City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

FAQs

Q. How do I get information concerning a burning demolition of my house?
A. Call the EMS & Training Office at 614-583-5110 for information.

Q. I have rusty water. Are you flushing hydrants?
A. Call Fire Division Headquarters at 614-583-5100. If it is not during the designated time of flushing (normally April/May), call the Columbus Water Division (614-645-7788) to see if there is a water main break or if they are working in Upper Arlington.

Q. Do you take Safety Town registrations?
A. Although we are involved with some of the events at Safety Town, this is a Police Division program. Call 614-583-5195 for details.

Q. Are you taking food, blanket or fan donations?
A. Check with Fire Division Headquarters at 614-583-5100 to see if the stations are collecting for different charities/agencies.

Q. How do I get copies of fire or EMS reports?
A. Call the City Clerk at 614-583-5030 to make a public records request.

Q. Do you give CPR classes?
A. We hold monthly CPR & AED training at Fire Station 72. To register, call Life-Long-Learning at 614-583-5333.

Q. Do you have anyone who could speak to my scouts/club/group, etc, concerning fire safety or other topics?
A. Please call 614-583-5100 to ask about scheduling a speaker for your event.

Q. How do I dispose of old gasoline/paint/etc?
A. Call the Franklin County Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) at 614-871-5100.

Q. If my doctor needs me to monitor my blood pressure, could you take it for me?
A. Yes, you may stop anytime at a fire station and it will be done at no cost to you. Blood pressure screenings are also held once a month at the Senior Center. You may call them at 614-583-5320 to ask about the time and date.

Q. How do I know if I need a permit for anything I do in Upper Arlington?
A. If fire related, please call the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115.

Q. Do you do tours at the fire stations?
A. Yes. To schedule a tour, please contact Fire Division Headquarters at 614-583-5100. (NOTE: We do not host birthday parties at the fire stations.)

Q. Do you do home inspections?
A. Yes, we do home inspections for residential childcare certifications, adoptions and foster care, and for overall home safety inspections. Please call the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115.

Q. How do I become a firefighter?
A. If you are interested in becoming a firefighter, you may contact the city's Human Resources office at 614-583-5044.

Q. May I have a campfire or cookout? Are you allowed to burn brush, leaves, etc?
A. For any open burning concerns please contact the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115. Open burning of any yard waste such as brush, leaves, etc, is prohibited in the City of Upper Arlington. Any yard waste disposal questions should be directed to the Solid Waste Division at 614-583-5370.

Q. What are the locations of the Upper Arlington fire stations?
A. Station 71 is located at 2095 Upper Arlington Avenue and Headquarters Fire Station 72 is at 3861 Reed Road.

Q. Where can I buy fire escape ladders, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors?
A. Normally you can find any of the above at home improvement centers or discount/department stores. You can also check in the yellow pages under each appropriate title to locate specialty stores.

Since 1930: An Annotated History of UAFD

Upper Arlington fire fighters take great pride in the history of the Fire Division. Throughout the generations who have served the community, all members have shared a commitment to providing citizens with the best safety and emergency services possible.

For as long as there's been a community known as Upper Arlington, there has been a need for brave and dedicated men and women to protect its residents. While it took a few years following Upper Arlington's incorporation as a village to formally create the community's first Fire Division, in 2005 the division celebrated 75 years of service to the community.

Training Fire                                Girl in Plastic Fire Hat


"This marked a very special time for us," said then Fire Chief Mitch Ross. "As we reflect on the division then and now, it's impressive to see how we've evolved over the years. I can honestly say I work with one of the best teams of firefighters and paramedics in Central Ohio. Their commitment and level of professionalism is unparalleled."

This section provides a brief history of the Upper Arlington Fire Division. We hope you enjoy the memories.

History of The Fire Division

The village of Upper Arlington was formed in 1918 after residents voted to gain their independence from Perry Township. By doing so, they took on various tasks such as holding elections, housing village offices and providing fire protection.

In early 1922, Resolution 29 was passed authorizing the Mayor to contract with the City of Columbus for fire protection. Such contracts were handled on a one-year basis.

It was not until November 5, 1929, that voters of Upper Arlington approved the acquisition of a site and construction of a new building. On February 4, 1930, Mr. Dauben presented detailed plans of the new Municipal Building, that would house a new Fire Division, Police and other municipal workers.

In 1930, Upper Arlington's bid for its first fire truck was awarded to the Seagrave Company, which supplied one 600-gallon Special Triple Combination pumping engine with standard equipment for the price of $8,750.

