Group shotDearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. and Melvindale Mayor Stacy Striz joined in a ceremony making official the merger of the two cities’ fire departments on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013.

It was exactly one year to the day from when talks began about how a merger could strengthen fire and EMS service in both communities.

“In these economic times, we must look at how we can deliver the best service to our customers in the most cost-effective way,” said Mayor O’Reilly. “I know change is hard, but in this case, residents in both communities will benefit.”

Although Dearborn’s response time is excellent, the Melvindale station is located closer to certain sections of southwest Dearborn than Dearborn’s existing four stations.

On Friday, Dearborn welcomed 14 Melvindale firefighters, who officially became Dearborn employees. They will continue to be assigned to the station in Melvindale.

Under the agreement, Dearborn will lease the Melvindale fire station for $1 and use Melvindale’s equipment.

The merged department will be led by Fire Chief Joseph Murray. Steven Densmore, formerly of the Melvindale department, became the assistant fire chief on Friday.

Both O’Reilly and Striz praised Murray and Densmore, all the firefighters, the two firefighter unions, Dearborn Finance Director Jim O’Connor, Melvindale Finance Director Richard Ortiz, Melvindale Corporation Counsel Corinne Galusky, Melvindale City Administrator Jim Beri, and Dearborn Assistant Attorney Kim Craig for making the agreement work.

Sworn-in as Dearborn employees were Capt. Louis Gyurcska, Capt. Jeffrey Beatty, Lt. Michael Preadmore, Firefighter III Jarrod Ormanian and Firefighter III Glenn Owens. Also Firefighters Matthew Atkinson, Scott Atkinson, Melanie Fiorillo, Chad Layton, Daniel Nicholson and Aaron Sarnovsky were sworn in.

Lt. Dennis Schultz and Firefighter Brian McNaughton were on vacation