Lehigh Valley

Lower Macungie and Alburtis Fire Departments announce merger

Say will increase service and decrease in costs.

MACUNGIE, Pa. - The Lower Macungie and Alburtis Fire Departments are joining forces and firefighters say the reason is simple, an increase in service and a decrease in cost.

"Our game plan is to be able to solidify a volunteer fire service in this area for many, many years to come," said David Nosal, Chief of the Lower Macungie Fire Department.

It was a packed house at the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday night as the fire crews announced their plan to merge into one department.

Chief Nosal says the number of volunteer firefighters is dwindling and the move will strengthen the team and save the municipalities some big bucks.

The goal is to complete the merger by January of 2019, creating one department with three stations.

"You have the Lower Macungie Fire Department Wescosville station on Brookside road, our Brandywine station on Sauerkraut Lane and then the Alburtis station within the confines of the borough," said Nosal.

The merger has been in the works for nearly a year.

The Lower Macungie Fire Department has 42 firefighters and Alburtis has 24; the crews say they're excited to begin training together next month.

"It's going to make our borough better protected, give us more volunteers when an emergency does happen," said Donald Smith Jr., Chief of the Alburtis Fire Department.

The move requires some reconfiguring and consolidating of staff and equipment, but the first responder’s promise nothing will change for the people.

"They pick up the phone and dial 911, there's still going to be fire trucks that show up," said Nosal.

With the new department comes new equipment and the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners voted to approve funding for a new tanker truck coming in 2019.

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