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One Cumberland Fire Department Hangs Up the Hoses

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FAYETTEVILLE — Used Fire truck for sale. A volunteer fire department in Cumberland County is hanging up the hoses. The county gave the Manchester department 30 days to clean up its act. Instead, the department will disband.

They just do not have enough money and manpower, but Cumberland County leaders say homeowners will not be affected by the change.

Manchester volunteer firefighters are being phased out. Soon, they will no longer be saving lives and protecting property. Fire Chief Ken Jolly says his department no longer has enough money or volunteers to provide adequate protection.

"Most families in our area, they work two jobs," Jolly said. "You've got mom who's working and dad who's working, and then they take turns watching the kids. You have a military community here, and the military community is very transient."

Residents want to know who will protect them and their homes.

"If fire protection should cease here, that's the biggest thing. No fire protection or fire protection not as close, because they have to come from Spring Lake or from Harnett County," said Manchester homeowner Ed Norman.

"It'll be a seamless transition. There will be no cessation in fire services. Those people will have 100 percent fire protection throughout this period," explained Cumberland County manager Cliff Strassenburg.

Cumberland County leaders say they are negotiating a contract with the Spring Lake Fire Department to take over Manchester's responsibilities. Negotiators do not know if that means closing down the Manchester building.

"The cost will be the same. The county will simply re-direct the fire tax revenues from that district for the Manchester department to the Spring Lake department," said Strassenburg.

Homeowners could be affected in another way besides protection. The change could increase or possibly even decrease homeowner's fire insurance.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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