Frequently Asked Questions

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Fire Territory

Why do I always see a fire truck with the ambulance?

Not all emergency medical responses include a fire engine. Ambulances are staffed with one paramedic/firefighter and one EMT/firefighter. There are a variety of situations that demand additional manpower or equipment. Here are some examples of situations: 1) Plainfield Ambulance is out of service on another call. 2) Unknown call 3) Life threatening illness or injury 4) Extra manpower for lifting 5) Supervisor needed 6) Forcible entry necessary 7) Additional equipment

Instead of the big fire truck, why don’t you send them in a smaller vehicle?

Our fire engines have been designed to be multipurpose vehicles. They are equipped with EMS supplies and equipment similar to an ambulance. For a department of our size and the number of emergency calls, it would actually cost more to operate a small rescue unit and a fire engine. In addition, it would increase response times to other emergencies, and diminish our efficiency.

Why do I get a bill for ambulance service when I pay taxes?

Similar to your water or sewer bill, your taxes only fund part of the service. User fees are used to shift some of the cost to those who use the service the most.

Why does Plainfield need a 100 foot aerial ladder truck when there are only a few buildings that are that height?

Depending on the distance away from the building, our 100 foot ladder may only reach the roof of a 75 foot building. In addition, during defensive operations the master water stream from the aerial ladder is most effective when directed from above the fire. Thirdly, we use it in a variety of rescue situations in which the 100 foot length is critical.

Why do firefighters work 24 hours at a time?

The 24/48 schedule takes advantage of the special FSLA rules for firefighters. It allows us to provide a true 24/7/365 service with fewer employees and less cost to the taxpayer.

Why does the fire truck and all four firefighters need to go to the grocery store?

The crew of firefighters spend the entire 24 hours together. They respond as a crew to all emergencies in which they are dispatched. On most occasions, a fire engine crew was on their way back from an emergency call, a training exercise, or a pre-plan of a local business. It is rare that they would leave the firehouse just to run one simple errand.

I had a small fire in my house, why were there so many fire trucks?

 The first 20 minutes of any fire are the most crucial. We generally say that we need 25 firefighters on the scene to safely accomplish all the necessary tasks in the first 20 minutes. Should something go wrong we will need even more manpower. It’s a proven fact that an aggressive and organized initial fire attack saves lives and property

I saw a minor fender bender and the fire department sent three or four trucks and at least 10 people. Why?

The call taker at the 911 dispatch center enters the information given by the caller. The response code that is entered is based on the caller’s account of the event. One person’s perception of the event may be quite different from another. Sometimes, the injuries and the number of patients may not be apparent to the passerby. Other times, we are not sure what the situation is so we error on the side of caution.

I can’t remember the last time there was a fire in Plainfield, why do we need such an elaborate fire department?

We have numerous fires each year. Most fires are put out before the damage is extensive or quickly enough to avoid attracting attention. In addition, we do far more than just fight fires. We provide emergency medical service and technical rescue.

How many firefighters are women?

At the Plainfield Fire Territory 10% of the firefighters are women. This is almost 3 times the national average. Plainfield ranks in the top 16% of fire service organizations across the country in the employment of women firefighters. Less than 3% of our applicants are women.

I live in the Plainfield Fire Territory. Why did a fire truck from a different community arrive at my home before a Plainfield truck?

A: There can be many reasons for this. Here are the most common: 1) The closest Plainfield truck was busy on another call. 2) In a few areas of the territory, another fire station is actually closer than a Plainfield station. 3) The Plainfield truck may have been returning from another call and not been on station. 4) Road conditions - traffic, weather, etc. 5) Every effort is made to assure the closest appropriate resources are dispatched to an emergency regardless of political boundaries.

There was a fire in my neighborhood, why did the police department arrive first?

The fire department is always dispatched first. In some situations police officers are notified that there is a fire in their area. Fire crews are generally at the station when they receive a dispatch. It takes time to don protective equipment and drive time to arrive on the scene. Police officers are generally on the street and their cars are far more nimble than large fire truck.

I live in an area without fire hydrants. How will the fire department handle that situation if I have a fire?

Those areas have predetermined responses that include water tankers from neighboring communities. In addition, each of the Plainfield fire engines carries 1000 gallons of water. Many fire engines carry less than 500 gallons of water. In an effort to be more efficient, we have chosen to carry more water on our fire engines instead of the expense of operating a separate water tanker.

How do I apply to be a Plainfield Firefighter?

When we anticipate the need, we open an application process.  The announcement is made on this website, facebook and

What are the minimum qualifications?

You must provide proof of the following: US Citizenship, High School Diploma or GED, Valid Indiana Operators License, Certification as an EMT or EMT-P at the time of Application, must be at least age 21 but not 36 at the time of employment, pass aptitude testing, obtain a valid CPAT card, pass Police and Firefighters’ Pension Fund Medical and Mental Evaluation.

Do I have to be an EMT to apply?

Yes, you must be an EMT at the time of application.

Where are EMT courses offered?

Most major hospitals offer courses from time to time. Some universities will have courses. We are affiliated as an EMS provider with Hendricks Regional Health. Visit for future class offerings and click on event calendar for more information.

Do paramedics have an advantage in this process?

Due to the lack of licensed paramedics in Indiana, persons who are a licensed EMT-P are preferred applicants.

Do certified firefighters have an advantage in the process?

Generally speaking, Yes. Any relevant education and/or experience will add creditability to the application.

What is CPAT?

It is the Candidate Physical Agility Test. The course is designed to simulate tasks a firefighter would perform.

How do I obtain a CPAT card?

Tests are performed and cards are issued by Emergency Services Education Center (ESEC). Contact ESEC directly for more information at 317-270-5703 or by visiting their website at

What are the starting salary and benefits?

Compensation includes salary, holiday pay, mandatory overtime, contribution to the Police and Fire Pension fund, health insurance, life insurance and optional dental insurance. Generous paid time off (PTO) is accrued once employed for three months. The starting salary is $41,589 annually for Probationary Firefighter/EMT and $43,473 annually for a Probationary Firefighter/Paramedic based on normal schedule with mandatory overtime. Upon the third year of employment, salaries increase to $51,676 for FF/EMT and $55,230 for FF/Medic. Town employees may receive other benefits such as a free membership to the Plainfield Aquatic Center.