North Carolina News

Monday, May 20, 2019

Gastonia Fire Department promotes four

The Gastonia Fire Department held a promotional ceremony for the following firefighters recently at its headquarters on North Myrtle School Road: Capt. Matt Young to the rank of battalion chief. Young has served Gastonia for almost 17 years, having been hired by the department on July 15, 2002. In addition to serving with Gastonia, Young is also the fire chief at New Hope Fire Department and a member of Friendship Baptist Church in Belmont. Engineer Chip Hawkins to the rank of captain. Hawkins has served Gastonia for more than 18 years, having been hired by the department on Jan. 16, 2001. Engineer Charles Morrow to the rank of captain. Morrow has served Gastonia for more than seven years, having been hired by the department on May 31, 2011. Morrow is also a fire captain with the Waco Community Fire Department in Cleveland County. Firefighter Lucas Rollins to the rank of engineer. Rollins has served Gastonia for almost eight years, having been hired by the department on June 13, 2011. Rollins is also the training chief with the Boiling Springs Fire Department in Cleveland County.
The Gaston Gazette

Wilmington Fire Department Holds ‘Hose Uncoupling Ceremony’ at New Fire Station 5

Wilmington Fire Department held their equivalent of a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday for the new Fire House 5 on Shipyard Boulevard. They called it a “Hose Uncoupling Ceremony,” which is more fitting for their line of work. The new station will house whichever eight fire fighters are on call, and has a few new features that the old building did not have before, such as absorbing what used to be Station 6 and new bi-fold doors that are more hurricane resistant.
WWAY-TV ABC 3 Wilmington

4 swimmers rescued in Emerald Isle, one rushed to hospital in critical condition

Emerald Isle officials have confirmed that a 48-year old Jacksonville man is in critical condition after being pulled from the water Sunday afternoon. Fire Chief Bill Walker says that they received a call at 2:02 p.m. for swimmers in distress near the Bogue Inlet Pier. He says when emergency crews arrived, four swimmers had already been pulled to the shore by surfers. Walker says CPR was performed on one male swimmer, who was then taken to hospital. Lt. Ketchum with the Emerald Isle Police Department confirmed that man is alive, but his conditions remains critical. His identity is not known at this time. The Fire Department says the beach was flying yellow flags on Sunday afternoon.
WECT-TV Channel 6

Charlotte firefighters now strapping up with bulletproof vests

VIDEO: Firefighters tasked with saving our lives are getting a new piece of equipment that could save theirs: Bulletproof vests. They say this is the new reality they face when they respond to a call. The department purchased more than 300 vests last month. One of the first times they were used was when crews responded to the UNC Charlotte shooting. Battalion Chief Matt Westover straps on five extra pounds of gear, the newest tool in the firetruck.
WJZY Fox 46 Charlotte

High school student dies after being pulled from lake in Greensboro

VIDEO: A Page High School student has died after being pulled from a lake in Greensboro, according to Guilford County Schools. First responders performed life-saving efforts on the student who was found in the lake Friday afternoon in Greensboro. Assistant Chief Dwayne Church with the Greensboro Fire Department says they got a call around 12:40 p.m. about the student who was in the lake. He says three students, two male and one female, were out swimming in a lake behind the old Ham's restaurant across the street from Page High School. They were jumping off one of the docks when one male student went missing in the water. Asst. Chief Church says the firefighters started searching the water right away, then came Swift Water Rescue, and then the Guilford County Dive Team.

Museum in New Bern unveils ’No Burn Bear’

New Bern’s newest bear was unveiled Saturday as firemen, museum volunteers and friends got their first look at No Burn Bear outside the New Bern Firemen’s Museum. “No Burn” is mounted on a concrete pad, with a bright red fireplug beside him and a broad, two-sided mural of historic fire department photos behind him. The bear, himself, was donated to the museum by two descendants of Johnnie Gaskill, the first New Bern fireman to die in the line of duty when, tradition says, he was kicked by a horse in 1904. Gaskill, 29, who was assistant fire chief of the Button fire company, languished almost two weeks before he died on November 7th. The donors, siblings John Gaskill Jr. and Georgene Gaskill Eakes, describe themselves as the great-niece and nephew of Gaskill. John Gaskill told the audience that his was the first generation since the 1904 death to not serve on the fire department.
New Bern Sun Journal

