Share This Page

Reserve Twp. fire departments move forward with merger plan

| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 9:06 p.m.
Bethany Hofstetter | Shaler Journal
Volunteer firefighters in Mount Troy Volunteer Fire Company and the Spring Garden Volunteer Fire Company, both in Reserve Township, soon will have a unified look with the same name on the back of their turnout gear and patches obsolete with the companies’ anticipated merger in 2015 that will change the name of the fire department.
Bethany Hofstetter | Shaler Journal
Patches representing Mount Troy Volunteer Fire Company and the Spring Garden Volunteer Fire Company, both in Reserve Township, may soon be obsolete with the companies’ anticipated merger in 2015 that will change the name of the fire department.

Volunteer firefighters in Reserve Township soon might have the same name on their gear and equipment with the anticipated consolidation of two neighborhood volunteer fire companies.

Volunteer firefighters and board members in Mount Troy Volunteer Fire Company and the Spring Garden Volunteer Fire Company, both in Reserve, have been in discussions to merge the two departments with the goal of completing the process next year.

“We are trying to provide the best service to the residents of Reserve Township,” said Dave Moore, president of the Mount Troy company. “That is the goal.”

The proposed merger would provide a more cost-effective and better-trained response to emergencies because with more people and supplies combined, firefighters can concentrate on training instead of fundraising, Moore said.

Discussions started three years ago and, in 2012, representatives from Volunteer Firemen's Insurance Services Inc. completed a consolidation feasibility study for the departments.

After the study, the department members agreed to start discussing details of a merger and started to draft bylaws.

Once both companies pass a resolution for the bylaws and merger, the merger then will need to be approved by an Allegheny County judge and the state Attorney General's office.

The combined volunteer fire department would be responsible for the 3.2-square-mile municipality, which has 3,500 residents and 1,600 houses.

Firefighters anticipate the combined department would use the best two engines and two support vehicles from the two companies' fleets and would feature 25 active members and an additional 30 support members, which would include the current women's auxiliary members.

Moore said he anticipates the combined fire department would respond to about 150 calls per year and have an annual budget of $120,000 to $125,000.

Once the merger is complete, the fire company would feature a new name and unit number.

“We're changing the entire identity so it's a fresh start,” Moore said.

Mount Troy and Spring Garden fire companies were established in the early 1900s to serve the neighborhoods in Reserve Township.

In recent years, the fire companies have formed an operational relationship to share equipment and training.

“When you're performing the primary function of each department already, the logical step is to look at taking the next step and creating a combined company,” said Dave Dengler, president of the Spring Garden company.

Since February 2013, the company members have been responding together and training together as a way to test how a combined department might function, which the company presidents said is working well.

“Throughout all of this what impressed me the most is the passion and commitment of the people involved,” Dengler said.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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.