Coatesville City Council moves to centralize fire equipment

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Washington Hose Company. Courtesy, Coatesville Fire Department.

COATESVILLE — In a four-to-one vote on Monday, members of the City Council passed a motion for the first reading of an ordinance authorizing an amendment to a lease agreement between the City and Washington Hose Company—in order to centralize all fire personnel and equipment at the Washington Hose Company.

Effective April 1, the four fire vehicles belonging to the Coatesville Fire Department, equipment and firefighters will all be stationed at Washington Hose Company at 376 East Lincoln Highway, which is at the center of Coatesville’s 1.9-square mile footprint and currently houses two of the City’s ladder trucks plus two on-duty firefighters at all times. This move will offer improved services to all residents as well as enhanced safety and conditions for firefighters.

Previously, the City has stationed two fire engines and one on-duty firefighter at West End Fire Company on the western end of the City. Those personnel, trucks and equipment will move to Washington Hose Company.

“For several years we have been reassessing our fire protection and emergency medical services to benefit residents and businesses more equitably on both the east and west ends,” said James Logan, Coatesville City Manager. “Centralizing services for the Coatesville Fire Department is the next step in the City of Coatesville’s overall strategic plan, offering fire protection services and emergency medical services under one roof in a partnership between the City and a nonprofit volunteer company. This shift is similar to what the Borough of Phoenixville moved to years ago.”

Coatesville Fire Chief Steve Dobson said Washington Hose Company provides many benefits. “Not only will the move give our firefighters more space and bays that can house the department’s larger fire vehicles, which cannot currently be accommodated at West End Fire Company, but we gain additional call support with EMS services. Additionally, our water and ladder trucks will now be in one place, resulting in better coordination between fire and emergency services.”

Dave Norcini, President of Washington Hose Company and EMS Deputy Chief, said, “We’ll all be under the same roof now, working and training together to ensure more centralized services for residents and improved safety for firefighters who need to be at the top of their game and in a team environment.”

Logan said, “This is the next logical step in the City’s plan to develop a fire and medical service hub to benefit city residents, stakeholders and our growing business community, while improving firefighter safety. Our goal is to hire ten (10) new fire fighters by the end of 2025, to support the City’s growth and safety demands. Plans are also underway to build a new fire station and public works facility at the center of town with a $3 million RACP grant we received about a year ago.”

Coatesville City Council President Linda Lavender-Norris said, “Our residents’ safety is first and foremost, and then our next focal point is making fiscally sound decisions. Having spoken with our firefighters, we’ve been reassured that this is the right move.”

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