Fire Departments Merge in Southwest Louisville

by Devin Katayama on July 11, 2011

Mayor Greg Fischer formally approved the merger between two southwest Louisville fire departments on Monday.

The all-volunteer fire station Dixie Suburban will now become Lake Dreamland Station 3. Increased costs and a decrease in volunteers led to the decision, said Dixie Suburban officials.

Dixie Suburban covers about 1.5 square miles in southwest Louisville, and it previously responded to calls alongside Lake Dreamland Fire Department, which covers around 17.5 square miles, including Rubbertown and its nine chemical plants. Now they’ll share resources, said Fischer.

“It’s not so much about saving money; it’s about better response time and increasing coverage. So they’re going to be doing more with the same amount,” said Fischer.

A merger has been discussed for almost a decade, said Lake Dreamland Fire Chief John Wilkinson, Jr.

“We already respond to everything together on all incidents,” he said. “So it was nothing more than getting a piece of paper signed, changing the name on a building and now the same resources we have are provided to their district (and) their community.”

Lake Dreamland Station 3 will continue to be an all-volunteer unit, said Wilkinson. But redundancies, like an extra receptionist, will be eliminated. No fire fighter jobs will be lost for now, he said.

This merger is the fourth that the Jefferson County Fire Service has seen since the city and county governments became one in 2003.

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