Office Phone Number: (620) 947-3556
Emergency Phone Number: 9-1-1
Ben Steketee, Fire Chief
Hillsboro Fire Department is a volunteer department. Each firefighter carries a radio or pager wherever they go. When an emergency is reported to 911 dispatch, the dispatcher decides who to send (police, fire, or ambulance). If it’s Hillsboro Fire Department, the dispatcher initiates a tone that activates our radios and announces the details of the emergency. The Firefighters then respond to the station and get into their gear (fire coat, pants, boots and helmet). They then get into the appropriate fire or rescue truck and respond to the scene. From the time we hear the tone to when we arrive on scene (in Hillsboro) can be as fast as 1 minute, but almost never more than 5 minutes.
Hillsboro Fire Department is also Hillsboro Rescue, one of four primary rescue teams in Marion County. We specialize in vehicle/farm extrication, but also perform water and rope rescues.
Your Hillsboro firefighters are highly trained professionals that take their jobs very seriously. They devote themselves to an average of 70 hours of training per year, some much more than that. Much of this training is focused on doing our job safely. We are not a group that is going to act foolishly to try to uphold the notion that firefighters are heroic and expendable. We will respond with courage when the situation requires it, but if something is already lost to fire, then the risks we will take are few. No building is worth the life of a firefighter. If however, there exists a chance for a viable rescue or save, then the risks we will take will be greater.
Those of us that are protected by the Hillsboro Fire Department are fortunate to have these dedicated people serving us, but it takes more than that. The families of these volunteers and their employers share in this commitment to community safety. Likewise our governmental leaders show their commitment by providing your fire department with first rate apparatus, equipment and training. So as you can see, it takes a lot of people to make a good fire department; but fire safety starts with you. Make sure you have properly placed, working smoke detectors in your home. Make a plan for how to get everyone out when there is a fire. Be sure to agree on a safe meeting place for everyone in the house to go, so you will know immediately if someone is still inside and so you can tell the firefighters when they arrive. But most of all, just be fire smart. Fire is a tool that we use almost every day, but it is also a violent and deadly force that can catch us by surprise if we let it.