JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) – Tempers flared Monday night over the future of a volunteer department that’s been around for 71 years.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Brings Back 'Picnic In Your Park' Event For June
Jefferson Hills Borough Council voted 5 to 2 to decertify the Gill Hall Volunteer Fire Company.
Council members who voted in favor of the move say they felt it was necessary.
But other people fear this could jeopardize people’s safety, including Mayor Jan Cmar.
“It’s definitely a safety issue,” Cmar said. “They expect South Park and Pleasant Hills to fill the gap, and this is one of the most populous and fastest growing area in this community.”
But Council President Christopher King said, “Residents in Gill Hall should not be concerned.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Plans For In-Person Commencement Ceremonies
He claims safety will actually improve compared to the difficult time he says the volunteer company has had.
“Gill Hall is not responding in a timely fashion and like I said sometimes they show up and there one person on the truck who doesn’t even go into a burning building to fight a fire.”
But speakers warned council about why it’s important that it stay open.
Gill Hall VFC Chief Calvin Felix says they have 16 active members and have hired a lawyer.
“Not sure,” Felix said about pursing legal action. “I mean we have to give everything that comes in writing in the next couple weeks once we get letters official letters from the council will be turned over to the attorney and see where we go from there.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Signs Executive Order Targeting Tax Fraud
Supporters of the fire company claim that council’s actions are politically motivated.