mutual aid only works if all the halls in a certain area have the same training and resources,we were just approached for a mutual aid agreement between four fire departments as our department is the most established the problem arises that we would end up doing the majority of the work in most cases as the other halls are new and have very few resources,we only have one engine which the community paid for,if that engine left the community for any reason the taxpayers would scream bloody blue murder.all our firefighters are trained to some extent,the problem is if we were to leave to help another juresdiction our community is expecting us when they call 911,heaven forbid if something bad happened while we were on a call for another community.,
Personaly i think mutual aid is a good thing once it is set up, i have seen it in action and it works well. the big thing is making sure all signing communities have the same resources and they spend time training in mutual aid scenarios,in a couple of years when we get a new engine then we will have two and it could be feasible to send a engine and crew to help neighbouring communities without leaving ours without fire protection
We are surrounded by Union fully paid departments, but work well with them on Mutual Aid calls. They know when we show up, we are there to work. All departments,districts and so forth are mandated here to respond where ever they are dispatched to go. If that means they need us across the county, we go! We officially have 2 mutual aid agreements and working on a 3rd.
We have two big towns in our county. We have a city department and a county department. The other town is just all volunteer. So when one county is toned out, pretty much the other is too. And usually when the city is toned out, we roll out with them, depending on the type of call.
In my county there are 7 vol depts and when a structure fire is called in, three depts are automatically toned.
Our mutual aid districts work together even out of their own districts if help is needed. Auto 2 departments called for structure fires. 911 won't dispatch the closest department if it's not in that mutual aid district, instead they dispatch a department 20 miles away. The system is ass backwards, same for ambulance out here you can only get medics that are on call, you can easily wait 30 min to get a unit to a scene.