LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — On Dec. 29, three Lebanon County-based fire companies announced that they will be merging together to form one new fire company.

The formation of the new South Lebanon Fire Department is a conjunctive effort to improve public safety around Lebanon County, as well as create a stronger fire-rescue system. According to the new department, the three fire companies that will be a part of this merger are:

  • South Lebanon Fire Company No.1
  • Friendship Fire Company of South Lebanon Township
  • Prescott Fire Company

“The new association is the first step in our plan to address those and many other challenges facing today’s fire and emergency services.” , the Merger Committee Chairman William Weikel said. “The new level of cooperation which led to the formation of the new association is the mechanism that will move the township fire-rescue system forward to meet current standards and create a more cost-effective and efficient organization.

The new South Lebanon Fire Department will be staffed with over 40 active volunteer members that will respond to over 500 service calls every year. According to the new department, they will be protecting the same coverage areas as before – with a focus on providing service to South Lebanon Township and mutual aid to surrounding communities in Lebanon County.

According to Weikel, over the course of the past five years, there has been a significant decline in volunteer firefighters – a decline that Weikle says is occurring not just locally, but statewide.

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer firefighter in Lebanon County you can visit: fightsouthlebanonfires.org

According to the new department, all three fire companies involved have a combined 375-year history in Lebanon County.