New equipment, faster response times, better training -- those were but a few of the benefits Mayor Greg Ballard said Perry Township residents began enjoying when the township's fire department merged with the Indianapolis Fire Department last month.
Ballard spoke in glowing terms of consolidation at a town hall forum Saturday on the city's south side, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.
The mayor has been steadfast in his support for fire consolidation, and virtually everyone at the forum was on board.
"You're getting the most appropriate, closest equipment able to respond throughout the city," said IFD Chief Brian Sanford. "Everybody is trained at the same level. Everybody's equipped at the same level of all the departments that have merged in."
After the merger went into place on Aug. 1, firefighters in Perry Township were provided with a new engine with heavy extraction equipment.
There have been no layoffs, and firefighter salaries have not changed. Residents could also see up to $150 in tax savings in the next year, Ballard said.
"I hope the other townships realize that we are good people to work with, and we will do everything we possibly can to make this work financially here in Perry Township," Ballard said.
IFD is involved in consolidation talks with Franklin and Lawrence townships. Washington and Warren townships already merged their fire departments with IFD.
Copyright 2009 by TheIndyChannel.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.