What's Up in Troy

Featured: Troy Fire Department

Fire Department FAQ’s

1. Why do firefighters work 24-hour shifts?
Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, because firefighters cannot go out and perform training, inspections etc. during the nighttime. It would take more firefighters to cover 8 hour shifts. Firefighters at Troy work a 56 hour work week and the 24 hour shift allows this. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 established allowable work hours for firefighters. This type of schedule is the most cost-effective work schedule to provide Fire/EMS protection and is the most common.

2. Why does a fire truck come when you call for an ambulance?
Our firefighters are all certified Firefighter-II and EMT- Paramedics. Because every firefighter is cross-trained as a Paramedic, they can all assist one another. What does that mean to you, a citizen calling 911?
The Troy Fire Department staffs each ambulance with 2 Paramedics. This staffing is more than sufficient on the majority of our EMS calls. However, when the call is critical, additional resources are needed. For critical Advanced Life Support (ALS) calls, we ensure there are at least 3 Paramedics responding to the emergency.
Our newest Rescue Engine carries the same ALS equipment that our ambulances carry. This enables us to assist the ambulance crew with additional needed help. Once the situation is under control, our fire engine is able to be ready for the next call.

3. Why do I get an ambulance bill for calling 911 when I pay taxes?
Taxes pay for our training, certification, readiness, facilities and equipment used to provide full-time, Paramedic-level emergency medical services. Our ambulance billing revenue only offsets a portion of our overall operating expenses.
Please understand that billing for EMS transport is a nearly universal concept that’s been in place for decades not only in the Miami Valley but throughout the state of Ohio and nation. Our community is very fortunate to receive professional Paramedic-level service on every call.

4. Why do you have to block so much of the roadway at accident scenes?
Many times emergency workers are killed or injured while working at accident scenes. We block traffic lanes for the safety of emergency personnel and our patients. Blocking extra lanes protect our personnel and provide a safe working zone while at the emergency.

5. Why do we see fire department crews at the store?
Because our firefighters work a 24-hour shift, they must eat their lunch and dinner at the station. The crews pay for food with their own money. As you can imagine, calls come in during these times and they have to stop and respond. This is why Firehouse Chili is a favorite that can be kept on the stove ready during the day.

6. What other responsibilities do firefighters have other than responding to calls?
Our firefighters are all certified Firefighter-II, EMT-Paramedic and Fire Safety Inspectors. With these certifications, we have to have several hours of training each week to maintain the continuing education requirements. We also love to be engaged with the community by providing fire station tours, on-site public education events and many other outreach opportunities. Our firefighters also have to complete daily station and apparatus maintenance. These activities account for almost 7 hours per day and do not account for the time spent responding and mitigating emergency calls.

Department demographics
The Troy Fire Department is a career department.  We have 38 firefighter/paramedics in the department.  Thirty-three personnel are assigned to three 24/48 shift platoons and 3 personnel are assigned to the fire prevention bureau.  The fire department has three stations and 17 fire/rescue apparatus that cover 72.9 square miles including the City of Troy, Concord Township, Staunton Township and a small portion of Lost Creek Township. The Troy Fire Department responded to 5,398 incidents in 2016.

Chief Matthew D. Simmons
Chief Matthew Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree from Bluffton University in Organizational Management. He has 18 years of experience as a Firefighter including 2 years as the Fire Chief for the City of Troy. Prior to his promotion of Chief, he held the position of the Administrative Chief for 8 years in the department. He holds the certification of Paramedic, Fire Safety Inspector, and Fire and Explosive Investigator. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (Great Lakes Division), Ohio Fire Chiefs Association and National Fire Protection Association, and serves on the Miami County 911 advisory board. Chief Simmons has been married to his wife, Amy, for 22 years. They have an 11 year old son, Judah. They are very active in their church where they host a home group. In his free time he enjoys an active lifestyle of fitness, travelling and outdoor activities especially white-tail deer hunting.

“It is an honor and a dream to serve the community that I live in, as the Fire Chief.  I want to always look for ways to better serve the needs of our community and be the valuable asset that they deserve, while keeping my personnel safe. I also want to ensure that we are great stewards of the financial resources we receive for our department. This means being community minded beyond the emergency calls we receive. We love engaging our personnel in non-emergency settings with the community, while using education to help our citizens remain safe. Our community should be very proud of the firefighters that serve them. They come to work each day ready to make someone’s worst day better by taking pride in their training and their commitment for readiness no matter what they are called to.” – Chief Simmons

Simmons