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Pa. FDs follow study recommending creation of regional fire department

Aspinwall and Sharpsburg fire departments followed an earlier study calling for departments to merge, improving fire protection


Aspinwall Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook

By Michael DiVittorio
The Tribune-Review

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A fire protection study by the state Governor’s Center for Local Government Services recommends fire departments from Sharpsburg, O’Hara, Blawnox and Aspinwall merge into a regional department.

The study was prepared with input from officials in those communities. Its final report was released earlier this year.

The study finds the consolidation of fire departments would result in “major improvements in the delivery of all future fire protection” including the ability to “utilize fire service personnel more effectively by staffing and deploying firefighters based upon geography, workload, calls for service times, etc.”

Aspinwall and Sharpsburg have merged into what is now called Southern Allegheny Valley Emergency Services.

[RELATED: To merge or not to merge: Tough times prompt difficult discussions for volunteer departments]

Mike Daniher of Sharpsburg was elected fire chief. J.C. Teyssier of Aspinwall was elected deputy chief.

Both start their new leadership roles in January, and both said they support the study’s recommendations.

“Our organization welcomes any department that would like to join at any time,” Daniher said. “It would be wonderful if everyone would join together for one large collaboration.”

Teyssier likened a fire department to a big family and would like to see his family grow.

“Everybody’s hurting for manpower,” he said. “When you merge you gain the people that are most interested and you push further with training.”

The study was done at no cost to the participating towns.

Fox Chapel declined to be a part of the study. Its fire department officials said they have enough active members to serve the borough and cover mutual aid calls.

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