CHESWICK, Pa. (KDKA) - A local volunteer fire company that's been around for 100 years could soon merge with another fire station.
The Cheswick Volunteer Fire Company is a few blocks away from the Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Station 315 in Harwick, which is in Springdale Township. It is expected the two could merge sometime this year, possibly in the next few months.
In 2019, the Cheswick Borough and Springdale Township police departments merged.
The Cheswick Volunteer Fire Company has protected borough residents, but soon its home may no longer be on Spruce Street.
"There's a lot of history here, the things we did, and you see the pictures on the walls. It's a tough decision," said Nino Pollino, the president of Cheswick Volunteer Fire Company.
Pollino said the company expects to merge with the Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company Station 315. The two companies voted to proceed with the merger, but it has not been finalized yet.
Pollino said this has been in the works for more than a year.
"We feel with the reductions of volunteers, that the merger is going to be beneficial to both communities actually," said Pollino.
Some Cheswick residents are all for this change.
"I think it's a good idea, good use of resources to merge since they are so close already," said Torie Cheever, who grew up in the borough.
"This past fall, my CO2 alarm went off and both of the departments actually responded. They came within five minutes. They both really helped each other out. They were very helpful," said Janine Crider, a Cheswick resident.
Others aren't so sure about the possible merge.
"It's kind of strange, kind of makes me worry about the neighborhood a little bit, wondering their response time might change a little if they're merging," said Shane Bourne, a Cheswick resident.
Pollino said the station in Springdale Township is more spacious and more accessible. He believes having both fire companies' firefighters in one location will improve response times.
"If during the day, we have one person show up here, what can they do? If that same person shows up there and they have two or three, or vice versa, we have a crew we can send out," said Pollino.
The fire companies are separate at the moment, but Cheswick's engine is housed at the Allegheny Valley facility.
Pollino said the merger process takes a while and that there are things that need to happen at state and county levels. He said it could take a few more months until the merger is finalized.
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