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Dispatch calls to Penn Fire, Osceola searching for ways to fund services

On Wednesday night, there was progress, to what could be an ultimate solution in who handles the emergency services in the Town of Osceola.

During a packed town hall meeting today, finally some answers from the town, who has remained mum on the issue over the past two weeks.

Debra Davis is a board member for the Town of Osceola.

“I know we didn’t open this for public speaking, but I just want to say from the board: we all live in Osceola. We are all residents. This has bothered us as much as it’s bothering you. And I’m sorry,” said Davis.

Davis was concise, speaking in front of a packed room of families and business owners during the special meeting.

The only topic of discussion Wednesday night was what to do with the town’s emergency services and where to turn next.

Brian Gonzales is the Baugo Fire Chief.

“Just needed to realize how far in depth this is going to get, what it’s going to cost and come to a realization this needs to be taken care of,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales, along with a member of dispatch, sat down with the board to help figure out that next step.

“We are hopeful, we are hoping they come to an agreement with Penn. Seems they are talking again and things seem to be working out. We will see in the future,” said Gonzales.

Penn Township Fire Chief John VanBruane was also in attendance.

“All we ever wanted to do was negotiate in good faith. We never wanted to cut off anybody. This gives us a chance to do that.  Get something settled between the two of us. A win/win deal,” said VanBruane.

The town is currently working with a yearly fire budget of $65,000. Not nearly enough to sustain any kind of emergency services.

One item of concern that was resolved was who to dispatch first after an emergency.

Starting Wednesday all dispatch calls will be answered by Penn Township eliminating the need to try Osceola twice, which will help reduce response times.

“I really do think they mean to work things out, they are just having a hard time figuring out how to do that,” said VanBruane.

It’s a small step in the right direction, for the little town with a big heart.

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