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. The department is strongly committed to automatic assistance at the local level. The department maintains the following written automatic assistance agreements: The dichotomy for the chief, who provides mutual assistance/automatic assistance, is that without their services, someone in a nearby commune may die in a fire or medical emergency aggravated by a delay in emergency response. 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. Chief Robert R. Rielage, CFO, EFO, FIFireE, is the former Ohio Fire Marshal and has been Division Head 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. When will automatic aid no longer be on an equal footing? How can we prevent a fire department or EMS in a country from becoming the main opponent of remedies for neighbouring jurisdictions without the appropriate means to support this increased demand for services? It is a headache for a growing number of leaders across the country. I have also seen some innovative solutions to the problem of the situation of automatic auxiliary staff.
Many firefighters and paramedics were deployed daily to two adjacent departments of the same size. The mayors and councils of both cities strongly opposed the merger of the two services, so fire chiefs agreed on a judicious consolidation of services. But realistically, if you enter into an automatic aid agreement, it is best to see who will be the dominant donor and who will be the multi-year beneficiary. It is better to go with your eyes open in an automatic help agreement than to be disappointed or disappointing for the other participants.