Sparks Fire and Truckee Meadows Fire announce aid agreement

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and Sparks Fire have announced the implementation of a new Enhanced Automatic Aid process, what they say is the first of its kind in the region.

The process is designed to ensure the closest single fire engine will respond to an emergency, regardless of jurisdiction.

TMFPD and Sparks Fire report they have been working to enhance the automatic aid process between the agencies. Historically, both fire departments would be dispatched to an incident when the neighboring agency was closer to the location of the emergency, even for minor calls. With the newly-designed dispatch process, only the closest fire engine will respond for first alarm incidents, as if it were in its own jurisdiction.

“This new protocol will greatly increase efficiency and reduce costs for both agencies while providing the same advanced level of care to our citizens.” TMFPD Chief Charlie Moore said. “Until we can invest in and implement a full Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) system for our Dispatch, this process will ensure the closest fire truck responds to every emergency, regardless of jurisdiction.”

Under the new Enhanced Automatic Aid agreement, Truckee Meadows Fire will respond to incidents in all areas north of Los Altos Parkway along Pyramid Highway, and in the Wingfield Springs areas north of General Thatcher Drive. Sparks Fire will respond to incidents in all areas south of Los Altos Parkway, including the Wedekind Drive neighborhood.

Second-alarm incidents such as structure fires and brush fires within the Enhanced Auto Aid areas will be dispatched to the closest fire engine, and the agency with jurisdiction will also be dispatched to fill out the balance of the alarm.

“The success of this effort between Sparks Fire and Truckee Meadows Fire shows that our agencies can maximize our cooperative responses and shared services,” Sparks Fire Chief Chris Maples said. “This creates a benefit for our citizens, while making the most efficient use of our resources.”

The Enhanced Automatic Aid process will go live Feb. 26, 2018. TMFPD gave a presentation on the program during Tuesday’s Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting, which can be viewed here.

TMFPD already has a mutual-aid agreement with the city of Reno.