Frequently Asked Questions

  • When you have a fire or medical emergency.
  • There is a situation that could, or does, pose a danger to life, property or both.

Stay as calm as possible and let the firefighter/dispatcher ask the questions:

  • Let them lead the conversation and answer their questions.
  • The questions may seem unrelated or repetitive, but this is to help clarify the information.
  • Do your best to listen carefully and follow their instructions.

The Seattle Fire Department provides emergency response through five battalions, consisting of 33 fire stations (plus the Battalion 3/Medic One at Harborview Medical Center) strategically placed around the city to maximize coverage and minimize response time.

Four minutes is a critical time frame for someone who has experienced a heart attack, injury, or other illness that makes them stop breathing. The heart and brain have a better chance of full recovery they receive oxygen in four minutes or less. After that, a person can suffer brain damage or worse. All Seattle Firefighters are certified Emergency Medical Technicians and can use life saving techniques including defibrillation and to help prevent death or permanent injury. These life-saving techniques are much more effective if they can get to a patient within the first four minutes.

Depending on the type of emergency, the Fire Alarm Center will dispatch the appropriate resources to provide fire suppression, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS) and technical operations. All Seattle firefighters are certified Emergency Medical Technicians, in a BLS incident, a fire engine, aid car and/or ladder truck will be the first responders. If a medical emergency requires ALS, one of the seven medic units will also be dispatched to the scene. Certain type of emergencies require multiple units, for example, an individual experiencing sudden cardiac arrest will have three units come to their aid. Similarly, for fires and other emergencies, the dispatcher will assign the appropriate resources to protect life and property.

To schedule a ride-along, please review the requirements and request procedure below:

You must be at least 18 years old.

Submit a letter of request through the Contact Us form, directing your request to Operations - Emergency Response.

Include the following in your request:

  • A business reason why you would like to go on a ride-along.
  • Date(s) that you would like to schedule the ride-along for. (At least 4 weeks out from the date you send the letter)
  • Whether you want to ride with an Aid crew or a Fire company. (You may specify a particular station or unit, but it is not required.)
  • Contact phone number and email address.

If your request is accepted and a ride-along scheduled, you will be required to sign a Seattle Fire Department Release Form.

You are not eligible for a ride-along if you are currently in the Seattle Fire Department application or pre-employement screening process.

To ensure the safest work atmosphere in challenging and dangerous situations and calls, the department has adopted four member crews. It is the most efficient and safest staffing level for our response needs and demographics. The department adopted what is called the two in/two out rule, which means firefighters operate in pairs in each company, and having four people on each engine and ladder truck is the easiest way to ensure a safe environment during responses.

To ensure the safest work atmosphere in challenging and dangerous situations and calls, the department has adopted four member crews. It is the most efficient and safest staffing level for our response needs and demographics. The department adopted what is called the two in/two out rule, which means firefighters operate in pairs in each company, and having four people on each engine and ladder truck is the easiest way to ensure a safe environment during responses.

Complaints regarding fire code or fire permit violations, locked exit doors, bars on windows with no quick-release latch, can be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s Office at (206) 386-1450 during business hours.

The sale, possession, use or discharge of any fireworks or pyrotechnics special effects in the City of Seattle is prohibited, except where authorized by a Seattle Fire Department permit. If you see someone using illegal fireworks, call 911 to report the problem to the Seattle Police Department.

Contact the Police Department at (206) 684-8980 for assistance with the appropriate disposal of fireworks, flares, explosives, ammunition or weapons.

The Firefighter’s Union, Local 27, has an online store that sells merchandise with their union logo.

You are always welcome to stop by the station and say hello. If you are bringing a group, you need to schedule it in advance through the form.

The department does use vacant structures to conduct training. From single-family residences to large commercial structures, these buildings provide excellent training opportunities for firefighters. Please contact Training at (206) 386-1772.

Do you install and/or check children's car seats?

Seattle Children's Hospital provides car seat safety information and quarterly checks.

The Safety Restraint Coalition provides fit and installation assistance. Check for locations near you or call (425) 828-8975