Volunteer Fire Department

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Hampden Fire Department FAQs

  1. Do Hampden firefighters get paid?

No, 100% of Hampden firefighters are volunteers.  The exception is minimum wage for forest fires.

  1. Do you mean that there is no one at the fire station?

The Hampden fire station is generally an unmanned station except during training and meeting times.

  1. How are volunteer firefighters notified of a call?

Volunteers carry Motorola voice pagers which notify them of the location and nature of a call.  Those volunteers that are in Town then respond.

  1. Why do I hear a siren going off before the fire trucks respond?

There are two stationary sirens in Town that go off after the pager alert.  In a way these are an artifact of days-gone-by however if a firefighter is not wearing their pager or if their pager is not working it notifies them that a call has been dispatched.

  1. Who dispatches calls to the fire department?

This job is done by the 911 Dispatcher who works for the Hampden Police Department.

  1. How can I become a member of the Hampden Fire Department?

You must fill out an application; pass a drug screening test and medical examination; undergo a background check; be interviewed by the Department officers and be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.  Please call 566-3314 for more information on the process.

Emergency Situations

  1. How do I contact the Fire Department for a fire or emergency?
    Dial 911
  2. What do I do if there is a fire in my home?
    Make sure everyone is out of the home and dial 911. NEVER re-enter to rescue property or animals.
  3. What do I do if my carbon monoxide detector alarms?
    Dial 911 and evacuate everyone from the house.  Do not vent the house by leaving doors and windows open as it will be harder for us to find the source.

Home Fire Safety

  1. Where should smoke detectors be placed in my home?
    Residential smoke detectors are early warning devices to wake a sleeping person or persons. Smoke detectors should be placed in each bedroom (sleeping area) and in the hallway leading to the bedrooms.
  2. Should I put a smoke detector in my garage?
    No, a residential smoke detector is an early warning device to wake sleeping people.
  3. My smoke detector is making a "chirping" noise. What's wrong with it?
    The battery is low. Replace it immediately. Remember to test your detector once a month and change the battery when you change your clock to and from daylight savings time.
  4. Where should fire extinguishers be placed in the home?
    Having a fire extinguisher in the home is a good idea. If you have an extinguisher, it should be placed where it is easily accessible. The kitchen and garage are good sites for an extinguisher.
  5. What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my house?
    A multi-purpose fire extinguisher is best for the home. This extinguisher can be used on any type of fire commonly found in the home. It will be labeled A-B-C.
  6. How often should a fire extinguisher be serviced?
    There are no regulations mandating the servicing of fire extinguishers placed in single family residences. However, the Fire Department recommends that fire extinguishers be inspected at least once a year.


  1. Why are windows broken or holes cut in roofs during fire fighting operations?
    As a fire burns, it moves upward then outward. Breaking the windows and/or cutting holes in the roof (called ventilation) allows smoke and heat to escape the structure. This enables fire fighters to operate safely and efficiently. Ventilation also limits the spread of fire and smoke, thus reducing damage.






Mike Gorski, Chief