Scio supervisor Spaulding Clark, like the other township and village supervisors, stresses there's nothing wrong with their present fire department. "But by consolidating we'll get better service," says Clark. "Right now, if Scio Township goes out, that leaves the station empty, and if something else happens, we've got nobody, and we end up calling for mutual aid. With four communities, we'll have central operation, and if there's an emergency we'll be better served.
"And we hope to be able to some extent reduce costs. For example, everybody wants a tower truck, but that's a whopping big expense."
"There's no reason why we'd need two tower trucks," Kingsley agrees. "We don't have a whole lot of tall buildings in the west, and we won't need two of something that costs $800,000 each." He sees the potential for other savings, too, "because we'll have one chief and one set of books. But the biggest single thing we're looking for is backup."
That they would have: a combined department would field sixty-four firefighters, eleven full-time and fifty-three more paid on call, staffing fifteen service vehicles at four stations. The plan doesn't specify any immediate changes to the stations, but "Dexter village is looking at their Fire Station Number One," says Rider. "It's an old station and barely adequate for the equipment. And the Dexter Township substation is temporary, and I don't know if we'll maintain it or build a new one."