Currently there is a mutual aid agreement between Ramsey County emergency response units which exists to enable neighboring fire personnel to respond to emergencies – such as a structure fire – regardless of city limits. An additional option – Closest Unit Dispatching – was discussed to automatically dispatch the closest emergency response units regardless of jurisdictional boundaries for emergency events identified as life-safety and/or cardiac events.
In 2016, the Ramsey County Fire Chief’s Association formed a Mutual Aid Agreement to automatically dispatch the closest emergency response unit, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries, for certain critical emergencies such as structure fires, cardiac arrest and ice/water emergencies. Vadnais Heights was the only city in Ramsey County that did not enter the agreement due to feeling it would create unnecessary and excessive burdens on the Fire Department.
However, after reviewing the statistics it was determined there was no excessive burden placed upon VHFD. In an event of an emergency, having the closest emergency unit provide immediate assistance is essential. In a life or death situation, the name on the side(s) of the apparatus or on the uniforms do not matter. Therefore, on April 6, 2021, the Vadnais Heights City Council approved the authorization to enter into a Mutual Aid Agreement with Ramsey County to provide for the automatic dispatch of the closest emergency response unit regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.