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Edgeworth Votes to Decertify Volunteer Fire Department

The borough will immediately begin receiving fire protection services from Cochran Hose Co.

After more than a century of protecting the community, volunteers with the have been asked to hang their hats.

Council voted unanimously at its regular meeting on Sept. 20 to decertify the department, which borough officials said in a statement was the result of fewer volunteers providing fire protection in , a growing trend in communities across Pennsylvania.

In making its decision, council also pointed to the volunteers themselves, noting that none of the active adult members on the fire department resides in Edgeworth.

“Council’s utmost concern is the protection of life and property of Edgeworth residents,” borough officials said in a statement.

Edgeworth Fire Chief Tim Scott said the dismissed volunteer firefighters did not agree with council's decision.

“Basically, the borough fired us,” said Scott, who is also a volunteer.

Scott said council met with the board of directors at 6 p.m., prior to Tuesday's regular meeting, and told it that the volunteers were no longer needed. He said neither the fire department nor residents had any idea the decision was coming and that the volunteers were confused.  

“We’re still trying to figure it out … it’s a shock to us,” Scott said.

Borough Manager Marty McDaniel said Edgeworth’s demographics have changed and that while many professionals live in town, they work outside in Pittsburgh or places that make it impossible to answer a fire call. For volunteer firefighters, he said, it’s also becoming harder to maintain the hours of training required.

McDaniel said the borough does appreciate all the work the firefighters have provided to the community all these years.

“We thank them for their service,” McDaniel said.

in neighboring will serve as Edgeworth’s exclusive provider of fire protection services, with immediate coverage during the transition. An ordinance has been advertised to permanently certify Cochran Hose Co., the borough said in a statement.

The Edgeworth Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1905 and incorporated in 1913. Scott said the Edgeworth fire department is chartered and still exists, but is no longer providing fire protection.

About 28 volunteers make up the roster, with about eight or nine active members. Scott said the borough provides the fire trucks and compensates volunteers for their equipment. Volunteers also conduct fundraisers, mentor junior firefighters and go into the schools every year to speak about fire prevention, Scott said, adding that school programs are coming up next month.

The department has a longstanding mutual aid agreement with neighboring departments that include the Cochran Hose, and departments.

McDaniel said Cochran Hose is just a few blocks away and response time comes down to a matter of one minute.

“There’s no reason to have a fire department in Edgeworth,” he said.

natashagreen September 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM
sad that it was handled this way
Mim Bizic September 27, 2011 at 03:34 PM
I agree, Natasha. I know how hard the Edgeworth Firemen worked to always be involved in the community, especially with our Edgeworth Elementary School projects. Somehow Tim Scott, a fine gentleman, and others, should have been notified previously to this surprising announcement. No doubt what the Boro says is true about fewer volunteers and they are looking after the well-being of the residents. I want to also thank the Edgeworth Volunteer Fire Fighters for their wonderful service while I taught at Edgeworth Elementary and hope they find it in their hearts to overcome the hurt they must be feeling and work again in tandem with the Sewickley Cochran Fire Department to be the best they can be. Sewickley (all of the area!) was always a great place to live, work and play. Good luck to all!
natashagreen September 27, 2011 at 04:01 PM
To the Edgeworth Firemen....Please come to the MaryRobertsRinehart NaturePark in Glen Osborne to party, walk and just enjoy....Natasha
John Linko September 27, 2011 at 07:24 PM
When I wrote a few months back about the benefits of discussing consolidation among the local fire departments, I didn't think it would happen by force. It sounds like Edgeworth Borough basically blindsided their own. What is also interesting is that this appears to be the first media report about this, from a meeting that occurred a week ago. It appears to me based on this report that Borough Council and manager McDaniel have some madness to their methods. I hope that Cochran Hose will consider bringing in those Edgeworth VFD members who are still interested in serving their community. Godspeed to the volunteers of Station 138.
M.D. Post September 28, 2011 at 08:51 PM
I wonder if Edgeworth Council will also realize that the services of Edgeworth Council are no longer needed? Right idea, wrong way to handle it. Yes, this area has way too many small, ineffective volunteer fire departments. Combine them and share resources, don't unilaterally decertify them. And yes, do the exact same with these tiny, ineffective borough "governments".
concerned american December 09, 2012 at 01:20 PM
im sorry but i believe ineffective is the wrong word to use. just because these fire departments are small does not make them ineffective. When there is a call they respond and do their jobs to the best of their ability just as well if not better than the bigger fire departments. I agree that departments in the area should all start looking at merges and so fourth, but ineffective is not the word to be used here. Especially when talking about people that are ready to risk their lives at any point just to save people like you.

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