Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan

The purpose of the Minnesota Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan is to provide local fire chiefs with an easy access to large quantities of fire service resources that may be needed in a major fire, disaster or other major emergency. The Plan is based on a series of observed occurrences and shared experiences during recent disasters and major emergencies in the State of Minnesota. It is also an evolution of our past experiences in dealing with the day-to-day incidents that continually challenge our resources and competencies. Most importantly, it is a practical approach to provide fire service resources in quantities beyond the means of any single fire department.

The Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association created the Plan to provide for the systematic mobilization, deployment, organization, and management of fire service resources to assist local agencies in a major fire, disaster or other major emergency. The local fire service agency is the first tier of defense in responding to the ravages of a disaster. No community has the resources sufficient to cope with all emergencies.

The Plan provides for the rapid activation and response of aid to a community in the event of a localized disaster. These events can include a major fire, train derailments, hazardous materials incidents, wildland fires, domestic terrorism, death of a firefighter, and other events that may overwhelm the local fire department serving the community and its normal mutual aid resources.

Mutual Aid – Basic Concepts

  • Communities are expected to commit their own and local mutual aid resources before requesting statewide mutual aid.  However, no fire service agency is expected to reduce its own fire protection capability to an unreasonable level.
  • The rendering of mutual aid is voluntary.  No community is required to unreasonably deplete its own resources in furnishing mutual aid.
  • The decision to provide resources for mutual aid is made on a case-by-case basis by the agency receiving the request to respond.
  • Timely notification, and a coordinated build-up and response of mutual aid resources, is essential to a successful mutual aid response.
  • The responsible local official in whose jurisdiction an incident has occurred shall remain in charge of the incident.
  • All local and mutual aid resources will operate at an incident is accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Key Concepts of the Plan 

The Plan is directed towards enhancing disaster management at the local, county, and state level of government by:

1. Providing an organized method to activate large quantities of fire department personnel and resources. 
2. Establishing the positions, roles, and responsibilities necessary to activate and maintain this plan. 
3. Complimenting other disaster plans at the local and state level. 
4. Utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) adopted by the State of Minnesota. 

Additional Resources

Mutual Aid Plan PDF (1 MB)
Mutual Aid Plan Field Guide PDF (2.4 MB)


If you have questions about the Intrastate Mutual Aid Plan, please contact  Scott Gerber or Ulie Seal.