Chief’s Corner – Why Automatic Aid?
When you call 911, you need help – FAST. Thanks to Automatic Aid, firefighters responding to emergencies are now the closest appropriate resource, regardless of fire department boundaries.
In 2014, the Spokane Valley Fire Department entered into an “Auto-aid” agreement with Spokane County Fire District 8 which borders SVFD to the South. Both agencies were seeking an increased level of fire suppression and emergency medical service and auto-aid is a way to provide improved service without incurring additional hiring, new apparatus and fire stations. In 2015 SVFD entered into a like agreement with the City of Spokane Fire Department.
Best explained, Auto-aid allows for the closest appropriate resource to respond to your emergency regardless of whose “jurisdiction” it’s in. This is especially important for emergency medical calls where seconds can determine the difference between life and death. Auto-aid erases traditional boundaries and gets help to your emergency sooner than in the past.
Auto-aid also provides for the sharing of resources (personnel and equipment) so that when a lot of resources are needed, we have the “pool” of resources available to use. That additional “depth” of resources is critical in large scale emergencies or disasters. More than two years into our original agreement, I am pleased to say that it has had a positive impact in our communities, with citizens living within SVFD, Fire District 8 and Spokane Fire Department boundaries benefitting from this “sharing of the closest resources.” Auto-aid discussions are underway with Spokane County Fire District 9 to the North and Kootenai County Fire & Rescue to the East. Read more
~ Fire Chief Bryan Collins