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Limerick, Linfield Fire Co. Look to Expand

The fire companies presented their budget and long-term plans to the board.

Both Limerick and Linfield Fire Companies are hoping to expand in the next year or two, according to Limerick Chief Ken Shuler and Linfield Chief Don Maleta. 

Both chiefs said their equipment and personnel needs have outgrown their current buildings. Both stations need shower and sleeping facilities. 

"During the hurricane, we had people sleeping on the floor," Shuler said. 

Over the last few years, Limerick FD has added an ambulance station to its location which cut ambulance response time from 12-14 minutes down to 3-6 minutes. Linfield FD hopes to add an ambulance there, too. 

Linfield's firefighters are in the process of being certified for water rescue operations. 

Both departments would also like to have a traning facility in this area, instead of having to take their departments to Berks or Lancaster County for fire training. 

Maleta said Linfield's expansion will be sometime in 2013 and will add crew facilities, more vehicle space and office space. 

Shuler said Limerick's expansion would be put off until probably 2014 and will include four new bays for vehicles, a larger bay for Ladder 54, and crew facilities. 

Both companies are re-evaluating their fundraising because some of the fundraisers are more expensive in cost and man-hours than they raise in funds. 

"We don't do oyster and ham suppers anymore because we'd have to charge $20," Shuler said. "We're also looking at the carnival, we'll maybe try it one more year."

Maleta said Linfield has similar issues. 

"The Mother's Day breakfast, it's only a little profit, but it's a community event that people love," he said. 

Supervisor Elaine DeWan said, "I think it's very important for the public to know that you aren't paid, it's all volunteers."

The companies laid out a five-year capital projects plan that includes the building expansions, equipment and truck purchases, insurance and equipment maintenance.

The two chiefs said they are asking the township for a commitment to at least look at their capital expenses over the next few years, and see how they might be able to help with either contributions or leveraging the township's borrowing power. 

"We're still saving the township $2.2 million per year," Shuler said. 

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