Fairview Township Supervisors are thinking about merging two local fire departments. It could solve a manpower problem that plagues departments all over Pennsylvania.

Fairview Township now has a consultant to see how the merger might benefit the community. It’s a proposal for now. The meeting tonight was a way to get the discussion started.

A possibility now exists in the future for Lake Shore Fire Department and Fairview Fire and Rescue to merge. Evan Baker, the Chief for Fairview, says he’s open to new ideas.

“I’m all for sitting down and discussing what possibilities can come out of it and see what direction we may be headed in, it’s something we definitely need to take a look at,” Baker said.

Brian Salvatore, the Fire Chief at Lake Shore says it’s time to be proactive.

“Working with Fairview Fire Department and Fairview township cooperatively and collectively to come up with hopefully a solution,” Salvatore said.

Rob Brady, the consultant at Thursday night’s meeting, said it’s not the 1950’s anymore and communities and demographics have both changed, which is why volunteer numbers have dropped.

“You have a lot of duplication of services, there’s a lot of other things that are going that impacts the availability of volunteers, so I think these two companies are having a discussion tonight and taking a leadership role,” Brady said.

Brady said there are several different options on the table.

“What’s going to work best here, that’s what had to be decided and if you put the right committee to steer this and you facilitate the process, you can put a good plan together,” Brady said.

The goal is to create a strong emergency services system in a cost-effective manner. Currently, Lake Shore Fire Department has 25 volunteers on staff.