Leland approves money for new firefighters - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Leland approves money for new firefighters

The Leland Town Council approved a request for more money to pay for two new part-time firefighters on Thursday night. (Source: WECT) The Leland Town Council approved a request for more money to pay for two new part-time firefighters on Thursday night. (Source: WECT)
LELAND, NC (WECT) -

The Leland Town Council approved a request for more money to pay for two new part-time firefighters on Thursday night.

Close to $65,000 will allow for at least one staff member to be at the Westport station off Highway 133 around the clock, something that is not available at this time. 

Leland Town Councilman Michael Callahan said the additional staff will help speed up the current response time.

"We have lots of areas in Leland, especially down here south of 17, that need coverage and need quicker coverage into the Brunswick Forrest area," Callahan said. 

Leland currently doesn't have a municipal fire department, but has a contract with Leland Fire and Rescue, a volunteer fire department, to provide services for residents.  

The new staff will start on April 24 and work through June 30. According to Callahan, the town hopes to take over Leland Fire and Rescue by that date. 

"Our attorney is working on language for our agreement," Callahan said. "We have committees that are working from the town of Leland and from Leland Fire and Rescue to hammer out the details."

The Leland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was put on probation by the state last year, and town leaders have been trying to figure out what to do to keep residents safe and insurance rates in check since.

Callahan said growth in the Leland area contributed to Leland Fire and Rescue not being able to meet the needs of the community. 

"This area in the northern part pf the county is expanding rapidly, and we want to stay ahead of that," he said. "I would say this is a very good step in terms of our growth management strategy."

Callahan also said he's happy with the cooperation between both groups and thinks it will be a good solution for Leland. 

"We are happy to embrace, hopefully, the start of a fire department within the town of Leland, and we are looking forward to great things to come," he said.

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