HANOVER TOWNSHIP – One fire department in Luzerne County said a $1 million grant from state gaming revenue will help pay for a new central headquarters and allow the department to consolidate fire houses.
The funds collected from casinos across the state will be used to help pay for the Hanover Township Fire Department’s new six-bay central fire headquarters, which will be built at the site of the former Square H Lumber Company on the Sans Souci Parkway.
Chief Jeff Tudgay told Newswatch 16 that the new station is needed because the area south of Wilkes-Barre has grown and developed in the past century, when some of the first fire halls were built.
“Back in 1913, we were probably running 30 calls a year, as opposed to an average of 900 calls a year that we're going on today,” said Tudgay. "Without this funding, this would always be a dream and never be a reality."
Tudgay said five stations in Hanover Township consolidated into one department in 2006, and three of the stations will be close when construction on the central headquarters is completed.
The Breslau, Preston and Hanover Green firehouses will shut down, but the Newtown and Askam fire stations will remain open.
The construction project is expected to take two years once it is started, and it’s unclear what will happen to the fire stations that are closed.