On November 5, 1930, the Safety Committee appointed Wm. S. Bucklew as assistant fire chief, S.L. Foster as lieutenant, and John Throckmorton and Charles R. Scott as firemen. Monthly salaries consisted of $140 for the assistant chief and $115 for the lieutenant and firemen. The men were trained, the truck delivered and by December 1, 1930, the Upper Arlington Fire Division was in service.

Within just one year, it was apparent that more help was needed. At this time, the division began employing students from The Ohio State University as firemen. The students received lodging at the fire station plus 50 cents per day.

In 1938, the Upper Arlington Commission awarded the Seagrave Company the contract for a new triple combination suburbanite fire truck to augment the present firefighting equipment of the village. The commission appropriated $10,000 to cover the cost of the new truck and accompanying fire hose.

On April 27, 1941, Upper Arlington suffered what is thought to be the first fire death in the community. James McNeff was trying to start a fire in his home on Tremont Road, when the flames got out of control and ignited the one-room building.

April 4, 1954, marked a great accomplishment for the division. Under the direction of Chief Foster, who served as chief from 1942 to 1960, the 11-man division hosted the first house burning to be attempted in the central-Ohio area for the purpose of testing and training. Approximately 800 firefighters, along with 20,000 spectators, turned out to watch the demonstration of a new technique called fogging, in which a fire is smothered with a fine mist of water instead of directing streams of water at the base of the blaze. Only 612-gallons of water were used during this test run. It was estimated that 16,200 gallons would have been used with the straight stream method.

April 7, 1955, was a tragic day for the Upper Arlington Fire Division. Lieutenant Jack C. O'Donnell, 35-year-old third ranking officer, became the first Upper Arlington firefighter to die in the line of duty. He became ill after fighting a house fire and never recovered. The death was caused by heart failure due to smoke inhalation and over-exertion.

The Upper Arlington Fire and Police Station #2 was dedicated on December 27, 1959. The station was dedicated to Fire Chief Samuel L. Foster, who headed a staff of 21 men and seven pieces of equipment at the time.

In 1965, the Fire Division had expanded its firefighting force to 29 men and one dog. Sparky the Fire Dog was added to the force to help spread fire prevention information. He was taken around to shopping centers and classrooms where he helped relay his important message.

Groundbreaking on Fire Station #73 occurred on August 30, 1971. The new station was built to serve the northwest area of the City, including residents who were part of the 1969 annexation of 500 acres north of McCoy Road. The new firehouse cost $256,000 at the time.

By 1972, the City had grown to 9.5 square miles with a population of 40,000 people. The City offices were expanding as well, with construction of the current Municipal Services Center (MSC). The Fire Division's administrative offices and the Fire Prevention Bureau were moved from the original City Hall. The MSC provided a training classroom in addition to more office space.

Over the years, Fire Division personnel participated in a series of competitive meets that tested their skills and abilities in first aid and emergency care. In 1974, the division was awarded the world champion trophy by the International Rescue and First Aid Association.

The division was a pioneer in the use of educational methodology to minimize fire problems in the community. Its juvenile fire setter intervention program and its school fire safety education program are considered as models by fire services across the United States.

The Fire Division responded to the most tragic fire in the city's history on Christmas Eve 1980. Two adults and four children perished in a house fire at Kenny and McCoy Roads.

To meet the needs of larger fire apparatus, as well as safety and personnel issues, the old municipal building, now Fire Station #71, at 2095 Upper Arlington Avenue was gutted and underwent a $1 million renovation in 1991.

On September 11, 2001, four personnel from the Fire Division responded as part of Ohio Task Force One's Federal Urban Search and Rescue team to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Arriving in New York early the next day, the Task Force personnel worked for 10 days with other rescuers from across the United States at the site of the largest terrorist attack ever committed on American soil.

WTC Collapse 9/11/01
 

The Fire Division celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005 with a yearlong series of activities. The capstone was the reacquisition of the City's original 1930 Seagrave Fire Engine known as "Engine 1." It was restored to running condition through cooperative fund raising efforts by Local 1521 of the International Association of Firefighters, the Fire Division, the City of Upper Arlington and private community benefactors. It is housed in a dedicated storage and viewing space at Fire Station 72 on Reed Road.

