Five greater Lowcountry fire departments will be recommitting to a nearly 10-year old aid agreement to provide cross-boundary support when responding to fires and emergencies. In addition, the Town of Mount Pleasant will be joining the aid agreement, increasing the cross-boundary support by 58 square miles.
The governing bodies of the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston, St. Andrews Public Service District, James Island Public Service District, St. John’s Fire District, and the Town of Mount Pleasant each approved an Interlocal Agreement for Automatic Aid and Response to provide mutual assistance during emergencies and will jointly sign the agreement on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 10:00 am at the North Charleston Fire Museum. Mayors, Fire Chiefs, District Managers, and Commissioners will participate in the ceremony.
At the ceremony, six neighboring fire departments will formally enter into the automatic aid agreement for fire protection. This agreement is the result of years of work to develop identical or compatible procedures that allow the members of these six fire departments to work together seamlessly at fires and other emergency incidents.
The aid agreement provides emergency response from the closest appropriate fire unit, regardless of the municipal and service district boundaries. Faster response can significantly improve the outcome of incidents and could result in saving more lives and property. Ten years of unified sharing of resources has provided an effective emergency response and adding the Town of Mount Pleasant to the aid agreement grows the life-saving resources extended to a greater geographical area of the Lowcountry. The six Lowcountry fire departments protect a combined 406,193 people in 529 square miles with 1,051 fire department personnel.
“This agreement renews and expands our automatic aid partnerships so we can more readily work across jurisdictions for the benefit of all citizens,” said North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow.
“Our highest responsibility is to ensure a safe Charleston community. This agreement allows us to accomplish that, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries,” said Charleston Fire Chief Dan Curia.
“As the Charleston area continues to grow, the addition of Mount Pleasant, combined with the re-affirmed commitment to our partnership, allows us to enhance our efficiencies and continue providing a prepared professional response to all of our citizens,” said St. Andrews Public Service District Fire Chief Charles Lamoreaux.
“The additional safety provided to the firefighters and citizens covered by the Automatic Aid Agreement is immeasurable,” said James Island Public Service District Fire Chief M. Chris Seabolt.
“Few areas of the country have the strength of a comprehensive response program as we do here in the Charleston area. We look forward to working with our partners for years to come,” said St. John’s Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Kunitzer.
“This automatic-aid agreement creates a partnership that fosters a collective intelligence and resource sharing that makes the sum greater than its parts,” said Town of Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Mike Mixon.
Participating in the signing ceremony:
City of North Charleston
Keith Summey, Mayor
Fire Chief Greg Bulanow
City of Charleston
John Tecklenburg, Mayor
Fire Chief Dan Curia
St. Andrews Public Service District
Christie Holderness, District Manager
Fire Chief Charles Lamoreaux
James Island Public Service District
David Schaeffer, District Manager
Fire Chief M. Chris Seabolt
St. John’s Fire District
Leroy Blake, Commission Chair
Fire Chief Ryan Kunitzer
Town of Mount Pleasant
Eric DeMoura, Town Administrator
Fire Chief Mike Mixon