CHENANGO COUNTY – After more than a year of planning and talks with fire departments throughout the county, the Chenango County Bureau of Fire last week finalized an updated mutual aid plan that will go into effect in January.
Since 1961, a fire mutual aid plan has been in place to set guidelines by which resources of the 21 fire departments in Chenango County are used for fire protection and other emergencies that require fire service responses. Although few changes have been made to the document in its 52-year history, recent updates developed by the Chenango County Fire Advisory Board and approved by the Chenango County Board of Supervisors will likely improve on response times and help local departments manage their resources more efficiently, according to fire officials.
“We’re using this plan to try to be more efficient with the manpower that’s available,” explained Chenango Bureau of Fire Coordinator Matthew Beckwith. “Our job as fire fighters is always to protect our communities and since a lot of departments have only a few volunteers available, we needed to come up with a plan to protect them.”