Payson Still Helping Out Mesa Del

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Mesa del Caballo residents will continue to receive emergency fire and medical service from the Payson Fire Department with an extended interim response agreement that has no current deadline.

Payson Fire Chief John Ross said the previous deadline of March 1 on the interim agreement has been extended, although a recent evaluation of Mesa del's firefighting skills indicated that the community's firefighting capabilities need more time for assessment.

Ross said the Mesa del firefighters did a drill last week with their water tender. "They've come a long way," he said.

Ross said the Mesa del firefighters did very well, considering they have had a limited amount of training.

"We provided input to increase their capabilities to a higher level of performance," Ross said.

The mutual aid agreement between Payson and Mesa del was discontinued in January due to turnover at the Mesa del department. And the interim agreement was put in place at the end of January. At the time, Ross cited the turmoil in the community as one of the reasons to discontinue the mutual aid. "Payson is not going to request resources from Mesa del at this point in time," he said.

The agreement, which was to end March 1, has been extended, making Ross' reference to "this point in time" a little further down the road.

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