Southern IL fire departments on standby to help with Ferguson - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern IL fire departments on standby to help with Ferguson

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) -

Flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses in Ferguson, keeping law enforcement and firefighters busy.

Prior to the grand jury's announcement, fire departments made a plan if extra help was needed in Ferguson.

So, local fire departments say they're standing by.

Chester Fire Chief Marty Bert says his department has an agreement with St. Clair County fire departments near St. Louis.

"They can call other resources in to help them out," said Chief Marty.

If assistance is needed in Ferguson, the nine fire departments in Randolph County will send at least one truck and three crew members to help.

"Ferguson would have to be several fires going on where St. Louis could not handle all of them and they would call in for back up," he said.

Chief Marty says it's common to use this system during natural disasters.

Back in 2005, his department sent manpower to Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina.

But as more time passes, Chief Bert says the likelihood of sending anyone becomes less and less, a sign that the violence is disappearing.

"Plan for the worse and hope for the best," he said.

On Tuesday Governor Jay Nixon said on Tuesday he would increase the number of National Guard troops if needed.

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