The Wilmington Fire Department, New Hanover Fire Department and the Myrtle Grove Volunteer Fire Department will begin automatic mutual aid in February 2010.
The program will function by assigning Wilmington and New Hanover fire apparatus to respond in predesignated areas regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Mutual aid, and the lack of a specific program to give and receive fire suppression assistance, was identified in the 2008 Fire Department Assessment as a weak area in the Wilmington fire response system.
If successful, this program will be extended to other areas of Wilmington and New Hanover County where it is mutually beneficial for both jurisdictions. Programs like mutual aid and automatic mutual aid are standard operational practices for most places in the United States.