Fire Companies Settling Dispute

Posted: August 06, 1992

Berwyn and Paoli Fire Company officials agreed Tuesday to let Chester County's 911 task force decide for them the most efficient service boundaries for the two companies.

The agreement, reached at a meeting with Tredyffrin Township officials, ends a longstanding dispute over which volunteer company could better serve certain areas in Tredyffrin.

The dispute focused particularly on the Chesterbrook development of 2,392 homes and dozens of businesses now in the Berwyn company's service territory.

Companies can solicit donations from residents in the areas they serve.

"We have some data suggesting our position is appropriate (to service Chesterbrook)," said Bruce Mapes, secretary of the Paoli company. "They have their data. There should be a third party."

Berwyn Fire Chief Robert Schnorr said he had data from both companies showing that fire engines from Berwyn usually arrived in Chesterbrook a few minutes earlier than engines from Paoli.

If a building fire is reported in Chesterbrook, five Berwyn trucks and one Paoli truck are dispatched, Schnorr said.

"After the meeting, I feel we're moving in the right direction for the community's safety and welfare," said Stephen S. Aichele, president of the Township Board of Supervisors.

"What had us concerned before was that the boundary dispute would boil over and have an adverse effect."

Now that the boundary issue is under control, the two companies may see better cooperation on more important issues.

"As money becomes tighter and regulations are imposed, we need more help," said Schnorr.

"The township and companies are realizing we need to function better together and plan for the future."

Officials from the two companies hope to work together to launch a study of fire and emergency medical services in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships, Schnorr said.

"These companies are so good, and have been such an integral part of the community for so long, we didn't want to see the negative effects," said Aichele.

"The board is really proud of these companies."

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