There is probably a very good reason why 2 departments would be involved in automatic alarms.
While automatic alarms are probably the single most annoying type of call, becoming complacent is equally the most dangerous and most irresponsible action that any FD can make. Most are false, and does not involve fire. (cooking, humidity, pull stations etc.) but the alarms are there for the real thing, and should not be taken lightly.
Most automatic alarms are in either high occupancy structures, or industrial complexes.
Either one of those, in the event of the "REAL THING" requires more resources for mitigating the inncident.
In the case of rural or small vollie depts, the time it takes to get resources to the scene is longer, and of course in the event of a serious fire, involving rescue, exposure, and mass casualty incidents, more available equipment and manpower is paramount.
People should not make waves when it comes to others coming to play in their sand box. One day, they might wish there were infact some other playmates.
Hope this answers your concerns.
Belt up, slow down, arrive alive!
If you have automatic mutual aid both agencies should be dispatched an one or theother will stand by till know whats going on. Otherwise, the agencie responsible will arrive on scene and request other agencies as needed.
Depending on the call and the time of day the call comes in. Day calls when most Vol. Dept are short on man power I say roll with two. Its real easy to call off the 2nd dept. if not needed. But not to have them respond at all and find out you do have a worker you just added at least a 5-7 minute delay in the 2nd Dept. getting there.
Where I am from we usually run three companies on auto alarms mostly because of man power issues but also how response areas are split up. Some may think well thats ridiculous to run three companies for an auto alarm but one night an auto alarm turned out to be no BS call. We got dispatched for an auto alarm at a neighboring departments social hall which was a three story commercial structure. First units on scene stated nothing showing from the exterior but once he opened the front door it was no false alarm the fire was well involved on the second floor and started running up the stairwell to the third. So this went from being an everyday boring auto alarm to the real thing. My station had the second engine on scene which only took us about eight minutes to get there the fire had already vented its self through the roof and various windows. This call went from having only three departments responding to having a twelve station responses mostly with man power and water supply. This call just went to show yeah it may be only a auto alarm but always keep your head in it and think it maybe the real thing this time. I attached a picture of the fire a little while into it.
We send 1 engine and 1 truck for and AFA and 1 engine for a residential fire alarm. We don't even get dressed up for them. If there's a legitimate reason that it goes off, there's always been someone there to say something. Then we fill the box.
City closest to me, will go with two pumps, a ladder, a rescue, a squad sometimes, and a district chief ( first alarm compliment) to each and every auto alarm. Most times they get called by the alarm company, or resident etc explaining the reason for the alarm. They used to cancel all apparatus, but have the first in continue to verify. Now, the union griped recommended, that rather than cancel, all units will downgrade response from code 4 (lights..siren .. action) .. to code 3... lights, (siren optional )- normal driving - with the exception of the first due engine - which will continue high priority to verify. They don't F*k around and think it is probably nothing.- they go until they know. Small city though.. only about 600,000. just another way. If the job turns out to be a working fire, a third in pump, and a 4th pump for RIT is then dispatched. (IRIT will be established immediately using resources on scene) until the full RIT arrives. Response time is 3-5 minutes anywhere in the city.
This system allows for rehab of crews, as weather goes from -35 or -40 in winter to +30 and beyond in summer.( thats celcius btw )