Truckee Meadows Fire in partnership with Sparks Fire, celebrate a milestone with their dispatching process that ensures the closest single fire engine will respond to any emergency, regardless of jurisdiction. The two fire agencies are the first in Washoe County to provide Automatic Aid for all types of emergencies, and not just for fires.
“This protocol provides a cost saving for us,” Sparks Fire Chief Chris Maples said. “But for our residents, this is lifesaving. Roughly 80 percent of our calls are medical emergencies, while less than four percent of our calls are related to fires. This innovative approach will keep the second engine available to respond to the next 911 call, rather than being out of service simply due to a jurisdictional boundary.”
Historically, both fire departments were dispatched to an incident when the neighboring agency was closer to the emergency, even on minor calls. Now, only the closest fire engine will respond for first alarm incidents, as if responding within their own jurisdiction.
“We are excited to set this benchmark,” TMFPD Chief Charlie Moore said. “This type of collaboration is logical and necessary in order to provide the most efficient service to our citizens. We hope the success of this effort paves the way to the next level of improvement, which could involve a unified dispatch center sending the closest resources to calls using Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology.”
Stakeholders from Truckee Meadows Fire, Sparks Fire, Reno Fire and REMSA were set to meet on Tuesday to discuss concepts and possibilities to further improve services in the region.
Under the new Enhanced Automatic Aid agreement, Truckee Meadows Fire will respond to incidents in 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 areas south of Los Altos Parkway, including the Wedekind Drive neighborhood.