06/21/13 257 W - + 2 - 2 Eastern Wake Leery of Knightdale Merger Proposal

That's the headline of yesterday's story from the Eastern Wake News. The opening paragraphs summarize the situation well: "Eastern Wake Fire and Rescue is an independent fire [department] that serves 17,292 people between Raleigh, Knightdale, Wendell and Garner. [They're] funded by Wake County tax dollars. But, because [the county] says its current fire service structure is unsustainable, the county manager’s office has asked Wake towns to consider merging with independent stations nearby."

The town of Knightdale is open to the idea of a merger. In April, they began a study of the financial benefits of a merger. Based on the results of that study, the town recently submitted a merger proposal to Eastern Wake. There are some kinks to be worked out, as the article notes. The proposal, called a "preliminary draft document" by the Deputy County Manager who is coordinating the merger, would reduce the number of Eastern Wake personnel from 27 to 24 employees, shrink their service area some, and change their Hester Street fire station to an all-volunteer facility. These are points to be further discussed by both parties, notes the story.

Currently, it costs KFD and EWFD a combined $2.69 million to provide service to both areas. That amount is reduced to $2.56 million under the town's current proposal. There's also an estimated $2 million of savings for the town, as it negates the need for a future fire station on Hodge Road. Read the entire story and feel free to criticize my paraphrasing as needed.

The town is fooling itself thinking it negates the need for the Hodge Rd station. Currently the Steeple Square station and the Poole Rd station are in a 5-6 minute response dead heat to that area which has Knightdales 2 biggest housing developments, Mingo Creek and Princeton Manor. Not to mention combining departments but dropping to 2 total stations instead of 3 is going to be a problem when the departments run a combined 3000 calls currently. That side of town is still being neglected as much as it is today if the town things it can forgo a west side of town station by merging. As a resident of mingo creek i am upset reading this. We were told we would have that station 6 years ago, and now another way to avoid it. Fire doubles every 30 seconds, 1 minute to call and process and dispatch. 2 minutes enroute time, 5 minutes on scene to that area if not more, especially on the back sides of the neighborhoods, we are talking 8-10 minutes on a good day to get a truck to those residents. Poor logic Knightdale!
Resident of Mingo - 06/21/13 - 16:06

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