Alpha PA Fire Chief Frustrated with Delay in Fire Apparatus Purchase

The Alpha Volunteer Fire Co. (PA) chief has expressed frustration with borough council’s hesitation to fund a new fire truck.

“They’ve been stringing us along for a fire truck for three years,” said Chief Charles Bodogh Jr. “We’ve been asking, we’ve been begging, and nothing.”

The department has requested a $500,000 replacement of a 30-year-old fire truck, which Bodogh said has not worked properly since July. The department would contribute

$100,000 and is asking the borough to pay the remainder over the next 15 years, which would be about $485,000 including interest.

“We need to take a serious look at this and not let it sit on a shelf anymore,” Councilman Louis Cartabona said. “I think the council is actively pursuing what we need to do to make sure our fire coverage is appropriate.”

The borough council has not committed to the project, but set aside enough money for next year in case they decide to do so.

But some council members were concerned that action had been misinterpreted as approval for a new truck, Cartabona said. So council passed a resolution specifying the borough will only release money for debt payments on the existing fire truck.

Some council members have raised questions about shared services agreements with neighboring municipalities for fire services.

The Stewartsville Volunteer Fire Company in Greenwich Township is currently seeking to buy to new fire trucks, which would cost upwards of $1.5 million.

Bodogh said he does not believe a shared services agreement would be the best option for Alpha.

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