Fire Companies Plan to Merge

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MCADOO -- Three longtime fire companies in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties may soon become one.

"We've had some meetings and we're at the point now where most of us have agreed to move forward with this," said Chief Robert Leshko of the McAdoo Fire Company.

The three volunteer departments: McAdoo, Keystone, and Tresckow have been around since the early 1900's.

The McAdoo fire chief said it makes sense to merge the three into one larger company for the people who live in McAdoo in Schuylkill County and Banks Township in Carbon County.

"Our plan is not to lose any part of the history, but to start our own and gain more," said Leshko.

The proposed merger would have the three companies working under the same roof. As of February 1st, they could be working out of the McAdoo Fire Company Station because they are recognized as a non-profit by the IRS and have a medicare license on their ambulance. Later on, they plan to move to a more central location.

"Hopefully as time goes on we'll be able to look towards garnering funds to be able to look towards one building and then eventually put us under one roof," said Leshko.

Besides financial reasons, the companies hope the merger would encourage more volunteers to join the new company, which will be called South Side Emergency Services.

The McAdoo fire chief said, "Even if we gain five or 10 more than what we're seeing now, that's an accomplishment. "

There are still questions about the merger. People in the Tresckow area want to know what will happen to the banquet hall.

Residents said they're also afraid it will increase response time to Banks Township.

While others said the merger is a good business plan.

"I think it's a genius way to cut down money from expenses. Cut down response time that it requires for trucks to exit onto 309 which is a really busy intersection," said Michael Miller from McAdoo.

"I think it's a good idea, manpower wise. They'll have more trained people be able to respond to any emergencies," said Craig Kovac from McAdoo.

For those who still have questions about the proposed merger, there will be a meeting in the Tresckow area on Monday.

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