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Hope Mills Wants To Add Five Fire Stations Over 15-Year Period

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HOPE MILLS — In the Cumberland County town of Hope Mills, so many people have moved in that there are not enough fire stations to go around. The town has come up with a long range plan to address future growth. In the plan, the fire chief proposes five new fire stations over 15 years.

Hope Mills is growing with new homes, schools and businesses. The fire chief says his department must grow as well.

The town's one fire station has seen a 10 percent increase in calls every year for the last ten years. Response times are beginning to sound an alarm in the eight square miles the department serves.

"Traffic patterns are becoming more congested," says fire chief Lee Sudia. "That is our major concern; get to our citizens, get to our customers in a reasonable amount of time to provide the necessary service."

TheNational Fire Protection Associationsuggests an engine company every two miles. To meet that recommendation, Chief Sudia wants to add five more fire stations within town limits.

The NFPA is also working on a proposal that would recommend response times to be within four minutes.

Cheryl Melton says getting a substation in Hope Mills is an emergency.

"A lot can happen in four minutes," Melton says. "If they have someone here, they would have someone close to get to them."

Mayor Edwin Deaver agrees fire protection is a vital service. However, five new stations will take time and money.

"We'll work towards one quickly and another one within two to three years," Deaver says.

The plan is a 15-year recommendation, so the chief is not expecting all five fire stations immediately. Along with all the obvious benefits, the chief says increased protection will mean a considerable drop in insurance rates.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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