How are you reaching out to the community?
Our community outreach programs include providing smoke detectors at no charge, installing them and replacement of batteries. Each year during Fire Safety week we conduct a day long fire safety education program at one elementary school and special needs school. As part of the program we utilize a multi-jurisdictional children’s smoke trailer. We also use members to demonstrate apparatus and PPE for the children. We provide this service to several church based day care programs as well.
Each year the Cabarrus County Firefighter’s Association conducts a FF1/FF2 rookie school. Our training facility is used extensively by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for fire classes, as we are centrally located within the county. Our campus includes a 40 foot, high angle training tower. The tower is utilized by the county firefighter’s association for the school along with our training classroom.
We also provide a reflective address marker service that is open to anyone. We purchase the materials and then make and install the markers for members of the community.
Top two concerns in your community?
Rapid urbanization: our community has been rapidly transitioning from rural to suburban/urban over the past 15 years. Our primary concern is that the infrastructure of the community has not kept pace with the levels of growth that we have seen. During this time frame, a replacement elementary school has been built with a capacity for 1000 students. This facility replaced a 1936 school that housed 500 students. The 1936 facility has since been converted into a special needs and county wide day care facility. We have had numerous residential subdivisions added along with a multi-story apartment complex. Additionally, like most modern volunteer organizations, we strive to have a high retention rate amongst our members. In today’s society, most people think that firefighters are all paid career personnel. We work within the community to show that we are members of the community as well. We do this by participating in several “911 Sunday” events throughout Cabarrus County on the anniversary of 9-11.
What are you doing for fundraising?
We no longer do any active fundraising as we are a fully tax supported organization. We have been fully tax supported since 1974. Historically speaking, we conducted barbecues, square dances, woman-less weddings and other events. Since becoming tax supported we have conducted fund raising through the sale of “911” porch light flashers to support our medical responder program in the late 80s and early 90s. From time to time individuals or businesses donate funds to the department which are placed into a firefighter’s fund.
What upgrades will you make to your department this year?
This calendar year we, along with all other public safety agencies in Cabarrus County, will be upgrading our communications system to an all-digital 800 MHz system. We will be joining into a regional communications system anchored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Communications Department. With this transition to a regional system we will be able to communicate with six counties and numerous municipal agencies.
We are currently in the planning stages of replacing a 1988 pumper/ tanker with a modern rescue pumper or pumper/tanker.