas the Hanford Fire Department response times are usually around five (5) minutes. Therefore, we send both types of crews so the firefighters can provide rapid assessment and basic life support treatment for the patient, and then assist the ambulance crew when they arrive later with advanced life support measures and transporting of the patient. This deployment method is used throughout the Nation as it is still one of the most effective and efficient means to save lives.

Why do Fire Engines use lights and sirens, even at night when there’s no traffic?

Studies show that one of the most dangerous activities for fire departments is getting their vehicles to the emergency incident. The purpose of emergency warning equipment is to let drivers and pedestrians know that an emergency vehicle is on the way to an emergency. If we do not provide reasonable warning, we could be liable for any injury or accident. By state law, we are exempt from certain traffic rules; however, we must still ensure that all traffic is aware of us responding even in the middle of the night. This is balanced with the need to respond quickly to save a life or protect property.

Why do so many fire engines respond to simple incidents?

The Hanford Fire Department must be prepared to deal with the worst-case scenario at any given incident. Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. The closest unit or units respond to an incident. Once the first crew arrives on the scene, they can lower or raise the number of units responding; however, years of data have allowed us to determine the right number of units to send initially to ensure the quickest and safest resolution to the problem at hand.

How come I see fire trucks with full lights and sirens go through a red light at intersections and then, after they go through, they turn off their lights and slow down?

As mentioned in question #2, sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident depending on the type of emergency. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation, and informed the dispatcher that the situation did not need all the responding units. All other responding units are then canceled and put back into service, ready to respond to another call.

 I saw a fire engine at a local grocery store or restaurant. Why do firefighters use fire engines for non-emergency purposes while they are on duty?

To ensure the fastest response at the time of an emergency, our crews must remain within a few hundred feet of the fire engine during their entire shift. Our crews work 24-hour shifts with no scheduled breaks. Meals for firefighters are not provided by the City; therefore, each crew must either purchase their own food or prepare their own meals. Firefighters are allowed to make trips to the grocery store to buy whatever they need to prepare their meals or to a local restaurant. It is also important to note that fire crews are not guaranteed a meal break, so their mealtimes are constantly being interrupted by emergency calls.

 How can I participate in the Fire Department's ride-along program?

The Hanford Fire Department is excited to share our profession with our community. Citizens interested in participating in the Ride-Along Program may call Fire Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us for an application. The application will be reviewed and, if approved, a background check will be initiated. If the background check is clear, the applicant will be contacted to schedule the ride-along. Individuals must be at least 18 years old.

If I represent a civic group such as a church, a club, an association, etc. Is it possible to have someone from the fire department speak at one of our meetings?

The Hanford Fire Department is excited to share our profession with our community. If you are interested in having someone speak at one of your meetings, please call Fire Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us  to make your request.

My smoke detector is making a "chirping" noise. What's wrong with it and how do I know if it is working?

Typically, the chirping noise is caused by a low battery. Replace it immediately. Remember to test your detector once a month by pressing the “test button” found on the smoke detector. Also, remember to change the battery when you change your clock to and from daylight savings time.

 Where can I purchase a fire extinguisher?

Portable fire extinguishers can be purchased at a wide variety of retail stores. Home improvement centers and hardware stores generally carry an adequate selection to choose from.

 Does the Hanford Fire Department service fire extinguishers?

No; however, several private fire protection companies offer this service. They can be found in the phone book or by doing a simple internet search for “fire extinguisher service”.

I own a business and have been told to get a fire extinguisher. How big a fire extinguisher do I need?

There are several types and sizes of extinguishers depending on the hazards within the business. The Hanford Fire Department will be happy to help explain the right solution for your business. Please feel free to contact our Fire Department Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us.

How can I schedule a tour of a fire station?

Contact the Fire Department Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us and we can help you with scheduling.

How do I schedule a fire engine to attend my event (carnival, block party, safety day, etc.)?

Contact the Fire Department Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us and we can help you with scheduling.

 Where do I report tall weeds around houses and vacant lots?

Contact our Fire Department Headquarters at (559) 585-2545 or email us.

 How do I report a leaking fire hydrant?

 Contact our Fire Department Headquarters at (559) 585-2545.

 How much does a fire report cost and how do I get one?

Fire reports cost $10 per copy.  Requests can be made by phone, email, or in person. Please be prepared to provide the date and location of the incident so the report can be found. Reports can be mailed, emailed, or picked up in person. Please contact us at 559-585-2545, email us or visit us at 350 W. Grangeville Blvd for more information.   Fire Investigation Reports must be formally requested through the subpoena process.  Fire Investigation Reports may take longer to obtain. 

How do I become a firefighter?

The City of Hanford recruits for the position of a firefighter as needed. Information regarding the application for a Firefighter position and the job description can be found on the City of Hanford website under the employment tab. Most firefighter candidates have previously obtained some training and have their certifications already completed, usually through a fire technology or fire academy program provided at most local community colleges.  An information sheet on recommendations is available in the “How to Become a Firefighter” document. 

How can I become a Volunteer Firefighter?

Volunteerism is significantly down across the country.  To rebuild our Volunteer Firefighter program, we restructured it to encourage participation, re-engagement in volunteering, and provide a path to future employment in the fire service.  If interested, visit the City of Hanford link below and follow the links to the Volunteer Firefighter information.  Or contact the Hanford Fire Department at 559-585-2545, email us,  or visit us at 350 W. Grangeville Blvd for more information. 

Is it OK to burn on my property? (i.e., portable fire pits or chimneys)?

Outdoor fires are typically only allowed for cooking purposes. The San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District has the most restrictive rules regarding open burning and can levy significant fines for improper burning. The fire department will charge for illegal fires as well. For more information on the rules concerning open burning please refer to the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District website or call the Air Pollution Control District at (559) 230-6000.

 What is a Rapid Entry Box, and should I have one for my commercial business?

The KNOX-BOX® Rapid Entry System was specifically developed for the fire department. With one master key, the fire department can gain access to commercial and residential properties without forcing entry and causing damage. If you are interested in participating in this program, please contact the Hanford Fire Department at (559) 585-2545 or email us for an application.

 Does the City of Hanford allow fireworks?

The City of Hanford allows “Safe and Sane” (California Approved) fireworks. The city has zero tolerance for the use or possession of illegal or dangerous fireworks. Anyone who is in possession of, or using, illegal fireworks will receive an administrative citation in the amount of $1000.00 for the first Offense.  

How do I dispose of household hazardous waste such as paint, paint thinner, pesticides, herbicides, etc.?

Many products found in your home are potentially hazardous substances. Because of their chemical nature, they can poison, corrode, explode, or ignite easily when handled improperly. When discarded, they are considered household hazardous waste. Since they may threaten human health or the environment when inappropriately disposed of, household hazardous wastes are not exempt from California hazardous waste laws. It is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste in the trash, down storm drains, or onto the ground.  

For information on how to dispose of household hazardous waste, please visit our Refuse page.

 What is Hanford Fire Department's ISO rating?

The Insurance Service Office (ISO) provides a fire protection classification or ranking for all fire agencies. The classification is a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best possible rating. The Hanford Fire Department maintains a fire protection class rating of “Class 2”.

Can someone do a Ride-Along?

In the spirit of enhancing community relations, citizens are encouraged to participate in our Ride-Along program. The purpose of the program is to provide first-hand insight into the emergency operations of the department.  The Ride-Along program is a unique opportunity for firefighters and the citizens of Hanford. If you are interested in arranging a Ride-Along call the Hanford Fire Department at 559-585-2545 or email us to obtain details and requirements.

How To Become a Firefighter