10/16/13 1087 W, 1 I - + 5 - 5 UPDATED: Wake County Fire Station Locations in 2033


October 18
Map updated, with Apex expansion. See comment.

October 16
Map updated, with projection of Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville fire station locations, based on reader comments.

October 11
A new day is poised to dawn in Wake County with the hiring of a new Director of Fire Services as the pending hiring of a new County Manager. What changes might be wrought (over time) as tjey evaluate the needs of the county fire protection infrastructure? Let's presume they continue in the direction started by the current administration, which has advocated mergers and consolidations as a strategy for cost-effectiveness. With our trusty maps and picture-making tools, let's take a speculative leap to fifteen or twenty years hence. Imagine what Wake County's fire service infrastructure look like, at least with regard to fire station facilities. Here's Mike's map (PDF) or click the small map to view the big map. Thoughts and notes are below.
 

Caveats

Apex

Notes: Planning underway for Station 5.

Bay Leaf / Durham Highway / Stony Hill

Notes: DHFD Station 2 presently operates as RFD Station 23, but also houses DHFD apparatus.

Cary

Notes: Planning underway for Station 2. See project site. Long-range planning underway for other stations. See 2013 CIP ten-year planning document.

Fairview / Swift Creek

Fuquay-Varina

Garner

Holly Springs

Knightdale / Eastern Wake

Morrisville

New Hope

New Hope / Rolesville

Raleigh

Notes: Construction starting this month on Station 12. Land purchased and planning in progress for Station 14. Land acquisition on progress for Station 3 and Station 14.

Wake Forest

Notes: Land purchased and planning underway for WFFD Station 4.

Wendell

Note: Long-range planning by county underway for Wendell Falls fire station.

Western Wake

Zebulon

Notes: Land purchased and planning underway for ZFD Station 2.

Zebulon / Hopkins





Some great ideas here Mike.
ncnjems - 10/13/13 - 11:03

Noticed that WNH Sta 1 is removed, and RVFD merges with WNH, Question for ya, Whos gonna cover the citizens of Timberlake off of Brentwood? Dont forget the bridges in there and limited access, and not to mention, its non-hydranted and probably never will be.
NH300c - 10/13/13 - 16:36

Thanks for the question. My crystal ball imagines the city adding the capabilities to cover such areas.
Legeros - 10/13/13 - 16:42

Raleigh Lover (see above comment)
Real - 10/13/13 - 22:39

Have you ever been in there? Im certain the city does not want to touch it!!!
NH300c - 10/13/13 - 22:44

Fuquay needs at least two more stations now. they run more than holly springs and apex combined now with some area that is fixing to be annexed that will be over 5 miles. their station 1 runs more than 2000 calls a year I believe.
FV - 10/14/13 - 00:03

At what point does it become illogical to fund 3 full time people to respond for a couple streets due to lack of hydrants. The city can get enough initial water there while tankers respond from elsewhere. Same goes for WW closing on the west side. Tactics and tankers can be added and implemented. Just evolving with the times. On the map i saw rfd 14 relocated. Does it have an official new location yet? Does knightdale have any station growth planned besides merging?
Evolution - 10/14/13 - 09:52

The town of FV has annexed property on ten-ten road across from Fairview sta 2 as well as a huge plot of land at 401 and ten-ten road along with what has already been annexed by the town. Possiblity of another station in that area??? Also it has been discussed to place station 4 near Dickens road and Hwy 55(Broad St)(GB Alford Hwy). Depending on what route 540 takes will greatly impact how FV grows as well. But right now you don’t have to worry about another station until the staffing is upped between the three here already.
intheknow - 10/15/13 - 08:24

@ evelotion, “The city can get enough initial water there while tankers respond from elsewhere” how many 500gal engines will it take to start suppression operations on a fully involved 2000 sq ft house, with LIMITED access, plus get all of the assigned “working fire” apparatus in there? And where in the world are those additional tankers coming from? you got it, RURAL TRAINED departments that are FURTHER away. Your logic does not make any sense. And for the record, NHE1 has saved the city a LOT of room and contents fires from becoming a “surround and drown” type call.
NH300c - 10/15/13 - 14:06

