Smithville Fire Department Gets Approval for Automatic Aid Agreement with Alexandria

February 5, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

If the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department should ever need help fighting a large structure fire, the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department will provide assistance with their ladder truck.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker asked the aldermen to adopt an automatic aid agreement between the two departments at the request of the Alexandria Fire Department. The aldermen approved the request.

Under the agreement, Chief Parker said the Smithville Department would send the ladder truck and two firefighters to operate it in assisting Alexandria in the event of a structure fire in a commercial or any pre-identified large building within the boundaries of the town of Alexandria provided the ladder truck and firefighters are not needed at the same time in Smithville.

The proposed agreement states that “the purpose is to provide firefighting equipment and personnel as may be necessary to mitigate a structure fire in a commercial, or any pre-identified large structure within the boundaries of the city”.

The term of the proposed agreement would be from February 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022 but it could be extended by mutual written consent of authorized representatives signing the original agreement.

The parties will participate in an annual training/familiarization of equipment with at least 30 days prior notice of training. A specific written dispatch protocol for responding to automatic aid calls and agreed on by the fire chiefs and approved by the DeKalb 911 Emergency Communications District would also be required. Automatic aid may be rendered unless sufficient firefighting equipment or personnel are not available at the time of the request or it is already in use on another incident.

Under the agreement, either party may without reason submit a written 30 day notice of termination to the department chief and the entity’s mayor. The agreement also has an indemnification and hold harmless clause.

Alexandria already has an automatic aid agreement with the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department but the county does not have a ladder truck.