Engine 1: Upper Arlington's First Fire Truck

Engine 1 Factory Photo

Engine 1 LogoIn 1930, the growing community of Upper Arlington ordered its first fire engine to equip a recently formed Fire Division. The new fire truck was supplied by the Seagrave Company, located on South High Street in Columbus, for the sum of $8,750.

Engine 1 served the community as a front-line engine for eight years, before becoming a reserve vehicle, used as a back-up engine and for community events for several decades.

Following the retirement of the original Engine 1 in the 1960s, the truck languished in storage for many years. It was donated to the Central Ohio Fire Museum in the late 1990s. The museum already had a restored version of this Seagrave truck, so the Upper Arlington vehicle quickly found itself back in storage.

Today, the men and women of the Fire Division have completed restoration of this historic fire apparatus. The project was a partnership between the City of Upper Arlington and Upper Arlington Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1521, with assistance from other community entities.

The total amount raised was $100,000, allowing for a multi-year restoration effort that culminated in the truck making its public debut as a participant in the 2005 Upper Arlington Fourth of July Parade.

It is the goal of the Fire Division that Engine 1 will become a familiar sight in the community, being showcased at numerous community events, and serving an historical and educational role for the Fire Division.
 
Helping Us Maintain our Heritage

We hope you can be part of this community effort to preserve a valuable piece of our history for future generations to enjoy. Donations large and small will help us maintain Upper Arlington's original fire truck for generations to come.

How to Donate

Make checks payable to the Upper Arlington Community Foundation Fund. Be sure to indicate in the "memo" section of your check that your donation is for the UA Engine 1 Project. Submit your donations to:

Engine 1 Project
c/o UA Community Foundation Fund
at the Columbus Foundation
1234 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215

You may also drop your donation off at Fire Division Headquarters at 3861 Reed Road, or at any Upper Arlington Fire Station.

Restored Engine 1

Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrant flushing is performed each spring. This annual test is one part of our fire hydrant maintenance program that assures fire hydrants are in operable condition and identifies any deficiencies that require repair.  In 2018, flushing will occur weekdays between April 23-May 4, between the hours of 8 am-6 pm

Would you like to be notified by text or email? Sign up for ALERT Franklin County. 

Fire Hydrant District Map

2018 Hydrant Flushing Schedule

The Upper Arlington Fire Division will be flushing fire hydrants within the City on weekdays between April 23-May 4 from the hours of 8 am-6 pm. 

The following districts will be flushed April 23, 26 and May 2:

  • District 71B: From Zollinger Road to but not including Lane Avenue, and from Riverside Drive to eastern City limit. Excluded are the hydrants on and in the area north and east of Ridgeview Road and Northwest Boulevard.
  • District 72B: From McCoy Road south to but not including Fishinger Road, and from Riverside Drive east to and including Reed Road. This includes any hydrants in the Normandy Square condominiums. This also includes the hydrants in the area from McCoy Road at Clairmont Rd. north to Lanes End, continuing west to Riverside Drive, but excluding the hydrants on Lane Road from Lanes End west to Riverside Drive.

The following districts will be flushed April 24, 27 and 30:

  • District 71C: From Lane Avenue to the southern City limit and from Riverside Drive to the eastern City limit.
  • District 72C: From Henderson Road south to but not including McCoy Road, and from Riverside Drive east to but not including Reed Road. This excludes the hydrants in the area west and south from Lanes End and Clairmont Court, but includes the hydrants on Lane Road from Lanes End west to Riverside Drive, Tarrington Woods and Horizons Drive.

The following districts will be flushed April 25, May 1 and 4:

  • District 71A: From Fishinger Road to, but not including, Zollinger Road and from Riverside Drive to eastern City limit. In addition, the hydrants on and in the area north and east of Ridgeview Road and Northwest Boulevard will be in district 71A.
  • District 72A: From Henderson Road south to but not including Fishinger Road, and from Reed Road to the eastern city limit. This includes any hydrants on Reed Road north of McCoy Road and excludes any hydrants on Reed Road south of McCoy Road. This also excludes any hydrants in the Normandy Square condominiums.

 

Details of the areas being flushed will be posted at the sources listed below the day before and the day of flushing. 

  1. You may call 614-583-5117 to hear a recorded message.
  2. You can check the City’s Facebook page @CityofUA
  3. You can follow the City’s twitter @CityofUA.
  4. Register for the Fire Division notifications through ALERT Franklin County

Hydrant flushing is performed by Emergency Operations personnel between 8 a.m.–6 p.m., and may be extended longer if there are a multitude of emergency runs that occur when flushing is scheduled.

