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Southern Area Fire and Emergency Rescue absorbs another volunteer company

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

A consolidated effort to provide fire protection to York County residents got a little bigger. 

Yorkana Fire Co. announced that it will merge with the Southern Area Fire and Emergency Rescue, which itself formed from the 2021 consolidation of the Rescue Fire Co. of Dallastown and the Yoe Fire Co. 

“The members of the Yorkana Fire Company are looking forward to the next chapter of our future and being able to better serve our community,” said Carol Emenheiser, president of Yorkana Fire Co., in a written statement. 

From right, Lt. Andrew Bracken and Lt. Bob Bracken (back) familiarize fellow junior firefighter Owen Strause and Adam Friend, both of the former Yoe Fire Co. with apparatus from the former Dallastown Rescue Fire Co. No. 1's attack truck outside of the recently formed Southern Area Fire and Emergency Rescue (SAFER) Station 13-1 in York Township, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. The two companies recently merged and will begin operating as the new entity in May. Dawn J. Sagert photo

SAFER will now have more than 60 active volunteer members to respond to more than 1,200 calls for service a year. It will protect the same coverage areas, focusing on providing service to the Dallastown, Yoe and Yorkana and parts of York and Windsor townships and mutual aid to surrounding communities in York County. 

“The decision to merge over 100 years of tradition was tough, however considering the geopolitical landscape and the lack of resources, the decision was easy to make,” Yorkana Fire Chief Scott Fredrick said. “Making the decision easier was the long history of working shoulder to shoulder with Yoe and Dallastown. This move has sent a sense of peace to our members as I hope it would with the community.” 

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With volunteer fire departments around Pennsylvania and the country facing manpower challenges, the Yorkana department decided to take a proactive approach to help solve that problem. 

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Combining manpower, resources and equipment will help fire company better serve the community, Emenheiser said.  

“It may be tempting for organizations to adopt a passive approach by hoping that solutions emerge from elsewhere or dismissing the problems altogether,” SAFER Board of Director Member Chris Thomas stated. “However, I am excited that Yorkana has determined that they want to be part of a creative and proactive solution by partnering with SAFER.”