6 Departments Sign Automatic Mutual Aid Deal - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

6 Departments Sign Automatic Mutual Aid Deal

Faster emergency response could soon be coming your way.

Six local fire departments have signed a deal to begin working toward automatic mutual aid and they hope that will mean faster, more efficient service.

Those areas include the cities of Lansing and East Lansing along with the townships of Meridian, Lansing, Delta and Delhi.

Monday night the Lansing City Council heard more about the proposal from it's fire chief.

It's pretty simple, more staff, more resources, more efficiencies.

Randy Talifarro, Lansing/ East Lansing Fire Chief: "We can be quicker, we can do our job far more efficiently and effectively."

Talifarro says he likes the plan, but there is a lot more work to be done.

Talifarro: "Our next steps are to look at aligning our policies, procedures, our work schedules."

Something the Delta Township fire chief recognizes-- may not be easy.

John Clark, Chief - Delta Township Fire Department: "What might work well for the city of Lansing or east Lansing might not work well for delta township or Delhi township and those are things that we're going to have to find out as we go along."

But Clark believes the plan will benefit his township.

Clark: "If you have 6 departments going together, you can have a better stock supply of equipment you might need or things that might break."

While there aren't any numbers yet in terms of cost savings, Clark says it only makes sense.

Clark: "If you order a thousand band-aids instead of a hundred band-aids, your gonna get a better price."

But for now, they're in phase one, where Lansing city council member Carol Wood says- they're still thinking about how far they want to go..

Wood: "This is digesting information, finding out where the next steps are and whether this makes sense for the city to continue to go forward or not."

Clark: "As you move forward into phase 2 and phase 3, the communities are going to have to decide how far they want to go."

Whether that will be full consolidation, or not, remains to be seen.

If they choose to, the study says, the departments could achieve full consolidation within 5 to 7 years.

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