05/20/09 189 W - + 10 - 13 Wake County Fire Commission Meeting, Thursday, May 21 (Updated)

The Wake County Fire Commission meets this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The place is the Wake EMS Training Facility, which is at the Wake County Commons Building, which is at 4011 Carya Drive. Drive all the way around to the back of the building. Look for a large number of red and white sport utility vehicles. They come from a far.

An agenda has been provided for the meeting, along with draft minutes from the prior two meetings. View those documents. The agenda:

Mike, did you attend? Can you post a summary of what happened?
wcff - 05/22/09 - 09:30

Ask and ye shall receive.

The Commission approved Staffing Ad Hoc Committee recommendations regarding two remaining county-funded FF positions. Fuquay keeps one allocated position, as the town has indicated that it will match the position. The town’s commitment to matching the position was previously uncertain, if memory serves. And Fairview acquires a position previously allocated to Apex. After the town received their SAFER grant, AFD returned the county-allocated position. The SAHC recommended reassignment to Fairview, with the proviso that FFD reassign current part-time staffing monies to full-time positions, thus giving 24/7 staffing of at least one engine company.

The facilities committee presented a number of updates, all of which are detailed in their handout. I’m awaiting soft copies for uploading here.

A couple discussions resulted, one involving issues involving a water supply for the sprinkler system at Fairview Station 1. The sprinklers are required by law as part of dormitory upgrades. The water supply issue goes something like this. The fire station is outside the town. But a town water main runs right in front of the station. The town doesn’t want to allow a hook-up, unless the fire station allows its property to be annexed. But the fire department doesn’t own the property, the community center does. The latter entity does not desire annexation. Additionally, the property resides in a watershed, so water and sewer developments are restricted.

Another facilities discussion involved the fire station closure list. The county and committees therein have been discussing and examining fire station closures for five years now. To date, only one has been closed, Western Wake Station 2. There are four stations presently on the closure list, which, if memory serves, are Western Wake Station 1, New Hope Station 1, Falls, and Bay Leaf Station 3. It was expressed that those four stations have been sitting in limbo, with regard to such considerations as facility improvements and staff. What happens if none of those four are closed? Will the county and the fire commission retroactively examine and grant funding for facilities improvements, staffing additions, etc.? County staff indicated that progress continues to be made at examining coverage for the territories of the stations on the closure list. County staff indicated that they will provide a recommendation—or maybe something like that—at the next meeting in July. There are still things being examined, discussed, researched, etc. Such as, say, how much the city of Raleigh would charge for protecting contracted areas.

This coming Fire Tax District Budget was discussed, as a follow-up to the previous special-called meeting in April. As the minutes indicate—Yours Truly was out of town—the fire commission passed the budget with two exceptions: do not add six new FF positions, and hold the approximate $16,000 appropriated per department for operating increases, and hold that amount in a contingency fund for departments to request from, if they have emergency needs. The second item was discussed at length, and also generated public comment at the end of the meeting. There seemed to be two opinions on that issue. One camp sees withholding the monies as a prudent move. The other camp sees the monies as already amply-considered and thus intended for distribution.

Wake Forest Fire Department presented a proposal to merge with Falls Fire Department. See their handout for details, which we’ll post when we receive a soft copy. (Or maybe we’ll scan same.) They presented a proposal, which was approved. They will return in about three months with a timetable and plan, for the commission to also approve. There are benefits to Falls, to Wake Forest, and to the county. The merger is expected to take two years. FFD people and equipment will transfer to WFFD. The fire station and property will not, at least as proposed, as it belongs to the community. The FFD district will be covered by WFFD Station 2 and Bay Leaf.

Those are my recollections and understandings of what transpired.

Contact the County Fire Marshal’s office to request audio recordings of the meeting.

Or ask others.

Or post your own corrections or comments.

Or start showing up!
Legeros - 05/22/09 - 18:01

Facilities Committee and WFFD-FFD merger handouts scanned and uploaded, http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/photos/we..
Legeros - 05/22/09 - 18:21

Any idea how many part-time positions Fairview will need to get rid of?
southern_wake - 05/23/09 - 18:18

The remaining handouts from this meeting have been uploaded, http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/photos/we..
Legeros - 06/03/09 - 17:50

“Such as, say, how much the city of Raleigh would charge for protecting contracted areas.” -This is what I don’t understand. Where would the city have to respond to that they don’t currently if a station was closed? Every contracted area I know of already gets a county and city unit which is totally asinine.
RescueRanger - 06/03/09 - 22:35

On a related historical note, I’ve found references to the city being contracted for county fire protection in the 1970s, when RFD covered some areas on Highway 401 south, below Highway 70. From planning documents from that time— and if memory serves— it looks like the city expected to expand in that direction, and even would build a fire station in the area of Highway 401 and Old Stage Road.
Legeros - 06/03/09 - 23:14

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