Rockmart city council members approved the document at a meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11. Commissioners are expected to give the green light to the agreement in the near future.
It specifies that Rockmart will provide assistance to Polk County in the unincorporated areas within a 5-mile general radius of the City.
Polk County will provide assistance to Rockmart for any fire adjacent to or a part of any cartilage or out building for any structure within the fire district.
The response team shall consist of a full first out alarm structural assignment, consisting of 4 engine companies. If the fire emergency is in the unincorporated area and within the fire district, Polk will assign one engine company to be dispatched to stand by at the Rockmart Fire Station to provide coverage within its corporate limits.
Alarm assignments will be coordinated between the Director/Chief of each entity with the Director of Polk E-911 facility to ensure that protocol is maintained to ensure orderly and professional response of emergency personnel and equipment.
Polk will repair work on Rockmart Fire Apparatus at no charge other than the cost of parts.
The County will also continue funding the annual cost of fuel for Rockmart’s emergency rescue vehicle and assistance for materials needed by its hazardous materials response unit.
Rockmart will provide instruction and use of their training facility to train both career and Polk’s volunteer firefighters.
Automatic aid agreements are a new option for the two governmental agencies, which continue to view long-range plans for professional fire service.
Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller said the automatic aid agreement is the first step in this process.
“We need to work together to accomplish goals that are beneficial to all our citizens,” Miller said.
Chairman Cleve Hartley said that Polk’s Public Safety Director Randy Lacey has met with Rockmart Fire Chief Todd Queen to discuss this issue.
Lacey said automatic is not to be confused with mutual aid agreements. With automatic aid, a fire call would not only go to the nearest county station but also the Rockmart Fire Department. Mutual aid involves personnel being called when there is a specific need such as a large residential or commercial fire.
The idea is to get coverage up to a 5-mile radius of Rockmart to include Van Wert or other local areas where no county fire station is located. If the ISO rating dropped, it could provide a decrease in insurance rates.
In addition, plans are to contact Bartow County officials about a possible agreement that would extend coverage from Taylorsville.