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Knightdale Fire could merge with county department

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UPDATE (2-10-2020):

Knightdale officials have rescheduled the public meeting to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Bethlehem Baptist Church fellowship hall, 8400 Poole Road.

The event is an oportunity for citizens to learn more about the proposed merger of the Knightdale Fire Department and Eastern Wake Fire Rescue Department.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Feb. 6, but was postponed due to weather.


ORIGINAL STORY:

KNIGHTDALE — The town of Knightdale is planning a community gathering to share information about a proposal to absorb the Eastern Wake Fire Rescue Department into the town's fire services.

The meeting was originally planned for Thursday, but was postponed due to severe weather. A new date for the meeting has not been set.

The informational meeting plans to give citizens an overview of what officials say are the benefits of merging the private, nonprofit Eastern Wake department with the Knightdale Fire Department, as a consultant recommended to town officials in 2017.

Talks have been ongoing between the two fire department since last April.

“The opportunity for consolidation between the Eastern Wake and Knightdale Fire departments gives the combined organization the ability to improve outcomes for our neighbors experiencing an emergency in eastern Wake County,” said Knightdale Fire Chief Loren Cone in a statement. “These improvements will come from a streamlined approach to emergency response, enhancements in training, and more efficient distribution of resources throughout our region.:

Wake County contracts Eastern Wake Fire for fire protection services in the Alert Fire District, which borders Knightdale.

“As Wake County continues to experience high growth pressures, the consolidation of private, non-profit fire departments into municipal entities is becoming advantageous to ensure adequate services for all residents,” the town said Monday in a news release.

“The combined agency, founded on the strong history of cooperation between both, represents a rare opportunity to build a model fire service system that provides immediate benefit to both the citizens and the staff,” said Cone.

The Wake Forest Fire Department, also a private nonprofit, will be absorbed into the Wake Forest town government this summer after an agreement between the town and fire officials.


This story has been updated to reflect that Thursday's meeting was postponed.

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