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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  •  Greeley Fire Chief asks clarification on departure

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  • Managing Editor Robert Schmidt, fire chief for Greeley Volunteer Fire Department, requested a clarification concerning the company’s departure from the Lackawaxen Fire Commission (LFC).?An article in the August 29th edition did not make clear that the Greeley Fire Department has already left the LFC, Schmidt said. At the August 20th Lackawaxen Township Supervisors’ meeting, the Supervisors agreed to allow Greeley to separate, and return at a future date should Greeley find advantages to do so. This was despite a stipulation in the LFC charter that requires four fire companies to participate.?The LFC was created with the fire departments from Lackawaxen, Central, Forest an Greeley. The purpose is to find ways to work together more efficiently, including sending out a joint, annual fund-raising letter instead of one from each.?Schmidt also asked that his comments at the meeting be more completely reported. Explaining to the Supervisors why they were dropping out of the commission, Schmidt stated, “We never had a commission in 55 years and we have been very successful, so we don’t need one. We got into it because it was positive, but we see it going nowhere.”?Asked what was not working, Schmidt said it has taken three years just to get a logo, although LFC president John Kerkowski and other raised objections.?The Greeley Fire Chief further expressed his view that the promised cost savings had not materialized, and the joint fund-raising letter from the LFC had not produced as much for Greeley.?He noted that in 2010, Greeley sent out their own letter and received $18,000 in donations. In 2011 no letters were sent out, and in 2012, Greeley has received only $6,000 from the first of two scheduled letters from the LFC.?Schmidt said that Greeley Fire Department was able to get liquid propane at less cost tahn the LFC, and complained that the proposed fire insurance savings had not been seen. Kerkowski relied that the insurance quotes had yet to be finalized.?Since the meeting, Kerkowski has announced another meeting of the LFC, for Thursday, September 13 at 7 p.m. at the Lackawaxen Township building. Kerkowski stated that the status of the Greeley Volunteer Fire Department as a member of the commission will be discussed.?Also to be discussed is the consolidated insurance proposal, which Kerkowski said will result in several thousand dollars in savings for each of the fire departments, and by extension, the Township. He said that Greeley has been invited to participate in the discussion, stressing that Greeley’s participation is critical to the success of any grant applications the LFC may pursue. 
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