General Questions

Q – What sort of training do you have to take to become a firefighter?

A – The State of WI has set some training levels for anyone that wishes to become a member of a department. The initial training is a 60 hour Entry Level Training. This training gets you a basic knowledge of what it takes to work on a fire scene. Members are also required to take a 16 hour Hazardous Materials Operations training, complete online National Incident Management System classes (NIMS ICS-700, ICS-100, and ICS-200).

There is an additional training of 36 hours that allows you to become a Certified Firefighter I in WI. Once this training has been completed you can take additional training to become a Certified Firefighter II, Certified Fire Officer, Fire Inspector, Vehicle Extrication Technician, and Confined Space Rescuer just to name a few.

There is also in-house training that is done on a monthly basis at each station that refreshes skills that you have previously learned.

Q – How old do you have to be to become a firefighter?

A – Township Fire Department has several different levels of firefighter levels within the department. The first level is a student firefighter. Student firefighters are young men and women at least 16 years of age but not yet 18. Student firefighters receive the same training as all other firefighters on the department but do not respond to calls until they turn 18.

The next levels are all men and women who are at least 18 years of age. They are trained and are members of the department until they decide they no longer wish to do so.

Q – What does it mean to be a “volunteer” firefighter?

A – A volunteer firefighter has another job that they make their living doing. They “volunteer” to be a firefighter because they want to help their neighbors in a time of need and to provide a service to their community. They respond to calls during their time off from their regular job. In some cases their employer gives them time off from their job to respond to fires.

Q – How do you get notified of a fire?

A – When someone calls 911 to report a fire, the dispatcher transmits an alert tone on the radio and then gives information regarding the type and location of the call. All of our firefighters carry a pager that receives the tone and the information. Our officers also carry portable radios.

Q – Do your firefighters live at the station?

A – No, Township Fire Department firefighters respond from their homes to either the station to get on a truck or directly to the scene. All of our firefighters have other, full time jobs.

Q – How many firefighters are in your department?

A – Township Fire Department averages 150 firefighters.

Q – How large is your service area?

A – Township Fire Department provides fire protection to the Townships of Seymour, Washington, Union, Pleasant Valley, and Brunswick in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. These five townships encompass a total of 232 square miles and basically surround the city of Eau Claire.

Q – How many people live within your service area?

A – The total population of the five townships mentioned above is 18,831.

Burning Permit Questions

Q – I want to get rid of my brush, sticks, leaves and such, but I’m concerned about environmental issues, nuisance smoke, and safety. Are there better and safer ways to dispose of it?

A – Boxx Sanitation is currently operating a brush disposal site on Jeffers Rd. You may contact them for more information and pricing. The DNR also operates an excellent website with alternatives to burning. You may visit the webpage at

Q – How do I know what the wind speed is?

A – The fire department uses The National Weather Service as the official weather reporting station for our area. You may check current and past wind speeds at

Q – I have an old house/barn/shed/out building I want to get rid of. Will the fire department come out and burn it down for me?

A – Unfortunately, due to environmental issues, and liability concerns, we no longer burn standing structures for town residents. The structures must be demolished, and the materials hauled to approved disposal sites. We suggest that if you wish to dispose of a standing structure, you contact the DNR.

Q – Can I have a campfire?

Yes. You may have a campfire whenever you would like. Whereas, open burning is not permitted after midnight, Sundays, and holidays, you may have a campfire anytime. However, your campfire must meet the definition of a campfire. A campfire should be less than 5 feet in diameter, have some sort of containment (in a pit, burn ring, stones, blocks, etc.), and be used for cooking, heating and recreational purposes. Rarely, campfires may be banned during extremely dry weather. This usually occurs during DNR-declared “red flag” days.

Q – What items can I burn?

A – You may burn yard refuse, brush, leaves, stumps, garden waste and like materials. Small amounts of personal papers and cardboard may be used to start your brush piles. Clean, unpainted, unstained, and untreated scraps of lumber may also be burned. Household garbage, furniture, animal carcasses, and recyclable materials are not allowed. You can see an entire list of what can be burned and what cannot be burned by clicking the link to see your town ordinance.

Q – When can I burn?

A – Burning is allowed Monday through Friday, from 6 PM to Midnight. Burning is allowed on Saturdays from 8 AM to Midnight. There is no burning on Sundays and holidays. During winter months, with appropriate snow cover, burning may be conducted Monday thru Saturday, from 8 AM to Midnight. Wind speeds must be less than 10 MPH before permits can be issued, and residents can burn. As snow depth and snow cover can vary greatly over the course of the month, there may be winter days where burning is not permitted during the day. A minimum 2 or more inches of even snow cover throughout the county is required. Although you may have what you consider an appropriate amount in your yard may not suffice if other areas nearby have little or no snow cover.

Helpful Links

Think your fire is out? Well, check again! Embers left behind from debris piles, campfires or ashes dumped from cleaning out woodstoves or fireplaces can remain hot for days, even weeks. Those smoldering embers can easily rekindle, escape and cause a wildfire.

Read full articleBe Ember Aware: Helpful information from the DNR on how to prevent fires.