Residents who have registered to receive updates from the Fire Division via the ALERT Franklin County Notification System will receive advance notification when flushing operations will be in their vicinity.

Residents could experience discoloration of water during these time periods, and up to 48 hours after flushing has taken place.

Residents are cautioned to refrain from doing laundry during this period. Before resuming laundering, partially fill washers until the water runs clear. Run a sample of water into a transparent container to check for settling or discoloration. Once the water is clear, the washer can be spun out to drain the tub for a normal laundry load.

Turn on all faucets in the house and allow water to run freely until it appears clear again. Avoid turning on hot water taps during the flushing period, because the water heater will replenish itself with rusty water, which will remain in storage in the tank until used up.

Some persons will experience staining of clothes and other items despite these notices. Clothes should be kept damp or wet to prevent the stains from setting. The recommended "rust-removers" or "rust fighters" are carried among the cleaning products at grocery and hardware stores. Most of these cleaners direct you to add them to a regular laundry load and run it again.

Any questions related to fire hydrant flushing should be directed to the main Fire Division number at 614-583-5100.

PRIVATE FIRE HYDRANTS

 Beginning in June, 2014, the city Water and Sewer Systems Code was amended to require visual indication when fire hydrants are on private water mains, and to clearly state that the property owner is responsible for any maintenance.

 Private hydrants are to be painted red and white rather than yellow, which is consistent with the practice of the city of Columbus.

 If requested by the property owner in writing, the Upper Arlington Fire Division will perform the annual inspection and testing (flushing and pumping) of all private hydrants within the city.

Speaker Request

The fire chief coordinates requests for speakers at meetings and public events. Topics can be tailored to meet the needs of the organization, ranging from basic public speaking to prop-filled, multi-media presentations.
 
Two-week advance notice is required.

To request a speaker, contact Fire Administration at 614-583-5100.

Mercury Recycling

Franklin County Public Health and the Ohio EPA eliminated their mercury drop-off program in early 2011. These agencies had partnered with local fire departments to provide this service. As a result, the Fire Division and UA fire stations are no longer able to accept mercury or mercury-related items.

Residents with mercury to dispose of can continue to do so via the county's Household Hazardous Waste program. There is a permanent site that will accept mercury year-round, and occasional drive-through events held at various locations. Specifics of this program are available by calling the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio at 614-294-1300 or clicking on the SWACO website.

School Fire Safety Education Program

The mission statement of the Fire Division includes the clause, "Through training and education, we will provide for the safety and well-being of the public...".

The Fire Division has provided a proactive fire safety program for Upper Arlington's public and private schools for decades. A civilian fire safety education coordinator, who is a retired educator, spearheads the program.

A unique feature of this service is that professional educational lesson plans are presented in individual classroom settings rather than an "assembly" type environment. Although more labor-intensive, we believe this approach is much more effective. We believe the use of age appropriate lesson plans taught by a trained fire safety educator to small classroom sized groups results in a student body well-educated in lifelong fire & life safety practices.

The primary goal of the program is to teach a different fire or life safety protective skill to every student in every classroom, in every school in grades preschool through seven, every year.

Sparky's House

The Fire Division operates a mobile laboratory, called "Sparky's House", used to teach proper behavior and techniques in a fire emergency. This includes leaving a building quickly, crawling low in smoke, and using escape ladders. The house is designed with bedrooms and a kitchen, and is equipped with smoke alarms as well as machinery to create a non-toxic, smoke-filled environment.

The current unit was placed in service in 1999, as a result of the generosity and success of annual fundraising efforts by Upper Arlington Firefighters Local 1521.
 
The Fire Division utilizes Sparky's House at Safety Town, the Labor Day Arts Festival, Fire Prevention Week, and other events throughout the year.

Groups wishing to tour the house should call 614-583-5115 to make an appointment.

Juvenile Firesetter Intervention

In 1963, the Upper Arlington Fire Division was one of the first departments in the United States to initiate a juvenile firesetter program. "Juveniles and Fire: The Upper Arlington Report", was published in 1978, and was commonly requested by fire departments across the United States for many years. The Fire Division has also received several site visits from the United States Fire Administration to study the program.

In 1985, several area fire marshals established the "Franklin County Juvenile Firesetter Task Force", with the primary goal of developing a training program for fire service educators. The following year, the Upper Arlington Fire Division instituted the resulting educator training program.

