GROVELAND — The Lake County Public Safety Department and the Groveland Fire Department are combining resources to ensure the safety of all residents in the Groveland area, and together, will ceremoniously sign an automatic aid agreement at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at Groveland’s Fire Station 94, 193 Cherry Valley Trail, Groveland.
The agreement states that the closest emergency unit, whether Lake County Fire or Groveland Fire, will respond to emergency incidents within the Inter-local Service Boundary Agreement, or ISBA area.
“This agreement is a win-win situation for our citizens,” said Lake County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jimmy Conner. “Together, we can better protect lives and property and reduce insurance costs for residents in unincorporated Lake County, and within participating cities.”
The county is also implementing an Automatic Vehicle Location or AVL system, which is similar to a GPS monitoring system that will dispatch the closest unit to any emergency, whether county or city.
“We will share a centralized dispatch and the costs of responding to emergencies in the Groveland area,” said Lake County Public Safety Department Chief John Jolliff. “This agreement will improve response times and offer citizens an improved level of protection.”
The agreement with Groveland goes into effect March 1. Lake County is also working with other municipalities in the hopes of striking similar agreements throughout the county.
In late 2010, Commissioner Welton Cadwell, then chairman, spearheaded a roundtable meeting with the county and its municipalities to discuss the concept of an automatic aid agreement. After the conclusion of the meeting, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, along with county and municipal fire officials, continued to work towards implementing the inter-local agreements.
“This is truly a big deal for the citizens of Lake County,” said Commissioner Cadwell. “I hope every city in Lake County that has a fire department will sign onto this agreement.”