Station 51 by my place is located at the fringes of our area in a southern corner of the district, and rather close to the border with Mayberry VFD of Hazzard County. I've shared some Mayberry/Hazzard tales before, their tone is generally that of an organization filled with well-intentioned but underfunded and under-appreciated volunteers doing the best they can with what little they have. Sometimes this causes problems when they play in our system and some of their newer (or older) members feel in over their heads in the midst of our "city" procedures shared countywide on our side. Most of the inter-agency issues we experience that cause gray hairs is actually a result of communications issues between our respective dispatch centers, beyond our control. Overall, it is a good relationship.
So it came as no surprise that after long last, an auto-aid arrangement was recently signed, sealed and delivered so that Station 51 is automatically dispatched to all incidents in a certain predefined slice of Mayberry territory, and has a standing invitation to make an appearance at any major incident in their full area. This affects me on our side more than anyone, as I am the only active guy near Station 51, so I made an appointment with the blessings of our leadership to go visit their Chief and discuss practical things under the arrangement. It was a good, productive meeting and I left with one of their pagers to keep at my house.
Afterwards I went to grab a bite at the local Gas-N-Go before heading home. I had to pass their HQ again on the way back. Lo and behold, Mayberry Rescue 13 pulls out up ahead of me and is off to the races. Missed that one by just a few minutes or I would have been invited to take a seat aboard. They proceeded to head into the area predefined for our auto-aid, so I followed along to see what came of it.
After a few miles, the Rescue pulled over to the side of the road, and the lone EMT aboard came back to me. The message from dispatch gave him a bad cross street reference that didn't pan out, and he did not know where this obscure road was.
Well, it just so happened...... that since Mayberry does not have useful maps of their area, I had created my own to cover the portion we would probably be taking rigs from 51 to. And it was with me in the truck. Found the street soon enough, and the Mayberry guy asked to follow me to the call.
So that is exactly what we did, Rescue 13, Code 2, following me in my truck.
Sometimes timing is everything. I rarely visit Mayberry HQ. I never had that special map in the truck with me before that day. I never in years have happened to see one of their rigs pull out in front of me. Two days prior our auto-aid agreement had not been in effect. But it all came together that day like a lawn dart landing on a quarter.
That worked out pretty well, and I now have a few more banked "thank-you" points with them. A good way to start the new arrangement.