Report Released on Wilmington Fire Department


-- You don't normally see many Wilmington firefighters at a city council retreat, but Friday they came to hear the consultant's report on the fire department.

Overall, the consultant gave the department high marks. Capital resources and equipment are above average nationally. Response times are excellent, and the number of firefighters is good.

The consultant also highlighted some concerns saying the city should hire more administrative staff, add a yearly physical fitness test, address minor facility problems like missing exhaust fans at indoor garages, and perhaps the most glaring red flag, fix the culture and morale problems that seem to plague the firefighting organization.

In some cases, there's a big difference between what the firefighters say and what the findings were from the city's report. The firefighters union told the city council earlier this month about personnel shortages, safety hazards, and equipment problems, although the consultant didn't agree with any of those.

Fire Chief Sam Hill listened to the report and says he'll work to address the problems. The union spokesman liked the report and says it's a good way to start addressing problems.

In short, the good news for Wilmington residents is that equipment is top notch and response times are excellent, even though the people driving the trucks might be less than pleased with the city.

Reported by Dan Cassuto