Leland Fire and Rescue chief discusses probation
LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Monday afternoon, Leland Fire and Rescue Chief John Grimes addressed the Leland Town Council about the department recently being put on probation.
Grimes said the probation stemmed from four calls where they didn’t have the state required amount of crew members. He said during those four calls just three crew members responded instead of the state mandated three. Grimes said it was four calls out 1,820 calls.
He said staffing is a big issue for the small department with 16 full time firefighters, 4 for each shift.
“We need to identify more career staff folks and identify funding source for those folks to get them up and going,” said Grimes.
Grimes said they applied for $3.4 million federal grant that would add 24 positions for 2 years. He said this is the only grant that provides funding specifically for personnel.
Grimes said they are looking for outside funding because the fire fee isn’t enough for the growing population.
“The fire fees that the county currently uses just doesn’t keep pace,” said Grimes. “As time has grown and our community has grown the fire fees are just simply not keeping up with the demand that’s there.”
For now, Grimes said to make sure four crew members are on every call they will require two paid crew members to be at the station at all times and they will keep two people on call at all times.
Grimes said it is important for people to understand the Leland Fire and Rescue is not run by the town of Leland. He said it is a service they provide to the community. And they can respond anywhere in the county.