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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Today, New Hanover County asked the City of Wilmington to jointly participate in a study as the next step in looking at options for the city and county governing boards to consider in providing fire service to the community. Fire service is one of several areas City Manager Sterling Cheatham and County Manager Chris Coudriet have discussed over the last several months about how the city and county might work more collaboratively to reduce costs or increase service.

Coudriet sent Cheatham a letter asking the city to partner with the county to commission a study to identify any efficiencies that could be achieved through further partnering of the two fire departments. The letter went on to state that the study “evaluate the current conditions of each agency, including their organization structure, staffing, capital assets,
and service delivery; and future opportunities for cooperative efforts, including multiple
options for shared services up to and including consolidation.”

The request grew out of an initial conversation held between City Council and County commissioners during a joint work session held Aug. 9, 2012 to discuss several issues, including possible options for future collaboration between the two governments.

At two subsequent staff meetings over the last few months, the managers discussed several common services areas that could feasibly be considered for further review, with fire service
being one that could be looked at in the short term.

If the elected bodies agree to study the fire issue further by conducting a study, they will be asked to split the cost, estimated at $50,000. At this point, no dates for any specific actions have been scheduled.

The feasibility of further review of other service areas will continue over the next several months.

“As public dollars continue to shrink, we must responsibly look for ways to save money
while also maintaining our high level of service,” said City Manager Sterling Cheatham. “We
must ensure that both city and county residents benefit from any further collaboration.”

“This is part of our ongoing effort to explore shared and reduced costs without compromising
on service delivery,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “This study, if agreed to, is simply the first step in determining what is feasible, and comes as a suggestion after several conversations with city leadership and the board of commissioner’s expectations to look harder at local partnerships.”

Comment on this Story

  • fu9l

    Paid firemen are nothing more then leeches to our economy and our taxes i have over 150 years of firemen in my family and not a single one including myself were ever paid. it is a insult to good firemen across the country this leech thing is going to far anything to make a buck over the outstanding help the vol. do for the community. those who are paid are not real firemen they do not have the morals or the integrity of a true fireman. being paid as a fireman to a true fireman is a insult and a discrace to the profession……

  • Rampart51

    Maybe you have a touch of smoke inhalation? Smoking crack is bad for you, Fu9l.

  • Firefighter’s Cousin

    Then may I ask why have you quit being a volunteer? Is it because you are not quilified to continue to do so? There a serveral departments in the area that use vol and paid firemen “as you call it” today though, they are generaly referred to as fire fighters. Most of the ones I know paid and volunteer love there position wherever they are and have basicly the same moral code that is of the upmost honor I challenge you to find some morals. Stop pointing and make a difference. And by the way its 19 now not 91!

  • Guest2020

    So, what you are saying is that the firemen who collect a paycheck don’t put their lives on the line, like the ones who don’t? Just because your family did it one way, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is wrong.

  • notasheeple

    Wow, are you a little mad you didn’t pass the CPAT for a paid position?

    Volunteer or paid we still do the same thing. In this day and age it is sometimes necessary to have paid crews at fire houses because people are working farther away from home or their fire districts, and employers wont let you leave work most of the time because the fire whistle, siren pager goes off.

    despite paid crews, firefighting is still a 75 % volunteer activity.
    I highly doubt they will ever completely erase volunteer crews but as work gets harder and farther away from your districts there maybe more of a need for paid crews.

    All this being said I am a volunteer firefighter and I will not piss on my paid brothers they way you have.

  • jj

    To start I bet the paid Firemen have more education than you do. It is clear in you comment you need a little help.

    I see most volunteer doing it so they can put the little red lights on their vehicle so they can cut in and out of traffic to get where the fire is. To me this puts people at risk and with the paid firemen they are already at the station ready to go.

    So, to protect the people, I think this is a great idea.

  • ChefnSurf

    Gee, some of your family members must be really old!

    While I commend your passion towards volunteerism, your post is inherently stupid and offensive.

    “they do not have the morals or the integrity of a true fireman”? ….. I dare you to say that to the families and friends of all of those “paid” firemen who bravely rushed up the darkened stairwells of the twin towers in NYC on 9-11. Or to all of the families and friends of all the other “paid” firemen who have sacrificed their lives while helping others. I doubt you would survive more than two minutes.

