LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Community members came out to Leland Town Hall for an information meeting about the future of fire services in northern Brunswick County.
The meeting at Leland town hall was very casual and open, as citizens of the community came to ask questions and get answers.
Residents were able to communicate with multiple volunteers from the Leland Fire Department about new procedures.
Chief John Grimes says the large turnout at the meeting shows overwhelming support from the community.
“Typically, you see one family at a time. But for the families to get out and come and find out information about their fire department, it’s a good feeling for us,” Grimes said.
Attendees also learned that by July 1, the Leland Fire Department will be a part of the town government, and before that, the department’s state-mandated probation ends.
“June the first, we are no longer on probation. While I have always maintained that the probation was a distraction, and I still maintain that, the probation is just simply a distraction to what the facts are and that is that we needed more paid staff, we need more funding,” Grimes said.
The people of Leland and surrounding areas like Belville came out to the meeting, grateful for the fire department reaching out to multiple areas.
“I learned that through the merger that we are going to be able to have our volunteers still there. But at the same time we’re going to increase the man power both at the main station plus the auxiliary station down at Westport,” Mark McAllister, a Belville resident, said.
In the end, many people are happy for the fire department’s accomplishment.
“To us, it’s very important to have these firemen full time instead of part time,” McAllister said.
The meeting had plenty to offer for those attending.
Chief Grimes says the next steps are to get equipment replaced and to build a permanent station for the Brunswick Forest community.