Fredonia volunteer merger complete

Julius Leone is now president of a single Fredonia volunteer fire company, instead of an organization of four companies.

The Fredonia Fire Department now has a single volunteer fire company, after the proposed merger of four companies was ratified by the village Board of Trustees.

Julius Leone, president of the volunteers, told the board the companies ratified the merger individually and as an entire department. “We only had one no vote, which is very important in terms of support we’re getting from the membership,” he said.

“Historically, since 1901 actually – there were always four fire companies. The Barkers, Hook & Ladder, Fenners and Fire Police,” Fire Chief Joshua Myers told the OBSERVER.

“Over the years, especially lately with membership at an all-time low, it did not make sense to continue with these four separate entities,” he continued, “Merging to one fire company streamlines membership, expectations and ultimately service to our community.

“As chief of the department, I am happy with the decision the previous fire companies made and the decision of the Village Board ultimately approving this milestone change.”

“We started looking at it from the perspective of a business that doesn’t keep up with the trends of the time,” said Leone at an earlier Board of Trustees meeting. “Chances are, they’re not going to exist. We’ve been chipping away at this for 10 years and more intensely over the last year.”

With four volunteer companies, plus the full-time paid unit, “We had five sets of bylaws, five presidents, five secretaries, five treasurers,” Leone said. “It worked back in the day but it got to be very confusing. … It got to be even more confusing in terms of response.”


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