Fuquay-Varina Fire Department

Chief Tony Mauldin began his presentation with a brief history of the Fuquay-Varina Fire Department.

Until 1993, the Fire Department was 100% voluntary. Tony was hired that year to work 8 to 5, Monday to Friday. In 2002, Tony became Fire Chief.

The department now has 46 full-time employees and 15 to 20 volunteers. It's unusual to have volunteers mixed in with paid firefighters, but the system works well. The volunteers work alongside the paid employees, and often make the transition from volunteer to employee.

The department is also unusual in that it serves areas outside the town limits. A total of 67 square miles and 48,000 residents are protected by the department.

The town has three fire stations that respond to about 4,000 calls per year. Approximately 60% of the calls are for medical assistance, and 40% are fire-related. About 95% of the firefighters are qualified as EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). 

Training is an essential part of the job, with 13,000 to 15,000 man-hours per year devoted to training.

Firefighters work 24-hour shifts, designated A, B, and C, with a battalion chief in charge of each shift. Each piece of apparatus has a captain in charge of it, a driver, and a firefighter. Three fire engines and a ladder truck are dispatched to every fire alarm, with simultaneous dispatch of crews from the Holly Springs, Garner, and Fairview fire departments. For areas that don't have fire hydrants, a 2,000-gallon tanker is sent. The tanker can be refilled in less than a minute if sufficient water is available.

The fire department has an Explore program that teaches children aged 14 to 18 how emergency services work. The children learn to dress and operate hoses just like the real firefighters.

Next month, the fire department will go through a reevaluation of its insurance rating. Ratings range from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst). The ratings affect the cost of home and business fire insurance. We currently have a rating of 4 in town and 9 in the rural areas. Response times are critical to maintaining a good rating, with a crew of four required to respond to a call within nine minutes. To keep up with population growth, the town is looking to add a fourth fire station, to be located in the northwest part of town.

© Rotary club of fuquay-varina 2019