McPherson fire department looking to change outside aid requests

By Chris Swick
July 21, 2015

The McPherson Fire Department is looking into entering automatic aid agreements with a pair of county fire departments.

Fire chief Jeff Deal says the department is looking at agreements with the Inman and Galva fire departments. He says the agreement will call one or both of those departments if a certain criteria is met during an emergency situation.

“We are trying to update our response assignments,” Deal said. “In McPherson, we do...I don't completely understand what it is. And nobody else outside of McPherson does, either. So what we're trying to do is standardize more consistently with what the industry does, which is called alarm assignments.

Deal says the alarm assignments are slated in tiers, meaning the first alarm assignment receives so many resources, the second so many and so on.

“The problem for us is that we run out of resources after the third or so alarm assignment,” Deal said. “That's why we're going to outside to some of our neighboring communities, like Galva and Inman, which are some of our bigger departments that surround us, and striking an agreement that, should this level of alarm comes in, dispatch would automatically know to dispatch them out.”

According to Deal, the process should streamline response to emergency situations.

Deal believes the proposal should be ready to be brought before the McPherson City Commission for approval for implementation next week, providing the contract is signed by both Inman and Galva by that point.