07/28/15 574 W, 3 I - + 6 - 3 Providence Fire Department Ceases Service


July 28
As reported in these stories from WBTV, WCCB, WSCO, and WNCN, today is the last day of operation for Providence Volunteer Fire Department in Union County. The department has protected the town of Weddington and surrounding area since 1961. Town officials cancelled their contract with PFD in April, which we originally blogged about (see below). Wesley Chapel Fire Department will begin contracted protection today.

Planned for tonight is a closing ceremony at 10:45 p.m. The flag at the fire station will be lowered and Fire Chief Kenny Schott will make remarks. At midnight, the fire apparatus will depart. They'll turn left onto Weddington-Matthews Road, turn right at the Seminary, and turn right onto Chestnut Street. The public is invited to the event. Attendees are requested to arrive at the station no later than 10:30 p.m.
 

 
The fire department and the town are also engaged in a legal battle. PVFD has filed a lawsuit against the town, claiming breach of contract. (They were two years into the ten-year agreement.) On Monday, Union County Superior Court granted PVFD a temporary restraining order until the trail. That prevents the town from selling the fire station building.

Here's a picture of the station today, as well some great historical views of their original apparatus. Check out that home-built 4x4 mini tanker! All images are from the PVFD Facebook page. Click to enlarge:
 

April 30
Originally titled Union County Town to Terminate Contract with County Fire Department

As reported by WBTV and WNCN this week, the town of Weddington in Union County voted to transfer its contracted fire protection from the Providence Fire Department to the Wesley Chapel Fire Department.

Town officials cited financial reasons as the reasons for the decision. They've been worried about PFD's ability to sustain itself. The date of the termination has not been decided. The plan will see the Providence fire station occupied by Wesley Chapel firefighters.

Earlier this year, WNCN reported that the town approved a merger of the Providence and Wesley Chapel fire departments. Unsure how that story relates here. Or if the merger has continued or is continuing.

The Providence Fire Department has also been addressing the issue via social media, with comments posted on their Facebook page and their web site.

PFD responds to the entirety of the town, as well as unincorporated areas of Union County, and some territory inside Mecklenburg County, where the department originated. They respond to calls east of I-485, in a territory that's decreased over the years and decades due (presumably) to municipal annexations by the city of Charlotte.

As noted on their web site's history page, PFD started in 1954 at the corner of Providence Road and what's today called Ballantyne Commons Parkway. In 1972, they relocated about four miles east to the intersection of McKee Road and Tilley Morris Road, which is present location of Charlotte Station 9. In 1985, they relocated about three-and-a-half miles south and into Union County, to their present location at 5025 Hemby Road.

Google finds these presentation slides (PDF) from April 2012, from the Union County Fire Commission and related to this issue.

What's the history of fire protection in Weddington? The town has a population of 10,101 and area of 15.9 square miles. Have they ever had their own municipal fire department? To be determined. Guessing they've relied on contract protection from PFD since the department extended into Union County in 1985. Maybe readers can help with history here.





Mike, is there any word as to what Providence will do with all their equipment?
John Maynard (Email) - 07/28/15 - 21:23



  
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