Residents and families who have children involved in the inappropriate use of fire can contact the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115. You will be referred to fire personnel who have received specialized training in the screening and education of juvenile firesetters. These firefighters are able to assist families in differentiating between curiosity-based and risk-taking behavior. Personnel can provide referrals to professionals in other specialty fields if the situation warrants.

Smoke Detector Program

Message from the Fire Chief:
In 2001, Upper Arlington experienced two separate incidents that resulted in our first fire fatalities in over twenty years. While the circumstances that led to these two fires were very different, there was one common element. In both cases it was found that smoke detector function was impaired due to improper installation or maintenance. In one of the fires there were three detectors in the residence, none of which had batteries in them. There were seven additional detectors found in adjoining units, but not one was working. This is not just an Upper Arlington problem, but also one that has been found throughout the United States. Statistics now show that there are more homes with non-working smoke detectors in the country than there are homes with no detectors.

As Upper Arlington's fire chief, it concerns me greatly that we have residents in our town living every day with a false sense of security. They know they have detectors and just assume they will work when needed. Unless you have tested the detector and replaced the batteries regularly, chances are it will not work.

Since these fires, our division has implemented a program we hope will cut through some of the apathy toward smoke detectors and fires in general. Short of going door-to-door in the entire city, we cannot reach every household. We need your help in doing your part to ensure the protection of you and your family.

What I have instructed firefighters to do is that when they are in a house for any type of run, and time and circumstances are appropriate, to offer to check smoke detectors, and replace batteries and/or install a detector if needed. Emergency vehicles have been equipped with batteries, detectors, and the proper tools for installation. If you need this type of assistance and do not want to wait until we might be at your house, please call our Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115 and we will make sure someone can assist you.

As firefighters we see or read about fire deaths every day that could have been prevented by a $2.00 battery or a $10.00 smoke detector. We always wonder why so many people ignore something so important. Recently I have wondered and worried about how many people in Upper Arlington go to bed every night thinking that the detector will work when needed, but are not willing to spend the time or money to make sure they are protected.

We as firefighters have taken an oath to protect the citizens of Upper Arlington from fire. The most efficient way is to make sure that working smoke detectors protect every household. I cannot personally, nor can my firefighters, check every smoke detector in the city. We need your help. Please check your detectors and make sure they work.

In the interest of public safety,

Jeff Young
Fire Chief

Carbon Monoxide

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.  If you are installing only one CO detector, they recommend placing it near sleeping areas where it will awaken you if you are sleeping.

The Fire Division responds to both emergency (detector alarming and people ill with flu-like symptoms) and non-emergency (detector alarming and won't reset) situations, and uses advanced instrumentation to check a building's atmosphere for carbon monoxide.

REMEMBER: Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. It is impossible for you to detect on your own.

Common sources of carbon monoxide in the home are improperly vented gas-fired automobiles, furnaces, hot water tanks, appliances, generators and fireplaces.

If you have any doubt about the safety of those in your home, call 9-1-1 immediately. For non-emergent situations, call the police and fire dispatcher at 614-583-5410.

Fire Extinguisher Training

Primarily geared toward businesses and other public organizations, lesson plans can include lectures and hands-on training, using a live fire training simulator. Organizations requesting this program are responsible for providing classroom space for the number of students taking the class and an outdoor area suitable for the live-fire training.


To schedule this training or for additional details, contact the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115.

Knox Boxes

The Fire Division, in conjunction with the Knox Company, utilizes a program where residents and businesses may purchase a mini lockable vault that gives firefighters access to keys to gain entry to buildings in emergency situations.

Popular with homes or businesses with alarm systems, or residents who are infirm or prone to illness or injury, this system has been in use for many years. Only the Fire Division has access to the master key. The boxes are miniature steel vaults that the resident or business installs on the exterior of the structure.

In times of emergency, the dispatcher tells firefighters if a Knox-Box is on-site. If so, arriving personnel can use a special key to access the building keys and gain entrance without having to force a door or damage the building.

To purchase a Knox-Box or obtain more information about this device, contact the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115.

Fire Investigations

Thee Ohio Revised Code requires fire departments to investigate every fire in their jurisdiction to determine the cause. To fulfill this mandate, Fire Prevention staff may work independently, or in collaboration with Police Division investigators, the Ohio State Fire Marshal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and/or with the combined resources of the Northwest Area Strike Team (NAS-T).

