Paris Fire Department signs mutual assistance agreement with Faught VFD; Wright will pursue deals with other VFD’s

Fire Department Mutual Aid Agreement

Paris Fire Chief Larry Wright (right) shakes hands Thursday with Faught VFD Assistant Fire Chief Rick Browning, sealing the deal on a mutual aid agreement for each department to help the other when requested. Behind them is a 3,000-gallon pumper-tanker truck belonging to the Faught VFD that will become available to the Paris Fire Department along with the services of Faught VFD firefighters. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

Faught VFD-Paris FD

Paris fire chief Larry Wright (right) is shown discussing the mutual aid agreement with Capt. Tyler Browning (left) and Assistant Fire Chief Rick Browning of the Faught Volunteer Fire Department. The fire-explosion at West, Texas, on Wednesday is a good example of why mutual aid agreements are important, Wright agreed. (eParisExtra.com photo by Charles Richards)

The Paris Fire Department and Faught Volunteer Fire Department jointly announced on Thursday a mutual aid agreement to assist each other when requested in the event of a disaster or fire emergency.

“Fire Chief Larry Wright of the Paris Fire Department was instrumental in initiating this agreement and new relationship with the Faught Volunteer Fire Department,” Faught Assistant Fire Chief Rick Browning said.

“We warmly welcome this new agreement and thank Chief Wright for his insight,” Browning said.

Wright said this is the first of several mutual aid agreements he will be signing.

The Paris City Council will be asked Monday night to ratify a similar agreement between the Paris Fire Department and the Reno Volunteer Fire Department.

Agreements with Hopewell and Powderly volunteer fire departments also will be signed soon, with others to follow, Wright said.

The fire-explosion disaster on Wednesday at West,Texas, about 20 miles north of Waco, is an example why help from nearby volunteer fire departments is essential in helping protect life and property, Browning and Wright agreed.

Mutual aid agreements with other departments was one of the goals Wright mentioned after he was hired as Paris’ fire chief in December.

Wright said Faught’s assistance is particularly valued because it has a station actually inside the Paris city limits, on FM 195, a short distance outside the loop.

In addition to making its firefighters available when needed, Browning noted that the Faught VFD has some unique equipment as well – a 3,000-gallon pumper-tanker truck and a 50-foot “Telesqurt” ladder truck.

While this agreement is for back-up only, Browning said, “This agreement will have the end effect of making both departments better capable of serving all emergencies, regardless of boundary lines.”

“This is a big deal to us and should be considered a great value to the citizens of Paris also,” Browning said.

Wright said he anticipates the mutual aid agreement with Faught – and the ones to be added with other volunteer fire departments in Lamar County – will have a good side effect, the reduction of overtime.

By CHARLES RICHARDS

eParisExtra.com

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.