New Hanover Fire History - Research Notes

Errata - 1960s to 1980s

Last updated: September 7, 2018

See related documents: rosters, deeds, minutes, etc.

1965 - City annexations impact VFDs, including South Wilmington VFD and Winter Park VFD. The latter loses "the heart of its coverage area". Source: Star-News, 4/14/84.

1970, Mar 2 - Board adopts resolution to create county Inspection Department.

1970, May 4 - Board approves request for expansion of Wrightsboro VFD district, from three-mile to four-mile limit. They have additional equipment and personnel "required to go out further."

1970, May 18 - Board approves $400 for one-half of amount for proposed "communications survey" to be conducted by the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Called a "mutual aid fire services study," the city is paying the other half. Mr. Joe Harris, "head of Volunteer Fire Departments", needs the information to enable him to work with police, sheriff, etc.

1971, Aug 2 - Board receives information that each year a contract is negotiated between the county and the volunteer FDs, which "relieves the county of the responsibility for the acts of the department."

1972, Dec 4 - Board discusses airport funding and the possibility of the Air Force base closing, as it was "reduced to a skeleton crew last year." If this happens, the county will have to purchase crash-fire-rescue equipment costing approximately $100,000.

1973, Jan 15 - Board heard letter dated January 2, 1972, from the Air Force, address to Senator Jesse Helms, that there are no plans to deactivate the fighter squadron in the foreseeable future. "There had been concern that the fire engine which benefits the airport might be removed from there."

1974, Jan 7 - Board authorizes county tax administrator to exempt from taxation the volunteer FDs which had received county funds.

1974, May 1 - Date of application to Federal Aviation Administration, requesting grant monies for things including acquiring crash-fire-rescue equipment, "one quick response vehicle and related incidental equipment".

1974, July 1 - Board awards bid to Fire Control Engineering Co., Fort Worth, TX, for $21,906, for a "quick response fire truck" for the airport.

1974, Sep 16 - Board receives and accepts recommendation of Fire Inspections Committee that the town of Carolina Beach enter into a contract with the county, with the same terms and conditions as the county's contracts with the volunteer FDs, if the town wants to receive the budgeted amount of $9,000 from the county, based on a request from the town, to receive county assistance similar to that provided for the volunteer FDs. The Fire Inspections Committee recommended that no money be contributed to the town, unless the town met all the standards required for the VFDs. Among the noted points, that those living outside of the town's limits have been getting free service, and if they wished to have service from Carolina Beach, they should "make suitable arrangements or form their own volunteer fire department."

1974, Nov 18 - Board authorizes application for a state transportation grant, for things including construction of an airport fire station and acquisition of a crash-fire-rescue truck.

1975, Jan 20 - Board approves transfer of funds to award contract for purchase of airport crash-fire-rescue vehicle. Funding includes $132,020 from federal grants and $14,490 from state grants.

1975, Feb 17 - Board accepts $132,020 grant from Federal Aviation Administration for a crash-fire-rescue truck at the airport, specifically "CFR truck, 1500 gallons of water/foam; CFR auxiliary equipment including ten proximity suits."

1975, Mar 3 - Board approves creation of an airport fire department operated by county employees. Authorize Airport Manager to hire a Chief ($8,868 annual salary), two Shift Commanders ($8,484), and four Safety Officer II (firefighters) ($8,112).

1975, Mar 17 - Board heard request from W. S. Funderburg that Commissioners rescind their proposal to create an airport FD, and request proposals for the provision of firefighting services. Actions not rescinded.

1976, Mar 1 - Board discussed airport fire department. Chairman Davis "expressed his concern that the Airport firemen could be performing other duties instead of just sitting around waiting for a fire to occur. He felt that a tremendous amount of money was being spent for the amount of risk that was involved.

1978, July 17 - Board members have been furnished with copies of NC General Statutes "pertaining to the establishment of fire protection service districts" and and "were requested to advise the County Manager whether or not to begin preparations for establishment" of same. Approved, and the county manager will work with the "state insurance people," the VFDs, and the tax office to obtain the information.

1978, Aug 7 - Board approves extension of Castle Hayne VFD fire district limits from three miles to four  miles, for insurance rating purposes.

1978, Nov. 20 - Board minutes mention "Fire Inspections Committee." [ Members conduct fire code inspections? Members inspect the VFDs? ]

1984, Apr 14 - Star-News reports on Monday's annexations that impacted two departments: South Wilmington VFD and Winter Park VFD. The former loses most of their residential territory, in a "pie-shaped area south of Shipyard Boulevard between Carolina Beach Road and US 132." They also have territory north of the city along US 421, to the county line. The SWVFD station is also now in the city. Winter Park VFD lost about a third of their district, including Pine Valley, Long Leaf Hills, and Westchester subdivisions. Both VFDs plan to help the city when needed, notably bringing water into annexed areas until hydrants are installed.

1986 [correct?] - County Fire Marshal position created.


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