Oneida, county to share fire services

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ONEIDA — Madison County and the city of Oneida are using a shared services plan to give each other help in specific areas of firefighting expertise.

The county will provide fire investigations training to Oneida and the Oneida Fire Department will provide personnel and equipment when the county faces a confined space fire.

The Madison County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Dec. 19 allowing board chairman John Becker to sign a memorandum of understanding between the county and the city.

“This idea is one that’s been a year in coming, but I want to wait on a formal comment only after it’s been signed and made official,” Madison County Fire Coordinator Doug Shattuck said.

The Oneida Fire Department possesses confined space equipment and has personnel who are trained in confined space rescue. Confined spaces are work areas with limited access entrances or exits. Workers may be exposed to toxic elements while working in them. They include pits, silos, vats, sewers, boilers, tunnels and pipelines.

“The Department of Emergency Management has identified that there is a significant risk of confined space emergencies in the county,” Criminal Justice, Public Safety and Emergency Communications Committee Chairman Roger D. Bradstreet Sr. said.

Oneida’s department is able to work with minimal assistance from the county’s rope rescue team to fight and rescue those involve din confined space fires. Madison County on their end offer qualified fire investigators who are willing to help Oneida firefighters fulfill the number of hours necessary to maintain their certification.

Training for fire investigators requirements vary by state. It includes classroom and on-site training and often lasts for several months.

Fire investigators determine the origin of fires and explosions, while fire inspectors work to ensure that federal, state and local fire codes are met within buildings.

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