A merger is being considered between the Connoquenessing Volunteer Fire Company and the Evans City Volunteer Fire Department.
Connoquenessing Chief Lou Zimmerman Jr. said himself and Evans City Chief Steve Bicehouse had been casually discussing the idea for years but mutually decided to create committees to formally consider the merger in January.
“This started as a mutual conversation between the two of us,” Zimmerman said. “It wasn’t one company going to another.”
After several months of discussions, Zimmerman said the committees couldn’t come up with anything that would prohibit the companies from proceeding.
“We couldn’t find anything negative,” he said.
Now, both departments will explain the idea to their prospective municipalities before the merger can be voted on.
“Nothing is set in stone,” he said. “We are early on in the process. No one has voted on anything. We need to get the municipalities on board.”
Zimmerman said several volunteer fire departments in the county have merged to help combat the decline in volunteers and the increasing cost of equipment.
“We know it might come down to this,” he said. “We want to be proactive instead of reactive.”
He noted the Connoquenessing and Evans City departments have always worked well together. Their fire stations are four miles apart and they frequently join forces on accidents up and down the Route 68 corridor.