The Northwest Area Strike Team (NAS-T)

NAS-T is a cooperative effort of seven fire departments from the northwest area of Franklin and Delaware counties. The ad hoc organization was founded in 1980, when fire investigators from multiple jurisdictions came up with an idea to combine resources to assist each other in the investigation of fires. Today, the extreme foresight of this effort is seen as a natural evolution of the concept of mutual-aid on a regional, state, and national basis that is common today via the Interstate Mutual-Aid Compact.

Outdoor Burning Guidelines

The Ohio Fire Code permits outdoor burning that is safely contained, has a fuel load no larger than three-feet in diameter by two-feet high, has an extinguishing device immediately available, and is constantly attended by an adult. Larger fires require a permit from both the Ohio EPA and the Upper Arlington Fire Division.

Recreational campfires must be kept at least 25 feet from all structures. Fires in approved non-combustible containers, such as portable outdoor fireplaces, must be kept at least 15 feet from structures.

Upper Arlington city ordinance 25-2014 requires that only clean, seasoned firewood, or its equivalent, may be burned. Burn only when winds are mild, to keep embers from traveling through the air and causing an unwanted fire.

Before buying a portable outdoor fireplace, or burning a recreational fire in your yard, discuss your plans with the neighbors to make sure the smoke won't create health concerns for them.

Further information on Ohio EPA burning requirements

The above information is not all-inclusive, and is provided as a general guideline for safe, legal outdoor burning. Please contact the Fire Prevention Office at 583-5115 with questions or to obtain permit information.

Sparky the Fire Dog

Recognizable for decades as a symbol of fire safety and fire prevention efforts, this costumed character is a copyrighted product of the National Fire Protection Association. Fire departments may obtain license to assume the character of Sparky in promoting their fire prevention efforts in the community.

Sparky does not speak, but along with his handler, will occasionally appear at public events to promote fire prevention and safety.

Sparky is not available for public requests.

Residential Fire Inspections

This free, confidential service includes consultation regarding emergency escape routes, smoke and carbon monoxide detector placement and testing, and identification of fire and life safety hazards. Residents applying for foster home/adoption status are also served by this program.

To schedule a residential fire safety inspection, contact the Fire Prevention Office at 614-583-5115.

Commercial Fire Inspections

Fire Prevention staff perform fire safety and final occupancy inspections of all public commercial buildings in the City. This includes fire protection systems (sprinklers, detectors, alarms, etc) being modified, tested, or newly installed. Activities requiring a permit and inspection from the Fire Division include petroleum underground storage tank work, erection of tents over 400 square feet in area, and the operation of service stations.

The Fire Division takes a proactive approach in the enforcement of the maintenance provisions of the Ohio Fire Code. All inspections are performed by state of Ohio certified fire inspectors, who enforce all city and state fire codes.
 
The objective of these inspections is the elimination of fire and life safety hazards, the maintenance of fire protection/detection equipment and systems, assurance of the installation and functionality of means of egress components, and the safe storage and use of materials.
 
UAFD Inspectors perform all the required inspections for the fire suppression & protection permits issued by the Upper Arlington Community Development Department, assuring compliance with the Ohio Building Code. 

EMS Transport Billing Program

The Fire Division, along with approximately 85 percent of communities nationwide, bills for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) transports. Private insurance and Medicare policies already contain provisions for treatment and transport by an emergency medical provider. The funds generated from EMS billing provide an effective long-term means to defray some of the costs involved with Fire Division operations.

If you or a family member is provided with emergency medical services that result in transportation to a local hospital, a bill for the transport will be sent to your insurance company, Medicare, or Medicaid. There is never a situation where service must be paid for on the day it is rendered, and UAFD personnel will never be involved in any part of a financial transaction.

Patient care will not be compromised by this program and you should never be afraid to call 9-1-1 for help when you need it. The fire departments in Franklin County will never refuse to render treatment or to transport to a medical facility due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

EMS services should always be used in times of medical emergency, especially when a patient is alone and not in a condition to drive to a medical facility. Doing so brings with it a high risk of losing control of the vehicle and further injuring or even killing yourself, as well as endangering the lives of others on the road. Remember also that EMS providers don't have to deal with the delays of road traffic and parking, and can deliver patients to medical facilities more rapidly and safely.


Following an EMS transport, bills are sent to the insurance company of the patient. Patients only see a request for information in the mail if the record of insurance is not on file and cannot be obtained by the EMS crew (e.g. is the patient was unconscious). Patients may receive a "signature letter" to sign and return following a transport to a medical facility. This is not a bill, and to assist in processing the insurance payment, you are asked to sign and return the letter promptly.

