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I am an educated citizen of new Hanover County who doesn't know much about the fire departments but I do know a few things about business. I would first like to point out that I can decipher the two strong views of what is going on. I am aware that everyone is entitled to their opinions but this blog is sounds like my 10 year old and his friends fighting over their Transformers. I see the pressure is on the Volunteer Fire Departments to “prove” they are worth staying around. I take it that the other side would consist of the New Hanover County Fire Department employees. I am upset that my tax dollars are supplying very important and trusted jobs to such immature people. I am business owner and if my employees publicly acted as you have I would be hiring and you all would be standing in the unemployment line. I strongly hope your boss will get you all under control. As for the Volunteers, I understand that desperate times call for desperate measures but you need to continue to hold your heads high and walk with grace and dignity. Remember that the public has always loved and will continue to love a volunteer firefighter. Be respectful in what you say because you never know who is reading something like this.
Facts: I don't know all the facts involved with what is going on here but what I can say is that my house is not withing 1000 feet of a fire hydrant and worth around 275,000 and it looks like if the takeover happens my insurance company will be writing me a check every month. I am all for that! I am a business owner and have done work for the city of Wilmington in the past. The work I performed for the city of Wilmington required some special tools that I bought with the money they paid me. Does this mean when I sell those tools I need to give the money back to the city? I am a business man that respects the tax dollar but these “private Corporations” are their own corporations that have a contract to provide a service. I think I have that right. If not, someone please explain it to me differently. The last concept I don't understand is that what is better then free help? It seems that after reading the post we will not have many volunteers left to assist in battling fires if the fire departments are taken over by New Hanover County. If this is true then how are we going to replace them. Will more employees fix this problem? If it will then that will cost New Hanover County money. Where will that come from? More taxes? I don't think in these horrible economic times the homeowners can afford another tax increase. I know the sales tax increase will help but we now know it wasn't exactly what we thought is was going to be so property taxes are sure to rise and now we are looking at even more. I am also aware that every fire station has full time paid staff in them. So how will response times decrease? They are already there and will be traveling the same distance so to what advantage will we as the taxpayer get out of a faster response time?
I would like to thank both volunteer and paid firefighters of New Hanover County for doing what you do. I would like some answers to the questions above and please be respectful between both volunteer and paid firefighters. I am not looking for the my answer is better then your, just an education about the truth and what is going to happen.

Thank you

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