On a fully involved 2000 sq ft house I imagine RFD would go defensive and protect exposures whether there was a hydrant in the front yard or a county engine and tanker arriving with them. An initial 3000 gallons will help but the outside tankers are still needed, not just ones from NH1. If the area is so limited access for the engines, how many tankers are going to go in and daisy chain for water supply. Im sure there are some areas where the lays are quite long from a hydrant and more or less unreasonable. But is a 6 figure budget justifiable to protect just a few houses. Adapt and Overcome. RFD already responds to unhydranted areas with tankers dispatched not from a closest unit station to supplement water initially if needed. They also have 5000 sq ft houses with quarter plus mile driveways. Narrow and limited access. They survive everyday without a first in county truck. Yes New Hope has had some first in fires that they responded to, but before closest unit RFD handled the same area day in and day out and down the road can do it again. This isn’t about closest unit benefit, its about whether your 3 people and 6 figure budget is justifiable for YOUR first in district. This whole scenario is many years away but it is coming. Reluctance to adapt only leads to people in the way.
evOlution - 10/15/13 - 21:02

Daisy chain? Ever heard of a drop tank operation? And where are you coming up with the 3 people? We have 9 paid career, and 40 or so DEDICATED volunteers to support the cause. “But is a 6 figure budget justifiable to protect just a few houses.” How about you choose the homes, and lives that are justifiable in not only OUR first in, but places we are first in… FOR FREE!!!!! “Reluctance to adapt only leads to people in the way.” That’s a two way street friend. And FYI, NH tankers are on the initial dispatch for structure fires on Homestead Drive, per RFD request.
NH300c - 10/15/13 - 23:07

3 as in per shift. 40 is awesome if they show. I have run calls with NH2 vollies where the first out truck took 9 minutes to get en route. All depends on day and time for vollies. Since I reside in one of these areas that is NH1 first due I believe I can make these opinions. You prove my point about RFD requesting tankers to those areas. That’s exactly what they would do here. And if they found the distance inefficient for responses they would probably seek other solutions like Raleigh tankers or getting water provided there. The members of RFD are more then capable of figuring out how to do the idea of a tanker shuttle that New Hope has mastered since many employees are members of rural departments as well. Free is great except the county gave you a third person per shift because of the volume of Raleigh calls you were running. Fuel budget increased along with paying these additional personnel. It’s free to Raleigh for you to play, but it costs me more as a county tax payer. Thank you. But you’re right, New Hope will exist forever. So let’s say NH1 doesn’t close. They are working a COPD call in 27’s district as a closer unit. A fire comes in on one of these limited access waterless doomsday roads. Now these residents like me for example are waiting for a truck far far away with vollies to come first. You can’t clear your EMS call because they need you. My house burns up because my pot on the stove spread so much in the time it took a county truck to reach me. However NH1 closes. Engine 27 works EMS call alone. Now because my house is in city, I have 4 closer engines say from 11 19 15 etc. responding and knocking my room in contents fire out with 1500 gallons. As a resident, what is ideal for me? Yes ridiculous scenario, but totally plausible. We can go round and round about this all month. All I’m saying is if y’all closed your doors tomorrow, the world would blink twice and calls to the area would still be handled. However, you guys do great work. Thanks. This whole scenario is a hypothetical, 20 year Legeros projection, but thanks for discussing it with me. Enjoyed it.
Elevation - 10/16/13 - 00:53

Jesus maybe y’all should read the article mike posted from the two guys getting burned and learn a little bit about some brotherhood. What’s it matter who’s who? Raleigh will one day have every department within city limits now. It doesn’t take a two year old to figure that out. Enjoy what we have while we have it. Things change but stubborn ass people don’t. Let’s get our panties out of a wad and get back to the main topic from this thread. “Intheknow,” looks like Cary Station 11 will go in the vicinity of where you said another FV station may go, in Fairview’s area. Mike what’s your thoughts?
Fed up - 10/16/13 - 02:31

