Fire Departments Consider Merging
Volunteer fire departments across the country are losing members, a problem the Fairview and Lake Shore fire departments know all to well.
"Just in the 15 years I've been here, we've gone down. We would see 20, 25 people on a call. Now you're a half dozen to 10 maybe, if you're lucky," said Fairview Chief Evan Baker.
So they're looking at combining, not only to become larger, but to be more efficient with dwindling resources.
"Unfortunately, business and individuals don't seem to be able to donate as much as they used to," said Lake Shore Chief Brian Salvatore.
And the chiefs say a merger -- if they choose that route -- might go fairly smoothly.
"Lake Shore and us pretty much do everything day-to-day together. We respond on all their calls. They respond on all our calls, because we're both Fairview fire departments. So we work together -- as if we're one department -- for the most part anyway," Baker said.
Baker and Salvatore say only one thing about the future is certain: when you need firefighters, they'll be there.
"We're gonna continue to do and provide the service that we've provided," Salvatore said. "I don't think anybody should fear any detriment coming from this. That's for sure."