Frequently Asked Questions

When I call for an ambulance, why do I sometimes see an ambulance from another town?

DeForest Windsor Fire and EMS has mutual aid agreements with many neighboring towns so that calls are handled expeditiously. It is not unusual for two or three calls for an ambulance to come in at the same time. If all of DWFD’s ambulances are busy, the next closest ambulance will be dispatched. We also rely on neighboring EMS providers licensed at the Paramedic level to provide ALS (Advanced Life Support) level care.  You may see ambulances and equipment from Sun Prairie, Waunakee, City of Madison, etc.. The mutual aid agreements work both ways, so DWFD ambulances and fire trucks can be dispatched to the other municipalities.

What should I do when I see an emergency vehicle approaching with lights and sirens while I am driving?

State law dictates that vehicles yield to emergency vehicles that are operating their emergency lights and siren. Emergency vehicle drivers are taught to pass on the left whenever possible when responding in an emergency mode. When it is safe, slow down, pull over to the right, and stop. Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching. Do not tailgate, “draft”, or follow a responding apparatus closely. Not only is this illegal, but you also run the risk of collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by. Please see our emergency vehicle questions and answers page for more information.

Emergency Vehicle Q&A

When I call an ambulance, why does a fire engine or law enforcement officer sometimes come as well?

All firefighters are trained to assist ambulance personnel with lifting or carrying equipment and patients. Law enforcement officers are also available to assist ambulance personnel with caring for the patient or making sure the scene is safe for our personnel to enter.

How does the strength of fire protection in the community affect property owners’ insurance policy premiums?

Part of the premium is determined by the strength of the fire protection provided to the property by the fire department. The quality of fire protection for a given area is determined by an organization sponsored by the insurance industry. This organization is known as the Insurance Services Office (ISO). ISO grades fire protection for an area on a 1 to10 grading system (1 being the best). The DeForest Windsor Fire and EMS Department has an ISO Class 4 rating.

Why do I see fire trucks or ambulances driving with their lights and sirens on and then turn them off? Are they just in a hurry to go somewhere?

Emergency lights and sirens are used when the information received from 9-1-1 dispatch deems it necessary. Apparatus responding to calls are sometimes canceled, or the first arriving unit determines that the call is not an emergency and tells other units to respond in a non-emergency mode, or to return to their station.

The alarm on my carbon monoxide detector just went off, what do I do?

Check the unit and batteries for proper functioning. An explanation of what a “beep” means is usually on the label.  If everything appears to be working properly, contact the fire department immediately. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas, and over exposure can result in death. You should test your carbon monoxide alarms along with your smoke alarms every month.

Why do firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs when the fire is inside a building?

It may appear that by breaking windows or cutting holes in roofs cause more damage than the actual fire. However, internal building fires create a lot of heat and smoke and firefighters must remove the heat and smoke before they can get close enough to put out the fire. Heat and smoke rise, so cutting a hole in the roof and breaking out windows in planned locations force smoke to vent upwards, allowing cool air to enter the building from below. This is called “ventilation”. This also improves visibility and lowers heat conditions for the firefighters inside, allowing them to quickly and safely extinguish the fire. Heat and smoke can cause extensive damage; ventilation will actually reduce overall damage to a building and contents.

I need to take a CPR course, does the DeForest Windsor Fire and EMS Department teach courses?

Yes, we offer American Heart Association CPR and First Aid courses. Please see our CPR & First Aid Page for information on scheduling a class.

Can I schedule a fire engine presentation or station tour?

Yes, please see our Fire Prevention Page for information on scheduling a presentation or tour.

I am a resident of DeForest, am I allowed to have a fire pit?

Fire Pit Rules