(KRNV Reno, NV)
An effort to improve cooperation between the Reno and Truckee Meadows fire departments is underway. Both sides met in a closed door session on Thursday, December 5th, 2013 to develop solutions. One of the issues is mutual aid. That is, when one agency calls the other for help.
That was the issue when a fire broke out Saturday in Hidden Valley. Truckee Meadows Fire waited 25 minutes to call in Reno for help. Truckee Meadows Fire Chief Charlie Moore says they waited because of the language in their mutual aid agreement.
That agreement says the request must be made by a career officer of the requesting agency who is on scene when that is practical. Again that's the deal between the city of Reno and Truckee Meadows Fire. Truckee Meadows is run by the county.
Compare that with the mutual aid agreement between Truckee Meadows and the city of Sparks. That agreement states when it is believed that mutual aid is necessary, a request for assistance shall be made by the most expedient manner possible.
So why is Reno's mutual aid agreement more complicated ? Reno says they don't want mutual aid to get overused.
"The language is there to make sure when the ask is being made, that it's justified. Perhaps there's a better way to write that language to eliminate any confusion," said Assistant Reno City Manager Cadence Mateivich.
Again this is one issue being addressed in the wake of a lot of finger pointing this past week after that fire in Hidden Valley.
We'll keep you posted on any new developments when they happen.