Volunteer Fire Departments Fighting to Stay Open Amid Funding Issues

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two long-time volunteer fire departments are fighting to stay open in Mecklenburg County, amid rising costs.

Department leaders got a chance to make their case to County Commissioners on Tuesday night.

Cook’s Community Volunteer Fire & Rescue boasts 90 second response times along busy Mount Holly-Huntersville Road.

“Large motor vehicle accidents, house fires, cardiac arrests. The 90 seconds to two minutes really does make a difference of life and death,” explains Chief Tommy Towner.

The Chief is fighting to keep his department open, after decades of serving the community.

Under the proposal, Robinson Fire & Rescue in the eastern part of the county would also close.

A study is underway to see if nearby Charlotte Fire stations could provide better service, at lower costs.

County Commission Chair George Dunlap says there is plenty to consider, including the impact on taxpayers.

“If you listen to the presentation tonight, what they’re saying is, some residents in other areas are subsidizing the volunteer fire departments in other areas,” Dunlap says.

Commissioners say no final decisions have been made. They will continue to look at the numbers and make a decision when they vote on the budget in June.