Wake County Fire Services say new station needed; plans to make case at community meeting

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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Wake County Fire services is holding a community meeting Tuesday night to discuss fire services in the northwest part of the county, including the potential of building a new station.

Wake County Fire services is holding a community meeting Tuesday night to discuss fire services in the northwest part of the county, including the potential of building a new station.

"Looking at call data for that particular area, we saw that it was underserved. Even though Creedmoor Fire Department has responded up there for years, it's still a delay in service as calls are processed in Raleigh-Wake's 911 center and then transferred to Creedmoor," said Darrell Alford, Fire Service and Emergency Management Director of Wake County.

Northern Wake Fire Station #4 is currently the closest within the county to the service area, but the Creedmoor Fire Department, as well as a station within the Durham County Fire Department, can often respond more quickly.

"We have heard from some citizens over the year, as well as the Northern Wake Fire Department who kind of serves that area that response times are long," Alford explained, adding they are upwards of five minutes out of range.

While a specific site has not been identified, Alford said it would definitely be north of Highway 98.

"We try to locate any new fire station within Wake County within five road miles of all residents. When you're within five road miles, you're meeting requirements set forth by the north Carolina Department of Insurance. That also gets you lower insurance premiums, depending on how you're fire department is rated," Alford explained, adding he would provide information about impact on taxes during Tuesday night's meeting.

Alford said response time has long been an issue, and did not cite any new builds, whether it be residential or commercial properties, as a reason behind lags.

Residents who spoke with ABC 11 expressed their support for a new station, including Duncan Keith, whose family has owned property in the area for generations.

"I've witnessed fires. I've witnessed people burn up in homes, friends and all. Response time is crucial for life and death," Keith explained.

Tuesday's meeting will take place at Olive Grove Baptist Church, located at 3024 Olive Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor, from 6:30 - 7:30. Registration is not required.

"Tonight is to garner feedback from the community, and then if we were to move forward, there is a process to get the citizens there moved into a fire tax district. That is a report that we will provide to the Board of Commissioners. It would be open for public viewing, and then a public hearing, and then ultimately a vote by the Board of Commissioners to move this forward with whatever date that we come up with. Typically, its' about two-and-a-half to four-year process to finding a piece of land, getting design drawings done, and now with building currently the way it is, it's just a little longer than it typically used to be," Alford said.