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Commissioners Court discusses Interoperability Radio Network, McLendon-Chisholm Fire and Rescue

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 7, 2018) The Rockwall County Commissioners Court held a workshop on Tuesday, June 5, to discuss a maintenance agreement with the newly formed McLendon-Chisholm Fire and Rescue (MCFR) department for the County’s Interoperability Radio Network.

The Court welcomed McLendon-Chisholm Mayor Pro Tem Scott Turnbull, who briefed the Commissioners on the history and current operational status of MCFR.

Turnbull said the City of McLendon-Chisholm is currently in the process of securing a Ford F-450 Brush Truck and a Cyclone E-One Fire Truck for MCFR, which are scheduled to be delivered on or before June 15, 2018. He said Fire Chief Jim Simmons, who was appointed head of the department on April 24, is processing applications he has received from 11 TCFP-certified firefighters who wish to serve the City of McLendon-Chisholm as members of MCFR. The department will staff a combination of volunteer and paid firefighters.

“Chief Simmons has assured me he will have the equipment and fully-equipped firefighters to man it in place by June 15,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull said the only current needs of the MCFR department are mobile and portable radios for communication, and that he hopes the radios can be delivered and installed by June 15.

Commissioner David Magness expressed concerns on providing radios to MCFR without fire protection in the unincorporated areas of Fire District 22. Currently, the County has a contract in place with the MCVFD to provide fire service in those areas.

According to Turnbull, MCFR plans to respond to calls within city limits and provide mutual aid to the MCVFD in the unincorporated areas of Fire District 22.

“Because you already have a contract with another provider, I don’t want to say that we’re going to go out in the county and respond to calls,” Turnbull said. “We will do mutual aid between the time we set up and the end of your contract. We will be good neighbors and back up the MCVFD just like we would any other surrounding fire department as we move forward.”

Commissioner Dennis Bailey said the coverage of the unincorporated areas will be included in the maintenance agreement between Rockwall County and the City of McLendon-Chisholm.

“I have been assured by the representatives from the City that it is their intent to make calls in the unincorporated areas,” Bailey said. “That will be something that will be put in the maintenance agreement we have with the City, that they would make those calls to those residents. We are also going to begin to ask McLendon-Chisholm to pay Rockwall County for dispatch services, because all other cities that receive dispatch services are paying their dispatch partner for those services. I’ve asked Chief David Golden and Sheriff Harold Eavenson, and they’ve come back with a number of $10,000 a year for dispatch services. So that will also be included in this agreement that we will send to the City.”

In 2015, the County signed a contract with Harris Corporation and purchased equipment through them for all of the cities within the county. Prior to the purchasing of this equipment, the County had all the cities sign an Interoperability Radio Network agreement to identify the equipment the cities needed as well as an estimated maintenance cost of the equipment once it was installed.

Bailey said since the County has been given a date to execute the final contract with Harris Corporation for the maintenance of all purchased equipment on or before June 30, he will bring the proposed maintenance agreement before the Court at its next regular meeting on June 12 for consideration of approval.

Submitted press release.


About Rockwall County

Rockwall County is the smallest county in Texas, covering only 147 square miles, but it is one of the fastest growing counties in the country. The county comprises the cities of Fate, Heath, Mobile City, McLendon-Chisholm, Rockwall, Rowlett, and Royse City. Bounded on the west by Lake Ray Hubbard, it is a desirable residential community for the continuously growing Dallas Metropolitan area, offering spectacular sunset views of the Dallas skyline only 23 miles away.

Rockwall County | 101 E. Rusk Street, Rockwall, TX 75087 | 972-204-7000 | www.rockwallcountytexas.com