EASTERN WAKE FIRE DEPARTMENT and TOWN of KNIGHTDALE CONSOLIDATION DISCUSSIONS
UPDATE: (2/10/2020) The public meeting discussing the potential merger is planned for this Thursday, February 13th, at 7:00 PM. It will be held at Bethlehem Baptist Church fellowship hall, 8400 Poole Road.
KNIGHTDALE – The Eastern Wake Fire Rescue Department (EWFD) and the Town of Knightdale initiated discussions to explore a potential consolidation of the departments on April 18, 2019. Representatives from each organization have participated in a series of discussions to identify the benefits of merging EWFD into the Town’s exiting department.
The Town commissioned Brooks Innovative Solutions in 2017 to perform an assessment of the Knightdale Fire Department. The study’s purpose was to provide the Town with the necessary information to make informed decisions on meeting the department’s growing needs. One of the primary findings was to “highly recommend that the Town, County and Fire District (EWFD) jointly enter into a merger/consolidation feasibility study to determine the opportunities, benefits and potential processes.”
EWFD currently contracts with Wake County to provide fire protection services for a portion of the Alert Fire District which is a geographic area that borders the town’s limits. As Wake County continues to experience high growth pressures, the consolidation of private, non-profit fire departments into municipal entities is becoming advantageous to ensure adequate services for all residents. Similar conversations are on-going in the Towns of Garner and Wake Forest.
Knightdale Fire Chief Loren Cone stated “the opportunity for consolidation between the Eastern Wake and Knightdale Fire Departments gives the combined organization the ability to improve outcomes for our neighbors experiencing an emergency in eastern Wake County. These improvements will come from a streamlined approach to emergency response, enhancements in training, and more efficient distribution of resources throughout our region. The combined agency, founded on the strong history of cooperation between both, represents a rare opportunity to build a model fire service system that provides immediate benefit to both the citizens and the staff.”
An informational meeting will be held on February 6, 2020 at 7:00pm at Eastern Wake Station Number 1, located at 4828 Clifton Road, Knightdale. Residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about the benefits of a consolidation of the departments.
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