Financially-strapped cities plan to merge emergency services


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Two financially-strapped Rhode Island cities have agreed to merge their emergency management agencies.

Pawtucket and Central Falls announced Monday that they signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a two-year, cost-sharing pilot program.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien says it will improve response time, training and services.

The merged agencies would be responsible for daily operations, disaster planning and emergency operations.

Pawtucket spokesman Rico Vota says there won’t be any layoffs as a result.

Vota says it’s too soon to say how much money the merger will save because the cities are waiting for authorization and funding from the state.

The mayors asked the state to stage equipment in Pawtucket for emergencies in northern Rhode Island.

Pawtucket is a struggling old mill town.

Central Falls emerged from bankruptcy in 2012.

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