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Fire Department FAQs

How far do I have to clear around my property to meet the District's inspection requirements and the Cal Fire Defensible Space Requirements?
The inspections ensure each home has the required State mandated defensible space. Creating defensible space consists of clearing vegetation to maintain a 30’ clearance around all structures. From 30’ to 100’ (or to the property line, whichever is nearer) should be maintained as a fuel reduction or fuel modification zone.

What do those Fire Alarms I hear (sometimes one, sometimes 2) signify?
One long alarm means that there is a Medical Call.  Two alarms means there is a Fire Call or Vehicle Accident.  The call may be for someone inside the tract or it could be elsewhere.  The alarm just means we are rounding up the fire fighters!  If you hear one short alarm on Tuesday at 6 pm, it's mostly likely a call for our fire fighters to our weekly meeting.

What is Mutual Aid?
Mutual Aid is where Fire Departments within a given geographic area have an agreement with each other to provide Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Response either free or for a donation or set fee, depending upon the agreement.  We currently have an agreement and belong to a Countywide Mutual Aid that includes Cal-Fire and USDA Forest Service

What is Life Flight and how do I sign up for it?
Semsa Air and PHI are an Air Ambulance service. They have a nominal membership fee to help reduce the cost of emergency air transportation.  For more information, call 1-855-877-2518 or 1 -888-435-9744.  Our SpaldingFD includes two First Responders and the rest with First Aid and CPR. Always, in an emergency, dial 911. 

Why does my Homeowner’s Insurance seem so much higher here?
Typically, Homeowner’s Insurance Rates are based on a number of factors, just one of them being where your home is located and the risk of loss by fire.   A rating is given by an independent company called an ISO Rating.  These ratings range from 1 to 10, 1 being best.  Many insurance companies will not insure homes with an ISO Rating of 10.  Currently Spalding has an ISO Rating of 8B as of June 1, 2013.

What does an 8B ISO rating mean?
The three things they look at in giving a ISO rating are; Fire Dispatch and alarm systems, the Fire Department itself including staffing and equipment and Water Supply including delivery systems.  All of these must meet certain requirements to receive a rating. 

  1. An Class 8B community must  have:
  • an adequate number of well-organized and properly trained firefighters
  • reliable fire alarm facilities
  • adequate fire station facilities
  • operational records

However, the community does not need to meet the water-supply requirement of 250 gpm for two hours necessary for PPC Class 8 or better.  Specifically, to get a rating of Class 8B, a community must meet these requirements:

  • It must meet the minimum requirements defined in Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) Section 106, "Minimum Facilities for Applying This Schedule."
  • It must be eligible for at least 5 points in FSRS Section 400, "Receiving and Handling Fire Alarms."
  • It must be eligible for at least 20 points in FSRS Section 500, "Fire Department."
  • An average of at least six firefighters must respond on first-alarm responses to structure fires.
  • For active firefighters, it must conduct a minimum of 24 hours per year of training in fighting structure fires.
  • The water supply must be able to deliver an uninterrupted minimum fire flow of 200 gpm for 20 minutes (4000 gallons).
  • The minimum fire flow must be able to start within five minutes of the arrival of the first engine company.
  • The primary responding fire department and all automatic-aid fire departments must be able to deliver the minimum fire flow.
  • The departments must be able to deliver the minimum fire flow to at least 85% of the built-upon areas of the community within five road miles of a recognized fire station.

For more information on ISO’s Public Protection Classifications, see their website.

See our recent ISO letter, giving us the 8B rating!