It may seem like a relatively small thing.
Fire departments got together last weekend and practiced putting out a house fire together.
Called “live burns” or “controlled burns” these kinds of training exercises happen somewhat regularly.
But the one last week is a clear sign to us that fire departments in Person County are starting to work together.
That will be critical if departments across Person County want to improve the ISO ratings in their district. For better or worse, that’s become the metric by which county commissioners are considering a successful return on their investment earlier this year with the volunteer fire departments.
Working together, though, is something the Person County fire departments haven’t always done very well. They can be territorial and they can be jealous of each other. That seems a bit petty to us and, the truth is, that’s probably cost the departments some support in the past.
Still, we prefer to look forward. As fire department boards, chiefs and firefighters themselves come to realize the benefits of working together, everyone will win.
Fire departments that work together will succeed in improving ISO ratings in their district. That will engender the continued support of funding organizations like the Person County commissioners and, honestly, it will make the performance of firefighters on the scene of a call more efficient and more successful.
As Person County’s volunteer fire departments continue to march toward ISO re-certifications, we believe we will see continued examples of fire departments working together, not just on training exercises, but in sharing best practices in everything from budgeting to managing administrative tasks to making purchasing decisions.
Last week’s training exercise is a great start to what we expect will be many more examples of our fire departments working together. And, why not? After all, they share a common purpose.