Shared Fire Prevention Services to Save Towns $125K
Collingswood and Pennsauken inked a 3-year deal to share fire and property maintenance inspections. Collingswood leaders say the borough will save $50,000 with the deal.
The following announcement was provided by the borough of Collingswood.
In another step to reduce costs and share services between municipalities, Collingswood and Pennsauken officials formalized an agreement in March to share fire prevention and housing inspection services for three years.
The arrangement merges inspection services of the two fire departments to create a Fire Prevention Bureau which will share Pennsauken’s current fire official, one administrative secretary from Collingswood, and four licensed, part-time inspectors to be hired by both Collingswood and Pennsauken to handle the fire and property maintenance inspections for both towns.
The Bureau will be headquartered in Pennsauken, but property owners can still contact their local fire departments to make payments, drop off paperwork and handle other business. The process also means streamlining forms and fees for each town and making more information available online.
“This is a much more cost-effective way of doing business and creates numerous efficiencies within both of our organizations. This will allow us to provide a better service to the residents, owners and businesses in our municipalities,” said Collingswood Fire Chief Keith Davis.
This shared service will save Collingswood $50,000, Pennsauken $70,000 and frees up firefighters for emergencies and fire prevention efforts including education programs like smoke detectors programs, school outreach and other community services.
The new inspection bureau framework is designed to allow other interested municipalities to partner for inspections as well.
”This is set up so that other towns in the region can easily get onboard as well and we can all see a savings in our inspection costs,” said Davis.
“By merging, everyone wins,” said Pennsauken Fire Chief Joseph Palumbo. “Each town is leveraging their strengths to build upon the current inspection process with more comprehensive resources. We’ll get to do more inspections more thoroughly in a timely basis and at a better cost. That also means safer properties for both towns.”
”This is another great example of local officials looking closely at ways to save money, opening the lines of communication and taking steps that have a serious impact on how we run our towns,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley. “It’s more important now than ever that we investigate ways to work together to run things as efficiently as possible.”
“What really stands out about this shared services agreement is that it keeps firefighters on the trucks; so in addition to saving taxpayer money, we’re also improving the coverage of both of our fire departments,” said Pennsauken Mayor Rick Taylor.
“This innovative plan is a testament to the hard work of Chief Palumbo, our department of Public Safety, as well as Chief Davis, Mayor Maley and the good people of Collingswood.”