City to consider continuing fire mutual aid agreement with Malmstrom

City Commissioners will consider an agreement for mutual aid with Malmstrom Air Force Base during their Aug. 15 meeting.

The agreement is with the Secretary of the Air Force, acting by and through the 341st Mission Support Group commander at Malmstrom.

The Malmstrom fire department and Great Falls Fire Rescue have a longstanding mutual aid relationship, according to staff.

The new agreement is due to changes in Air Force regulations that required base fire departments to update their mutual aid agreements.

This agreement is for five years with annual reviews.

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“As proven in the recent Gibson Flats Fire, during times of need, each department has been able to respond during large incidents or disasters that have occurred in our communities. Both agencies can rapidly render assistance to the other during these events resulting in additional resources available to mitigate the emergency,” according to the staff report.

The agreement has been regularly exercised by both parties.

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The city has used the agreement “when additional resources are needed immediately at a conflagration fire to minimize the loss of property and life in areas protected by Great Falls Fire Rescue. During these times, Malmstrom firefighters work alongside GFFR firefighters and fall within our incident command system,” according to GFFR.

There’s no cost to continue the agreement and a component to any fire service mutual aid is to not seek reimbursement from the party requesting assistance.

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Each party waives claims against the other for compensation for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring as a consequence of exercising the agreement, according to staff.

It may be necessary to call in GFFR firefighters to cover for those rendering mutual aid assistance, a situation faced by mutual aid partners when they assist the city, according to staff.