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Mt. Juliet talks emergency response

Caitlin Rickard • Dec 15, 2015 at 11:37 AM

The Mt. Juliet Commission met Monday where commissioners passed a resolution making the city the primary responder for all fire-related calls in the city.

Only three commissioners were present, Vice Mayor James Maness, Art Giles and Jim Bradshaw.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, approves an agreement between Mt. Juliet, The Wilson Emergency Management Agency and The Wilson Emergency Communications District regarding primary and secondary responders for fire calls.

WECD 911 Director J.R. Kelley said the agreement said when it receives a 911 call in Mt. Juliet, the call would be transferred to Mt. Juliet police, which would then dispatch the Mt. Juliet firefighters.

An advisory call would also go to WEMA at the same time, according to Kelley.

“It’s up to the city and WEMA how they’re responded to, we just take the call,” Kelley said.

Kelley said WECD simply transfers all 911 calls, and it does not dispatch any responders.

“When a call comes, we have to know who to transfer it to so the appropriate responder has the call,” Kelley said.

Kelley said the agreement was for 911 fire calls only and puts the city of Mt. Juliet as the primary responder and WEMA secondary.

“WEMA is also getting an advisory on these calls so they’ll be aware of what’s going on,” Kelley said.

Ambulance and rescue calls, etc., would still go to WEMA.

Kelley said this makes it basically where one agency, Mt. Juliet, gets to speak to the caller or person on the scene and the other, WEMA, gets an advisory notice that WECD received a call relative to a fire.

Another resolution to approve an agreement between Mt. Juliet and WEMA regarding the call response plan was deferred one meeting by the board in order to get more information and work out some issues.

Fire Chief Erron Kinney said the plan doesn’t cover everything he’d like to see covered, and he felt it was in the city’s best interest to have other provisions in place.

“I just want to make sure we’re notified and sending our resources and make sure we have a presence and not leaving things in someone else’s hands when it’s our responsibility and our city,” Kinney said. 

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