Changes to fire coverage on the way
FLrH FRvHrDJH Ln HDWfiHOG Township is about to change.
6RRn, WhH HDWfiHOG 9ROunWHHr DnG CROPDr 9ROunWHHr firH FRPSDnLHs wLOO bH primarily responsible for all calls in the township, according to Fire Marshal Mike Waldron.
He said during a recent board of commissioners meeting that the adjustment will make the public safety picture in the township “a lot easier to deal with.”
The Hilltown Township Fire Company — located in Bucks County — will continue to respond to incidents in Hatfield near the Montgomery County border, according to Waldron.
Hatfield Township’s Public Safety Committee had discussed making this change for approximately one year, according to a Sept. 21 email from Waldron. It states that the response area change is just one part of a multi- faceted, proactive approach the township has taken to provide the highest level of fire protection possible in the most fiscally responsible manner possible.
“It makes more sense on an administrative level to hDvH D WRwnshLS firH FRPSDny responsible for all areas within the township,” Waldron wrote.
ThH firH FhLHIs IrRP WhH HDWfiHOG, CROPDr DnG HLOOtown companies were involved in the decision, according to Waldron.
A delay in the calls from the Montgomery County Dispatch to the Hilltown Fire Company played a role in the adjustment, according to Terry O’Donnell, chief of WhH HDWfiHOG 9ROunWHHr FLrH Company.
He said that under the nHw DOLJnPHnW, firH SrRWHFtion should be improved because the radio delay across county lines will be eliminated.
Waldron said at the meeting that the measure will lead to an increase in protection for township residents.
Currently, the Hilltown company’s primary responsibility includes portions of Bethlehem Pike, Orvilla ooad and Line Lexington ooad, as well as the Independence Way and Bent ooad neighborhoods of HDWfiHOG, DOO RI whLFh DrH located in close proximity WR LWs firH sWDWLRn Rn HLOOtown Pike, according to Waldron.
In the same email, the fire marshal cited instances of a delay in dispatching of an emergency service provider. He said those reasons included inconsistent routing of mobile phone calls to 911, different dispatch capabilities of Bucks and Montgomery counties and commuters unfamiliar with the area when calling 911.
“These issues in no way reflect negatively on any fire company or their ability to provide service to the public,” Waldron wrote.
At the Sept. 10 meeting, WhH HDWfiHOG FRPPLssLRnHrs agreed to send the proposal to Montgomery County offiFLDOs.
According to Waldron, the response area changes may be implemented by the end of the year, depending on when the township submits them to Montgomery County and how quickly the changes can be made in the county’s 911 computer system.