For over a decade the St. Albans Fire Department and the Nitro Fire Department have been participating in an automatic aid agreement. That means they monitor the same radio frequency and respond to each other's emergency calls.
"When we get a call for a structure fire they are sending an engine company with three guys right off the bat," described St. Albans Fire Chief Stephen Parsons. "So we are starting out with ten firefighters, which is better than what it used to be when we started out with five."
But in a few days, that agreement will no longer be possible. The Nitro St.Albans bridge is closing for several months.
Parsons said during that time both departments have contacted cities on their sides of the Kanawha River to form a similar agreement. While the bridge is closed, St. Albans will team up with South Charleston. Nitro will be teaming up with Dunbar.
The fire departments also have what are called mutual aid agreements with local volunteer fire departments.