Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Helping our Neighbors

Mutual aid is the term in the fire service for helping our neighboring fire agencies. Washington County Fire District 2, which borders Hillsboro on the north and south, had back-to-back field fires on Monday along with another fire involving two RV trailers that threatened a barn. That required the cooperation of numerous agencies to cover all of the bases. Our participation included engine companies, brush rigs, and a chief officer.

Hillsboro Fire Department responds to all incidents under a "closest resource" agreement, also known as Automatic Aid. Which ever agency has the closest resource responds to the incident. In the cases of the three fires on Monday, Hillsboro firefighters assisted peers from the main jurisdiction, Washington County Fire District 2, along with Cornelius Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, and Forest Grove Fire Department. Banks Fire Department also provided assistance and back-filled some of the empty fire stations resulting from this trio of incidents. No one was injured. Flames reached at least 10 feet high in freshly harvested wheat stalks. The smoke column was visible for miles on the Robinson Road fire.

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