Prior to last week, for the Borough of South Williamsport to receive fire/police assistance from another municipality, the mayor had to write a letter requesting assistance.
The mayor or the township supervisors of the municipality from which the assistance was requested would then consider the request for assistance and send a return letter granting the assistance.
This unwieldy process was necessary to cover fire police for workmen's compensation.
It's hard to view that cumbersome and time-consuming process as anything fitting the spirit of mutual aid among municipalities.
Mutual aid infers a quick-response procedure of help among police and fire organizations, not a studied deliberation enacted by carrier pigeon.
South Williamsport moved into the quick-response version of mutual aid last week when borough council adopted a memorandum of understanding that makes it easier for borough fire police to offer assistance to municipalities in non-emergency situations.
All that's required now for the borough to assist is mutual consent of each municipality's fire or police officials.
As South Williamsport Fire Chief Casey Lowmiller correctly pointed out, such agreements are more important than ever because of the declining number of fire service volunteers.
We suggest all municipalities in the region update their mutual aid agreements to allow quick responses to fire-police emergencies and non-emergencies.