Mecklenburg County, NC
Type Department: Paid
Structure: Conventional org chart
Number of Stations: 43
Number of Apparatus: 94
Pumpers: 43 frontline and 16 Reserves
Aerials: 16 Frontline and 10 Reserves
Specialty: 9 Specialty which includes foam, hazmat, and rescue equipment
Do you provide EMS? We are EMTs and provide first responder services. What type: FR
Specialty Operations: (list all) ARFF, Dive Team, HazMat, Police Assist Company, Swift Water Rescue, USAR
Annual Budget: $144 million
Area Covered (square miles): 315
Total Incidents: 119,603 Fires: 2,260 Structure Fires: 689 EMS: 74,679
Chief: Reginald T. Johnson
Chief Officers: Deputy Chiefs Peter Skeris, Jerry Winkles, Samuel Jones, 7 Division Chiefs, 38 Battalion Chiefs
Other Officers: (list number of Captains, Lieutenants, etc.) 210 Captains
Number of Members: Paid: Ops-1104; Non-ops-126 Volunteer: 0
Address: 500 Dalton Ave, Charlotte, NC 28206
Web site: https://charlottenc.gov/fire/Pages/default.aspx
Community Outreach (describe what you do in the community): The members of our organization very much enjoy being active within the community. This year, our organization participated in initiatives like Steve’s Coats for Kids, Toys for Tots, home renovation project for a military member, food drives, and many other special programs.
Our Fire & Life Safety Education division connects with elementary and middle school students to share the importance of fire safety. Members of this division also participate in a Friendship Tray program, delivering meals and groceries to the elderly and individuals who are unable to prepare meals for themselves.
Each year we host two camps, Camp Ignite, open to girls in grades 9-12, and Camp Hornet’s Nest, open to boys in grades 9-12. These programs provide an insider look at a career in firefighting while instilling leadership skills.
Top Two concerns in your community: The top two concerns in our community are fire deaths and firefighter wellness. This fiscal year we have experienced twelve fire deaths. Firefighter wellness is always one of our top concerns as many of our members are experiencing increased stress due to COVID’s impacts on our community and organization.
What are you doing for fundraising? We are fortunate to have many generous donors within our community who have helped fund programs like Camp Hornet’s Nest, Camp Ignite, and the K-9 Support Program.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year? New fire stations, implementation of towers and tillers, expanding behavioral health.
What special hazards or unique businesses in your community?
• Natural hazards
• Hazardous materials
• Workplace violence
• Pandemic disease
• Critical infrastructure failures
• Supply chain failures
• Cyber attacks
• Civil unrest
• Radiological emergencies
• Mass casualty incidents
• Unique Businesses:
• Charlotte houses the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC (Bank of America Stadium), Charlotte Hornets (Spectrum Center), Charlotte Checkers (Bojangles Coliseum), and Charlotte Knights (Truist Field).
• Uptown Charlotte and the surrounding areas are also home to companies such as Bank of America, Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive, Coca-Cola Consolidated, LendingTree, Bojangles’, Honeywell etc.
What problems in your department that you would like feedback from others? Recruitment, staffing, budget, Officer development
List anything else you are proud of and would like the readers to know about, are you doing anything special in Recruitment, Retention or anything unique other departments could benefit from. In May 2020, we established our K-9 program, with Educator Rick Dunton and K-9 Lady Katherine, aka “Cat”, becoming our first official Charlotte Fire Department K-9 therapy team. Rick and Cat play a significant role in our community engagement efforts, elementary and middle school fire education programs, and behavioral health support for our members. Recently we added K-9 Phoenix, assigned to FFII Matthew Wiatrowski. This team focuses solely on behavioral wellbeing.