On Monday, July 4, 2022, the Wilmington (NC) Fire Department activated three new squad companies, at Headquarters on Market street, Station 3 on Cinema Drive, and Station 8 on Eastwood Road. Each operates a 2022 Ford F-350/Knapheide utility truck, and is staffed with an officer and a Master Firefighter.
The squad concept is part of a new deployment model. By using quick-response vehicles (QRVs) for EMS calls, there will be less wear and tear on the larger apparatus. They’ll respond the same EMS call types as the engines, as well as service calls such as lift assists.
The squads will also eventually be used in the WFD response program, and will also help meet a department objective of increased community interaction.
Each squad is equipped with hand tools including forcible entry tools and battery-operated saws, a full inventory of emergency medical equipment, fire extinguishers, thermal imaging camera, portable power generator, and water rescue equipment.
They have tow hitches and can assist with boat/water operations, and pulling boat trailers. They also have a heavy-duty winch, which can be used for such things as quickly clearing storm debris from roadways, to assist with emergency vehicle access.
Also of note, squad is a prior unit designation in Wilmington, used in earlier decades by the units that preceded the rescue companies.
Two Engines Deactivated
Also on July 4, Engine 4 at Headquarters and Engine 8 were deactivated. Their personnel were shifted to the squad, and the remainder to the truck company, allowing four- or five-person staffing on the truck, instead of three people.
The engines were moved to the reserve fleet, and displaced the city’s two oldest reserve engines, which will be retired. This will lower the overall age of the reserve fleet.
See this Facebook posting from WFD for more information.
See this news story from WWAY3.
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