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Automatic Aid Talks Begin for Reno And Truckee Meadows Fire


Washoe County and the City of Reno have both approved moving forward with negotiations to nail down an automatic aid agreement for fire service. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has those details. 

Under a new law approved in the latest legislative session, the two entities must find a way to allow the closest fire engine to respond to any brush or structural fires. Both the county commission and city council met Monday and agreed to a list of factors that need to be hashed out, including how to fairly reimburse each fire department for services provided. 

Truckee Meadows Fire Chief Charles Moore says finding the best system for that could take awhile, so a one-year grace period would help.

"There's a number of data points that would come into that," Moore explained. "Certainly, Reno might have to respond farther road miles, but Truckee Meadows might have to respond more on a frequency basis. It's really hard to predict that." 

David Cochran, the acting chief for Reno Fire, agrees with that idea of a grace period. He says another sticky point will be deciding on service levels since Truckee Meadows sends three-person crews out to fires while the city has four people answer those calls. 

"I've always worked on four-man crews," Cochran explained. "I've worked on five-man crews, and I'll tell you that five is better than four."

This automatic aid agreement must be solidified quickly since the new law goes into effect October 1. 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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