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Fire Department

G.H.F.D. is
now accepting
lateral transfers

Click here!

Chief Thomas Nemetz
For emergencies, call: 911
For non-emergencies call 216-475-8040
Fax:  216-475-8389

The Garfield Heights Fire Department consists of two stations.

Station One is located at 5115 Turney Road and Station Two is at 4585 East 131th Street.

In addition to fire fighting and emergency medical services, the Fire Department provides many services including fire safety inspections, public education and miscellaneous services such as pulse readings and CPR classes.

Public Services

  • Emergency Preparedness - if anyone in the City of Garfield Heights needs information on preparing for an emergency in their house/business they should contact the Garfield Heights Fire Prevention Bureau at (216) 475-4043

Inspection Services

  • Periodic inspections of commercial buildings
  • Inspections of residences, upon request

Public Education

  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training for groups
  • First aid training for groups
  • Carbon monoxide presentations for groups
  • Fire safety presentations for groups, schools, etc.
  • Fire extinguisher training for employers, groups, individuals, etc.

Miscellaneous Services

  • Fire Station tours for schools, groups, etc. (by appointment only)
  • Rescue squad standby for special events
  • Meeting rooms available for small groups
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) investigations for residences or businesses

Messages from Fire Prevention

  • Click here for information regarding "Generator Safety".
  • Click here for information regarding "Carbon Monoxide".
  • Click here for information regarding "Fire Extinguisher Recalls".
  • Click here for information regarding "Ready Notify".
  • Click here for information regarding "Cold Weather Tips".
  • Click here for information regarding "Smoke Detectors".
  • Click here for information regarding "April is 9-1-1 Awareness Month” (9-1-1 the Number to Know)".
  • Click here for information regarding "The Rules of Open Burning in Garfield Heights".


Garfield Heights Firefighter Swearing-In Ceremony

From left, Fire Chief Tom Nemetz, Firefighter Demetrius Butler, Firefighter Tyler Lowe, Firefighter Frank Wallingford, and Mayor Vic Collova.

Mayor Vic Collova presided over a swearing-in ceremony for three new firefighter/paramedics June 9 at Fire Station #1. The experienced firefighters include Demetrius Butler, Tyler Lowe and Frank Wallingford.

Fire Chief Tom Nemetz said all of the firefighter/paramedics were hired through a lateral transfer procedure. “We are getting an experienced group of firefighters who will serve our city well,” Nemetz said.

Butler is transferring from the Canton Fire Department. He also has experience working for Cleveland Emergency Medical Service, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and the Twinsburg Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in emergency management, and associate’s degrees in fire technology and emergency medical service.

Lowe is transferring from the East Cleveland Fire Department. He also works part-time for the Oakwood Fire Department.

Wallingford is transferring from the Memphis, Tenn. Fire Department. A native of Northeast Ohio, he also has experience working at a chest pain and stroke center, the Mentor Fire Department, as well as Lake and South Point hospitals. He has an associate’s of science degree and was at the top of his paramedic class.

Firefighter Demetrius Butler

Firefighter Tyler Lowe

Firefighter Frank Wallingford

Carefully Decorating Christmas Trees Can Help Make Your Holidays Safer

Facts & Figures

  • Christmas trees were the items first ignited in an estimated average of 310 reported U.S home structure fires per year in 1999-.2002. These fires caused an average of 14 civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage per year. Th/ese statistics include both real and artificial trees.
  • On average, one in every 22 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death.
  • More than four of every ten home Christmas tree fires are caused by an electrical problem or malfunction. One in four (24%) home Christmas tree fires resulted from a heat source placed too close to the tree. Seven percent were started by children playing with fire.
  • When equipment was involved in the ignition of the fire, Lamps, Bulbs or Lighting (18%), and Cords or Plugs (13%) were cited more often than any other type of equipment. No equipment was involved in 44% of these fires.
  • Candles were the heat source in 8% of the home Christmas tree fires per year between 1999 and 2002.
  • Sixty-one percent of the home Christmas tree fires were reported in December, 22% were reported in January. Not surprisingly, the number of these fires spikes during the week of December 22-28.

These statistics are based on fires that started with Christmas trees and do not include fires starting with other products. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can very quickly become large. Source: NFPA's One-Stop Data Shop

Safety Tips

  • When decorating Christmas trees, always use safe tree lights. (Some lights are designed only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.) Larger tree lights should also have some type of reflector rather than a bare bulb and all lights should be listed by a testing laboratory.
  • Never use electric lights on a metal tree.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use tree lights. Any string of lights with worn, frayed or broken cords or loose bulb connections should not be used.
  • Check your strands of lights to determine the number of strands that may be connected. Connect no more than
  • three strands of push-in bulbs and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  • Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and extend their life.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and place them well away from tree branches.
  • Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily. Do not purchase a tree that is dry or dropping needles.
  • When purchasing a live or cut tree, check for fresh, green needles.
  • Choose a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant.
  • Children are fascinated with Christmas trees. Keep a watchful eye on them when around the tree and do not let them play with the wiring or lights.
  • Store matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet (one meter) away from any heat source, such as fireplaces and radiators. Try to position the tree near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances. Do not place the tree where it may block exits.
  • Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against the house.

Hazmat Training Session at the Rec Center

The Chagrin/Southeast Emergency Hazmat Team recently held a training session at the Dan Kostel Recreation Center where members from multiple fire departments learned about safety and survival. The team responds to regional hazardous materials emergencies when they occur. According to retired Garfield Heights firefighter and Hazmat trainer Pat Nelson, the group has monthly drills.

"In September, we had a class on safety and survival in Level A personal protective clothing while being supplied with air from self-contained breathing apparatus," Nelson said. "While dressed in full personal protective clothing, members jumped in the pool to simulate a fall in a recovery pit in a warehouse full of hazardous materials and then needed to swim to a safe area."

"Thanks to the city of Garfield Heights fire and recreation departments' cooperation, we were able to accomplish our training goals," Nelson said.