There’s no doubt that absorbing county departments into growing cities brings about strong emotions. I don’t doubt that there are subdivisions here and there that could be protected better by a water haul department, BUT...at what point does it make little sense to maintain these departments just for one or two subdivisions? If we’re spending $500K+ annually to staff a station just because of a few subdivisions, we are missing the mark, especially in a county system which is in a funding black hole. The big question is, just when is it no longer cost effective? Many would think we’re past the point in more than one case around here.
Chris - 10/16/13 - 11:06

Whats the value in creating a shared station? One department turns left out the station, the other to the right? How does that work exactly. I know Morrisville and Cary do it currently but more as a temporary situation. Why build with the purpose of that?
Sharing - 10/16/13 - 11:38

@ Fed up, I read it, and actually have incorporated into my lesson plan. Don’t preach to me about brotherhood. Change is inevitable I know, and I support it, as long as EVERY option is explored. However, when the topic of closures come up, not one comment is made of where the personnel are going. All of a sudden it goes from 9 peoples lives being affected (in NH case) to 45 or more. Any time I hear of any closures, MY brothers and sisters are the ones I’m most concerned about, and how its going to affect them. Last comment on this topic is this, Y’all know who I am…. just sayin!!!
NH300c - 10/16/13 - 11:57

The map shows it pretty clearly, NH station 1 is not needed. Doesn’t matter how you shake it, out eventually it will shut down. It is all about numbers. It’s no different than personal finance, if you have 5 cars and something happens in which it is only financially feasible to have 2 then you will have 2. Would it be nice to have 5? yes. did each one serve a purpose? maybe. Can you handle life with 2? Yes. Plain and simple some of these departments will have to lose a station and be more fiscally responsible for the MAJORITY of people they serve. Like someone else mentioned, RFD is more than capable to serve this area.
simply speaking - 10/16/13 - 14:06

Let’s put it plain and simple. How many calls would WNHFD#1 run if the city calls to which they respond were eliminated?
Rescue Ranger - 10/16/13 - 14:43

I understand that no one wants to lose their department. Redundancy is nice, but it is not financially prudent. There are areas of this county that are currently without fire protection or do not enjoy the levels of protection that other areas have. Check the Wake GIS site and change the layers to fire districts; there are uncovered areas that are an ISO 10. I personally feel that these folks deserve fire protection. I understand that it is nice to respond as the closest unit, and that people benefit from having care and service provided as quickly as possible. We should have the desire to provide that for all of our citizens, and not double up where it is not necessary.

I know that there are holes of county that are surrounded by the city; these areas are also non-hydranted. Charlotte has been putting pumper-tankers at their outlying stations for years to address this. Raleigh also did this if I am not mistaken. This water supply issue is not an insurmountable task; many of our municipal departments provide coverage in county areas with 500 gallon booster tanks and tankers that respond from the same department. We do this where I work, and it can be done.

Think of this situation as a tax paying citizen, and not as a firefighter who is losing his department. Change can be positive. Why not relocate the apparatus and personnel to cover areas that really need it? You will need to provide career or duty crew coverage, and no it will not involve responding from home to your old station. Times are changing anyways; we need to have staffed trucks. We need to look out for the people we are here to protect, and put aside our feelings.
Bob P. - 10/16/13 - 14:44

@ Rescue Ranger, dont have the exact # in front of me, im guessing 400-450 calls,
NH300c - 10/16/13 - 15:12

fed up, the Cary station 11 is actually as the bird flies no ways from where you are speaking of but by road it’s at least 3 miles.
FV - 10/16/13 - 23:43

