Normally when Mrs. Smith dials 911 for her emergency or witnesses an emergency, she will receive some sort of emergency apparatus at the place of the emergency incident location. Most times the emergency apparatus will come from a local fire and emergency services department in the community, other times it will not.
In my local area, 90 percent of the time, when the Fire Box is struck, departments from farther away are dispatched rather than the closer one. This boggles my mind. I would understand if X department is on another emergency incident, then Y department gets dispatched.
Some counties or cities may have Automatic Vehicle Locators or GPS trackers on the Emergency Apparatus to dispatch the closest emergency apparatus to the emergency scene.
Others may use the Box Card System, to dispatch the closest department. Sometimes the Box Card System for a jurisdictional area must be by signed local municipal leaders. The Box Card System may be set up by who is closest by mileage or who X Department decides what companies they want to run with even though some companies are closer. The Box Card System may be broken down by different types of emergencies to list what emergency apparatus is desired at that emergency incident.
Justification for allowing the closest department by mileage to respond to an emergency incident is plain and simple, miles and fuel Saved on Emergency Apparatus, since the cost of fuel and Apparatus are not cheap. This will minimize wear and tear on the Apparatus. Plus factor in the Man Hours spent responding to an emergency and returning back. Plus it may improve your communities ISO Rating.
X Department may have reasons for not running the closest department. For example bad blood, egos, their paid and we are not, something that happen 10 years ago, and/or they do not play well with others. I have also heard that departments are not called because of not being trained enough to effectively and efficiently perform on the emergency scene.
No matter if you or your department does not like XYZ department we are on the same team. It doesn't matter if you are paid or volunteer. In the long run it's not about you, it's about the community and how to efficiently mitigate the emergency incident in a timely manner.