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Regional Fire Departments Look for Ways to Save Money

a photo of a firefighter and fire truck
Small and rural communities have a harder time maintaining their emergency services, but regionalization could be a cost-saving answer.

Fire Departments in Northern Summit County could see greater collaboration. Richfield Fire Department is exploring a merger with Valley Fire, which provides fire services for Peninsula, Boston Township and Boston Heights.

Richfield Village Mayor Michael Wheeler said they already provide dispatch services to several communities to share costs, and he wants to see cooperation like that wherever possible.

"Valley Fire did approach us," Wheeler said. "Right now I am in the process of evaluating the merger with Valley Fire from an economic standpoint and from a service standpoint."

Wheeler said Richfield approached Bath about merging fire services, but the township said no.

Bath collaborated on a joint fire station with Copley in the past. Wheeler says that didn’t go well, but that Bath is interested in greater cooperation with Richfield Fire.