Every event varies in the flavor and pace of attention spans, but generally, we first provide your guests a chance to look around the outside of the truck, ask questions about the truck, equipment or tools on board. From there, we open the doors for a crawl-around the inside and outside of the truck, and all trucks are equipped with wearable gear (jackets, helmets, etc.) to try on and play with.
You may have specific requests or ideas of things you'd like to see us do, and we are always open to discuss how we can work your ideas into the event. (As a rule, we'll entertain all reasonable requests, providing they can be accomplished in a manner that is safe for everyone involved and fall within the time parameters of the event) Individual trucks may also carry additional equipment, such as water-filled fire extinguishers, to offer some amusement for your guests.
This one is really a two part question:
The first part is your preference -- do you want us to arrive before, during, or after your guests have arrived? If you're going all out with a fire themed birthday, for example, you may want your guests to all arrive and then be surprised when the truck arrives. (We've done birthdays where we are the first to arrive, mixed in with the guest's arrival, and arrived after, and all were equally successful, so it all depends on the mood you're trying to set.)
The second part is a matter of age of your guests. With younger guests, the attention span check out tends to fade faster than older guests. For events with a guest of honor in the 3-5 age range, our experience has shown the involvement fade in the 60-90 minute range. Events for older guests of honor is a bit longer, but by the two hour mark, even the most fascinated of children begin to check out in pursuit of other activities. (You know your child and audience better, of course, so guidelines may not reflect their interest in fire service, and it's possible no time limit will ever be sufficient to satisfy their curiosities.)
The reality is most homes do not have a driveway that is long enough to accommodate a 30-foot long truck (especially when filled with water) -- and that's okay. We generally park in the street outside of your home, marking the area with orange cones to both have an outer limit for guests walking around the vehicle, as well as a warning to passing vehicle traffic. (We also will help supervise guests on the traffic side as needed, based on the street and where we've parked.)
If the event is off-street or otherwise away from traffic, the trucks will fit most any place a vehicle is permitted. The trucks are larger than the typical family vehicle, but are not nearly as troublesome to park and situate as you may think. (Just keep in mind that residential areas and public places are all designed with access in mind for emergency vehicles, and the trucks are no exception to those original design considerations.)
This is not a problem for us (as long as we have space to park), but may require a bit of leg-work as you plan your event. Depending on the property owner or park district, they may have additional requirements for your event being held on their facility, or may not allow large vehicles to be present at all. We will do our best to help you meet any requirements the property owner(s) may present. Please take the time to verify access won't be a problem. We would hate to arrive and be told we are not permitted to enter your designated party / event area. Additionally, if planned rides on the Fire Truck are requested for your guests, we'll need to know where we are going, it needs to be accessible and location officials requirements satisfied.
Easy -- Contact Us by any of the forms listed. You will first speak with the Office Manager, and they will gather the details of your requirements, and either start the reservation right then and there (date, times, location, truck(s)), or put you in contact with Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO) to firm up the particular plans.
Please book your event as soon as possible. Summer weekends are the most popular days, and we'd like to be sure we can accommodate your request. We book events on a first-come first-serve basis (with deposit), so call today to verify our availability.
The base cost of most events can be found on each individual page of the site, depending on the type of party / event request you may have. Please go to that page or contact us for pricing. Mileage, add-ons or special requests may incur an additional charge, though we will tell you about any additional charges based on the type of event and your requested services.
We require deposits for ALL events of $100 (minimum). Events with excessive mileage or fees due to event supplies may require additional deposits but this is not typical. Full deposit refund will be granted with a minimum 20 days notice, allowing us to re-book your event date. A 50% deposit refund if cancelled between 19 and 10 days prior. No deposit refund shall be granted with less than 10 days notice as the likelihood of re-booking is slim. However, you may reschedule your event for another date within 6 months to maintain your deposit value.
We will accept either cash or check upon arrival at your event. For corporate events we ask that any "check requests" that are needed are done in advance, so payment can be made the day of the event. An invoice / receipt will be provided.