Friday, May 17, 2019

Brunswick County plans to expand EMS services into Leland

Brunswick County EMS crews are tentatively scheduled to begin servicing Leland residents perhaps as early as July1, according to a Leland Town Hall press release. The expanded emergency services follow county staff’s recommendations to not renew Leland’s ambulance franchise for the coming fiscal year. The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners and the Leland Town Council are negotiating an agreement for the transfer of emergency services, hopefully to be finalized later this month. As part of the proposed agreement, Leland “anticipates the County will offer employment to Leland’s full-time EMS employees.” The town also hopes the county will purchase its operational ambulances, the release states. Leland will in turn provide county EMS with space within one of its fire stations. “The County and Town are working in partnership to ensure that our residents will not notice any change to EMS services come July 1,” Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman said. “We have a singular goal with the forthcoming agreement, which is to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Brunswick Beacon

Wife hopes Drowning Creek firefighter’s cancer death draws attention to issue

The wife of a firefighter who died of cancer is hoping that his story will help draw attention to the growing number of firefighters with cancer. Banks' gear will be on the back of a department truck during the funeral procession Saturday. Drowning Creek Firefighter Christopher “Chris” Banks Jr., 28, lost his battle to nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer that originates in the tissue behind nasal passages, on Saturday. Banks left behind his wife, Megan, and two children. “He was my best friend,” Megan said. “We did everything together. I mean everything.” Chris was committed to firefighting. “He loved firefighting,” Megan said. “Before he went onto medical leave, he fought fires and went onto every call that he could.” The cancer was stage 3 when it was diagnosed, and spread to his bones, blood stream and liver. Now, Megan wonders if the cancer was caused by fighting fires.
Hickory Daily Record

Mint Hill hopes to add more staff to police, fire departments

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners will vote next month on a proposed fiscal year 2019-20 budget that sees an 8.7% increase from the town’s current budget. Town Manager Brian Welch presented the board his recommended budget during a May 8 workshop, and almost all of the increase is for the town’s police and fire departments. The board will hold a public hearing and vote on the budget at its June 13 board meeting. The proposed budget is $17,065,654, up from this year’s budget of $14,996,460. The proposed tax rate for the town is $0.255 per $100 valuation, which is a drop from the current $0.27 tax rate. The revenue-neutral tax rate, which would enable the town to take in the same amount of money next year as it did this year while factoring in average growth since the previous revaluation, would be $0.216. That means with the new proposed rate tax bills will go up for some since many homeowners and businesses saw the value of their property increase after the recent revaluation.
Matthews - Mint Hill Weekly

Sampson County’s eye in the sky: Fire Marshal’s Office has state-of-the-art drones for attacking flames

The Sampson County Fire Marshal’s Office has a game-changing piece of aerial technology that allows for more efficient fire suppression and improved safety for those attacking flames from the ground. Sampson County Office of Emergency Management has been the beneficiary of grants from local electric membership corporations, specifically South River EMC and Four County EMC, that were used to purchase state-of-the-art drones. One purchased last year through a South River grant was utilized at a commercial structure fire for the first time Sunday. “That was the first time we were able to deploy that,” said Sampson Deputy Fire Marshal Joshua Deaver. “It was awesome. Being able to actually get up there and see where the heat was coming from was an incredible tool."
The Sampson Independent

Update: Fire that destroyed Christmas Mouse store in Nags Head started outside

Officials say a two-alarm fire that destroyed the well-known Christmas Mouse store in Nags Head began outside the store. A town spokesperson said Thursday an investigation found the fire was sparked in an outside area used to store cardboard boxes. The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but investigators do not suspect foul play. Nags Head firefighters responded to the scene the afternoon of April 12. Early images from the scene showed heavy flames and plumes of smoke billowing out of the building. At least one section of the store was destroyed, and a nearby treeline, as well as a cellphone tower, were also burned by the flames.

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