BUTLER TWP — Three of the township’s five volunteer fire departments plan to consolidate: Meridian, Lyndora and Greenwood Village.
“The integration of the departments into one entity will enable us to improve response times to emergencies, allow for more personnel to respond and reduce duplication of equipment and apparatus,” said Meridian Chief Toby Wehr in announcing the merger during Monday night’s township commissioners meeting.
Representatives from all three departments attended the meeting and indicated their support.
“I’m on board with everything that was said (by Wehr),” said Lyndora Chief Dexter Keibler.
Greenwood Village Chief Joe Hanchosky added, “We are a group.”
The plan is to combine the three department’s budgets, personnel and best equipment by Jan. 1, 2014. Tentatively, officials say the likely name of the new department will be the Butler Township Fire District Station No. 3.
The three departments will combine officers and act under one chief, who is yet to be determined.
The officials said they will evaluate the equipment before deciding which will be kept and which will be sold.
The new department will keep active the fire stations used by Meridian at 121 Sparks Ave. and Lyndora at 114 Whitestown Road.
The Greenwood Village station on Old Eberhart Road will be used as a staging area for equipment in the future, but eventually it will be sold.
The township’s other departments are Mercer Road and South Butler, which will not merge.
South Butler Chief Brian Mazzanti said he was aware of the merger announcement. However, his department is not a part of that because it is geographically farther than the merging departments which would negate any benefit.
Mercer Road chief Keven Kelly could not be reached for comment.