Bob P., you make some very valid points as do the others who have posted here…but if those who we elect (commissioners) were really interested in the best for the citizens, we need to rewind about 15 years….to when the “special use tax” was created within Wake County and the District Fire Taxes were nullified….most if not all here will remember that the only way that could possibly occur was based upon there NOT being a department covering every square mile of the county from their respective stations….turn your eyes back to the far northwestern part of Wake County, aka Dutchville and ask yourself why the county continues to contract with Granville County and Creedmoor to protect that area….why not encourage a new department or to have the existing departments in Wake County expand to cover it….Why, you say if that would be in the best interest of the citizens?? Why?...because that would then mean that the District based fire tax would be recalled and the “special use tax” would default to zero…and that re-opens a whole can of worms….Change, closing stations, etc. is indeed very painful to those that have invested their lives in a local department or station, and indeed we are ALL human and resist change…Consolidation isnt necessarily a bad thing, but let us not forget that its NOT the only option. As my mother has always reminded me, you get way further down the road with honey than you do with salt…..My hope is that with a change in the county manager and a new fire services director (Welcome Mike!), that instead of dusting off the past plans that the fresh start of a new day might be a better approach and may the citizens needs, not alter egos or saving money, be the “real” reason for our actions over the next twenty years….
MTH - 10/17/13 - 16:46

@NH300c – I find it hard to believe those are 1st-due calls. I’m sure the numbers are only that high due to the mutual aide calls ran with Morehead City and every department in between. (Kidding)
Rescue Ranger - 10/17/13 - 21:38

All – a few corrections and a few points: The county does not contract with Creedmoor nor Granville Co.; however allows Creedmoor FD to have a Class 9 rated insurance district in Wake Co. via NC General Statute provisions (...and there is no funding based contract). Also, to expand into that area will certainly require another Wake station staffed by someone and I agree it is needed. It is indeed an area that is growing somewhat, but not much as it is surrounded by government land/watershed area (e.g. Fall Lake). It is interesting, but the citizens from that area are not lined up on the Wake Co. Commissioner’s steps demanding protection either…

The Service District tax was created in 1999 to balance the funding methods and allow equal expansion of services, and that has occurred; however it is now maybe now too large in some areas. It’s time for an adjustment of method. Maybe for a fresh start to occur, a reset button (of sorts) will indeed have to be pressed. Here are the facts: (1) There is a limited amount of funding generated by the Fire Service District tax, (2) The cost of EXISTING services and methodologies is not sustainable when compared to the revenue, (3) There does not exist a clear standardization (yet) as to “what is the right size” department/service/organization, hence the impasse related to how much protection truly costs, (4) #3 renders individual departments and politics to decide what the “right size” is, (4) Existing “old plans” already illustrate a prudent method, but are not being completely followed perhaps due to PC or “feelings,” (5) Change at this point will be VERY, VERY painful to many and will be driven by funding need and not standardization of scope, (6) County “doughnut holes” are the county’s issue and not the city’s, therefore the county should seek a reasonable and amenable plan of action, and (7) [Realistically] the general public does not care, just as long as they are not required to pay more tax – and the public we often quote is actually willing to sub-consciously accept the risks therefore fire protection is one of their absolute lowest lifestyle priorities. Otherwise, we would see multi-millions in the coffers! Take care y’all!
A.C. Rich - 10/17/13 - 23:11

Thanks for your perspectives, AC. So what’s the city’s role in my fifteen/twenty year projections? My take is that we’ll see them contracted by the county for areas on the city’s fringe, and/or protected annexed “doughnut holes.” Will that include expanding their capabilities to include pumper-tankers or tankers? Good question. Maybe so, if annexed areas are without hydrants.
Legeros - 10/18/13 - 09:46

From the Apex FD comes information on their current plans for new fire stations.

Station 5 – Located in western corridor of town, probably in area of Kelly Road/Apex BBQ Road. Design phase this fiscal year, construction targeted for FY14/15.

Station 6 – Planned for Green Level area, no specific location identified. Targeted for FY16 or FY17.

Station 7 – Associated with proposed Veridea project. No definitive timeframe on that. More on Veridea: http://www.veridea-nc.com/

Map has been updated, which also includes my speculation that in fifteen or twenty years, we’ll also see:

Station 8 – We’ll plop that thing to the northwest.

Station 1 – I’ll predict it’s closed as active station, but retained as department or municipal facility. (But, hey, if there’s the density, maybe it’ll remain a fire station!)
Legeros - 10/18/13 - 09:47

Station closures are needed. Like someone said before there are stations that are duplicating services. That’s a waste of tax payer money and a drain on the County budget when other departments could use the money. You have to do what is better for the majority rather than for everyone. I don’t see the county throwing the employees of closed stations on the street either. How many times have you heard of that in this area? When Wake EMS absorbed all their departments, they offered opportunities to those employees. When Knightdale and Eastern Wake was on the table, they were making arrangements for those employees to be absorbed. I just don’t see that happening.

Something I’d like to see…..Raleigh’s turf war ending. There are many areas on Raleigh’s outer districts where county units are much closer that some of the second and third due Engine companies from Raleigh yet they don’t have those units dispatched. I ask, what is better for the citizens? I think that sometimes that gets lost in the mix. Thoughts for the Raleigh guys?
Captain C - 10/18/13 - 10:47

Captain, let me change your label of “turf war” to “response policy.” And ask a meta-question. Are “in house” responses for second/third/fourth due companies the rule or the exception? How do, say, Charlotte or Greensboro operate? How often do comparably-sized municipal departments have response policies based on a county-wide system, that treats all engines as pieces of the same system? (Which is what I think you’re proposing.)
Legeros - 10/18/13 - 11:11

I mean I understand it to a point. Raleigh FD knows what there men are trained to and what is available on the resources they request. Is that good enough? Do they reach out to neighboring departments to find out about their resources and how they can benefit them? I know all county departments (while they should be) are not the same across the board but in some areas they are and they are not used. This could in turn eliminate some of the concern for rural areas. Most county departments have first out Engines with 1000 gallons of water. Combined with a Raleigh Engine in some of these close response areas you have a decent water supply until help arrives.

I would agree to not call it a turf war but how about resource management instead of response policy?
Captain C - 10/18/13 - 11:40

Here are some facts that may help… and are general knowledge and not a secret: If a county station is closer than 30 seconds (by CAD computation), that closest station’s resource (single engine) is dispatched into Raleigh auto-aide. If a county department is not dispatched for some reason, it is the decision of that county department not to be dispatched. We all really should not assume and focus on the facts; and if one does not know, simply ask! “Public plans are public knowledge.”

Additional realities: Municipal fire service management is the responsibility of the municipality. Non-incorporated areas are the responsibility of the county. Discussion on closest station response is varied due to belief at times, but is not really an existing factor. In the end, the responsibility for collaborative service is guided by the shear need of either the county or the municipality to deliver the services. If the service is deemed as appropriate or even acceptable, there is no change. As for Mike’s map, the city stations will follow the annexations. I have no idea of future contracted response into rural areas and will even venture to speculate now. As for the county stations… who knows at this point but we can all safely assume there will be changes! Have a good weekend!!
A.C. Rich - 10/18/13 - 12:09

Chief Rich,

If I may ask just to better my knowledge, is it RFD policy to follow CAD on all dispatches and further assignments? Take for example Engine 26’s area. They have some area where if they got dispatched they would receive by a RFD run card (I’m giving my best guess)E-10, E-2, and E-12. With a working fire or second alarm assignment coming possibly from downtown. My question is wouldn’t it be more efficient to have Eastern Wake or even Garner respond with Engine 26 or Engine 10 than those units from downtown? Do the Company Officer’s have authority to call for units from outside?

Like I said I understand the thinking, My people are trained the way I want them so I want my people on my scene. I get that. I’m speaking from a going forward stand point.
Captain C - 10/18/13 - 15:04

How often does your agency train with hydrant assist valves? Do you have one on your truck? What are your standards in your department for people to ride as Officer? Better yet, ride at all? What are your staffing guidelines? You see where I’m going here, a lot of unanswered questions with varying answers across the county.

RFD Company Officer can request help from resources as needed. The county has no standard for any of the above, to include dispatching and fireground operating procedures. I really hope the new guy in charge of Wake County gets stuff straight with the county agencies, the system needs an overhaul. Standardization of service would be a great place to start.

In all reality, for the non-hydranted areas that are pockets in Raleigh, surely they could automatically send a tanker strike team on a fire dispatch if they had to.

You hit the nail on the head pretty well with your last couple of sentences, CC.
SelfServing - 10/18/13 - 17:21

RFD practice is to follow the run card and the incident will receive a 100% RFD response unless there is a “closest unit,” of which (1) county unit will be added to the card. The BC or CO may request “additional” if needed or warranted and it has been done before. On a flip-side… I personally believe that the more organizations engage in proactive conversation before the call, the greater chance your question may become a reality and/or completely answered. But don’t forget… organizational beliefs and culture are hard to change and take a lot of time!
A.C. Rich - 10/18/13 - 21:54

SelfServing and Captain C. There are requirements to be an officer within the county. And there are training requirements to ride, drive etc. And if you look closely I think you will see the majority of first out trucks all over the county with EQUAL personnel as any city or town puts on the road. Heck most of the time they are the exact same people depending on the day of the week.

As for the hydrant assist valves I can attest that city and county units train, at least on the west side. And there are plans in place for how to operate and the expectations. The bottom line is if you work at one of those fringe stations it is up to you and the county house to get together and train and break down the barriers. I think you’d be surprised to see what you will find. There are great firemen and not so great firemen on EVERY department in this county. So don’t speculate on what might or might not show up and go find out.
clarification - 10/20/13 - 10:50

Been there, done that. Seen good and bad. Sorry but I can’t help but think some not all, but some just want inflated call volume. The new county fire service leader needs to reorganize and restructure the entire county fire service. Relocate NHFD #1, and either you’re a municipal dept or you’re the Wake County FD, same with WW. All those working at the non municipal depts become county employees and can be transferred around to different county stations to benefit the needs of the taxpayer and county FD. Have standardization across the board with response, operating procedures, and everything else. It’s an antiquated system and hopefully this guy can get it done, all while not worrying about making a buddy mad.
Selfserving - 10/20/13 - 14:22

Hello all I’m new to the political thing when it comes to what my tax money goes to. It all came about when Obama started asking for more every two weeks. Reading the beginning of these posts to now I’m very concerned with my tax dollars in my town. Correct me if I’m wrong but why does Apex need more fire stations than what we have now. If they can answer the calls with in a timely fashion and and are not overwhelmed with the amount of calls then why keep adding stations when they are not needed. Looking at the map we already have three fire stations that are closest to each other than any other municipal department besides Raleigh. Like one said earlier the county needs to focus on those areas out of the 6 mile that has no fire protection. Cary doesn’t have stations that are in hollering distance of each other. I truly believe that there are some much needed fire stations needed within this county due to call volume and distances but 5,6,7 and even an 8th station in Apex?
Apex Citizen - 10/21/13 - 07:55

So looking at services needed with the expansions of stations your looking at the need of fifteen new engine companies, eight new ladder companies, five new rescues, and six battalion chiefs. Keep in mind this includes staffing existing companies also. Looking at minimum staffing per company, four on rescue and ladders and three on the engine and of course one on the battalion. Where’s the extra 15 million going to come from? This also doesn’t include bringing current companies up to a minimum full time staff level.
Funding - 10/21/13 - 13:15

I believe that 5th Holly Spring station is in the lake or either on State Gameland.
JRG - 10/21/13 - 16:25

Thanks, maybe I’m imagining a fireboat station for HSFD!
Legeros - 10/21/13 - 18:28

On a summer saturday and suunday it probably could be beneficial.
JRG - 10/22/13 - 10:25

Mike, if you wanted to tweak your map at all you could color the Wake County RTP land light purple since that is covered by Moville.

