Hampden & Lower Allen Twp Host Roundtable to Discuss Fire Service
Commissioners from Hampden Township and Lower Allen Township held a Roundtable Discussion on September 28th with the heads of both fire departments, as well as Rep. Sheryl Delozier and Rep. Greg Rothman, to talk about challenges they face with regards to fire service and brainstorm possible solutions.
Both townships have volunteer fire departments, and one of the biggest problems that they are facing right now is staffing – ensuring that there are enough firefighters at a moment’s notice to drive a rig or join at a fire scene. These issues were discussed, as well as ideas for potential incentives, mutual aid with neighboring communities and opportunities to work together, particularly with the Capital Region Council of Governments (CapCOG) Federal Safer grant, which is focused on recruiting, training, and retaining volunteer firefighters.
“Hampden and Lower Allen Townships are not alone in facing these challenges,” said Commissioner Nate Silcox, Board President. “But by working together at the state, county, and local levels, we can help mitigate the threat of our residents needing assistance and not receiving it in a timely fashion. Ultimately, I was pleased by the receptiveness by our state legislators to work with us on a number of issues.”
“We can purchase the trucks, but if you don’t have the bodies to staff the trucks, you’re going to have issues fighting fire. That’s why I think the regional approach in collaboration has been really helpful,” said Commissioner Thomas Kutz of Lower Allen Township.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in volunteering with the Hampden, Lower Allen fire departments, or any area fire company, please go to www.capitalregionfirefighter.org.