By: DAILY NEWS STAFF REPORT
June 11, 2013
WILLIAMSON - Williamson Fire Chief Jerry Mounts has taken offense to information provided to the Daily News while on scene at a fire last week in the East End of Williamson, in which a home was listed as a total loss.
Chief Mounts addressed information that he says was incorrect, concerning the request for back-up from the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department.
“As of 6 weeks ago, there is an automatic aid agreement between the Williamson and Chattaroy Departments,” stated the chief. “This means that anytime the emergency tones are dropped for either department to respond to a fire or a vehicle accident, available crews from the other department will automatically be toned to respond as well.”
“The false information concerning the reason Chattaroy was on the scene was not provided by me, and I am the only one allowed to issue a statement. It is not the responsibility of anyone in my department to do so, although I am sure it was done unintentionally,” said Mounts. “In this case, the reasons for the Chattaroy firefighters and tanker truck being at the fire were not correct, but I do understand that in the chaos and heat of the moment incorrect facts may be delivered by someone who may not be aware of the new agreement.”
“I want the community to be aware of the automatic aid agreement,” commented the chief. “I don’t want our residents to think our department is incapable of taking care of any emergency situation that happens within our city. We established this aid agreement simply to assist one another with man power and equipment. It’s a win-win situation for both the Williamson and Chattaroy Fire Departments.”
The chief explained that in the past a mutual aid agreement was in force, which meant that should one department need the other; a call had to be made by the chief or the commanding officer and request it before they would send help. Now, with the automatic aid agreement in place there is no time lost, they are dispatched to the scene at the same time.
Chief Mounts said that surprisingly, the water pressure at the E. 6th Avenue location was good, but the service of the Chattaroy water tanker was greatly appreciated.
“The automatic aid agreement allows us to assist one another, to lend a hand where it is needed,” said the chief. “We take pride in our work, in our ability to protect the safety of those who reside within the City of Williamson, and we will continue the strong tradition of serving each of them.”
The Daily News apologizes for accepting the information at the scene form anyone other than Chief Mounts, and regrets if those facts caused the public to misunderstand the presence of the Chattaroy F.D. at the East End Fire.