UA residents should also be aware that, if UAFD medic units are occupied with other EMS calls, medical care would be provided via another fire department. In such situations, the insurance reimbursement regulations require that non-residents of the entity providing the service be billed for the co-pay required by their insurance company.

Emergency Medical Service FAQs

Does charging for EMS transports compromise patient care in any way?

No. All calls for help are answered in the same manner, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay.

What process takes place when a person calls 9-1-1?

All calls to 9-1-1 in Upper Arlington go to the Communications Center, located at the Municipal Services Center. Dispatchers immediately send the closest available unit that has the required equipment and personnel. This may be a medic unit, fire truck, or a combination of the two. Typically these are Upper Arlington units however, if all Upper Arlington units are busy with other emergencies, units from other communities in Franklin County are called upon to respond, thanks to mutual aid agreements that assure quick emergency service.

Are these mutual aid agreements compromised if communities have different or no EMS billing practices?

No. Mutual aid is recognized as an important mechanism for assuring comprehensive and responsive fire and medical emergency assistance to citizens of all Franklin County communities. Community leaders and fire chiefs of these communities have agreed that mutual aid will not be affected in any way.

What happens after firefighters arrive at an emergency location?

Appropriate treatment is rendered according to the injury or illness. Transportation to a medical facility is sometimes but not always required. If the patient's condition warrants it, the medic unit provides this service.

What happens differently with services that bill for EMS transports?

If the patient is in a condition to do so, he/she is asked for medical insurance information and a signature, as typically happens when being admitted to a hospital. If this practice might interfere with patient care, it is delayed or a relative is asked to provide the appropriate information. EMS reporting software currently used by Upper Arlington already collects most of the required information, and can be expanded to capture insurance information.

What can Upper Arlington residents expect?
  • Upper Arlington residents will not be billed for a transport or for any outstanding balance on a claim, even if they do not have insurance.
  • Residents may receive a letter requesting or verifying insurance information if it had not been obtained in full at the time of the EMS transport.
  • Some private insurance companies may submit payment to the patient when it should be sent to the City. If this occurs and the patient has not forwarded the check to the City, he/she will receive a letter from the City requesting reimbursement.
  • In some cases whereby an EMS transport is provided by another jurisdiction through mutual aid, the policy of that responding agency will apply, therefore Upper Arlington residents may receive a bill for any balance due on the claim.
 
What can non-residents expect?
  • Transport claims will be submitted to Medicaid/Medicare/private insurance as before.
  • Non-residents will receive up to three bills for any balance not paid by Medicare/Medicaid/private insurance, or the entire amount if they do not have insurance.

What happens if I do not have insurance?

Responding to a call for help remains the top priority, regardless of an individual's medical insurance situation and ability to pay. Upper Arlington residents will not receive a bill for the transport or any outstanding balance, even if they do not have insurance. While non-residents will receive a bill for any outstanding balance not covered by insurance or the full amount due, the City will work with low-income individuals who do not have insurance as such cases arise.

Do health insurance policies cover EMS transportation?
 
Yes, both private and government health insurance plans include provisions for EMS transportation.

Do people have to pay for service the day it is rendered?
 
No. Once gathered, patient information would be forwarded to a third party billing agency contracted by the City and specializing in EMS billing. The patient's insurance company or Medicare would be billed for the run. Recent changes in rules set by the Department of Health and Human Services enables government entities to only invoice the patient's insurance company or Medicare, and does not require them to bill those who cannot pay or are indigent. They may also waive the coinsurance fee for their residents rather than adopt a "hard billing" policy that would result in invoicing the patient for the balance and taking a proactive collection stance.

Does EMS billing cause a significant increase in health insurance fees?

Health care costs will rise regardless of whether a community bills for EMS transports. The primary factors influencing such increases are prescription drug coverage, medical litigation, technology in medicine, and depressed investment company returns. Most private insurance and Medicare policies already have provisions in place for treatment and transport by an emergency medical provider. Billing for EMS transports allows the City to recoup some of its operating costs by taking advantage of existing insurance monies.

What annual revenue does the City realize through EMS billing?
 
The Fire Division averages 2,000 EMS transports per year (residents and non-residents). Based on these numbers and the rate-of-return seen by municipalities with similar demographics that already have EMS billing, the City conservatively anticipates an annual return of $400,000.

