Shared Fire Services Spark Controversy After Hidden Valley Fire - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Shared Fire Services Spark Controversy After Hidden Valley Fire

Posted: Updated:

Last Saturday's house fire in Hidden Valley has sparked fresh debate over shared fire services between Washoe County and the City of Reno.

The big sticking point is the lack of an automatic aid agreement between the City of Reno and Washoe County.

That means instead of the nearest station to a fire responding automatically, they have to wait to be called by a fire official who must arrive on the on scene first.

Less than seven minutes after that 911 call came in from the West residence on Hidden Valley Drive, a two man crew from the Hidden Valley Fire Station began fighting the fire - seen on the incident commander's on-board dash cam.

But, as the fire grew, mutual aid from Reno and Sparks wasn't requested for another 20 minutes.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore admits they didn't immediately call for assistance from the City of Reno. "It wouldn't have made a difference because they were already committed to a call."

Assistant Reno City Manager Cadence Matijevich says up until this incident, the existing agreement had been working fine, but the city is open to discussing an automatic aid agreement, but, "also, doesn't end up with one or the other agencies responding more often into the other one's district, resulting in one or the other partners essentially subsidizing services that the residents aren't paying for."

The residents in Hidden Valley are Republican Senator Ben Kieckhefer's District 16 constituents. He says they've told him they're no longer confident help will arrive when they need it. "I think fire protection is ultimately something the local governments need to work on, if they cannot solve this problem, if they cannot seem to get a long, I will fly it up the flag pole at the state level."

Both the City of Reno and Washoe County's representatives have expressed interest in sitting down to iron out an new agreement.

"Absolutely is a wake up call I think for every agency here. That we can do better for the citizens, absolutely."

Meanwhile, the Truckee Meadows Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire. There's no estimate yet how long that will take.

Written by Andi Guevara

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.