The Urbana Fire Division is providing mutual aid to the city of Dayton by sending a water tanker truck along with two personnel. The city of Dayton, through the state emergency operations center, requested help due to severe weather affecting the water supply. UFD along with other fire departments throughout the state are assisting as part of the Intestate Mutual Aid Compact, a mutual aid agreement through which all political subdivisions can request and receive assistance from other political subdivisions in the state.
The village of Christiansburg also sent a tanker and JSP (Johnson-St. Paris Fire District) is on standby to send one. The state emergency management center carefully maps out resources so as to not deplete any one area, Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb said.
Since Chief Ortlieb arrived at UFD it has been a high priority to have the ability to scale up, a UFD news release states, adding that the division has accomplished this through restructuring the manpower’s command and control, improving on run cards, increasing the ability for interoperable functioning among agencies, and training.
Fire departments working together
UFD, along with all the fire departments within the county, will be applying for a grant this year to purchase radios that allow for easier and better communications for local, county and state agencies.
County chiefs and firefighters meet monthly to discuss and implement action plans to improve the ability to fight fires and save lives. This month, JSP hosted countywide active shooter training for police, fire and EMS that highlighted areas of concern and strong points if an actual event would occur.
“We are not all the way there yet in the county, but no county is,” Ortlieb said.
“What we have going that is positive is collaboration between administrations, police, fire and EMS,” he said. “I think we have a core understanding of what it takes to have the ability to scale up in a major incident. Additionally, our EMA director, James Freeman, and his staff are engaged and have done an excellent job preparing for a major event. All involved have built relationships locally and with the state that will benefit the community in the event of a major disaster. I’m proud of where we are at and the direction we are going. Further, it is important that we engage and educate the community on what we are doing. No one can predict where the next major event will happen, but we all can make preparations toward it.”
Submitted by the Urbana Fire Division