The Essex County Fire Chief’s Association assumed responsibility for maintaining the county fire mutual aid network in 1999 when the county government was terminated.
The system is controlled by two dispatch control points at Beverly Fire and Andover with a support infrastructure system consisting of repeaters and related equipment on two towers located in Haverhill and Topsfield. All of this equipment is currently maintained by the “Association” and the entire network is free to member communities.
The two control points each cover a Department of Fire Services fire district, Beverly operating for District 5 and Andover for District 15, and between them represent all 34 communities in the county.
Operations are simulcast on two radio frequencies 154.07 MHz and 460.1375 MHz
Operationally each community works from a predetermined 10 alarm running card that spells out the mutual aid response to that community as the incident progresses. Each community submits their proposed card to the Essex County Fire Chief’s Associations’ Mutual Aid Committee to insure uniformity and upon approval the card becomes operational. Those cards follow this narrative.
All of this mutual aid works as a result of a Mutual Aid Agreement signed by all the communities in the county. That agreement also follows.
On October 1, 2013 the Beverly ‘Control point operations will be assumed by the new Essex County Regional Communications Center in Middleton, Mass. Over a period of time the ECRECC will be assuming fire and police dispatching for 6 of the counties’ 34 communities, with more likely to follow.