03/13/15 685 W - + 8 - 2 Durham County Taking Over Parkwood Fire Department

As reported in these stories from the Durham Herald and News & Observer this week, Durham County is preparing to take over operations of the Parkwood Fire Department. On Monday, County Commissioners approved the transfer of fifteen full-time employees from PFD to DCFD. The move may happen next week, with the full operational transfer (equipment, part-time and volunteer members, and tax district) happening later in the spring.

Here's the county budget ordinance in its entirety, which was passed with unanimous vote:

The Board is requested to approve Budget Ordinance Amendment No. 15BCC000045 for the creation of 15 full-time Durham County fire suppression positions, to transition 15 full-time employees currently employed by Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department, as of March 16, 2015. An estimated cost of $268,000 for salary and benefits will be transferred from the Parkwood Fire District Fund to fund these salaries.

In a letter dated October 29, 2014, the President of the Board of Directors at Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department requested the County of Durham absorb Parkwood’s employees, assets of the corporation, and all fire operations for the Parkwood Service District by June 30, 2015. If authorized by the Board of County Commissioners the public will see no change in service on July 1, 2015, as a result of this change.

TheThe Board is requested to approve the creation of 2 Assistant Chief positions, 6 Fire Captain positions, 6 Fire Driver positions, and 1 Firefighter position, to transition 15 full-time employees currently employed by Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department, as of March 16, 2015, and the transfer of $268,000 from the Parkwood Fire District Fund to the County General Funds for salary and benefits of the 15 full-time employees.

Organizational History

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1968. Their first fire station was located across the street from their current Station 1 at 1409 Seaton Road. Their first apparatus was delivered on May 14, 1969, a new 1969 Ward LaFrance 1000 GPM pumper, numbered Engine 966. The department was placed in service on May 16, 1969. The three-mile Parkwood Fire District was approved on January 15, 1970. The following year, a four-mile district was approved.

In March 1972, the department placed their first ambulance/rescue unit in service, a 1964 Ford Econoline van that they converted. In 1976, the department moved into new quarters, the present Seaton Road location. In 1983, the Parkwood West Fire District was created and a second station was opened the following year at 4200 Farrington Road. In 1986, a third fire station was opened on Old Page Road.

In 1990s, they became a combination department, adding paid members to their volunteer staff. In 1997, they entered into a cooperative venture with Durham County Emergency Management and began staffing North Carolina Haz-Mat Regional Response Team 4. They operated same until 2004, when RRT4 moved to Raleigh. In 1998, the department upgraded its EMS service level to Paramedic. Read more history.

County Fire Department

Durham County Fire and Rescue began operations on July 1, 2013. They assumed the operations and assets of the Bethesda Volunteer Fire Company. Read prior blog posting. (That year, the county also contracted a consultant to evaluate the county's fire services. Read blog posting about the recommendations therein.)

Also, BFD was solely a fire department by that time. They had ceased EMS operations on December 31, 2012, along with Bahama and Redwood fire departments. Parkwood FD ceased EMS operations on July 1, 2013. (Durham County EMS is the provider for those districts.)

As of July 1, 2014, they had thirty-one full-time employees and twenty-five volunteer employees. In 2013, they answered 1,452 fire and EMS (first responder) calls. The department is part of the Durham County Fire Marshal's office, under the Division of Fire Suppression.

July 1, 2015, is the target date for the county assuming Parkwood's operations. One pending action is public approval of merging the Parkwood tax district with the Bethesda tax district.

Once completed, Durham County Fire & Rescue will have five fire stations and become the second largest fire department in the county. Here's the station list, from this Carolinas Fire Page list of fire stations:

Company 410 - Bethesda Sta 1 - 1724 S Miami Boulevard
Company 420 - Bethesda Sta 2 - 7305 Leesville Road
Company 610 - Parkwood Sta 1 - 1409 Seaton Road
Company 620 - Parkwood Sta 2 - 4300 Farrington Road
Company 630 - Parkwood Sta 3 - 4716 Old Page Road

See these mapped via FDmaps.com.

So other than DCFR & DFD who else is (or, will be) providing coverage in Durham county?
Paul - 03/13/15 - 10:29

Paul, the remaining departments in the county are: Bahama, Lebanon, and redwood.
jimmy - 03/13/15 - 17:41

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