07/09/14 896 W, 2 I - + 7 - 3 UPDATED: Notes on Wilmington's Fire Station Restructuring Plan

July 9
The Star News reported yesterday that Wilmington Fire Chief Buddy Martinette briefed City Council on the fire station restructuring plan on Tuesday. His presentation can be viewed here in an audio and video recording of yesterday's meeting. His segment starts at 00:14:26. His slides include these high-level points about the plan:

He also notes other objectives have already been completed: automatic aid agreement with New Hanover County FD, participation in a regional incident management system and regional tactical guidelines, and a programmed fleet replacement schedule for every piece of apparatus.

His presentation also includes an update on the new Station 3, and the bids they've received on the project. There are some options for council to consider, such as building the station minus one of the four bays. Or, minus two of the sleeping areas. Or, minus both. Plus a bid option of adding a security fence to the employee parking.

The Star-News story includes this partial image of the Station 3 design rendering:


July 8
Firefighters for a Safer Wilmington is a Facebook group, and a social media movement in response to the fire department's fire station plan. They oppose the closures and their position is noted in this handout, which is posted on the site (in the photos gallery).

Reminds me of a letter to the editor of the News & Observer written by myself a double decade ago (in collaboration with firefighters), when the Raleigh Fire Chief at the time was proposing closing Station 5 and 6, and Station 1 and 3, and building a pair of replacement, consolidated stations. The plan was later rejected by City Council.     

June 16
FireNews.net yesterday posted a story originating with WECT, that the Wilmington Fire Department is planning the restructuring of its fire stations. The plans, which have been cooking for some years, include the closure of four stations and the construction of two new stations. (Guessing that the "closure" aspect will be the prominent or first-appearing detail in subsequent headlines and stories.) Here's a hastily constructed overview of the story and the details gleaned thus far. Still have some to add. Still need some validation, such as... does WFD have just two ladder companies? But other aerial apparatus, with some engines operating quints, correct? And what are the ages of the stations planned for closure?

More later. Watch this space.

Department statistics:

Four stations planned for closure:

Two stations planned for construction, and one company relocated:

Closure planning:

Construction planning:

Facility Study

Issues included:

Consultant-offered solutions for each station at different price points:

Consultant recommendations:



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