Des Moines and Altoona Fire Departments Plan to Start Working Together

IOWA  --  Two metro municipalities are coming together to better serve residents near their border.

Chief John TeKippe says the Des Moines Fire Department has the need for additional resources on the city's northeast side, while Altoona shares the same need for the western half of the city. The two departments are working together to create a formal and frequent mutual aid agreement with the hopes of automatic aid, instead of having to dispatch out the extra resources.

"Wherever they are, we send whoever is closest. So we're using that same idea between Altoona and Des Moines to cover two areas of the map. We each will send our own resources and we'll make the request, in which if one says yes, the other gets to keep their resources to protect their home," said TeKippe.

Finishing touches on the agreement are still coming together. The fire and EMS departments expect to start using the formal mutual aid next month. From there, Des Moines and Altoona will look into constructing and staffing a new fire station in northeast Des Moines that will serve both communities.