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In this case, bigger is better

Randy West

We’re glad the fire department ‘merger’ issue is over. It wasn’t technically a merger, and some local firefighters felt left out of the negotiations, but it was something that had to happen. The odd thing is that it didn’t happen years ago, when the subject first came up. But sometimes it’s hard to let go of something you love to do and have poured a lot of time and effort into. It’s hard to blame the Corydon firefighters who wanted to keep their own department going.
However, we believe the Corydon and Harrison Township officials and township fire chiefs were correct in thinking there was no good reason to maintain two separate fire departments within half a mile that both responded to fires in Corydon. Although the two departments could work well together, and frequently did, it didn’t make much sense to have two separate operations with their own fire trucks, equipment, training and funding needs. In this case, one bigger and better department makes a lot more sense and won’t cost the taxpayer any more.
Now that several Corydon volunteers have already been welcomed into the township fold, and those who rejected an agreement and held out for their own Corydon department are left with no vehicles, firehouse or insurance, it’s time to move on.
The only problem is, some people are already thinking ahead to the day when there could be one county-wide fire department. A study is underway now that will make some recommendations for all the volunteer fire departments in Harrison County. If you thought the Corydon volunteers were particularly stubborn in refusing to give up their department, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
And there is also the good possibility that someday soon we’ll see the need for full-time, paid professional firefighters.
As those discussions take place, one thing has to happen: the firefighters need to have input in the conversations. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea for those discussions to start right away.