"The City of Balch Springs Fire Department needed to reduce apparatus emergency response times along the border areas of the city while staying within its existing budget. The purpose of this research project was to study the implementation of an automatic aid agreement between the City of Balch Springs Fire Department, the City of Mesquite Fire Department, and the City of Dallas Fire Department as a solution to this problem. Evaluative research was used to determine what time saving could be achieved by responding the closest fire apparatus to the incident, what compatibility problems would have to overcome, what legal considerations would have to be addressed and what form should the working document take. Procedures used included the research of fire service textbooks, technical handbooks, and personal communications with local city officials, and personal research. The personal research involved analysis of departmental records and studies of the response and travel times of apparatus along the streets in the common border areas. The conclusions indicated that an automatic aid agreement would benefit all three cities. Benefits include both reduced reaction and response times and an increase in experience in joint operations for command and operational personnel. Also identified were legal considerations that needed to be addressed before entering into any agreement between the participating cities. The recommendation was for the three cities to create a formal automatic aid plan and promulgate a written agreement. Then to have the written agreement reviewed by the legal staff of the three cities and have the three cities develop a joint training plan regarding command responsibility, communications, and operating procedures."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/