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Fire service hot topic at upcoming consortium

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A consortium of Wilson County fire service providers will meet Tuesday to talk about how to better service the county as a whole.

The leaders of Wilson County's four fire departments will take part in "casual conversation" at 9 a.m., at the Wilson Emergency Management Agency Training Center located at 110 Oak Street in Lebanon, according to Fire Department of Mt. Juliet Chief Jamie Luffman.
"It will be a meet and greet of sorts," said Luffman. "We'll work on a MOA (memorandum of understanding), talking about what we expect to enhance and help services."
He said the public is welcome to stop by.
"It's good to let the people of Wilson County know the leaders of EMA's are getting together, and there's a heightened sense of comfort amongst us."
WEMA Director Joey Cooper, Lebanon Fire Department Chief Chris Dowell and Watertown Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Jewell, along with the departments' command staff, will attend the consortium.
Mt. Juliet broke away from the county to form its own department on Sept. 30, 2013. However, Luffman said FDMJ has a "good partnership" with WEMA and the other fire departments in the county.
Luffman said it was important to maintain and build this relationship. He's worked closely with Cooper while a member of WEMA before he became FDMJ assistant chief. Luffman is currently Mt. Juliet's interim chief and is poised to officially become chief after a six-month period. Former FDMJ chief Erron Kinney stepped down a couple months ago, but was top chief when the department was formed.
Luffman said the last official MOU with WEMA was under the tenure of Kinney and Jewell, who was then WEMA director.
"We simply need to update it with our current signatures," said Luffman.
Currently, FDMJ has an automatic aid understanding with the departments related to structure fires and for rescues and wrecks, or a mass casualty incident, there's a mutual aid understanding. Luffman said currently FDMJ's EMS service is under the medical direction of WEMA.
"It's all working fine," said Luffman. "It's absolutely the best deal."
The think tank will include an exchange of ideas on how the multiple departments can work together and the "challenges" they face.
"Fire service is a hot topic, and good people are in place," said Luffman, who said pardon the pun. "We have good people in place and a good product. We are making sure what we are putting out there is not only good, but great. And if anyone needs help, we are a phone call away."
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

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fire department, fire service, LFD, MJFD, Watertown Volunteer Fire Department
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