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Mahoning to end fire pact with Lehighton

Published December 12. 2019 12:35PM

A long-standing agreement between Mahoning Valley Fire Company and the borough of Lehighton may come to an end.

Mahoning Valley Fire Chief Mark Ebbert recommended to Mahoning Township supervisors on Wednesday that the 37-year agreement be discontinued.

Ebbert said the agreement “isn’t applicable anymore based upon the age of agreement and changes in protocol.”

Further, he said Mahoning Valley has been paying $2,000 per year to Lehighton to be the first responder in a geographical section closer to the borough’s fire company.

But, because of new mutual aid protocols, Ebbert said the borough has not been the first responder in that area for several years.

As a result, Ebbert said that he “can’t see paying money for services that are no longer provided.”

Ebbert added that in the event of a fire, both companies will respond, and that “no one is going to be denied service. All people will be taken care of.”

The outdated agreement was put into place before the larger “mutual aid” protocol was established.

Mutual aid provides combined resources of all area fire departments in the event of a fire, and all local fire departments are notified at once in the event of an emergency.

Supervisors sent a letter to the borough welcoming conversation about the topic, but, as of Wednesday’s meeting, the board had not heard back.

The board said it will try to arrange for a meeting between the fire chiefs and supervisors to determine if the agreement needs to be amended, changed or simply discontinued.

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