North Augusta, Belvedere Fire Dept. meet to discuss coverage areas
After a meeting between the Belvedere Fire District and North Augusta Public Safety, the coverage areas for the two departments have been finalized, and now just need to be approved by Aiken County Council.
North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover said it was regarding contract areas, where North Augusta’s fire department covered areas that weren’t in the city limits, but were covered by contract with the homeowner.
Chief Chad Hyler with the Belvedere Fire Department said the contract areas caused some confusion, but nothing will really change for his department.
Glover said the two departments agreed on a coverage map during the meeting, which is not official until it has been approved by Aiken County Council.
“Both sides really had the safety of the people we were covering,” Glover said. “It wasn’t a territorial kind of thing, it was more about ‘we have a fire stations really close to this, maybe we should serve them.’ It was very refreshing actually to have a sit down meeting like that between two groups where maybe you would think turf would be an issue and it just wasn’t.”
Hyler said the contract areas created a “no man’s land” situation, but if the fix works they way they say it will work, better service will be provided to people in the area. He said GIS mapping, 911 service and dispatch will have to be configured to the new territories.
Glover said those in the city limits of North Augusta will be covered by North Augusta Public Safety, and that some contract areas that used to be covered by the city will now be covered by the Belvedere Fire Department if the map is approved.