OFD Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Fire Engines Respond to Medical Calls?

We endeavor to give our residents the best care possible and always provides the closest Fire Engine to the emergency with staffed, competent Firefighter-EMTs. In an emergency medical incident, additional staffing may be necessary to treat the patient and prepare him or her for transportation to the hospital. The Firefighter-EMTs on the fire engine are capable of completing these tasks because of the equipment that is in place on each fire engine. Every fire engine is equipped with basic life support equipment including automatic heart defibrillation units. This additional staffing enables the responding crew to simultaneously complete different tasks for the patient's care. By having additional Firefighter-EMTs on hand, the care of the patient is improved, the preparation time before transportation to the hospital is shortened, and the engine can return to service more quickly. The fire engine often remains on the scene for assistance, but is available to respond to another emergency if another emergency call comes in.

Why Does the Ladder Truck Respond to Medical Calls?

There are several reasons the Ladder Truck responds on medical calls. First, because other units are already on other calls and the Ladder Truck is covering the unprotected response district's emergency medical needs. Second, the medical call requires more staffing or equipment to handle the incident than is available (a determination made at the 9-1-1 call dispatch from information provided as to the 'type' of medical incident. Standard staffing based on the 'type' of incident is then sent.) Third, a response by the Truck would be made if specialized equipment is needed. Finally, because the incident is an Advance Life Support call with a Medic Unit responding in Response District 1 to take some of the pressure off Engine 1 which is reaching capacity call volume for an emergency unit.

How Can I Obtain a Medical Incident Report

The Olympia Fire Department's Emergency Medical Service incident reports contain private health information. Disclosure and access of such records must comply with RCW 70.02 (Medical Records - health care information access and disclosure).

Medical information is strictly confidential and cannot be released to anyone other than the patient unless the patient has signed a release of information document authorizing the second party to obtain the medical incident report. The requesting party will be required to present a valid identification.

Many records requests are filled the same day your request form is received. However, you should prepared to allow up to five (5) business days to receive a response to your request. In most cases, a report will be released within that five day period, but, in some instances (such as reports that are old enough to have been archived), reciept of a report can take longer. In that event, you will be notified in writing of the fact that your request will take longer than five days to complete, and you will be given a target date for when you should expect the material.

To request a copy of a medical incident report, please call 360.753.8348 or come to our Department Headquarters, 100 Eastside Street NE, Olympia during business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Legal firms may mail medical requests to:

Records Coordinator
Olympia Fire Department
100 Eastside Street NE
Olympia, WA 98506

Does the Olympia Fire Department teach First Aid and CPR classes?

The Olympia Fire Department does not hold any First Aid or CPR classes. Olympia Fire Department's partner, Thurston County Medic One has free CPR classes, and the Medic One website has a good reference list of First Aid class providers.

Can I Burn my Yard Waste or Have a Metal Fire Pit?

No. Outdoor burning is banned in the City limits and Urban Growth Areas of Olympia. Barbecues with charcoal briquettes or propane are the only kind of outdoor cooking allowed. This is an air quality issue. Please contact the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency for more information. To find out if your address is inside the City limits or Urban Growth Area, you can use the Thurston County GeoData Center Parcel Search.

May I Purchase or Set Off Fireworks in Olympia?

No. Effective 2013, the sale and discharge of consumer fireworks within City Limits is prohibited. OMC 9.48.160

What Do I Do with an Old Home Heating Oil Tank?

Home Heating oil tanks that have been out of service for one year or more must be REMOVED or Abandoned in place. Download our Home Heating Oil Tank fact sheet for details.