Lack of volunteers, rising costs prompt merger of Stockdale, Allenport fire companies
The new patch being worn by the community's firefighters reads Stockdale across the top, but the names of Stockdale and Allenport adorn the sign.
The logo is a sign of the newly formed Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department, formed with the merger of that community's company with the Allenport fire department.
Earlier this month, the Stockdale fire department held an open house to mark the merger, which took effect in April.
Stockdale Fire Chief Tom Wilkinson said mergers of smaller fire companies are a necessary and being supported by the state.
Wilkinson said volunteer membership in fire departments is dwindling and the cost of operating the fire companies is rising.
“With bingos dying off, people don't have the money to keep things up,” Wilkinson said.
About one third of Stockdale's roughly 60 members are 30 years of age or under.
“We have a unique situation,” Wilkinson said. “A lot of places aren't getting young people. A lot of people don't want be involved because of amount of time and training it takes.”
Wilkinson said the state, through its Department of Community Economic Development, supports such mergers. He said a state grant was approved to pay for legal costs associated with the merger, which had to receive court approval since both departments were incorporated.
Allenport borough council approached Stockdale fire department leaders about a merger in late 2011. At the time Allenport's membership was dwindling.
The state Department of Community Affairs aided in the merger, said Wilkinson, adding the state encourages such efforts.
The merger will financially benefit the firefighters. For the next five years, Stockdale will receive $23,000 in benefits, the combined state aid the two departments had been receiving.
The Allenport department was down to a half dozen members when the merger occurred, Wilkinson said. Two of those members have already joined Stockdale.
Merger is nothing new to Stockdale.
Charleroi, Fallowfield Township and Lock 4 in North Charleroi serve different communities, but they now consider the departments together as the Charleroi Fire District. Stockdale is also part of the district. Bentleyville's Rapid Intervention Team runs all structure fire assignments with the fire district.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ringgold School Board bans book in haste
- Donora seems ready to sue over school sale
- Charleroi woman behind bars for growing marijuana at home
- Ringgold to seek state’s help funding new school building
- Land bank considered in Washington County
- Victim of Monessen standoff committed suicide
- People, places stir readers’ questions; parodies puzzling
- Readers retain fond memories of people, places
- South Huntingdon girl, 15, heading to college early
- Bikers’ dozen gear up for 5-day trip from West Newton to D.C.
- Appreciation dance draws oldies faithful back to Stockdale