Fire department’s exodus raises response time concerns


WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County fire department is in limbo after its chief was dismissed and several firefighters resigned Friday.

At a special meeting, Chief Jason Coveyou was removed from his job at the Waccamaw Volunteer Fire Department. Immediately following the news, several firefighters also resigned.

Waccamaw Fire and Rescue (Courtesy: Facebook)
Waccamaw Fire and Rescue (Courtesy: Facebook)
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According to a document obtained by WWAY from the board of directors, the chief was “overstepping his authority on many occasions.” Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner said on Monday afternoon that with low volunteer staffing available, response times could be affected.

“Neighboring departments are working with them to make sure the calls are getting answered and that there is extra staff there so every call in Waccamaw/Ash area is getting answered and getting taken care of,” Garner said.

One of the firefighters who turned in his gear following the news of now former chief Jason Coveyou said calls are not being answered. He said using an app that helps alert firefighters in the area, he’s noticed several calls go unanswered.

“Six or seven calls since Friday night, and not one of them has been answered,” he said.

The firefighter has been working at the department since 2000. Now the building is empty.

“It’s really sad because we worked really hard to this place to where it was,” he said.

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