College Station and Bryan Fire Effort to Regain Balanced Automatic Aid Relationship

Logos from Bryan fire department and College Station fire department social media.
Logos from Bryan fire department and College Station fire department social media.

In 1995, automatic aid was established between Bryan and College Station for fire and EMS responses to improve public safety.

During his presentation at the last College Station city council meeting, CSFD Chief Richard Mann says on the fire side, automatic aid has been equal, balanced and mutually beneficial. But he says two significant factors have contributed to an imbalance on the EMS side.

In 2012, College Station built a fire station on University Drive, which is near the Bryan border. In 2016, dispatch was upgraded to send the closest unit to the emergency, regardless of jurisdiction.

Mann says these two factors resulted in College Station ambulances responding to emergencies in Bryan more than three times the other way around.

In an effort to regain a more balanced relationship, last September, each jurisdiction began handling their own minor emergency calls, known as low acuity calls, regardless of the closest unit.

“Those low acuity calls are things that are very minor emergencies, things that probably don’t require an ambulance. Things that they could probably go by private auto or go to an urgent care center,” says Mann.

Mann says the only time College Station would respond to a low acuity call in Bryan is if all of Bryan’s ambulances are already out on calls.

Mann says after the change was made, numbers started trending in a positive direction. Another level of call was added to the agreement in January to balance the numbers even more.

Mann also says Bryan Fire has made operational changes to keep EMS transports in service.

Click below to hear this portion of Chief Mann’s presentation to the College Station city council.

Listen to “CSFD Chief Richard Mann discusses automatic aid relationship with BFD” on Spreaker.