Copyright © 2005-2017 Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services

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Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services
Company 29, Adams County

SAVES

Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services

5865 Hanover Road – Hanover, PA 17331

Telephone (717) 637-9621 Fax (717) 637-4910

For more Information about SAVES Email: Info@company29.org

EMS

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS

 

The former Brushtown, Centennial, Conewago and McSherrystown fire companies had a long history of tradition and service to southeastern Adams County. The four organizations shared much in common, especially responding on mutual aid calls together. Many of the volunteer personnel maintained membership in two or more of the four companies. For quite some time the companies would also conduct joint training sessions. In the 1990’s the four entities expanded these trainings and also began doing some combined fundraising. One of those fundraising events, the Edge of Town Picnic continues to take place every August.

Recognizing the strong and cooperative relationship that existed among the organizations, the membership began discussing consolidation as a way to better manage resources and improve services to the community. In late 1999 the four companies enacted a resolution to participate in a Resource Allocation Study to evaluate the positives and negatives of various consolidation alternatives. The study was conducted by Tom Weaver, a Master Public Administrator. Weaver commenced with gathering extensive information on each organization. The study reviewed financial data, call and incident statistics, personnel strength, training standards, organizational structures, by-laws and much more. The study would answer the key question of whether consolidation could improve efficiency and enhance services.

On May 9, 2001, Weaver presented the results of his findings to the membership of the four companies. The study produced several consolidation options. The most optimal option was for the four companies to consolidate into one organization. The memberships accepted the results of the study. In early 2002, each company enacted a second resolution to participate in a consolidation committee with all four companies represented. The committee was charged with extensively exploring the feasibility of the optimal alternative.

 

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK

 

For nearly two years from the summer of 2002 to the spring of 2004, the Consolidation Committee, as it was known, was very active. The committee visited a number of consolidated emergency services organizations. They gathered sample by-laws, organizational charts of fire companies and volumes of statistical data from the National Fire Protection Association—NFPA. By the fall of 2003 the committee was prepared to begin hosting a series of stakeholder meetings. These meetings were necessary to provide information to members, local elected officials and the community in general.

The Consolidation Committee recommended that the Brushtown, Centennial, Conewago and McSherrystown Fire Companies consolidate into one organization. To accomplish the consolidation the committee proposed that a shell organization operate for six months from July 1 to December 31 of 2004. The shell organization would operate simultaneously with the four companies. This six month period would allow for all of the administrative steps such as Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, election of officers and the name of the organization to be addressed. During this time, the organization was named the Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services and would do business using the acronym SAVES.

The Committee proposed that a combined meeting be held by the four companies to vote on the proposal. In June of 2004, the four fire companies convened in the gymnasium at Delone Catholic high School to hear the proposal and cast votes for its approval or rejection. Centennial, Conewago and McSherrystown Fire Companies approved the plan that day. The Brushtown Fire Company approved the plan at its ensuing monthly meeting. With all four entities approving the consolidation plan, the shell organization was created and administrative tasks were undertaken for the January 1, 2005 target date for SAVES to begin operations.

 

COMING TOGETHER- SEEING RESULTS

 

SAVES met the target date and began operations on January 1, 2005. Throughout the first year, the new organization operated from the four existing stations. Within the first six months of operation a long term strategic plan was developed. The plan as approved by the membership, focused primarily on the consolidation of plant and capital assets. By July of 2005, SAVES membership had developed clear goals and action steps that would lead to the ultimate benefit of consolidation, greater efficiency and improved services. These goals and the corresponding action items were to be completed by January 2010.

On August 26, 2006 SAVES was presented with the designation of Certified Agency Status by Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner, Ed Mann. Consolidation was beginning to produce results. This recognition was brought about by the increased training opportunities that consolidation had provided to members. Certified Agency Status is an achievement held by only one other fire company in Adams County and only about 15 percent in the state. The distinction is granted to fire companies when 50 percent or more of the responders are trained to professional NFPA standards.

Also in 2006 the Company consolidated plant operations into two stations. The former Centennial and Conewago stations were marketed and sold. Simultaneously, the proper fleet sizing of emergency apparatus occurred as three unneeded pieces were sold and two new units, a brush truck and a service vehicle were added. The proceeds from the sale of the Centennial and Conewago stations were encumbered for a future land purchase that would eventually accommodate plant consolidation into one new facility. In the late summer of 2006 the Company entered into an option agreement for the purchase of 15 acres of land from the family of the former Lewis Klunk. The acreage was located on the south side of Route 116 just west of the Centennial Road in Conewago Township.

2007 was a significant year for SAVES as much activity occurred and many important decisions took place. In January, preliminary discussions began with Conewgo Enterprises on conceptual ideas for a new facility. Concurrently, the land development planning process began with Conewago Township officials. In October SAVES exercised their 15 acre option on the Klunk property and purchased the land for $600,000. Later in the year, volunteers were sought for a building committee to be appointed by year end.

 

THE VISION BECOMES CLEAR

 

Throughout 2008 the SAVES activity was dominated by the excitement of the new building process. That process would culminate with a capital campaign kick-off on September 29th and a ground breaking ceremony on October 26th. The year was filled with numerous reports from the building committee, project coordinator and capital campaign committee. The funding for the new 32,000 square foot fire station-social hall combination was secured and the final design of the facility was approved by the company. SAVES membership gave the final approval to move forward with the new building at the August 5, 2008 meeting by a unanimous vote. Shortly thereafter, the Brushtown and McSherrystown stations and social halls were put up for sale.

Throughout the winter of 2008-2009 the community began to see the frame of the new facility taking shape. The cost of concrete cast building was $5.1 million dollars. The building funding strategy consisted of $2.8 million dollar loan, $1.8 million from the sale of existing buildings and a $1million dollar capital campaign. As the project progressed into the spring and summer of 2009, the membership formed a transition committee to prepare for the relocation from the two existing stations to the new quarters at 5865 Hanover Road. During the last full week end in August, nearly 100 volunteers moved all equipment, apparatus, appliances and supplies into the SAVES new station and social hall. The move was completed while the company remained fully operational.

A COMMUNITY CELEBRATES

 

On Sunday September 20, 2009, the Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services Inc. celebrated the achievement of the goal that was laid out five years earlier—to be in one centrally located facility before January 1, 2010. A dedication ceremony attended by nearly six hundred citizens and patrons was the culmination of the vision, dedication and commitment of SAVES members and leaders. The ceremony was also a tribute to hundreds of deceased members of the former Brushtown, Centennial, Conewago and McSherrystown fire companies who maintained the tradition of volunteer emergency services for more than a century. Many of the community participants that day took time to tour the facility including the Museum-Archive room that captures the history the SAVES ancestry.

 

Today SAVES serves all of McSherrystown Borough and Conewago Township, as well as portions of Mt. Pleasant and Union Townships. Members respond on average to 300 fire and emergency incidents and 700 to 800 Emergency Medical Services calls per year.