Frequently Asked Questions
Why don't I see fire station phone numbers listed in the phone book or on the Web site?
The Escondido Fire Department does not publish individual fire station phone numbers as a matter of security and in order to comply with outside agency regulations.
In an emergency, calling 9-1-1 ensures the fastest response by the closest and most appropriate available unit. For further information, to schedule a station tour, or to speak with a specific fire department employee based at a fire station, call Fire Department Administration at 760 839-5400 during regular business hours.
I've heard of "Child Locator Decals" that can be placed on the windows of my home. Is this a good idea?
Escondido Fire Department does NOT recommend that "child" or "invalid" locator decals be placed on home windows for several reasons.
- The average family moves often - on average about once every five years. Each time a house changes hands, room use can also change. Even a single family will switch rooms with time, making the decal meaningless or worse, misleading.
- Even within a short time period, children sleep in rooms other than their own, leave their room when frightened, or spend the night away. Therefore, they will often not be in the room marked with a decal.
- Most importantly, a decal can also be an invitation to a burglar - or worse - to enter through that window because the occupant of that room would present less of a threat.
Keep in mind that rescuing people is a priority for all firefighters. They are trained to make a thorough and systematic search for anyone inside a burning building as soon as they arrive. Spending valuable time looking for windows marked with decals, with no assurance anyone would be in that room, could delay help to anyone still left inside. Firefighters could also be subject to additional risks in entering a building at a marked window rather than following standard search and rescue procedures.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your family in the event of a fire in your house is to:
- Be sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
- Prepare and practice a family fire escape plan.
- If your home does not already have them, consider installing residential fire sprinklers and make certain your next home has them already installed.
Of course, preventing a fire from occurring in the first place is the best way to save lives!
How can I get a job as an Escondido Firefighter?
The Escondido Fire Department hires Paramedic (Non-Safety) personnel and promotes personnel from within. For more information, see Employment.
Does the Escondido Fire Department have an Explorer Program?
Yes, applications may be obtained at Fire Administration Offices located on the third floor of the Police and Fire Headquarters at 1163 North Centre City Parkway. For more information, see Explorers.
I'm retired and would like to volunteer with the Escondido Fire Department. Are there any opportunities to do so?
Yes, the Escondido Fire Department has a Support Volunteer Program for men and women age 55 or older. For more information, see Support Volunteer Program.
I want to be able to help my community in a disaster. What should I do?
You can join Escondido's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to learn how to prepare yourself, your family, and your neighborhood to be self-sufficient during a disaster and to help others who may need it afterward. CERT volunteers receive training in a wide variety of skills and ongoing training to help them make a difference in our community. For more information, go to our CERT page or call Jeff Murdock, Emergency Preparedness Manager, at 760-839-5406.
How do I arrange a fire station tour or have someone come speak to our group?
Where can I get fire extinguishers refilled?
The Escondido Fire Department does not service or refill fire extinguishers. You will need to contact a 3rd party that can be found via an internet search.
How can I safely dispose of hazardous materials?
City of Escondido residents may use the new Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility located in Escondido and operated by Escondido Disposal. The facility is open two Saturdays per month and appointments are required.
For more information, see Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facilities.
Will I be billed for paramedic services and how do you justify your base rates?
The Escondido Fire Department charges for paramedic service and for some other services.
The Escondido Fire Department charges base rates for all patients treated and transported or, in certain circumstances, when the patient is treated but not transported. There are two levels of base rates: advanced life support (ALS) and basic life support (BLS). The determining factor as to what base rate is charged is based on the level of medical care provided. If the patient only requires basic life support procedures and supplies, then the BLS base rate is charged. If the patient requires any advanced life support procedures and supplies, then the ALS base rate is charged. The base rate becomes effective upon the response of the ambulance. This serves as a minimum charge to support the Department's fixed expenses. The base rate charge is structured to fit the type and level of services delivered to the patient.
In addition to the base rate, there are other charges for actual services rendered including supplies, linen, mileage, documentation, etc.
The City of Escondido contracts with Wittman Enterprises for paramedic transport services. For billing questions, please contact Wittman at 800-906-6552.
Where can I file complaints about abandoned cars and property maintenance violations?
The City of Escondido Code Enforcement Department handles complaints regarding abandoned furniture, appliances, etc., on private property, housing code violations, abandoned cars on private property, and general property maintenance violations. The best way to report concerns in the city is to use the Report It smartphone app or the Report It webpage. You can also contact Escondido Code Enforcement Department at 760-839-4650.
Where can I report a leaking fire hydrant?
To report a leaking or otherwise defective fire hydrant or other problems with city-owned property, contact The City of Escondido Public Works Department at 760-839-4668.
Where can I report abandoned vehicles parked in fire lanes or on public streets?
To report a car abandoned on a public street or parked in a fire lane, contact the Traffic Division of the Escondido Police Department at 760-839-4721.
How can I report fire hazards?
To report hazardous weed and/or rubbish conditions within the city of Escondido or the Rincon del Diablo Fire Protection District, or if you have questions about your own property, contact the Escondido Fire Department Weed Abatement Officer at 760-839-6230, or go to our Weed Abatement page to obtain a Weed Abatement Complaint Form.
Other fire hazards, including hazards in the workplace, hazardous waste, and fire lane violations, must be filed in writing on an Escondido Fire Department "Fire Hazard Complaint" Form. All information pertaining to complaints is handled in a confidential manner. A Fire Hazard Complaint Form may be requested by calling 760-839-5400.
How can I file a complaint about Escondido Fire Department personnel?
Complaints pertaining to Escondido Fire Department personnel may be made in person at the Fire Administrative Offices located on the third floor of the Police and Fire Headquarters at 1163 North Centre City Parkway or call 760-839-5400.
Where can I report suspicious arson activity?
If you have reason to believe that a person is setting a fire or has just set a fire, call 9-1-1 immediately. Be prepared to describe the suspect, including physical features and clothing as well as the location and nature of the suspicious activity.
If you have information regarding a fire that has already occurred and is under investigation, please call 760-839-5400.
What steps should I take for a child with fire playing behavior?
Children who play with fire place themselves, their families, and their neighborhoods at risk. Contact the Burn Institute at 858-541-2277 for intervention services.
Why is my smoke alarm making a funny sound (chirping)?
Any time your smoke detector goes off, it's important to pay attention. If it's sounding its loud alarm because it senses the presence of smoke, check your home thoroughly. If you smell smoke and are unable to locate a fire, call 9-1-1 and we'll send an engine to make sure that a fire isn't smoldering in a hidden area and it won't cost anything. If you don't smell smoke, the detector may be reacting to the presence of dust, steam, or a small insect or spider. Dust and bugs can be removed by a vacuum cleaner. If steam from a nearby shower is affecting your smoke detector regularly, move the detector to a different spot.
If the detector is just chirping, thumping, or buzzing, it probably means that the battery is low. Replace the battery as soon as possible. Without a working battery, a smoke detector can't do its job and the risk of dying in a fire increases great.
Where can I get sand bags during heavy rains?
During times of heavy rain, the City of Escondido will provide for citizens sand and bags located at Kit Carson. City personnel does not provide filled bags but will provide both the sand and the bags.