South Williamsport Fire Department fire deal considered ‘revolutionary’

South Williamsport Fire Department

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Officials involved in a proposed five-year cooperative agreement with Loyalsock Township and its fire department have labeled it as ‘revolutionary’ and one that could incorporate future municipal partners to provide fire and rescue services for their communities.

South Williamsport Borough Council in Pennsylvania approved the proposal earlier this week and township supervisors continue to review it as minor revisions get ironed out.

The agreement, a copy of which was provided to the Sun-Gazette, includes provisions for paid fire protection and rescue services that funds the departments and apparatus and equipment through existing fire taxes.

Under the banner of Susquehanna Mutual Aid Regional Team, or SMART, the dwindling manpower of the South Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department was given new legs this week.

The cooperative fire agreement, meanwhile, creates a legal mechanism to provide sufficient funding to the participating fire companies from participating municipalities and other third party sources, he said.

SMART will begin with an initial paid staff of five fully trained firefighters and rescue responders consisting of four full-time, 40-hour-per-week positions, Monday through Friday, with one shared administrative position providing the administrative oversight for the services administered under the SMART program, according to the terms, the SunGazette reported.

The four full-time positions will be assigned into two separate firefighter crews, with one crew to be stationed at Loyalsock Township, and with one crew to be stationed at South Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department.

The agreement provides necessary personnel, training, and equipment required to supplement the participating fire companies with paid firefighters that will provide for adequate paid fire protection and rescue services within the participating municipalities.

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