Saturday, February 25, 2006

Merging Fire Departments

The Forty Fort and Kingston Fire Departments work together on virtually every call

Officials from both municipalities are exploring merging their fire departments, and a committee will be formed to study the matter. Council members and residents from each town and members of both departments will serve on the committee, Forty Fort Council President Joe Chacke said. "We have limited resources and we're trying to find the best way to utilize them," Chacke said. Kingston’s Fire Department consists of 22 paid firefighters plus Fire Chief Bob Cannon, according to the municipality’s general fund budget. Kingston also opened a brand new fire station in February 2005, which cost approximately $3 million. Forty Fort, on the other hand, is a volunteer staff with only four full-time and eight part-time employees, all of them paid drivers.

Sounds like a good idea. Maybe they should include Edwardsville in these discussions. I know people will object to giving up local control but the economies of scale come into play. All these small towns can't afford to continue to offer independent services such as fire and police. What is a town anyway? It's just lines drawn on a map.

No comments: