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EMS may pass on fire dept. merger

April 24, 2001

EMS may pass on fire dept. merger



SHARPSBURG - Sharpburg Area Emergency Medical Services won't merge with the town's fire department if it means losing funding, a spokesman said Monday.

Tim Gargana , assistant chief for Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services, said his company's members met recently and agreed that their budget is too tight to take a loss.

"It would be crippling to our budget," said Gargana.

For more than a year, ambulance workers and firefighters have been discussing merging to save money and other costs.

Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. has a meeting scheduled May 1 to see whether members are still interested in a union.

Gargana said the Washington County Commissioners indicated in a letter to the company that they supported a merger as long as both companies retained their nonprofit status.

Gargana said they would like to function as one company under one roof - instead of two nonprofit companies under one roof - but without the loss of county funding, which each receives.

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The fire department's deteriorating building and the ambulance company's need to expand have brought the issue of merging to the forefront, officials said.

- Kimberly Yakowski

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