Today we almost take Mutual and Automatic Aid agreements and responses for granted. Boundary drops are common, usually allowing and dispatching the closest unit to respond to the emergency. Throughout fire service history, that has not always been the case, including in Marin County.
Historically, it was very common for local FDs to either handle their own fires completely on their own, or for their governing body to forbid responding over city or district boundary lines. The basic reason usually was that the FD was funded by the local community, and those outside of the city, town, or district were not paying for it. In fact, this type of conflict still happens every now and then somewhere in America.
Why, how, when, where and who changed this situation over time in Marin to what it is today? The story is both interesting and complex. Look forward to a future feature on this topic.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith