TALYOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the end of more than a century of service to local communities for a Lackawanna County volunteer fire company.
Taylor Hose & Engine Company 1 was chartered in 1894. This week, borough council voted to officially decertify the volunteer fire company, blaming its low response rates.
It’s all quiet at Taylor Hose & Engine Company 1 on Union Street. That’s because borough council unanimously voted on Wednesday to decertify its recognition as an emergency services provider.
“I believe over a 12-month rolling period, the number was somewhere around 16% response, that’s not good,” said Daniel Zeleniak, Taylor Borough Manager.
Zeleniak says the borough tried to help the all-volunteer fire company boost its lagging response times, but the efforts were unsuccessful.
One of the ideas presented was a possible merger with Taylor Fire Rescue, which operates two fire stations in the borough.
“This is something that’s been going on for a year and a half, trying to get help to them, whatever it was, help them get drivers, communications between the two fire companies, and it just wasn’t happening,” said Zeleniak.
An attorney representing Taylor Hose & Engine Company 1 issued a statement to Eyewitness News Friday.
It reads in part, “The focus on a decline in volunteerism in the fire service is an issue being dealt with not just in Taylor or Northeastern Pennsylvania, but across the nation. While they are upset by the borough’s decision, it is their intention to see what the borough will require for recertification with the hopes that they will succeed.”
Zeleniak does not believe the decertification hinders the community’s ability to fight fires.
“If there’s a fire, we still have adequate response, adequate equipment, adequate men, and our surrounding towns, they all work together,” said Zeleniak.
Taylor Hose & Engine Company 1 can no longer respond to calls in the borough.
Additionally, the funding it was getting from the borough will now go to Taylor Fire Rescue.