Why are you calling for mutual aid?
In my area...kicking, screaming, still not 100% but pretty good...
But for 10 years we've used Alarm Cards.
OIC can simply request his 1st Alarm to be filled out, 2nd alarm, or something like "1 Engine-Tank and manpower" and the dispatcher just pulls the next department on the alarm card whose available to fill it.
It was pretty amazing how many little games Chiefs had been playing on the margins disappeared when they actually had to write down an alarm card and submit to the dispatch center for anyone to see.
OIC still has the ability to special call resources not on the alarm card -- maybe an Engine he knows with a large CAFS system, or a Hose Tender, or a 100' mid-mount tower for a job another aerial can't do.
Major incidents going beyond the alarm card, the dispatchers usually take care of. And they will balance operational requests ("Start me four more tankers") with maintaining coverage with minimum move-ups -- the 4 tankers you get may be the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th next closest ones. 3 & 4 got left in quarters because their stations are in good locations to cover 1/2/5/6's home areas.
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