Most cities, especially mid-to-small sized cities, don’t have the resources to prepare for every situation and every possible weather event so they set up agreements with their neighboring cities to share equipment, resources, and even personnel if something unexpected pops-up.
Those agreements are known in the municipal world as “mutual aid” agreements — essentially promising to help you out if you’ll help me out.
Historically Kent has been a recipient of mutual aid mostly in the area of police and crowd control assistance for the large public events in Kent that bring in more people than our small police department can possibly keep safe just do to sheer numbers.
However, we always look to return the favor, probably most often in fire response. Whenever there’s a large structure fire near Kent we usually end up sending fire response assistance and some of our larger pieces of fire fighting equipment. The local Fire Chief remains in command on scene but our resources are made available for deployment.
Another example is wind storm damage which can hit neighboring cities very differently. For example, this Fall, Kent came out of a storm event relatively unscathed but some of our neighbors were not so lucky.
We received an “SOS” from the Mayor of Twinsburg:
“Twinsburg sustained extremely heavy damage last evening from the storm that blew through our area. We are wondering if there is any municipality who has a branch chipper available that we could borrow in addition to our own. We have 3000+ without power with trees and power lines down everywhere, so we are looking to get things back up as soon as possible.”
Under the auspices of mutual aid we were able to make a chipper truck available for them so if you saw a City of Kent truck working in Twinsburg, please know that was there with our permission and it’s covered under a regional equipment mutual aid agreement that we have for situations like this — so everything is on the up-and-up.
It could be Kent sending out an “SOS” next time so we were happy to help Twinsburg chip itself out by temporarily using our equipment that we weren’t using at the time.
Here’s a note of appreciation from the Twinsburg Mayor: