General Questions

What are your hours of operation?

When it comes to answering calls of service (Fire, EMS, etc.), we are a 24 hour a day operation. Whether it is 1am or 1pm, personnel are ready to respond to your emergency.

Our administrative business hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, except for holidays.

Being a volunteer service, how do you ensure that someone will always respond?

While we are a volunteer service, we have a system in place to ensure that every call receives the adequate manpower and resources as required, regardless of the time of day. We achieve this through various types of staffing models:

On-Call Paid Responders
Responders from each company carry “pagers” and radios that activate when there is an emergency. These individuals immediately stop their current activity, whether it is working, sleeping, having dinner with family, or working around the house, and respond to the call.

Per-Diem (Part-Time) Employees
On January 1st, 2012, the department started the Per-Diem EMS program which allows for a EMT-paramedic to be located at Town Center Station between the hours of 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week. This position is still augmented by on-call responders and covers over 60% of our total EMS calls.

Night Duty Coverage
Each night, three firefighters and three EMT on-call responders commit to being available and will respond to calls (from their homes) between the hours of 10pm to 6am.

Blasting & Building Permits

Where can I obtain a burn permit?

Open burning permits are issued by the Public Safety Clerk located at the Police Department under the authority of the Chief of the Fire Department. Permits maybe obtained between the hours of 8am and 4pm, 7 days a week. All applicants for permits must be a resident of the Town of Cape Elizabeth and the landowner, or an authorized user of the land. Individuals applying for a permit must be at least 18 years of age.

For more information regarding burn permits, including all applicable rules & regulations, please visit our permits page.

How much do burn permits cost?

Burn permits issued at the Police Department are free of charge. If a resident elects to purchase a permit online, he/she will be charged $7, $2 of which will be returned to Cape Elizabeth.

NOTE: If you purchase a burn permit online, it is strongly suggested that you contact our department at (207) 799-6409 to notify us of your planned burning.

Fire Safety Inspections

Do you inspect all buildings within the Town of Cape Elizabeth?

No, Maine State Law only allows us to inspect commercial buildings and multiple occupancy residential buildings that house 2 or more families.

For more information regarding our inspections program, including all applicable rules & regulations, please visit our inspections page.

How often do you inspect each building?
Each building under our jurisdiction is inspected yearly to ensure it meets all applicable fire safety regulations. If violations are found on the first visit, we will return to the property after providing the owner sufficient time to correct the deficiencies. Buildings owned by the Town of Cape Elizabeth are often inspected numerous times a year and on a random basis.


Who owns the fire hydrant in my front yard?
The Portland Water District (PWD) owns all of the hydrants located on all public streets within the Town of Cape Elizabeth. While the hydrant may appear to be on your property, it is actually within the legal right of way. The Town of Cape Elizabeth contracts with the PWD each year to provide this vital life and property saving resource to our community. The PWD is responsible for all maintenance related to the hydrants, for the exception of fall flagging and snow removal.
How far must I keep objects away from the hydrant?
The National Fire Protection Association requires that all hydrants have an unobstructed path to and from roadway, as well as, a 3 foot diameter path on all sides. Obstructions include trees, plants, snow, vehicles, and all other objects that prevent ease of access.
Who is responsible for removing snow around hydrants?
The Fire Department is ultimately responsible to ensure that all hydrants are clear of snow. This means that firefighters must clear appropriately 330+ hydrants every each time we receive a sizable snowfall. This effort often takes us a few days to complete. Residents are encouraged to assist in the process by clearing snow from around hydrants located near their homes, which will ensure that they are immediately accessible.


This is only a small listing of the many questions we are asked on a daily basis. If your question is not listed above, please feel free to reach out to us!