On November 14, Rockwall County Judge David Sweet informed Commissioner Bailey about the Mutual Aid Agreement that he would send a copy to him. Commissioner Bailey followed-up with me by sending me the copy that you may also view with your own eyes too. This agreement creation was in 2011. It is between Rockwall County and the following incorporated cities: Rockwall, Heath, Royse City, Fate, McLendon-Chisholm, Rowlett and the McLendon Chisholm Volunteer Fire Department (MCVFD). The Parties have agreed that Mutual Aid in the context contemplated herein is a “governmental function and service” and that the Parties are local governments (excluding MCVFD) as that term is defined in the Texas Government Code Chapter 791.
I have to reiterate that it was a big deal to separate the Rockwall County Contract from the City of McLendon-Chisholm in providing “Fire Services” to Rockwall County for those outside the City Limits. At this time, we do not have a City-owned fire department to provide staff nor equipment. As I continue to learn from experienced Fire Personnel, Public Safety Representatives to researching what other municipalities are doing. It is becoming more and more obvious that we as a City Council need to improve our expectations in administration standards. There are best practices that we need to incorporate. So I am looking forward to improving simple administration tasks in working with our neighbor municipalities, as well as, Rockwall County officials.
Rockwall County is in the same boat as our municipality where we both do not have the fire service equipment nor the staff. We both have similar options. At this time, what we can offer is financial provisions. Based on what I have learned from ICMA from a presentation they shared that aid agreements in general are best practices across the nation and is the best way to go. Especially, allowing the closest unit to respond to a service call.
We are here to serve the people in our Fire District. Now how the money gets laid out. That may be an issue, but I am not going to deny somebody service or delay response time, because you think they don’t pay enough. Period. I’m not going to do it. Those are the future citizens of this city. Do you know that? You guys are going to go away. Another City Council is going to come in and do a 180. And start bringing people in from the ETJ. In developing. I’m telling you another Council will do it. The decisions you make are short term. There is a lot more in play here. I’m not opposed at all in seeing how we can get more money from the county areas. Okay? I’m not opposed to it. But I’m telling you the City situation that we have right now we will service those people the same way we service the people in the city, because we are under contract to do so. The contract that you signed. Or the Council that signed last year. If you do not want to service those people then don’t sign the contract. We get paged out because of mutual aid from the County department. I’m not sure the trajectory of the city is going to justify the city taking over the fire department and all the additional expenses, because the growth is not there. When the City would take over the department because it needed to be done. Not just because let’s set a deadline let’s just do it. And cause the City alot of extra expenses. But because the need is there. That’s how we increased the level of services, because as we see the need arise. We want to put that service level in place. So if the objective of the city is to not grow. Are you going to get to reach that point where our call volume increases to where you guys need to assume 24 hour service and be a TCFP department with all the additional expenses. What is the plan of the City to stifle growth? Or do you expect to have more developments coming online and more people which is going to increase our call volume. I’m confused about that. I do know that when the population increases the call volume increases. I have seen that. What’s best for the City? What’s best for the citizens? What’s best for cost? And not just arbritarily make a decision and say well, it would feel a lot better for the city to own the fire department. They (those outside the city limits) are going to have to form an Emergencies Services Area of Operation. You know you may not know this but the other station used to be owned by a development called Chisholm Trails. It was called the Chisholm Trails Fire Department. The people in the County might do that. It’s gotta be funded. We may have to get volunteers to operate in it. That will probably not be an issue. But it has to be funded somehow. Are you going to sign the contract with the County? And that is why I asked the question. Is this a fire drill? Because they are going to be left with no fire service. Or do you intend to sign the contract? And have us provide service for the next year? That makes a difference in what we have to get done. In the amount of time that we have to do it. If you do not sign the service contract for next year who provides fire service and how to do they get funded? The County can’t sign the contract with us, that’s why they sign the contract with you. So if you say no and don’t intend to sign the service contract with the county then holy cow we got to do something as an emergency drill to get funding for next year.
– Fire Chief Jones on October 10, 2017
Please do not hesitate to contact your elected City Council Members to express your concerns or questions. Here is my email address: email@example.com