Please contact us and let us know as soon as possible if your dates change, or if you are canceling your event altogether. If you do not cancel your event, or cancel upon arrival, you will be charged the deposit and the fuel surcharge, for the cost of fuel to and from your event. Please see the 'Do you Require a Deposit?' for additional details.
Communities within the Metro Atlanta area are our primary areas. The trucks travel at 55-65 MPH as a rule of thumb, so we may be unable to assist if your event is beyond a reasonable distance from the office. A mileage rate for your area can be calculated via Mapquest using our address. RHFTE has a standard formula for Mileage costs. $1.00 per mile TO and FROM your event / party.
Bad weather is the nature of the business when doing anything outdoors, so if the weather isn't favorable, we'll be happy to work with you to reschedule your event, as needed. If your plans are for a rain-or-shine event, we are still able to join you -- fire trucks still respond to calls and fires even in bad weather, so the trucks aren't afraid of a little rain.
In order for us to join your event, we'll need a place to park, of course. Each truck is about 30 feet in length (or a bit shorter). Parallel parking a fire truck is a bit trickier than a Honda, so we appreciate having free access to the curb or sidewalk area whenever possible (This also gives you and us plenty of space for your event guests to walk up to the fire truck without being exposed to traffic hazards.) we recommend a minimum of 50 feet for each truck. If you'd like the engine to arrive with lights and siren going, it might be a good idea to warn your neighbors too.
While we take every effort to keep the trucks clean, they are still trucks, so a few suggestions to minimize the muck:
Guests-of-Honor and event guests should probably keep their Sunday best at home, and wear comfortable, easy-to-wash clothing.
Some of the trucks also have areas to climb up, over and along, so shoes that will protect feet and not get caught in ladder rungs or steps are strongly recommended.
If you know your daughter is a climber, she may be best suited in shorts or long pants; skirts and summer dresses have more fabric areas to get caught between the various tidbits of the truck.
Never a bad suggestion, but even a better idea after playing with the trucks and gear, before cake: handi-wipes or a proper hand-washing. It also keeps your little adventurers from wiping their hands on their clothes, which may be less forgiving about getting dirty and grime out later.
Most of our trucks and crew carry a digital camera to help take photos of your event.
We typically only have one (1) operator per event unless an unusually large number of guests are expected, in which case we'll add as needed. For Birthdays, the Fire Apparatus operator needs to run the event so we can't guarantee our photos will meet your expectations, so we recommend you take as many of your own as possible. We don't want to promise we'll capture a specific scene but we will make recommendations to what will be good photo opportunities. Please have your camera out and "clicking away" as these will be some of the best life experience photos you'll ever take of your child. For corporate events we'll do our best to have a camera on hand to take many pictures, but again, would not be able to guarantee a specific shot.
You can send photos to us via email to email@example.com, or by mail to the address on the contact us page.
You can download individual pictures simply by right-clicking on it and save photo. All public photos of your event can be downloaded and used without further permission.
If you would like a full set of your event, just drop us a note requesting a photo CD using any of the methods shown on the contact us page.
Did you "YouTube" your video? If so, and you'd like to share it with us for the Videos section, just email us a link and we'd be happy to share it. (Send links to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Absolutely, and it's probably the most exciting part of the event for children. We are proud to offer you a ride in our fire trucks. We are fully insured to do just that. We can typically carry eight (8) small children at one time, or a parent and child on your lap, as long as the seat belt fits both individuals. For insurance reasons, we need to be cautious and follow the rules of the road..Buckle up LETS GO!!!
We love to talk about everything the specific truck can do, and even about what functions other types of fire apparatus can offer. We are also not permitted to hook up to fire hydrants and "flow" water (each city has different rules, but hydrants typically are reserved for fire departments and contractors paying for water by the gallon). If you have specific questions or event needs, please Contact Us to discuss what options may be available to you for your event and at your selected location.
We charge for the event / party based on your Time Request and Mileage To & From you location. Birthday parties have additional fees based on the number of children / guests due to the need for party favors and/or on-site time of the truck and operator. Just call us, it's easier...