Towns to discuss mutual aid ideas

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MEXICO – Town Manager John Madigan said selectmen will call a special meeting with Rumford town officials in the next couple of weeks to discuss mutual fire aid between the towns.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, Madigan said fire Chief Gary Wentzell reported that the local fire department had been called to assist Rumford firefighters 25 times since the beginning of the fiscal year July 1, 2006.

That number, he said, is equal to nearly twice the number of times mutual aid assistance is required for an entire year.

“This is a lot more often than normal. We have a limited budget,” he said. “Until this year, we’ve had about the same number of calls for many years.”

He said Mexico selectmen and the fire chief plan to meet with Rumford’s town manager, fire chief and selectmen either at Mexico’s next board meeting on Jan. 24, or before then.

“If it continues like this, the pace could strain the budget for our call force,” he said.

In other matters on Wednesday, the board adopted a wrecker policy that calls for police using each of the six wrecker companies in the Rumford/Mexico area on a rotating basis as needed.

He said the owners of the area’s wrecker companies petitioned the board last month to begin a rotation of services so everyone will have a turn.

Madigan said two companies are in Mexico and four in Rumford. He said Rumford adopted a similar rotation policy several years ago.

Wreckers are called to tow vehicles from accidents or to remove vehicles parked illegally, particularly during snowstorms.

The policy will go into effect as soon as all six companies provide proof of insurance and the proper licenses for drivers.

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