What is Mutual Aid?
Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System The Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) is a term used to describe fire response in the state at all levels: local, regional, statewide, and into other states.
In emergency services, mutual aid is an agreement among emergency responders to lend assistance across jurisdictional boundaries. This may occur due to an emergency response that exceeds local resources, such as a disaster or a multiple-alarm fire. Mutual aid may be ad hoc, requested only when such an emergency occurs.
How Does Mutual Aid System Work?
Mutual Aid is a prior agreement between a fire district (like ours through SLF), and the Lane County Fire Defense Board and other nearby districts that provides no cost fire response from their district to the requesting district who needs help.
Didn’t we receive Mutual Aid as part of Lane County?
Yes, we did. However, the request for Mutual Aid came from a secondary source therefore the response time is substantially delayed. Chief Wooten, of South Lane Fire & Rescue describes this in the following video.
Why is it important to receive Mutual Aid as a Fire District?
By forming a Fire District in our valley, our firefighters would have the ability to pick up our radios and get immediate support from multiple fire districts in Lane and Douglas County to come to our aid, at no cost. Furthermore, our District can and will have AUTOMATIC Mutual Aid with SLFR, our closest partner, so that as soon as the 911 dispatches to our District, both our District and SLFR begin response at the same time. Also both agencies can and will attack structure fires!