Mutual aid request approved

Published 8:18 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

WINDSOR – Oak City will soon be providing help to Lewiston Woodville.

On Monday evening, Lewiston Woodville Fire Chief Larry Mizelle appeared before the Bertie County Commissioners asking for their approval of a mutual aid agreement between Lewiston Woodville and Oak City.

“Oak City is in Martin County, but only four miles across the county line,” Mizelle said. “They are the closest ambulance to us. Other than them, we would have to seek assistance from Askewville or Windsor.”

According to information provided by the Lewiston Woodville Fire Department, resources from Aulander would be 11.4 miles away from Indian Woods Road and N.C. 11. The Blue Jay Fire Department would be 8.5 miles from the same point and Oak City would be just six miles.

“Since we’re going to a six-mile district, Oak City can serve as a backup for us,” Mizelle said. “In fact, there are some places in our fire district where they are almost as close as we are.”

Oak City offers fire, rescue and extrication service, according to Mizelle, all of which would be beneficial to the residents of the Lewiston Woodville Fire District.

The agreement states, that the counties authorizes the local emergency management directors to “authorize to use their resources to assist one another in local nature or man-made disaster situation where the need arises.”

Bertie County Commissioner J. Wallace Perry said he was familiar with mutual aid agreements.

“Basically what this will do is the helping unit will be covered by insurance,” Perry said.

Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr. said he had discussed the situation with Mizelle previously and was in total agreement.

“Larry has spoken to me about this and I am in complete agreement with Commissioner Perry,” Cherry said. “I think we should approve this request.”

On a motion by Perry, seconded by Commissioner Charles Smith, the board voted unanimously to enter into the mutual aid agreement.

Once signed, the document will be returned to Oak City Fire Chief Butch Beach and taken to the Martin County Commissioners for their ratification.