SCHUYLKILL COUNTY -- Schuylkill County will be setting up a fire district system to help firefighters respond to fires more efficiently.
"We're looking to do things to make things a little bit easier to make things better." Jason Witmier with the Schuylkill County Fire Chiefs Association. "But, we're not going to affect the quality response they're already getting. That will remain exactly where it is."
There are about a hundred fire companies in Schuylkill County. About 70 percent of them already are assigned fire districts. The plan is to make 67 districts. Each of them will be assigned a number, and all of the trucks and equipment will get a number, too.
"Ours, for example is 63 -- the first engine in ours is 63-12," Schuylkill Haven Assistant Fire Chief Jim Reed said. "From 10-19 are all engines. The 20's are ladders. 30's are tankers and it goes down the line like that."
The fire chiefs said setting up fire districts will help the fire companies be more organized when they go out on calls. They said is very important for a county like Schuylkill County where most of the firefighters are volunteers. The chiefs said it will also help out when multiple fire companies respond to one scene.
"This makes it a whole lot easier for us to communicate, to know what's coming on scene and to know what apparatus that we're going to work with," Pottsville Fire Chief James Misstishin said.
The chiefs said it will also help out the 911 dispatchers.
"Time matters whether it is a health issue or a fire, you know, to save property, save lives," Schuylkill County Commissioner Gary Hess said. "Again, looking at this, it's going to be a little bit better for our dispatchers to get the right company out because they'll know the right equipment because of the way they're going to be numbered down."
The county plans to implement the fire districts in stages. The goal is to have every municipality on board by July.