Driveway Standards for Emergency Vehicles

October 8, 2012

Dear Homeowner,

It has recently come to the attention of the fire department that private driveways in its protection district may not be accommodating to Mount Horeb Fire Department fire and EMS apparatus. Unfortunately, with 135 square miles of district, it is not feasible or possible for the Mount Horeb Fire Department to individually inspect and converse with homeowners about the hazards of narrow or unsafe driveways. This letter will serve as a request by the fire department to have homeowners inspect their driveways for accessibility and durability.

Each township within the Mount Horeb Fire District has developed ordinances regarding driveway maintenance and durability. These ordinances were partially drafted to allow accommodations for fire and EMS apparatus if an emergency were to occur at your residence or on your property. Driveways that are not wide enough to accommodate a vehicle, have low-lying branches that block passage-way or are unable to accommodate fire or EMS apparatus weight and believed to be hazardous will not be accessed by apparatus. Unfortunately, if we are unable to access your property with our vehicles, we will be forced to respond on foot. The consequences of having the fire department or ambulance personnel respond on foot can be disastrous and costly as a foot response significantly handicaps our fire ground operations and delays patient care.

Mount Horeb’s largest truck, standard in size, is its ladder truck. This vehicle will require a driveway opening that is 14 feet in height and 14 feet in width. Other vehicles in the fire house are slightly smaller in size, but require similar dimensions to accommodate them. Weight of the vehicles may be as much as 35 tons.      It is expected driveways will be able to accommodate these requirements.

If you have any further questions regarding driveway requirements, information can be accessed from the township websites. If you wish to have your driveway individually inspected, Mount Horeb Fire Department will attempt to meet with you to discuss your driveway and concerns in conjunction with your town patrolman.


Craig Brinkmann

Chief of Department

Phone: 608/437-5571