What are the resulting funds raised through EMS Transport Billing used for?
 
The funds raised are set aside to support fire and emergency medical services provided by the Upper Arlington Fire Division. This includes the support of facilities maintenance and upgrades, and the purchase of fire and EMS equipment and vehicles when needed.

CPR Training

Residents wishing to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation can take advantage of monthly training sessions offered by the Fire Division. Upon completion of the class, students will be American Heart Association certified in "Heartsaver CPR/AED" for a two-year period. This includes techniques for resuscitation of adults, children, and infants.

All forms of registration are coordinated through the city's Parks and Recreation Department, via their LifeLong Learning program. Those interested can register online, by phone at 583-5300, or in-person at the Parks and Recreation front desk at 3600 Tremont Road.

The registration fee is $20.00 per person, which includes all class materials,  a student workbook, and a CPR barrier device for each student to take home.

Class size is limited to twelve people, and participants must be at least ten years of age.

All classes are held at Fire Station 72 at 3861 Reed Road. Parking is available adjacent to the firehouse. Students should access the building via the public entrance on the Lytham Road side.

Each class runs from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

AED Program

One of the goals of the Fire Division is to increase the number of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in our community. Research has shown that intervention with an AED is as important as CPR in treating a victim of cardiac arrest. The division has partnered with other community organizations to raise public awareness of this subject. Through private and public donations, AEDs have been placed in schools, the Senior Center, Municipal Services Center, the Northam Park Tennis Courts, Public Services Center, the Amelita Mirolo Barn, at city swimming pools, in Fire Division staff vehicles, and in police cruisers. In addition, private businesses have purchased AEDs for their sites, including Scioto Country Club, the Swim & Racquet Club, the OSU Golf Course, churches, and physicians' offices.

Please call 614-583-5110 if you are interested in AED training, or would like to support the purchase of AED units in other public locations.

Blood Pressure Screening

Residents may stop by any fire station to have their blood pressure taken. Calling ahead is encouraged. The Upper Arlington Avenue station number is 614-583-5471, and the Reed Road station number is 614-583-5472.

STAY UA

The City of Upper Arlington's Fire Division is excited to partner with National Church Residences in a service coordinator program that facilitates keeping older adults and residents with disabilities safely in their homes.

Beginning in early April 2009, the part-time, one-year pilot program has been made possible through funding from the Rev. John R. Glenn Foundation, via National Church Residences. It is believed to be the first program of its kind in the country. The program bridges the gap between services offered by the Fire Division's emergency medical service by connecting residents with the appropriate support services that could help prevent future emergency situations.

In its first year of existence, the program helped link numerous members of our community with resources and services they did not know were available to them, resulting in immediate, cost effective improvements to their quality of life and the ability to remain in their homes.

Effective April 2010, the program is to be established as a sustained community program supported by Upper Arlington City Council, the City of Upper Arlington, and numerous community organizations.

To contact the STAY UA service coordinator, call 614-551-1832, 614-583-5114, or email stayua@uaoh.net.

Emergency Medical Services

The Upper Arlington Fire Division operates with pre-hospital advanced life support capabilities. This means that every injury or illness that is responded to by UAFD has paramedic-level care.

UAFD EMS units will attempt to always transport patients to the medical facility of their choice. Sometimes, however, this option is beyond the control of the local EMS provider. When emergency departments in the Columbus area are treating a very large number of patients, they do not permit transport to their facility except in cases of extreme emergency.

Should you be involved in a transport where this situation arises, we will apprise you of the circumstances and take you to an alternate facility to assure you receive the best care possible.

Sometimes patients who are transported by EMS may be less sick than other patients in the emergency department. If this happens, you may need to wait in an emergency department holding area until the sicker patients are treated first. You will be checked to make sure that you are well enough to wait there. If you ever find yourself in these circumstances and begin feeling worse at any time, make sure to let hospital medical staff know.

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News & Notices

  • Summer Celebration
    Parks & Recreation Department's annual Summer Celebration event.
  • UA Insight - May/June 2018
    Look for your latest copy of our UA Insight newsletter. In this issue we feature a summary of the Parks plan findings, Centennial updates and details on the community's new Neighborhood Bridges Program.
  • Road Construction Updates
    A public meeting is scheduled for April 24 relative to the Tewksbury Road Storm Sewer Replacement Project, and for the Sustainable Sewer Solutions Project. Check out our construction update map for construction areas and possible detours.