According to The Times Herald, the merger of Humane Fire Company at East Main and Green Streets and Norristown Hose Fire Company at DeKalb and Chestnut streets earlier this year is a result of dwindling numbers of volunteer firefighters and shrinking municipal budgets.
The merger was reportedly approved at the end of last year and went into effect at the beginning of this year, but hasn't resulted in any drop off of service for Norristown residents according to Norristown Fire Chief Thomas O'Donnell.
"[It's had] zero impact on the residents of the community," Chief O'Donnell told the Herald. "The change has been in effect for 11 months. The Norristown station has career and volunteer firefighters in it."
The merger has also resulted in Bridgeport Fire Company now also being dispatched for all building fires in the Schuylkill River and Main Street area due to their proximity.
The more than $40,000 normally allocated to Humane Fire Company from the municipality is reportedly being used to hire more firefighters and create an incentive program for volunteer firefighters. According to the Herald, the municipality has 18 paid firefighters and 141 volunteers currently on its rolls.
Read more about the merger and the state of firefighting here.