City's Fire Department Assessment A Mixed Bag

Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Fire Department has the equipment and manpower, but lacks training and support staff. That's the finding of an outside assessment commissioned by the city.

Recommendations include boosting the number of training captains from one to four or five, and hiring an I-T person. It also recommends fixing safety issues at some of the older firehouses.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says city staff will comb through the 207-page report and prioritize recommendation.

And then also take a look from the resource point of view is what are we going to have to spend from city taxpayers money to meet the requirements of the assessment. In regards to possibly some pay issues, in regards to some personnel issues, in regards to some resource issues.

The Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association contracted its own study, that found most firefighters considered morale low. The Association's Chuck Bower says while the safety concerns are minor, follow up by the city will have an exponential impact.

It would provide us with the notion that we have been heard, those issues we'll take care of you, it will improve morale to a point and say they're finally taking care of things we've been saying for five or six years on.

The city's assesssment also found that the Wilmington Fire Department needs to revamp its procedures for promotions.