11/22/06 592 W - + 10 - 10 Wake County in 2016?

What will the county and the fire protection therein look like in, say, twenty years? Looking at these county fire service maps, a couple predictions come to mind. First, municipal expansion will continue (duh), and from both inside and outside Wake County. Such as Durham creeping eastward. Will every square-inch of land be annexed by someone or someone else within 20 years? Doubt that. Thus, rural districts will remain, and probably in the greatest number from the northeast to the southwest. Second, donut holes will probably still be a problem. So let's throw that into our prognostication engine. Third, stations will open, close, and merge as they always have. Fourth, with each new generation of firefighters and fire chiefs, the traditional resistance to change will change for the better.

So where does that leave us, looking a double decade forward?

North of Raleigh and west of Wake Forest, one or more of the private departments will still be around. Most likely still around? Bay Leaf or Stony Hill. Least likely? Falls. On the northeast side of the county, Wake Forest and Rolesville will handle handle. And maybe with Franklin County encroaching from the north. Due east, and outside Raleigh and Rolesville, there'll remain another good-sized chunk of unincorporated area. Again, probably one or more private departments will still be around. There's also the Little River Reservoir planned north (or is it north east?) of Wendell that could shake things up, if developed as prime residential property. It'll also split some territory, require new resource arrangements on each side of the thing. (Estimated completion is 2025, so it'll be some years out...)

East of Garner, southeast of Raleigh, and south of Knightdale / Wendell / Zebulon, there's another area that will need protection. Eastern Wake will probably be around for a while. There are also potential wildcards with GFD and WFD. Both are private-run departments. If either town elects to run those FDs themselves, the options would be limited to (a.) department fully merges into town, (b.) department partially merges into town, and (c.) department doesn't merge into town and operates independently, while town creates its own, second department.

South of Garner and east of Fuquay will be another unincorporated area of probably reasonably good size. Will Johnston County creep into the picture from the east? South of Raleigh but north of Fuquay, and east of Cary, and west of Garner, is probably a shrinking mass. Will both Swift Creek and Fairview have territory in 20 years, or perhaps have merged?

West of Fuquay and southwest of Holly Springs will stay protected by those towns. Anything around the nuclear plant will probably stay rural, e.g. not annexed. Especially if the plant expands. Due west of Apex and west of Cary will undoubtedly be annexed and stay protected by those towns. North of Cary, any remaining rural areas will be protected by Morrisville. West of Raleigh but east of Cary, contract fire protection for donut holes is probably more likely than anything else. Then again, maybe Western Wake will still be around in 20 years.

So, outside of municipalities, it's a safe prediction that rural FDs will remain in northern Wake, northeastern Wake, southeastern Wake, and mid-southern Wake. Or perhaps the FDs will exist as a single county entity. If the latter, resources could be deployed with greater flexibility. Such as combination stations, where a municipality and WCFD share a facility. Or roaming manpower units, that respond to working fires with a handful of paid personnel.

Indeed, a future so bright you had better wear shades!

There is talk about EW to get another station on the south side of there district just a rocks throw away from the JC line to cover some of the no man’s land. I believe Garner is has plans as well.
Guest - 11/24/06 - 13:00

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