Mutual Aid: with a little help from friends

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

No fire department can do it all. Sometimes when the unforeseen occurs, a department needs a little help. And mutual aid agreements between town fire agencies assures that the help is there when really needed.

Such agreements vary throughout the region. Rural/Metro maintains three fire stations within the unincorporated community of San Tan Valley. These firefighters go to all fires in the community but bill for services to homeowners that don’t subscribe (San Tan Valley has no declared fire district). But Rural/Metro will come to the aid of surrounding areas when needed, even joining Florence to fight a wildfire south of that town last year, according to Colin Williams, a Rural/Metro spokesman.

The Superior Fire Department has an automatic mutual aid agreement with its counterpart in Queen Valley, both of which have a core of professional firemen supported by a group of volunteer firefighters. Under the pact, when either department gets a call concerning a house or commercial structure on fire, the call is immediately forwarded to the other department and equipment from both simultaneously head for the fire.

Even in Kearny, which has an all-volunteer fire department, a mutual aid agreement is in effect with Winkelman-Hayden to assure that all the major conflagrations are efficiently extinguished, said Kearny spokesperson Laura Snow.

The latest wrinkle in mutual aid is the valley-wide automatic aid agreement, in which computer technology is employed to assure fire engines are dispatched where and when they are needed. In Queen Creek, for instance, under this agreement, should extra help be required, firefighters from fire stations in Chandler or Gilbert with be automatically notified. As the central computer keeps track of where all fire stations in participating towns are located. Should another fire be reported in an area of Queen Creek where the local fire station’s personnel are already busy fighting a fire, the system will alert the nearest fire station (perhaps in Gilbert) to travel into Queen Creek to extinguish the second blaze.

Participating towns in the valley-wide agreement – in addition to Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek – include Apache Junction, Guadalupe, Maricopa, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe.

James Hodl (95 Posts)

James J. Hodl is a career journalist who has worked for newspapers, magazines and trade journals. A graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, Hodl began his career as a reporter with the Palatine (IL) Herald and the Morton Grove (IL) Review before becoming editor of the trade publication Appliance Service News. In recent years, Hodl has had articles published in Consumers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Home Remodeling, Kitchens & Baths and Salute; and has contributed to trade publications serving the home furnishings, restaurant and casino markets. A native of Chicago, Hodl relocated to San Tan Valley in 2013.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    AmeriCorps Vista volunteers helping us Rebuild Superior

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    The AmeriCorps VISTA team from the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits helps nonprofit organizations in rural Arizona expand resources and services […]


    In Your Biz: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    For those that have studied the history of Superior, you will know that the discovery and investment made by Col. […]


    Mammoth-San Manuel Superintendent retires

    May 18th, 2017
    by

      After 35 years of working in the education field, John Ryan, Superintendent of Mammoth – San Manuel School District […]


    San Manuel seniors nab more than $500K in scholarships

    May 18th, 2017
    by

      This year, graduating students at San Manuel High School earned more than $600,000 in scholarships to aid them in […]


  • Additional Stories

    Hayden High School seniors rewarded for hard work

    May 18th, 2017
    by

      Hayden High School graduates were rewarded for all their hard work with thousands of dollars in scholarships and awards […]


    1A Baseball State Championship: Panthers are Superior

    May 18th, 2017
    by

      The top-seed Superior baseball team overcame six errors and took advantage of 13 others made by No. 3 Valley […]


    Central Arizona College Recognizes Graduates

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    PINAL COUNTY, AZ – Central Arizona College recognized the accomplishments of its graduates during a district commencement ceremony on Friday, […]


    Central Arizona College Aravaipa Campus recognizes outstanding students and faculty of the year

    May 18th, 2017
    by

    PINAL COUNTY, AZ – Central Arizona College recently held the Student Awards of Excellence event at its Aravaipa Campus to […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger