PLYMOUTH -- A fire company that's been around for more than 125 years is being forced to close at the start of the new year.
Borough council members in Plymouth decided to cut funding from the fire company and instead, invest more money to hire police officers.
Firefighters say they're devastated by the borough's decision because they thought council members could find a way to save Good Will Hose Company No. 2.
The fire company is set to close at start of new year
Good Will Hose Company No. 2 has been a staple in Plymouth for more than 125 years, but come January 1, it will be no more. Firefighters worry its closing could put lives at risk.
“You're going to have a volunteer coming from their house. They're going to have to clean snow off their car. Roads are going to be messy. Response times are going to be very, very slow," said Scott Martin, Luzerne County Professional Firefighters Union.
Borough council members voted to shut down the hose company and increase spending to hire more police officers.
Fire Chief Josh Evans defended the company by saying this to elected officials: “We pay for the equipment. We pay for the training and all the equipment on the fire trucks. We just invested $30,000 last year to put all LED lighting on the trucks. We did that, not the borough," Chief Evans said.
Members of the firefighters union say one paid full-time firefighter and 10 other part-timers at Good Will Hose Company were laid off because of this decision. Now, union members say more volunteers need to step up to replace them.
“Fire doubles in size just about almost every minute. When it comes down to it, time counts. Time matters," Martin said.
Good Will Hose Company No. 2 is one of three fire companies in Plymouth. The other two will stay open.