Apex Citizen, in my opinion it is probably best to contact Chief Haraway and have him discuss the needs of AFD. He will better give you an explanation of AFD station placement as it pertains to ISO, accreditation potential, and the philosophy that the town has with regard to fire protection. We are mostly just a bunch of engine/truck/rescue guys/gals throwing our 2 cents around. I will say that I would be very proud of your fire department as Apex is a top notch organization.
Lozinsky - 10/23/13 - 21:57

One correction – it is true that (according to NCGS) municipalities are responsible for fire protection inside municipal limits – it is a mandatory feature of city life. However, counties are NOT responsible for fire protection in unincorporated areas – it is not mandatory. Counties are free to set whatever policy they like concerning fire protection outside municipal limits – from having none at all, to having a full-service county fire department. It depends on what the citizens desire!

It’s hard to remember – but this is all about the citizens and the services they want to pay for. It’s not about us, at least as a matter of policy.
Skip Kirkwood (Email) - 10/24/13 - 09:54

I think Chief Kirkwood put it the best, at it’s simplest form. The only ones who really care about what is on the side of the truck are the people riding in it. We have to remember where we come from….. local people who organized fire departments based upon the needs of the communities they lived in. Take Hopkins for example – it was a long way for the Fire Department to respond from Zebulon and Rolesville so a group worked tirelessly to form a fire department in that community. It met a need of the community. Was there any thought of how a fire Service tax, closest unit response, eventual annexation north by Zebulon and declining tax revenues would be 36 years later? Probably not and i don’t think any of us would have thought this far ahead at that given time in history regardless of what we would like to think.

I do think that we eventually have to re-evaluate how we, as a whole, can best serve the citizens which we protect. We are and must be good stewards of the taxpayer dollar. How do we do that – I don’t know the answer, but i do know that times are changing and we must be able to change and adapt to the new environment which we have found ourselves in.
Brandon - 10/24/13 - 11:08

Somewhat off the subject, but after being brought up by Lozinsky…What is the value of accreditation? I know Cary is and others want to be, but what is the tangible value? Departments have spent and will continue to spend a lot of time, effort and money towards it, but to what end (other than bragging rights)? It doesn’t provide any cost savings of any type (that I am aware of). Is it just peace of mind knowing that your department has met the requirements necessary to be a “good department”?
Chris - 10/24/13 - 12:14

As a private citizen who serves as a member of the board of directors for a volunteer/career fire dept, i think the shareholders pay close attention to their fire/EMS. The problem I see is that pay [more] attention to what you’re doing at the station or out in public. They do not pay [as] close attention to [how] you handle their emergency (for the most part). In the older days, no one dared to question the fire dept, rescue and EMS. These days, it is seen as an extension of government, making us a easy target.

[ Editor: Jeff, please check for missing words above. I tried to fix, so check my work. Want your meaning to be clear. ]
Jeff - 10/24/13 - 13:51

Chris- I think your question is completely related to the topic. Station placement, or more specifically response times, is a huge component of accreditation. I am not sure who you work for but I work for Morrisville and we are accredited. When we went through the accreditation process a few years back and I had the opportunity to assist with the process. It is VERY in-depth and looks at all aspects of not only your department but the municipality as a whole.

People often see it as bragging rights or a notch in the organizations belt. While it might be, the process is intended to be a rigorous self-assessment of where your organization is and where it should be. CFAI looks at 10 phases: 1. Governance and administration, 2. Assessment and planning, 3. Goals and objectives, 4. Financial resources, 5. Programs, 6. Physical resources, 7. Human resources, 8. Training and competency, 9. Essential resources, 10. External system relations. Inside those categories there are even more sub-categories. If at anytime you identify a problem then you must have a process of rectifying said problem and then actually fixing the problem. This document is hundreds of pages long. This self-assessment phase is a great continuous improvement tool.

