Munhall fire companies await merger OK
Munhall Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 and Franklin Volunteer Fire Co. No. 3 are merging to form Munhall Central Fire and Rescue.
The merger agreement was signed on Thursday. It is expected to be submitted to Allegheny County Orphans' Court on Monday to begin the process of formal recognition of the new company.
Companies were in merger talks for at least the past two years.
Franklin president Bob Kalan said he has mixed emotions about the consolidation because of his many years of service to his company, but that the merger will provide long-term benefits.
“It's going to be different,” Kalan said. “It's going to be fun starting a new company.”
Kalan has been president of his company for the past five years, and served as a firefighter for 30 prior years.
Kalan, 53, has lived next to or behind the fire hall along Charles Street for most of his life.
“It's kind of hard to pull up stakes,” he said.
Franklin sponsored two Girl Scout troops, a girls softball team and had movie nights outside the fire hall.
Kalan said he hopes activities still can take place at the facility.
“It all depends on what the borough's going to do with the building,” he said.
The new company will be dispatched from No. 2's location at the borough building along West Street. Equipment already was transferred from Franklin to the building.
Kalan said it's a tight fit, but both companies are making it work. He said service may be improved with the merger.
Franklin has about 30 active members, and Munhall No. 2 has 10.
New bylaws were created for the combined company. Plans are being submitted to the courts to make everything official.
“It could be three days, it could be three years,” Kalan said. “It depends on how long the court wants to play around with it.”
Elections were conducted in March for the officers of Munhall Central Fire and Rescue.
Kalan was named president and Franklin fire Chief Mark Bodnar was elected the new company's first chief.
Munhall Mayor Raymond Bodnar said communication and cooperation will be key for the merger to be successful.
“The teamwork is what counts,” Bodnar said.
Munhall Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 officials could not be reached for comment by presstime.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.