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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Board of Commissioners met Wednesday to talk about the proposed Pender County EMS fire department mergers.

Wednesday nights meeting was at times heated, but by the end of the night the Pender County Board of Commissioners voted and the merger passed.

Pender County EMS Director Woody Sullivan has been working for several months on a plan to unite the multiple fire departments within the county.

“I think tonight was a good meeting. There was some good exchange between us and the county to come up with what I feel like is a really good conclusion to move forward with this merger and consolidation,” said Sullivan.

Sloop Point Fire Department, Long Creek Fire Department, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department and Scotts Hill Fire District are now under the umbrella of Pender EMS.

The Chairman of the Pender County Commissioners says this a move that should have happened a long time ago.

“You get a lot of complaints from the community about the fire departments and because the fire departments are their own entity they have their own board,” said George Brown.

Several of the residents who were at Wednesday’s meeting said the county and the commissioners did not do enough to get the word out about the meeting and the merger.

“I wish the commissioners did not have a deadline,” said Al Freimark who lives in Hampstead. “It would have been nice for them to postpone the vote until their homework was done and presented to the people.”

The new organization will be called Pender EMS and Fire Incorporated.

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