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SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — After more than 46 years on the job, a Pender County F
fire department finds itself at a crossroads.

Members of the Surf City Volunteer Fire Department say they found out last week the county plans to end its contract for their service, giving members a tough decision to make.

The members of the Surf City Volunteer Fire Department met Monday evening to vote on the department’s future. A future that is still unclear.

For the men and women of Fire Station 1200 saving lives is their way of life.

“This is a family. We are dedicated to one another. We are fireman. We run into fires, not away from fires and you have to depend on your brother. You don’t have a choice but to depend on your brother. We have a strong brotherhood here and we are bound together,” said David Garten.

Monday evening 53 members of the department came together to discuss their future.

“I think we are going to try and merge with Pender EMS. As a group we decided that tonight, but we are hoping to get something a little better from the county officials and see what is going to happen from there,” said Paul Werkmeister.

Both Garten and Werkmeister are members of the volunteer fire department.

Several options on the table included merging with Pender EMS, merging with the Town of Surf City Fire Department or even shutting their doors for good.

“We want the citizens here in this district to know what’s going on. Don’t keep it a secret from them. Let them know. We want the county commissioners to come here and meet with us. Let’s all be honest with one another,” said Garten.

Rep. Mike McIntyre presented the department with a federal grant Monday, which would let them buy much needed equipment.

If the department merges with Pender EMS all the departments equipment maybe sold to cover more than $400,000 in outstanding debt.

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33 Comments on "Volunteer fire department faces tough decision"

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SCVFD member
2016 years 2 months ago

Do you think it justifies to keep on with this? No matter what your opinion is its just an opinion. Please for the sake of our dignity, your dignity, and our district or county, please stop. I know a lot of people have a grudge with meatball, but this is past him. A lot of Good people including public, are going get hurt because of this. People are verbally attacking people and calling people out on facebook. A High ranking officer has verbally attacked members and public. I mean does anyone know no bound. People need to realize… Read more »

lives in district
2016 years 2 months ago

Fyi for everyone who says $400,000 of debt is a lot is obviously not in the fire service. That is minimal for a fire dept. The thing about there debt is that they are not behind on any payments. A typical fire truck by itself is over $500,000. So tell me how $400,000 is a lot of debt for a fire dept. When other fire depts in the area are at 2 million combined in debt give or take. One local fire dept is in over a million in debt and they go out and buy a$50,000 kitchen. Thats crazy… Read more »

fredrick gram
2016 years 2 months ago

I think this will be a good move for both fire departments there are a lot of great people on both. I bet if this move happens this will become an unstoppable department. there will be no greater fire protection on the east side of the county. scvfd has great members and great officers and leaders of the department, who are any of you to judge them like yall don’t make bad mistake in your decisions. these a great guys both paid and volunteer. theses guys do a lot for our community. this will be a great move for the… Read more »

Guest 0201
2016 years 2 months ago

OK when something of yours is on fire are you gonna ask whose certified to go save your things no I don’t think.

2016 years 2 months ago

Oh by the way just because it in the paper doesn’t mean its true so y’all want to go bye here say and judge our department and I’m sure none of you have the personal experience to b a fire fighter and there are more than two great fire fighters OH AND BY THE WAY THEY ARE VOULEENTER they don’t get paid it take an awesome and brave person to run in fires and put them out and all they ask in return is respect they don’t ask for money and by the way they do need gear and things… Read more »

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