According to a statement from the city of Mobile mayor's office to FOX10 News, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department (MFRD) will no longer be the primary response team to Theodore.
Instead, the Theodore Volunteer Fire Department will be responding to calls in Theodore, and MFRD will serve as additional "mutual aid response" if needed.
Currently, the city's jurisdiction extends through a three-mile radius outside the Mobile city limits, however, that extension through Theodore is the area that will soon see the change in fire response.
Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl said that extension is technically only a police jurisdiction, because taxes from that area do not cover fire protection costs.
"That's been the city's whole rub on this is that they are spending more than they are taking in, they are having to take resources from the inner-city or other parts of the city to cover areas that they are not responsible for," explained Carl.
A spokesperson for the Mobile mayor's office said no other areas in the three-mile radius are planned to be affected "at this time."
However, Carl said he believes similar actions for areas in West Mobile will be taken further in the future, but that the city is being very flexible with the county about allowing time to make that more logistical.
According to the mayor's office statement, the change is all part of the city's goal to obtain a higher Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating.
In order to achieve the goal of an ISO Class 1 rating, said to be the highest in the country, the city said, it must decrease its response times. Currently, the city has a Class 3 rating.
Eliminating Theodore response will help the city of Mobile decrease its response times within the city limits, and could also help Theodore residents enjoy a faster response time, the statement said.
According to the statement, MFRD plans to donate used equipment to the Theodore Volunteer Fire Department, just as it donated several pieces of equipment to the Prichard Fire Department on Wednesday morning, July 11.
The statement went on to say MFRD also plans to assist Theodore with "training and recruiting during the transition period, and will continue to provide technical services after the transition period."
City officials said the fire jurisdiction change will not affect the police jurisdiction change "at this time."
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