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Authorities in Wayne Township accept the merger with IFD



Indianapolis, Indiana – In a vote on Thursday night, the Wayne Township Board unanimously approved the merger of the Wayne Township Fire Department and the Indianapolis Fire Department.

According to the Wayne Township Board, the board authorized Wayne Township Trustee Jeb Bardon to proceed with finalizing the terms of the merger with the city of Indianapolis by a vote of 5-0.

The merger resolution will be examined by an Indianapolis City-County committee at some point this month. The Indianapolis City-County Council would need to evaluate the merger in April if it is approved there. Mayor Joe Hogsett would have to sign off on the final approval or veto it if the council voted in favor of it.

The merger will probably take effect by the end of this year if everything goes through.

The Wayne Township Board announced that Wayne Township will formally combine with IFD, making it the sixth township in Marion County to do so.

“Wayne Township can no longer afford to maintain a standalone fire department. And, while we cannot go back and change the decisions of the past, we can secure a future where every Wayne Township resident continues to receive world-class fire and emergency medical protections – and that’s what happened tonight,” said Bardon. “I want to thank the members of the board, the community as a whole and our team at Wayne Township for working through this difficult situation in a responsible, respectful way.”

All five of the Wayne Township fire stations will stay open and operational, according to township officials, and employees will be allowed to apply for jobs with the city and IFD.
It will still be necessary to negotiate the precise date of the EMS merger’s official implementation at a later date.

The merger plan was accepted by the board last month by a vote of 4-1.

In response to growing worries regarding the township’s capacity to maintain fire and emergency safeguards in the face of escalating financial flow issues, Wayne Township started looking at the idea of a possible merger late last year.

Previous reports stated that the township was having trouble keeping up with growing expenses for maintaining multi-million dollar machinery and funding fireman pensions. Bardon had stated that by 2025, the township should be in the negative.

“It is estimated that the Wayne Township Fire Department would have cash flow as early as 2025 due to the rising costs of health care, retiree health coverage, routinely replacing and updating equipment and facilities, and other critical needs.” problems, forcing it to borrow money or cut services and lay off employees,” the Wayne Township Board said in a statement. “This merger, along with the merger of the EMS service that was approved last month addresses those concerns.”

A public hearing was held before the vote where residents expressed a mixed reaction to the merger.
Talk of the merger has split opinion, with advocates contending that the merger would place the township in a condition that is much more financially viable while detractors have expressed concerns that IEMS being able to maintain the same level of service for residents already relied on without a merger being in place.
The township’s fire department serves nearly 150,000 people on Indy’s west side.


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