Come July 1, the Danbury Township Fire Department will debut, providing fire and emergency medical response service to those in distress.
The agreement came after two years of talk and debate among area officials.
“This positive combination of resources will continue to offer the same dedicated, professional level of services that residents and visitors on the Marblehead Peninsula have come to expect and appreciate,” according to a statement provided by the Danbury Township trustees.
For more than a century, Danbury officials contracted with the Marblehead Volunteer Fire Department and the Lakeside Volunteer Fire Protective Association for fire and emergency services.
Danbury previously never had a fire department or emergency medical services unit.
The consolidation plan, however, calls for dissolving both volunteer departments and folding them into Danbury’s new operation.
A recommendation provided to Danbury officials suggested employing 45 fire and emergency medical services staff.
There are about 60 employees — including firefighters, emergency medical services, volunteers and support staff — affiliated today with either Lakeside or Marblehead.
It’s not known whether, who or how many people will actually go on Danbury’s payroll. Some volunteers presently working for both departments have never received a penny for their life-saving efforts.
This much is certain: officials reassured taxpayers they’ll pay the same amount for a much better service.
Levies supporting both fire departments cost Danbury residents about $440,000 a year.
“All of our personnel have put forth an effort to streamline and enhance our public services to all of the residents of Danbury Township,” according to the statement.
Danbury officials appointed Marblehead fire Chief Doug Waugh as acting chief for the new operation, overseeing and implementing all unification efforts.
“I am extremely pleased to be a part of this momentous undertaking,” Waugh said. “I have found that our community has been blessed.