AID to Local Jurisdictions - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mutual Aid?

Mutual Aid is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit.  In Mutual Aid, the fire departments have basically agreed to give each other assistance across jurisdictional boundaries during incidents where the local department’s resources are insufficient. This occurs only if the requested agencies have enough resources to help others when needed. Mutual Aid is voluntary and may not occur if the requested agencies are dealing with incidents of their own and/or do not have enough equipment or firefighters to share at the time. Fire agencies can charge other jurisdictions their actual costs for the provision of Mutual Aid. Requests for mutual aid can be made by telephone, intercom, or CAD-to-CAD (if applicable).

What is an Automatic Aid?

Automatic Aid is a form of Mutual Aid, usually between contiguous border agencies that have agreed to send pre-identified resources. It is a standing agreement for cooperative emergency management on a continuing basis, generally ensuring that resources are always dispatched from the nearest fire station, regardless of which side of the jurisdictional boundary the incident is on. Requests for Automatic Aid can be made by telephone, intercom, or CAD-to-CAD (if applicable).