Good evening everyone. On March 6th 2017, the East Lampeter Township Board of Supervisors approved a proposal presented to them by the East Lampeter Township Emergency Services Committee outlining a re-alignment of primary fire service coverage areas within the township boundaries. For many many years, 8 separate volunteer fire companies have held primary run area inside of East Lampeter Township. Some of those areas were very small consisting of a handful of properties. The largest area is in the northwest corner of the township. Out of these 8 fire companies, 4 are located in the township. Lafayette, Witmer, Bird in Hand and Ronks. Only the 4 fire companies in the township are represented on the Emergency Services Committee and only these 4 receive financial support from the township. As the Emergency Services Committee has grown over the years, we have benefited from such things as increased inter-agency cooperation, joint purchasing, joint training, equipment standardization, apparatus design input, municipal ordinance input, fire code implementation, and have forged close working relationships which has effectively made us a better core group for the benefit of our citizens. We can proudly say that the 4 East Lampeter Fire Companies can and frequently do work as a cohesive unit and provide a high level of protection. Our goal is to be able to serve all of our township residents equally while ensuring each citizen and business was represented on the committee through these efforts.
Effective July 5th 2017, all properties in East Lampeter Township will be covered by one of these 4 fire companies. So what does this mean for you? It means a few things but first and foremost, we need to ensure everyone that your level of protection WILL NOT CHANGE. By using automatic mutual aid and pre-designated dispatch procedures the closest fire company will still be dispatched and will most likely arrive first in these affected areas for critical incidents such as structure fires, auto accidents where persons are trapped, special rescue calls, cardiac arrest calls, and a host of other call types. Where the change will occur is that the reporting, investigative, pre fire planning, and administrative responsibilities will now be handled by an East Lampeter Fire Company rather than a fire company from outside the township. East Lampeter Fire Chiefs will now be responsible to command fire and rescue incidents in the township, set up response resources, provide fire safety interaction and work closely with the municipal resources during an incident such as zoning and codes, streets dept, police dept etc…
The areas affected are as follows:
Area currently covered by Lampeter FC will now be covered by Lafayette FC
Area currently covered by Gordonville FC will now be covered by Ronks FC
Area currently covered by Paradise -Leaman Place FC will now be covered by Ronks FC
Area currently covered by Manheim Twp. Fire/Rescue south of Creek Hill Rd, and all of Millcross Rd. will be covered by Lafayette FC.
Remaining area currently covered by Manheim Twp. Fire/Rescue will now be covered by Witmer FC.
For the residents and businesses who will become part of the Lafayette coverage area, you will be receiving a letter in the mail in the next few weeks further describing our fire company and how we are going to be managing fire protection in your neighborhood. Our goal through all of this is to streamline administrative operations while maintaining the best possible level of fire and rescue protection for everyone. We look forward to working with you
West Lampeter Township Residents:
Just as we have described above for all the residents and businesses who will be gaining Lafayette as their new fire company in East Lampeter Township, for all of the same reasons listed above, also effective July 5th 2017, Lafayette will no longer be responsible for providing fire/rescue services to West Lampeter Township. All properties currently covered by Lafayette in West Lampeter Township will now be covered by Lampeter Fire Co. As indicated above, for critical incidents, Lafayette will still be responding and will most likely arrive first, but we will be reporting to the leadership from Lampeter and Lampeter will be responsible for all investigations, reporting, incident command, pre-planning and community interaction. Lafayette will simply be providing mutual aid to Lampeter.
As part of this change, Residents and Businesses in West Lampeter Twp. will no longer be receiving fund drive mailers from Lafayette. The residents of West Lampeter have supported Lafayette well over the years and we now ask that you support Lampeter the same way. They are a great group and will serve you well.
Lafayette leadership has met with the leadership from Manheim Twp and Lampeter Fire and our municipal leaders have met with the municipal leaders from Manheim and West Lampeter Townships and we are all committed to making this transition as smooth as possible while continuing to provide the best possible service to our citizens. While we certainly understand that this change may produce some confusion or ill feelings, we ensure you that we are here to answer questions and we feel these changes are a positive move for everyone. I thank everyone for your continued support and understanding.
Scott Hershey – Lafayette Fire Chief