This is also a great way of planning for the future. As we all know we must justify every penny we receive, and rightfully so. When we request more stations or people this is a great tool to justify this mostly because a third party has looked at our organization and judged it. As you said, they are judging whether you are a good department or not. I would not look at as a way to provide cost savings, but a way to judge whether or not the money being spent is being spent wisely.

Here is the website for CFAI. It will give you even more info. http://www.publicsafetyexcellence.org/
Lozinsky - 10/24/13 - 17:26

There’s the million-dollar question, Loz’. What makes a good fire department? I’m thinking that a line firefighter answers differently than a Captain or a Chief. Ditto for a citizen, homeowner, or business owner. Ditto for a Mayor, City Manager, or County Manager.

The question of accreditation was asked a couple years ago on the blog, in this thread: http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/photos/we... The answer was provided from this Fayettville FD page, http://www.bravethefire.com/accreditatio..

Regarding Jeff’s observations that fire and EMS are seen as extensions of government… well, they are indeed parts of government. And thus deserve the same degree of transparency to their constituents as any other part of government.

Finally, for those curious on how sausage is made in Wake County (e.g., how the fire service leadership works), here’s an excellent Q&A-based overview from a couple years ago, with Messrs. Price and Rich. http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/photos/we..
Legeros - 10/24/13 - 17:59

Next, a reader request. Hey Mike, they inquired. Can you make a map of all the ladders in the county, that might be part of a county-wide department, were one created at a future time? Ditto for rescue units?

Great concept, but a bit tricky to compute. You’d exclude all municipal ladders and rescue trucks. And any private fire departments with ladders or rescues purchased prior to the current county apparatus policy.

For the last number of years, any new apparatus purchased by the county is also the property of the county. They’re just used by (and even titled to) the individual fire department. How many ladders does that equate to? Maybe just one, Wendell? How many rescues? More, maybe a half-dozen or so?

Anyway, that’s how that speculative mapping exercise might play out.
Legeros - 10/24/13 - 18:08

I think your example of how to quantify what make a good fire department another reason why having your organization go through the accreditation process a good idea. If you were to ask the types of people mentioned what makes a good department they would give you a subjective answer based on what they needed, of more then likely, what they wanted. The process takes that same million dollar question and makes it more objective.

One of the cool things about the accreditation process is when the peer assessors come and verify what you say they talk to everyone, including executive people in the town/city, the fire department bugle barn, and even rookie firefighters. They want to make sure policies are being implemented and everyone is on board.

Of course I am proud of my department, but I am not saying only accredited departments are “good”. We run with departments all the time that are not only good but great that are not accredited. It is just a way of looking into the mirror and seeing what the mirror says,
Loz' - 10/24/13 - 22:27

Mike- To give an update to your map you show Raleigh #29 planned on Buffalo rd. I saw documentation a few weeks ago showing the city attempting to acquire land near the intersection of Harps Mill & Litchford to construct station #29.
Rescue Ranger - 02/19/14 - 14:36

Been a while since we talked about this one. How are Mike’s prognostications holding up?

Cary Station 2 relocation is well underway, though Cary Station 9 is delayed. Apex Station 5 coming soon, and Wake Forest Station 4 well underway. Hearing Fuquay-Varina planning a Station 4 to the north in coming years.

For Raleighwood, Station 13 became Station 29. And word on the street is that Station 30 will be an infill station somewhere along/around New Hope Church Road. (Though that’s probably some years down the road, after replacements for Station 12, 14, 6, 3 are wrapped, I’m thinking.) That’s not reflected on this map.

Future stations further east on Buffaloe Road and in the Battlebridge area still seem sound. Also have heard Louisburg Road area as potential infill station location in future years, somewhere between 15/19/22.
Legeros - 05/21/15 - 08:34



  
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