Northampton Fire Department in South Amherst Friday 8:29 AM
If you or a loved one required an ambulance Friday morning Amherst Fire Department -- your local hometown providers -- would have relied on a neighboring professional EMS department to come to your aid.
Hence the term "mutual aid".
In fact our friends in Northampton had to respond to a call in South Amherst from a 14-year-old who awakened with severe lower extremity pain.
APD responded immediately (although they too were stretched at the time) and AFD's fire prevention officer jumped in his vehicle and sped to the scene to assist until the Northampton ambulance arrived.
Unfortunately it's not all that unusual: The needs of Amherst residents being met by a neighboring FD ambulance averages 78 times per year.
AFD & APD on scene Northampton Road 8:10 AM for our friend Ethel
Over the next 12 hours AFD Dispatch would tone out on three separate occasions for off duty personnel or the Call Force to come in for "station coverage."
And even that only provides minimum coverage at the station, not enough to fully staff an engine in case The Beast came calling.
Why do you think they are a called a "fire department?"
Engine 1 with only 1 aboard (left) arrived to this on June 4th
Last month on a "routine" Saturday afternoon the first arriving engine at a major fire at Alpine Commons apartment building had only one firefighter aboard (the driver) and he could do virtually nothing until anther engine arrived from North Station with three aboard.
We were flat out lucky on Friday morning. One day soon, our luck will run out.