Volunteer Fire Department Mutual Aid Agreement
The dichotomy for the boss, who provides mutual assistance/automatic assistance, is that without their services, someone in a nearby community may die in a fire or medical emergency aggravated by a delay in emergency measures. On the other hand, the chief who provides mutual assistance is a means, reducing the number of employees available to react in their territory and possibly increasing the response time to an emergency in their own jurisdiction without adequate compensation, since the neighbouring division is not in a position to return the favor. Every other day, one service would occupy an engine, while the other a health unit would occupy. Both units would respond to fires, EMS calls and other emergencies within one of the two responsibilities to provide an adequate first crew. For example, the services in the surrounding area could count on their joint response with at least one unit of these two legal orders for automatic assistance purposes. There will always be some one-sided aspects of automatic help, or perhaps even a growing sense that others are exploiting your department`s capabilities. In the event of major incidents such as structural fires, the response of additional staff officers from automatic assistance services can contribute to critical positions in the incident command system, such as safety, responsibility, staging or liaison officers, a plus for the safety of firefighters. In theory, automatic aid sounds as if it benefits all departments and jurisdictions involved, but it may not always be the case that Chief Robert R. Rielage, CFO, EFO, FIFireE, is the former Fire Marshal of Ohio and has been chief officer in several departments for more than 30 years. A graduate of the Kennedy School`s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University, Rielage holds a master`s degree in public administration from Norwich University and is a past president of the Institution of Fire Engineers – USA Branch. He has been an expert, program coordinator and evaluator and has represented national organizations such as FEMA, USFA and the National Fire Academy. Rielage was a member of the NFPA 1250 and NFPA 1201 committees.
In 2019, he received the Ohio Fire`s Distinguished Service Award. Rielage is currently working on two books: “On Firefighters” and “A Practical Guide for Families Handling a Police Fire or LODD.” Connect to Rielage by email. In a perfect world, where each department is busy and trained in the same way, automatic help would be an excellent program. The fact that each department contributes to both a regular service and a specialty would avoid duplication of staff or equipment. For large services, the solution is to always be the donor and hardly the recipient of automatic assistance, to agree in advance that there will be no more than two units that will respond to automatic assistance in the event of an incident in a neighbouring municipality, which will keep a sufficient number of your stations in service to cover your own jurisdiction. Maintaining a reasonable number of personnel and equipment to deal with most other emergencies generally avoids the negative effects on your own response time to citizen services in their own jurisdiction. The automatic assistance agreement is equally advantageous for all agencies where each department automatically responds to emergencies within the other`s jurisdiction throughout the year. This pooling of resources helps each agency fight emergencies of all sizes and durations.