Fire Departments

Lower Paxton Township is served by three volunteer fire companies - Colonial Park, Linglestown, and Paxtonia. These three companies provide a full range of firefighting and accident response services to our community. Although each of these companies possesses a specific service area, they respond on a mutual aid basis throughout the Township and surrounding municipalities.

Looking to the Future of Township Emergency Services

Extensive Demand for Volunteers and Dwindling Citizens to Answer the Call

In the 1970’s, Pennsylvania had 300,000 volunteer firefighters. Today, that number stands at fewer than 30,000. The dedicated and hardworking volunteers with the Paxtonia, Colonial Park, and Linglestown fire companies have provided fire protection and emergency response in Lower Paxton Township for nearly 85 years. Each year the number of emergencies they respond to increases, as does the educational requirements set forth by the Commonwealth and the National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA).  

The substantial decline in the number of citizens willing to volunteer to provide these services throughout the Commonwealth has been experienced in Lower Paxton as well.  More than ever, rising operational, capital, and administrative costs caused by increased training requirements and requests for services require municipalities to supplement the volunteer model. This change must occur to ensure the Township is prepared to secure the health and safety of our community. 

Lower Paxton is the 15th largest municipality in Pennsylvania and is one of few municipalities of its size to rely solely on volunteers for its fire protection. For instance, the City of Harrisburg and Manheim Township, Lancaster County, both with a smaller population than Lower Paxton, employ paid career firefighters. Manheim Township shares similar demographics to Lower Paxton yet they employ 29 fulltime personnel which includes a fire chief, deputy fire chief, fire marshal, fleet mechanic, administrative assistant, 3 captains, 21 firefighter/emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) 48 part-time firefighter/EMTs and 30 volunteers. Our Township is nowhere near that level of need; however, there is still a growing need to supplement our volunteers with paid firefighters in the years ahead. 

Preserving Fire Protection & Emergency Response

To maintain safety at the lowest possible cost possible to taxpayers, the Township is embarking on a comprehensive reassessment of the current volunteer fire service and looking to eventually add a career deputy fire chief and likely paid part-time firefighters to supplement our volunteers. This reassessment would also encompass ensuring that Emergency Medical Services (EMS), for both basic and advanced life support (BLS and ALS), remain strong throughout our Township, which has seen increasing demand for these life-essential amenities.

To support the reassessment, the Township has implemented a 0.175 mill increase (an average of $34 annually based on a home valued at $200,000) to the current Fire Protection Tax of 0.4615 mills. This will help pay for the rising costs of new fire apparatus, an independent study of fire and emergency medical services, the hiring of a deputy fire chief to oversee implementation of the study’s recommendations and development of a long-range plan for Lower Paxton’s emergency services. 

Township Volunteer Fire Companies

Colonial Park Fire Company

The Colonial Park Fire Company was organized in 1944 and operates from a fire station located at 433 South Houcks Road. The primary service area of the Company is the southwest portion of the Township. Colonial Park is considered a pumper and engine company.

Linglestown Fire Company

The Linglestown Fire Company was organized in 1934 and operates from a fire station located at 5901 Linglestown Road. This Company's primary service area encompasses the northern portion of the Township. The Linglestown Fire Company specializes in performing water tanker and aerial operations for the entire community.

Paxtonia Fire Company

The Paxtonia Fire Company was organized in 1937 and operates from a fire house located at 125 South Johnson Street. This Company's primary service area is the southeast portion of the Township. The Paxtonia Fire Company's ladder truck specialization, like the specialization of the other two companies, provides a specific service for the entire community.

Lower Paxton Township Fire Marshal

The Lower Paxton Township Fire Marshal is responsible for fire scene investigations. This individual determines the origin and cause of a fire. The Fire Marshal is also responsible for the compilation of data involving fire and emergency response services provided by the three fire companies.