    Apparently, you’ve also volunteered to be a jerk.

  • Angewidert

    That’s the one where Rick Moranis plays a goofy Darth Vader and walks around wearing a gigantic helmet that comes down to his chest. He struts though the entire movie with an air if ridiculous self importance ……….. Except for the type of helmet, he reminds me of you.

  • Guest 1492

    You so fit the profile of the undereducated wanna-be. According to a poster down the page a bit, you couldn’t even cut it as a volunteer.

    Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see your name on this site sometime in the future as one of those whackos who actually start fires.

    Do us all a favor and just crawl back under your rock.

  • Guest12345

    It’s fairly obvious that your hatred for Career Firefighters must stem from your inability to get a job with the Wilmington F.D., New Hanover F.D., or some other career department, but your comments concerning the dedication and commitment of career firefighters throughout this area, and this country, has got to be the most stupid, and asinine comments I have ever heard.

    First of all, this is not an article concerning the area having a volunteer or a paid department; it is about the possibility of consolidating two paid departments. From your comments, it appears to me that either you can’t read very well, or because of your deep seated hatred of Career Firefighters, you will take the opportunity to have your ill-informed opinions heard whenever the topic of firefighters are involved.

    From what little research I did, I believe that the WFD responded to over 13,000 calls last year, and NHCFD responds to about 7,000. Now if you honestly believe that a group of volunteers can respond to over 20,000 calls for service (by the way, that’s a call for service about every 25 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc., etc.), then you really are delusional. While it is true that there are smaller communities who need, and rely on Volunteer Firefighters, the Wilmington/New Hanover County area is not one of those. And while I am sure that most Career Firefighters respect the commitment of Volunteers (heck, I believe that some of the Career Firefighters in Wilmington volunteer in the smaller communities that they live in) your disrespect for Career Firefighters is a shame.

    Now to address your stupid comments concerning the morals and commitment of Career Firefighters, I ask you: “Were the 343 FDNY Firefighters who died on 9/11, the nine Charleston Firefighters who died at the Sofa Store, the Asheville Firefighter who died a year or two ago at an office building fire, and the four Houston Firefighters who died last week in service to their community, are they of low moral standards or dedication? Are they? Or is someone like you, who cannot get a job as a Career Firefighter because you are either out of shape, not smart enough, won’t take the time and effort to improve yourself, or cannot past the entrance exam, of low moral standards and dedication?

    I’ll give you a piece of advice, stop blaming others for your failure to become a Career Firefighter and get off your fat, lazy, un-educated rear end and put in half the time and dedication that our Career Firefighters do on a daily basis, and maybe one day you can become the Career Firefighter that who so deeply want to become. Lastly, if you spent half as much time trying to improve yourself as you do making uneducated posts on this website, maybe you could become a Career Firefighter one day.

    And one last thing, The Wilmington F.D. has been a Career Department for 116 years, and just as I am sure the Career Firefighters in Wilmington would thank your family members for their service to their community, I too thank the brave men and women of the Wilmington F.D. for the dedication and commitment to serving this community for over 100 years, while still having to deal with people like you.

  • Guest33

    You’re nothing more than a waste of air and space after making a comment like that. What’s an insult is the fact that you call yourself a fireman. No one ever questioned what the volunteers do for the community. We appreciate all they do, but you my friend have some serious issues… Have a nice day.


    Really? Doctors save people everyday,Maybe we should all get free health care too?Better yet policemen save people everyday and maybe they should do it for free to? You should have your head examined!

  • Vog46

    Is a good thing but why stop there?
    HR can be combined
    Any maintenance functions can be combined
    Budgets? Except for coding – both could be handled by a single finance department.

    I suppose they had to start somewhere


  • Don Wrong

    Let’s hope they have their ducks in a row with this one before they shove everyone together. The CFPUA merger was a disaster.

  • Guest2020

    Thank you very much for what you do. I am on the other side of the coin in that I have needed the assistance of the fire department twice in my life, once for a house fire when I was little and the other time for a car fire. As a result, I do have a special place in my heart for y’all.

    And on a side note to fu9l, I didn’t stop to ask the firefighters if they were paid or volunteer, I was simply grateful for their assistance.


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