North Fayette Volunteer Fire Department is planning to station trucks in a third location next year.
North Fayette fire and township officials discussed Tuesday the future of the fire stations, including a substation to be added on North Branch Road.
The fire department operates two locations -- the main station in Hankey Farms and a second station next to the community center.
In about a year, fire trucks also will be kept in a third location, at the township municipal complex, 400 North Branch Road.
Fire Chief Gary Hamilton said benefits of the third location will include having a greater presence in the southern part of the township and attracting residents as volunteer firefighters.
"That's going to be a big step for the township, for fire protection, for the department," he said.
The township plans to start building a new public works facility this summer. After completion in the spring, public works will vacate an existing garage, allowing spots for two fire vehicles while continuing to provide space for two NorthWest EMS ambulances.
Hankey Farms Station 1, at 7678 Steubenville Pike, is likely to remain the fire department's main location, but the future of Station 2, at 8036 Steubenville Pike, is unclear.
Township officials have not yet decided the fate of the 2.79-acre property that contains both Station 2 and the North Fayette Community Center, which is undergoing changes.
The center contains a gymnasium, the offices of District Judge Anthony Saveikis and the Western Allegheny Community Library. However, the library is moving to a new location on Bateman Road this summer, and the township is planning construction of a new community center in Donaldson Community Park. The magistrate has a month-to-month lease.
Recreation programs require the existing community center space for about two more years, until the new center is built, township manager Bob Grimm said.
Chief Hamilton said the 40-year-old Hankey Farms station is at least a decade overdue on an upgrade, but the fire department is hesitant to make plans until they gain a clearer picture of the future of Station 2.
He said Station 2 -- although only two miles from the Hankey Farms station -- has been very important.
Assistant Chief Jason Boyce said the community center location should stay: "If we lose Station 2, that's going to be a big hit for us."
Supervisor James R. Mangan said it's good to have fire vehicles spread among three locations.
Jim Morosetti, chairman of the supervisors, said he favors having two fire stations, eventually enlarging the North Branch Road substation to serve a growing residential population in the southern part of the township.
Many calls in that part of North Fayette are answered by the Oakdale and Sturgeon fire departments.
In June, the North Fayette fire department responded to 38 fire and emergency medical calls. Average response time was 7 minutes and 40 seconds.
Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: email@example.com.