02/05/11 110 W - + 0 - 4 Mutual Aid versus Automatic Aid

An engaging discussion on this familiar topic is underway in this Statter911 story about a Denver TV station that's looking closely at mutual aid agreements, after a house fire involving a woman trapped in a basement and that the closest department was requested not to respond. We've discussed aspects of this issue on occasion. On several occasions, actually. The name on the side of the truck doesn't matter to the person in need. And seconds can indeed count when a closer fire department isn't dispatched. Lots of reasons behind the reasons for the way things are done. Take a deep breath and join the discussion.

The only time it matters what name is on the side of the truck is when it’s YOUR house that’s on fire as proven in this video along with comments.
RescueRanger - 02/05/11 - 20:49

Auto-aid continues to be a misleading factor here in Wake-Raleigh and does require some additional consideration and communication; especially between Raleigh FD and the bordering departments. Naturally, monetary subsidy of the response is a question or concern for both sides. For example, does Wake continue to allow bordering departments to respond free-of-charge into Raleigh (which also demonstrates higher statistical justification of county department activity); or does Raleigh appropriately issue contracts to these departments that include “capability based” performance standards of response? Someone must decide. Also, and in contrast, public understanding of the established response structure is a key aspect too. Simple discussions with HOAs go a long way as to the “name on the truck.” RR is right.
A. C. Rich - 02/06/11 - 14:54

I’m an automatic aid, closest forces response fan. Of course, everybody needs the same capabilities so that units can interchange as needed, but the citizens really DON’T care who comes to help them, as long as someone comes quickly and mitigates the emergency. Nor, if you ask them, do they care much about the tiny amount of their property taxes that go to support fire or EMS (or the tiny portion of the tiny portion that might be accounted for by over-some-line response). Again, I’m biased, but the AVL-drive, closest unit, single system approach works really well for the EMS system – maybe fire could give it a try! And if the “city money, county money” is such a big deal, show everybody real numbers (not estimates or extrapolations) and have some negotiations about it.
CH100 - 02/08/11 - 08:29

The playing field is probably pretty level around here, with regard to aid and cross-district assistance. There are no grand disparities in service levels or staffing, etc. (Right?) Witness the opposite, Philly possibly aiding severely-cut Camden, as reported by Statter911 and via this Philly fire blog: http://firstin.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/..
Legeros - 02/08/11 - 13:28

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