Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at email@example.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DENVER -- If your home or business catches fire, you'll want the closest firefighters to get there quickly and put it out, right? While that is the goal, the closest firehouse may not be the one to arrive first because of aid agreements between different fire districts depending on where you are located.
Most recently, Denver7 viewers reached out asking why Adams County Fire Rescue Station 13 near the intersection of E. 58th Avenue and Washington St. in Denver did not respond to Tuesday’s recycling plant fire down the street.
In short, the answer is the fire was in Denver’s jurisdiction and there are rules in place that control how and where units can respond.
"We have agreements and partnerships with neighboring agencies that can allow for us to get the resources that are necessary," said Denver Fire Captain Greg Pixley.
Part of the process comes down to automatic vs. mutual aid. Automatic aid is an agreement that allows different agencies to respond on calls when needed, but mutual aid is used only when the extra help is requested.
With the growth in the Denver metro and more people moving in, Contact7 asked at what point do you call in extra help? Especially when there is a fire that exceeds the resources available and fire trucks across the border are ready to assist.
"Depending on the type of fire, that will give the indication of what our needs are,” said Pixley. “There is the possibility that we could use their resources."
In order to keep up with the growing population and call volume for emergencies, Denver Fire is expanding. The department is currently building a new station near the intersection of Central Park Blvd. and E. 50th Dr. in Northfield. Denver Fire opened Station 35 near the airport two years ago.
“Our goal, and with the expansion of the Denver Fire Department, is to decrease the response times that we have to these new areas that are finding businesses and finding homes,” said Pixley.