SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The Caswell Beach Fire Department was struggling after Brunswick County made a cut in supplemental funding. So, they turned to Southport for some help.
The Southport Board of Alderman voted to help out their neighbors over in Caswell Beach after they came asking for help. The B.O.A signed a contract for fire protection for the Town of Caswell Beach starting July 1.
“The Board of Alderman’s decision did not come as a surprise. It did come as a surprise when Caswell Beach approached us,” Southport Fire Chief Charles Drew said.
That means the Caswell Beach Fire Department will merge with the Southport Fire Department to get more resources. Drew says this was a result of Brunswick County cutting funds from fire departments.
“The fire department that was servicing Caswell Beach, they had a very small district and a very small amount of calls per year and so there was not enough revenue in that size of a district to support a standalone fire department,” Drew said.
Chief Drew says the only problem they see in the future is when the Oak Island Bridge closes but they already have a plan worked out.
“We’re going to have the station staffed 24 hours a day with the correct number of people that it takes to satisfy requirements with the state, fire marshals office and everything looks like it’s on target and everything will be fine during that time period,” Drew said.
People in the area say they’re glad the merger went through especially since tourist season started.
“People coming to the beach to vacation. I mean the more resources the better for everybody,” Steve Ramsey said.
Drew says right now the hardest part is transferring the people at the Caswell Fire Department into the Southport Fire Department’s system, but he should finish it soon.