Most frequent questions and answers

Basic information on our current emergency responses is available via PulsePoint. You can even listen to the radio traffic by clicking on the speaker icon. Check out the PulsePoint information section of our website for  more information about the PulsePoint app.

During major emergencies, special yellow or red boxes will be posted on the home page with the latest information on the incident and links to related sites. The Public Information Office works with the various local media sources, TV, radio and print, and other first-responder agencies to keep the public fully informed. Our Public Information Line is 805-377-4860 and is available 24 hours a day. Another resource is the VCEmergency website.

Being prepared for emergencies is one of the most important steps you can take to make those around you and your property safe. Check out the Ready, Set, Go! Program, and Safety Preparedness section. Throughout the year, we have information posted relative to seasonal hazards. FEMA offers assistance on many types of hazards. Please consider joining a local CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) team and be a part of your community’s emergency preparedness.
Having to evacuate during an emergency can be a very frightening experience. The more prepared you are, the safer and more efficient your evacuation will be (see Ready, Set, Go!). Law enforcement agencies are responsible for evacuations. They will inform you when, where and how to evacuate when it is needed.

A newborn can be safely surrendered at any Ventura County fire station. See https://babysafevc.org/

Our FHRP (Fire Hazard Reduction Program) is a cooperative effort between the Ventura County Fire Department and the property owners to create and maintain a “defensible space” around structures.  This provides a safe area for firefighters to defend the property and offers the best chance of survival when threatened by wildfire. The value of the FHRP program has been proven many times over the years. For requirements on clearing around your house, see Wildland Brush Clearance & Landscaping Guides in the FHRP section of our website.

Fire prevention requirements depend on the type of project, if it is allowed and where it is located.  You can start by contacting the “Fire Prevention Counter” at 805-389-9738.  The Standards section has the basic requirements.  You may also want to visit the Ventura County One-Stop Permitting website https://www.onestoppermits.vcrma.org/.

When you have agricultural materials that need to be burned, a “Burn Permit” is required.  Only agricultural materials (no trash) from properties zoned for commercial agriculture may be burned on designated “Burn Days”. A Burn Permit must be obtained from your closest fire station.   The Burn Permit may only be used as per the conditions on the permit.

Our Annual Report gives an overview of our activities and achievements during the previous year.

The Ventura County Fire Department employs over 560 men and women in a variety of exciting jobs.  There are also volunteer opportunities available.  Visit our Join Our Team section for more information.

Here are some helpful hints and resources.

Kids Fire Education seeks to reduce playing with fire through education and determining the child’s needs.

The Ventura County Fire Department, along with other agencies, offers installation and operation instruction at locations throughout the county.  The real value of a child safety seat can only be realized when it is properly installed and used.  See our Child Passenger Safety section for more information.
We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you.  We have many different programs available or have the ability to tailor one to fit your needs.  You may schedule a speaker through the Community Education unit.

Many of our stations and units have designed unique patches that are popular with collectors.  We are not able to distribute patches, although the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association  does have some of them available.  To view the patches within the fire department, see Patches.

We have many ongoing programs and activities.   Throughout the year, special activities or events are scheduled.  These will be highlighted on this website and may also be featured in the media.  See the Community Education section and the CERT Training Calendar to see what VCFD is up to near you.

Our Community Service Volunteer program allows the public to use their special skills and talents to be of service to the Ventura County Fire Department and their communities.  See the Volunteer page for more information.

The large numbering serves a number of purposes.  The number indicates which fire station that apparatus is assigned to.  It is the means by which commanders and other units identify one another when communicating with them, especially at an emergency when there are multiple units involved.  There are large numbers on the roofs so they can be identified from the air.  The numbers and striping are made from reflective tape making the apparatus more visible at night for safety.  The large reflective chevron design on the rear of fire apparatus is there for visibility and safety.

Depending on the agency, you will see that fire apparatus come in all kinds of colors.  We paint our apparatus “Sunshine Yellow” for safety.  Yellow is a much more visible color, especially under low light conditions, than the traditional red.  Yellow is also an easier color to maintain and stays looking new longer. See our Ask Robby page for more on this subject.

Basically, a “fire engine” carries the hose and pumps the water that firefighters use to extinguish fires. A “fire truck” has a large ladder and numerous other specialized tools used to perform rescues and other tasks that support the firefighters who are attacking the fire. See the Apparatus section for information on all the various vehicles we use to accomplish our mission.

The public is always welcome to visit our fire stations.  Throughout the year, there are special “open house” activities scheduled. Remember, the firefighters are always subject to being responded to an emergency.  See the Community Education Programs section for more information and for scheduling a fire station tour.  So when you see firefighters, give us a wave.  We are always happy to see you.

When our FCC (Fire Communications Center) receives a call for help, the type of incident and location are entered into a computer.  A computer program determines the type and number of resources needed.  GPS devices on our apparatus tell the computer which resources are the closest and they are dispatched.  See FCC/Dispatch Center and our Response for more information. View the “Ask Robby” video regarding this FAQ.
The Ventura County Fire Department has 33 strategically located fire stations to serve the cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County.  We also have mutual aid agreements with all adjacent fire agencies so the closest available resources will respond to an emergency regardless of jurisdiction.  See our Stations for more information.
Your pets should be a part of your emergency preparedness plans. Arrangements should be made well ahead of the actual need for evacuation. The County of Ventura Animal Services has excellent information on caring for your pets during emergencies.

Learning CPR or first aid is an important step anyone can take in being prepared for emergencies. Contact your local hospital to see what training classes they offer to the public. The American Red Cross , or American Heart Association both offer good training resources.

The Custodian of Records is responsible for compliance with the Public Records Act. Forms for requesting records and reports can be found on the Public Records section.  The Custodian of Records can be contacted at 805-383-4718.

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