In separate meetings, the Diamond Star and Tonto Village fire boards passed a resolution Jan. 10 to form a joint district -- the Hellsgate Fire District.
"This is an historic moment. I feel like I am a part of history," Janet Snyder, the Payson Roundup's Tonto Village columnist said.
The house was packed with people for the evening meeting in Tonto Village.
"We all cheered and got teary-eyed. We are such a great district," she said.
Merger negotiations had been going on for about a year. Some residents were concerned about losing identity and equipment, but Snyder said the Tonto Village Firebelles auxiliary helped provide information to residents.
"This merger happened because we had Gary Hatch as our interim fire chief," she said.
Now, for the first time ever, Tonto Village has five certified volunteer Firefighter I's and these same fellows are going for EMT, then Firefighter II training.
Snyder choked up as she spoke of the "shiny new firetruck."
"This is amazing. I am just so proud," she added.