St. Matthews and Lyndon Fire Districts merge, changing protection for thousands

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fire and EMS protection changed for more thousands of people this week.

On July 1, several local fire departments merged, including the St. Matthews and Lyndon Fire Protection Districts.

Gary Doyle, who owns a business in Lyndon, said the move is a plus for taxpayers.

"Anytime you can put more units on the street, in closer proximity ... it makes all the difference in the world, especially when you are dealing with cardiac emergencies, strokes," Doyle said. "Time makes all the difference."

The merger is expected to enhance fire and rescue services in both districts, reduce response times and provide EMS services at two Lyndon fire houses.

"The added service of an ambulance at each one of those stations will enhance the response times," St. Matthews Chief William Seng said.

Seng will head the combined districts and said firefighters and EMTs will hit the ground running this week.

"We have been training together, we have made joint runs together, so they operate almost identically to the way that we do," he said.

Mike Riordan, the assistance chief of EMS for St. Matthews, said the merger could be lifesaving.

"The number of fire runs has been going down consistently because of really good fire prevention," Riordan said. "And the fire departments are a tremendous resource for emergency response in the community. They can be someplace in three minutes or less, and that makes a critical difference."

The merger will cost taxpayers more per years, but Doyle said it will be money well spent.

"It gives me a lot of peace of mind," he said.  "I don't think you can put a dollar amount on that. It will be worth it to me. I'll pay it every day."

The other mergers taking place this week include Jeffersontown and McMahan Fire Departments and Anchorage and Middletown Fire.

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