Windsor borough fire company opts out of merger with Red Lion, Felton

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

Volunteer fire companies in Red Lion and Felton boroughs will move ahead in a planned merger without the participation of the Windsor borough fire company, officials announced Monday.

The new regional company, named Alliance Fire and Rescue Services, will be incorporated by Dec. 1 and provide services to a roughly 19.5-square-mile area covering six municipalities, including Felton and Red Lion boroughs as well as Chanceford, North Hopewell, Windsor and York townships.

The combined company should be ready to operate in its new capacity by April 2020, said Scott Gingrich, current chief of Union Volunteer Fire Co. in Felton, at a news conference in Red Lion on Monday.

Det. Don Hopple from York Area Regional Police and Red Lion Fire Chief Ben Rodkey investigate a work van fire that extended to the home on Chatham Ln in Windsor Township, Tuesday Jan. 16, 2018, . John A. Pavoncello photo

"We want to assure the community that this merger will bring them a stronger presence in the community and the continuation of the fire stations that have served them for decades," Gingrich said.

The new company will continue to operate out of  current Felton and Red Lion stations, with the main station in Red Lion, and it will have a combined force of 24 firefighters, Gingrich said.

The combined revenue for the new company will be $780,000, with estimated expenditures of $726,000.

As soon as the new board of directors is selected, the board will begin the search for a fire chief and president, Gingrich said, including internal applicants.

Members of the Felton company voted unanimously this month in favor of the merger, and the Red Lion company voted overwhelmingly in favor, according to the news release.

Members of Windsor borough's Laurel Fire Co. No. 1 voted against joining the new company. Gingrich referred all questions about that vote to the Windsor fire officials.

Attempts to reach Laurel Fire's leadership Monday were unsuccessful.

Merger talks among the three companies began in mid-2018 with the goal of better leveraging the companies' fundraising events, preventing volunteers from experiencing burnout and increasing recruitment.

More:Proposed regional fire company for Red Lion, Felton and Windsor has a name

More:Red Lion, Felton and Windsor borough fire companies in merger talks

Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect the correct voting from the Red Lion fire company in favor of the merger.