LIMERICK >> By 2019, Limerick and Linfield fire companies will become one entity serving the Limerick Township community, according to the companies.
Limerick and Linfield fire companies recently announcd they are currently working toward a merger of the two organizations that will be known as the Limerick Fire Department, Station 51.
Plans for the merger began to take off beginning last year, according to Dan Miller, public information officer for the fire companies, who said a big factor for the merger was a drop in volunteers.
“It’s the way the volunteer service is going. Over the past 40 years, the numbers of volunteers have dropped dramatically because of a lot of things like people’s work schedules, and there’s a lot of training involved which makes it difficult. Mergers are becoming more commonplace,” said Miller.
With the merger, Miller said, the companies will be able to work more efficiently and with a greater number of people. It will not only benefit the volunteers by putting less on their shoulders but will also better serve the community.
“In any business people have their specialities and it’s allowing us to have more people for internal purposes, people who have skill sets as experts,” Miller said. “People will get to specialize in things they’re already good at. They won’t have to do as many jobs. As far as the community, the residents are not going to see any type of reduction in services because of the merger. It will actually improve what they get when there’s an emergency. It gives both of us a bigger pool to draw from whether it’s a public relations or an emergency. It will decrease response times because the station responding will be closest to their home.”
Although operations will be combined under one department, neither Linfield nor Limerick firehouse will close, according to Miller.
Miller said while some expressed concern about the change, those views have quickly turned around as the planning process continues.
“There was some apprehension at first but the more it continues forward, the more positive everybody becomes about it. It’s change and a lot of people don’t like change but as a whole it’s been a very positive thing,” said Miller. “And the township has been very supportive throughout the whole process.”
The companies have already taken delivery of a new 2018 95’ E-One Mid-Mount Tower and have lettered it with the new “Limerick Fire Department” name and apparatus designation, “Tower 51.” As of October 2017, both companies began training together on a day-to-day basis as well as responding to all emergencies in Limerick Township.
In addition, several committees have been meeting to ensure the combination of all the financial, training and service records as well as working to plan the operating guidelines, according to a press release issued by the fire companies.
The companies have also joined together on fundraising efforts and expect to send a unified solicitation to township residents later this year.
In the meantime, residents can keep up to date on the merger by visiting either company’s website (www.limerickfirerescue.org and www.linfieldfire.com ) or Facebook page, which are also expected to be consolidated at a later date.