A bill in the Nevada State Senate would force Washoe County and Reno fire agencies to resolve a dispute that sometimes prevents them from responding to emergencies from the closest station.
There is no “automatic aid agreement” between the City of Reno and Washoe County. That means County Fire Stations surrounded by City land aren’t notified when there is an emergency.
“It is definitely frustrating,” says County Station 13 Captain, John Arrowood. It takes the closest Reno Fire Station three minutes longer to respond than it would take his crews. In some cases, it takes Reno fire crews 20 minutes longer.
“You know, I think that people aren’t aware of it to be honest.”
Stay-at-home mom Alysa Zendejas lives in Reno right next a County Fire Station and she didn’t know.
“It’s scary to know that they can’t respond to us right here.”
Between themselves Reno and Washoe County have not been able to agree on how much each would pay the other for emergency services across city-county boundaries. Now, the legislature is stepping in.
Senate Bill 185 would impose a directive, the nearest fire station to an emergency must respond. That will force the two sides to appear at legislative hearings and eventually come to an agreement. Reno City Councilman, David Bobzien welcomes the legislative intervention.
“It will be an opportunity for the entities to sit down, open up the books, present their cases and work out some solution that is going to be in the best interest of all the residents of the Truckee Meadows.”
While the bill is simple right now, Bobzien expects it will become more complicated as the two sides work out a deal.