The Ingram Volunteer Fire Company was basically fired by a 6-1 vote of borough council tonight, prompting angry citizens and Ingram firefighters to ask who would now respond if a fire broke out.
The city of Pittsburgh’s paid professional firefighters would be answering calls, Ingram Council President Sam Nucci said.
“There will be no lapse in service,” borough solicitor Robert Garvin said.
Officials did not answer questions about how Pittsburgh’s public safety officials would immediately know that Ingram council had approved what is officially known as an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with Pittsburgh for fire protection services, for a fee.
Screams and boos erupted from the more than 150 residents who filled the meeting room and spilled into the hallway. Many people sobbed and hugged each other, some wearing the dark-colored dress uniforms of the volunteer fire company that has served the western suburb for more than 100 years.
“No more!” yelled one of the three Ingram police officers who rushed to the front of the room to stand between the council members and the angry audience.
“This is a step toward regionalism,” complained resident James Watson, one of many residents who spoke to extol the virtues of small communities and local control.
Residents and VFD Chief Don Browning have said the city contract will be more expensive than services provided by volunteers.