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Local fire department could lose coverage if proposal enforced

Three fire departments provide coverage for Shade Township, but now a local fire department could be in danger of losing some of its coverage through a complicated proposal.

"Well first of all, for years we provided service to Shade Township. Ultimately, it was a severe blow, morally insulting and very harmful to us, Hooversville Fire Chief Jim Karashowsky said.

Karashowsky said he is upset by the proposal. He said it would stop his department from fighting fires in Shade Township.

"Financially it will be a loss to us, there is no doubt about it," he said.

Karashowsky said this proposal came about when the Richland Township Fire Department indicated it may not renew its contract with Shade when it expires. Under the plan, Windber Fire Department would step in, but with a catch. It wants to take over the area Hooversville currently covers.

"We will not be able to provide any fire protection service anywhere in Shade Township until we're called upon to do so," he said.

Shade Township supervisor John Topka tells 6 News the proposal has not been finalized, but the biggest reason they want to bring Windber on board is because it has an ambulance service, while Hooversville does not.

Karashowsky says not only is he worried about the financial impacts it will have on his department, but he is worried about a possible increase in response time.

"When you can no longer provide service ... to the people ... that's when it's terribly wrong," he said.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times