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Ozark Fire Protection District Frequently Asked Questions

Whatever your safety concerns and questions are, we have the answers! If you don’t see your question answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Q: Are the Ozark Fire Protection District boundaries the same as the city of Ozark?
A: The Ozark Fire Protection District encompasses 110 square miles of Christian County.  The district includes the cities of Ozark and Freemont Hills and several miles of unincorporated Christian County.  The district covers portions of the Mark Twain National Forest and is bordered by the cities of Nixa, Battlefield, Springfield, Logan-Rogersville, Sparta, Chadwick, and Highlandville.

Q: Why do I need a fire permit when I have a building permit?
A: State statutes assign fire protection responsibility to Fire Protection Districts. Therefore, Fire Protection Districts are responsible for adopting and enforcing Fire Codes. Fire Permits enable Fire Protection Districts to perform inspections that ensure your home and property comply with the adopted Fire Codes for fire and life safety.

 

To help ensure the safety, health, and welfare; and, in general, to secure the safety of life and property from all hazardous incidents to the design, erection, repair, or use and occupancy of all buildings, structures, or premises in the Ozark Fire Protection District, we have adopted Ordinance No. 2020-001 The Fire Prevention Code.

 

Unlike any building departments in our jurisdiction, the Ozark Fire Protection District requires all our Inspectors to be Missouri State Certified Fire Inspectors. This assures that we have the expertise to recognize potential fire hazards and to help provide solutions to mitigate these hazards. Further, Ozark Fire Inspectors have expert knowledge regarding the principles of combustion and fire growth, such as the combustion process – or how fireworks, phases of fire, heat transfer, flame spread, factors affecting fire growth, fire resistance in construction, fire loads, fire containment in buildings, elimination of ignition sources and many other fire-related matters.

Q: What Can I Burn within the City Limits of Ozark, MO?
A: Under city ordinance 235.100, the city of Ozark, along with the Ozark Fire District, allows the burning of natural vegetation (grass, leaves, weeds, tree limbs, or natural vegetation).  These small fires are allowed when weather conditions are adequate and only between 10 am and 4 pm.

 

Please check the district website for weather information and call the district HQ before burning. Often, we respond to calls for outside controlled fires because they were not properly reported before burning.

Q: Why does a fire truck come to my house when I call for an ambulance?
A: The circle of emergency services encompasses many layers to provide to most timely and adequate service to resolve your situation.

 

When someone places a 911 emergency call, the call is routed in many different directions.  A medical situation requires that Emergency Medical services be dispatched through CCAD (Christian County Ambulance District).  Sometimes, CCAD may not have the closest unit to your emergency.  The 911 dispatching center will also include the Ozark Fire Protection District to ensure a timely response to your need.

 

Though the Ozark Fire Protection District doesn’t provide transportation capabilities, we do employ highly trained EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and Paramedics.  These members can quickly stabilize a situation allowing needed time to receive an ambulance with transportation capabilities.  Each agency within Christian County works seamlessly together to provide our citizens with the most comprehensive emergency services delivery possible.

Q: How often should I change my smoke detector?
A: Smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years, and batteries should be changed every six months.  Typically, the date of manufacture can be located on the back of the detector. Please call and schedule a visit if you are unsure of the date or when the batteries have been replaced. The district supplies battery-operated smoke detectors and replacement batteries at no cost to district citizens.

Q: Can I use an extension cord in place of permanent wiring?
A: NO, extension cords should never be used in place of permanent wiring.  This is a code violation that can result in a fire.  Extension cords aren’t made to withstand the extended use that a permanent wiring system can provide.

Q: What are the most common code violations seen in the district?

  1. Extension cords being used for permanent wiring

  2. Blocked exits or fire doors

  3. Exit signs and faulty emergency lighting

  4. Improper storage

  5. Blocked valves or exterior access points

  6. The fire extinguisher is out of date or not charged

  7. Broken smoke detectors

  8. Hanging items from sprinkler heads or pipes

  9. Storage in the equipment/electrical rooms

  10. Missing ceiling tiles/holes in ceilings and walls

  11. Accumulation of combustible materials

Q: Where do I need to place smoke detectors?
A: We recommend that a smoke detector be placed just inside every room in the home, one in common areas like a hallway, and on every level of the home.  Avoid placing smoke detectors near kitchens.  These detectors will sound frequently and inevitably be removed.  Therefore, defeating the purpose of having fire detection devices in your home. 

Q: Where do I need to place smoke detectors?
A: We recommend that a smoke detector be placed just inside every room in the home, one in common areas like a hallway, and on every level of the home.  Avoid placing smoke detectors near kitchens.  These detectors will sound frequently and inevitably be removed.  Therefore, defeating the purpose of having fire detection devices in your home. 

Q: What is an ISO Rating, and how is it used?
A: ISO (Insurance Safety Office) rates fire service organizations nationwide. This rating is utilized in many ways to determine the capabilities of the fire organization or what the insurance will cost in your area.  The district utilizes these numbers as one of many benchmarks to determine if our capabilities are meeting the needs of our stakeholders.

 

Currently, within the city limits of the City of Ozark, the ISO rating is a 3. Anywhere in the rural area within five road miles of a fire station, the rating is a 5. Anywhere outside the five road miles in the rural area is rated 10.  

Q: What is the firefighter schedule?

A: Firefighters work a 48/96-hour work schedule. Meaning crews spend 48 hours at the firehouse and enjoy 96 hours off duty.  Most large incidents require members to return to the firehouse to assist with the mitigation of the hazard or cleanup.  Many members work part-time jobs outside their careers as a firefighter.

 

While at the firehouse, crews eat, workout, train, sleep, and live 1/3rd of their lives together.  Crews will often be woken up throughout the night to respond to calls.  Members will be seen in the community conducting inspections/ preplanning or public relations events when not training.

Why do I see other agencies' apparatus in the Ozark Fire District?

A: This is a simple answer with a complicated reason. 

 

The district employs ten members per shift with three shifts (A-B-C).  This shift includes

  • A Battalion Chief (1) 

  • Captain (3) 

  • Engineer (3)

  • Firefighter (3) 

  • Staffing 3 engines with 3 personnel each.

When the district resources are extended too far, we rely on an intricate mutual aid system that allows us to contact an adjacent district to provide coverage for our citizens.  We reciprocate this favor should an adjacent district have the same situation occur.

During an average residential structure fire, the number of things to be done outnumbers the number of people available.  Therefore, we rely on surrounding jurisdictions to provide personnel to support us during an incident.  Many factors contribute to the determination of how many additional resources are needed and for how long.  Type, size, how many people are affected, and the stage of the fire all contribute to just how many resources, and firefighters are needed for an incident.

We enjoy an amazing partnership with surrounding jurisdictions that allow us to provide a complicated logistical service to ensure we respond to every call we receive.

Q: Who do I contact for more information?
A: Questions should be directed to Fire Chief Jarett Metheny at 417-581-4436 or jmetheny@ozarkfire.org. Chief Metheny can answer many questions and refer you to specific experts to answer your questions about Proposition Fire. 

If you don't see your question answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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