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Manlius fire departments look to cooperate, not consolidate

Fayetteville Fire Department. File Photo, April 2012.

Fayetteville Fire Department. File Photo, April 2012. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— But before that happens, the chiefs have been working together to look at ways to better coexist in the town.

“We’re working together to make it better, to make it more efficient,” said Manlius Fire Chief Paul Whorrall. “It’s more of working together as a group that we weren’t necessarily doing before.”

Whorrall says the implementation committee told the chiefs that consolidation may not be the best direction, though their final report has yet to be made to the town.

“It’s more of a cooperation-type thing,” he said. “That’s the direction they were looking at, and they wanted the chief’s assistance in moving forward with this.”

So in about a half-dozen meetings in the last couple months, Whorrall, Fayetteville Chief Paul Hildreth, Minao Chief Matt McGarrity and Kirkville Chief Ed Visser have been meeting to decide on four key components of the fire department that could use some cooperation.

“It’s just advancing what we’ve been doing over the years, so now we’re just trying to push things together,” said McGarrity.

A big component could be town-wide training. Instead of paying fees to go elsewhere, or to attend each other’s courses, they would be able to do training among the four departments.

The four town departments could use the resources within their departments to provide training to all members, making for a more united training program between the departments, and while also offering state classes the departments need.

The chiefs are also analyzing their expenditures through the departments, looking at what equipment each department has and how that could play into other department’s purchases.

“Manlius doesn’t need four ladder trucks,” Whorrall said. “So maybe somebody buys a ladder truck and another buys a tanker.”

The departments each have capital plans laid out for the next five to 20 years, which will help each chief look at what the town needs.

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