Three volunteer fire and rescue organizations recently consolidated to form the new Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue in Berks County, which will help reduce costs to taxpayers and improve available services.
The Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, within the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), helped the Keystone Steam Fire Company No. 1, Friendship Hook and Ladder and Liberty fire companies successfully complete the consolidation.
“The consolidation of these three companies will result in a reduction in operating expenses that will help free up money that can be applied to other programs within the communities," DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker said.
This consolidation eliminates duplicate equipment to reduce both purchase costs and maintenance fees. It also creates a combined pool of more than 100 volunteers for faster response times and better service. Boyertown Borough, Colebrookdale Township and parts of Douglass Township will have reduced costs as a result.
Chief Dave Shainline likened the task of merging the three companies into one to a long, arduous road.
“At the end of the road however, when it all comes together, the community, the fire service, all of the stakeholders benefited greatly," Shainline said.