Wake Forest Fire Department merges with town

Contributed to WSJ from the Town of Wake Forest

After operating as a private, non-profit organization for 37 years, the Wake Forest Fire Department (WFFD) officially joined the Town of Wake Forest today. 

The merger comes less than a year after the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously authorized town staff and the town attorney to prepare an agreement between the municipality and the fire department to proceed with consolidating the department into the Town’s municipal structure. The BOC also authorized staff to engage the services of EnviroSafe, a management consulting firm specializing in local government public safety services, to assist with the transition and consolidation. 

The BOC’s blessing came a month after EnviroSafe released a comprehensive report recommending that the fire department join the Town. A week later, the Wake Forest Fire Department Board of Directors also gave its unanimous consent for the fire department to become part of Wake Forest town government. 

In October an executive team consisting of Town Manager Kip Padgett, Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples and Fire Chief Ron Early began meeting with appointed sub-committees to initiate the fire department’s transition to the Town. Representatives from the Town and the fire department collaborated on those sub-committees to address a range of transition topics, including Human Resources, Information Technology, Communications, Facilities, Capital Assets/Fleet and Equipment and Operations. 

Established in 1921, the WFFD currently operates with five fire stations throughout Wake Forest. Comprised of 84 paid personnel, 24 part-time employees and 30 volunteers, the department provides fire protection, emergency medical and rescue services, as well as a public education program for the community. For more information on the Wake Forest Fire Department, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/fire

For more information on the Town of Wake Forest and Wake Forest Fire Department merger, contact Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples at astaples@wakeforestnc.gov or 919-435-9561 or Fire Chief Ron Early at rearly@wakeforestnc.gov or 919-556-1966.

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