OXFORD – Aldermen have opted for an ounce of prevention in the city’s relationship with the University of Mississippi over fire protection.
The city officials on Tuesday approved a new contract to continue providing fire protection for the university more than a year before the current contract expires.
Last year disagreement over terms of the contract threatened to let the agreement lapse.
“It’s a very good relationship now,” said Oxford Fire Chief Mike Hill. “This is what the community needs – for the Oxford Fire Department and university to work together.”
The new contract will take effect after the current extension runs out June 30, 2010, and will run through June 30, 2014.
With both entities growing, leaders are also increasing the combined community’s firefighting fleet.
The university will take delivery in September of a crash-response vehicle at University-Oxford Airport.
The city will buy a new 100-foot ladder truck sometime during the new contract period to replace its current 1986 model, which serves some high-rise dormitories and a hotel on the Ole Miss campus.
As a concession to cost-savings, the university will train some staff members to handle non-emergency calls such as elevator doors that will not open.
“To have a three trucks and a full squad of firefighters respond to that is not a good use of our time and resources,” Hill said.
Both the city and the university have fire ratings of 5, where 1 is best and 10 is worst.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal