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Exploring the dynamics


resources to respond effectively and thus needs to request

support from other agencies. The closest associated agencies, or

agencies which are in the automatic aid system, will

automatically dispatch their resources to the requesting agency.

For example, Escambia County Fire Rescue and the Pace Fire

Rescue District in Florida have signed the automatic assistance

agreement to cooperate at the scene of any fire or emergency

where lives and/or property are threatened (Escambia County

Government in Florida, n.d.).

A local mutual aid agreement is in effect when a disaster of

long duration occurs, such as a wildfire or a hurricane that

affects several counties. A local agency that does not have

enough resources will request aid from other local agencies

which had previously signed a written mutual aid agreement.

The agencies from which aid is being requested will be

reimbursed their costs for providing assistance to the requesting

agency. For example, Sumter County and Citrus County in

Florida have signed an agreement to provide reciprocal

assistance on

the basis of mutual aid

for reported structure fires,

fire alarms, medical emergencies, hazardous material or rescue

scenarios, and brush fires (Sumter County Government in

Florida, n.d.).

A statewide mutual aid agreement is in place for

responding to large events that exceed the coping capacity of

any single local government. FDEM coordinates the assistance

between local governments during disasters and concentrates

available resources where needed. This agreement also certifies

timely reimbursements (Florida Division of Emergency

Management, n.d.b).

Florida county government is designated to function as the

core political subdivision responsible for planning and

implementing local EM policies and activities. Florida Statute

252 requires that each county establish an EM agency and create

an EM director position, while it is optional for municipal