Sharing emergency services: Buda activates Mutual Aid agreement

By Theresachristine Etim

A Mutual Aid agreement is in effect for the city of Buda on behalf of the Capital Area Council of Government (CAPCOG). 

The Buda City Council presented its documentation for the agreement discussed during Buda’s Sept. 15 city council meeting as part of the regular agenda. 

Buda Police Department Chief Bo Kidd said the basis of the Mutual Aid agreements is to give help to surrounding areas that experience significant hardships. 

“The Mutual Aid agreement is a way to provide resources to local areas that might need them as a result of natural disasters,” Kidd said. “Floods are an example, but something like the recent plant explosion in West, Texas, could be another example.”

In case of an emergency, Kidd said efforts under the Mutual Aid agreement would cover legal issues such as workers compensation.

A concept only 12 years old, the Mutual Aid agreement was started in 2003 as a ten county region in the state of Texas. 

Kidd said the police department in Buda had not yet existed when the document for the agreement was created. Buda’s police department officially began operations in 2010. 

Mutual aid also provides liability coverage for entities. Kidd says the agreement gives financial backup to the county with not just funds, but volunteer efforts as well.

“Funds from the agreement insures the county of more financial coverage if need,” Kidd said. “It also helps with first responders to make sure they have enough help and equipment. Some of the money also goes towards (efforts combating) terrorism.”

Kidd says it takes discipline to make these things happen, and that CAPCOG works to ensure the safety of the county. 

He said the Mutual Aid agreement helps entities of any size mitigate the exhaustion of resources when faced with a disaster, natural or otherwise. 

 “That’s why I believe you should have all of this,” Kidd said. “[Mutual aid] puts the framework together if you need help.”

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