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ONLY ON 3: Fire merger could cost county $250,000

Volunteer firefighters could get hosed, and taxpayers could pick up the $250,000 tab. Tonight New Hanover County Commissioners will meet to discuss consolidating paid and volunteer fire services, but a merger could be expensive.

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Setting all other arguments

Setting all other arguments aside about the Fire service consolidation, I have one question. How will response times improve by ending the relationship with the volunteer departments? Are not paid staff on duty 24 hours? Volunteers or not, nothing will change in response times. The career staff will still be there answering calls in the same timely manner. So, again, how will response times change? Sounds like a political spin playing on the fears of the citizens. If consolidation is the best course then fine. But don't put a spin on it that would suggest that volunteers hinder response time and that the answer to that problem would be Fire Service consolidation.

Career/Volunteer Firefighter