Fire Companies Consolidate In Eastern Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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Three Berks County fire companies that have fought fires together for decades will be merging to form the Eastern Berks Fire Department in January.

The Goodwill Fire Co. in Bally, Volunteer Barto Fire Co. and the Keystone Fire Co. of Bechtelsville will join for what they say will provide better service, according to a news release.

“After three years of talks, negotiations, forms, inventories and legal approval, the three will begin operating as a single department at 4 p.m. on Jan. 3,” Rev. Paul Bartlett of the fire department said in the release.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-berks-fire-company-merger-20111226,0,7133192.story

6 comments on “Fire Companies Consolidate In Eastern Berks County

  1. Pottstown should do the very same thing along with closing two schools. It would be cost saving to the taxpayers who can barely afford to live in Pottstown. Something has got to give.

  2. You hit the nail on the head Marcy! I am holding out more hope for the new school board. At least there is a now a majority on the board who favor less schools.

    There appear to be only two members of Council who support change – Rhoads and Weand. A town this size does not need a nearly $40 million budget! Getting rid of a couple fire stations would help some! Give me the budget and a red pen!

  3. Pottstown has been talking about merging the fire companies for several years. As usual, the boro can’t seem to take the initiative to get this done. I attended a meeting in 2009 that the plans were laid out for a merger. If I remember correctly, they were going to keep the paid drivers, and have them do fire code enforcement. From what I hear, the Phillies are not too keen on merging, because they don’t want to loose their bar. I’m not sure that this is correct, but as you know rumors fly in town. I do know that Hylton is opposed to merging because he likes the “neighborhood fire stations” He has wrote about this in an advertorial. It has been suggested that they close Phillies and Empire. Then take some ambulance assets and move them to North End. Then use the room to house Phillies and Empire at Goodwill on High St. I believe the boro gives $200,000 to each fire company. About the only one pushing for an explanation is Don Reed. He has mentioned it at several Council meetings. Thank you Ray

  4. This town needs to wake up. We have slum landlords failing our community with the many unsavory tenants they rent to, two many fire companies and way too many schools. Hylton is hanging on by a thread and it’s time to move forward and make some concrete changes which will benefit this entire community. More people need to question why changes are not forthcoming. What is council and the school board waiting for? We should keep a fire company so they can maintain their bar…I think not. People are unable to pay their taxes and maintain their homes now.

  5. The stations that comprise the Pottstown Fire Department are working with a consultant from the Dept. of Community and Economic Development on the plan. You are correct that 3 out of the 4 stations are willing to merge. There is a meeting scheduled for January to publicly discuss a merger and the necessary steps because there is more to a merger then just closing buildings.

  6. I think these questions need to be raised at every council and school board meeting. Since my daughter graduated from Pottstown, I am guilty of not going to the School Board meetings like I used to. when I go to council meetings, it seems like my comments fall on deaf ears. Maybe if it is done every month, it might make a difference.

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