Mutual Aid Could be Severely Impacted by the Loss of the St. Joe Township Fire Department

By Scott Sarvay

October 23, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 6:30 PM EDT

Allen County, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - The Saint Joe Township trustee is expected to present new details Tuesday night about fire protection in the Allen County township.

The trustee is expected to propose an outsourcing for the fire department, but the impact would stretch beyond the township limits and could severely impact mutual aid.

Chief Mike Feely, President, Allen County Fire Chief's Association says that fire backup is going to be having to come from a much further distance and that might mean delays in tanker response, delayed ladder trucks and delayed manpower.

Every fire department in the county has certain resources and each department has a responsibility to respond to nearby communities when needed. Saint Joe for example has some valuable assets that are often shared by its neighbors.

Chief Feely says, “They've got equipment that's utilized throughout the county; whether it’s a ladder truck or a rehab bus, which helps replenish vitals for firefighters during larger scale incidents."

The township trustee has said he plans to look for another way to provide fire protection in his community, if that happens these resources would no longer be there.

"That equipment or those resources would have to come from other areas, whether it be the Red Cross, or we would have to figure out how that would be backfilled to support our area," says Chief Feely.

If the department is taken off the map in Allen County, The Allen County Fire Chief's Association would be forced to reconfigure mutual aid for the entire region.

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