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Number of volunteer firefighters dropping locally and nationally

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County — A fire or medical emergency can be one of the worst days of your life. Depending on where you live in Eastern Carolina, that worst day is usually where a volunteer firefighter or EMS individual comes in to help.

But it's getting harder to find those willing to volunteer and fill the ranks of rural departments. The number of people doing the job across the United States is declining like never before.

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Two Eastern NC firefighters wait anxiously to return home from Boiling Springs

Garrett Quiroz and Dennis Byerly aren’t sure what they’ll find when they return home to Onslow County, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence leaves the area.

The TV in the bunk at the Boiling Springs Fire Department — where the two firefighters have been staying since early Wednesday morning — plays near round-the-clock coverage of the storm and its path, but downed power and phone lines have left Quiroz and Byerly unable to contact their friends and family, who are experiencing the brunt of Florence’s force.

SEP 14, 2018

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Piney Green VFD to Receive NCAFC Grant

Of the 18 volunteer fire departments in Onslow County, one will receive a little extra help with recruiting this year.

The Piney Green VFD is receiving aid after applying for the need-based grant. The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs (NCAFC) received a SAFER grant from FEMA for the two-year plan that covered 50 departments across North Carolina, one of which was Piney Green.

According to Cherith Andes, Clairemont Communications officer, the NCAFC offered each interested fire department to apply for the grant throughout the state. Piney Green was the only department within the county that applied for the grant, according to the association. Andes did not have the specific amount of the grant available to share by deadline.

OCT 22, 2018

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Piney Green chief nominated for public safety memorial

A late Piney Green fire chief has been approved to be recognized on the Public Safety Memorial.

According to Norman Bryson, Onslow County Emergency Services director, Charles Harvey was recognized this year by the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NCFFF), so the committee decided to recognize him in Jacksonville as well.

The approval took place during a special meeting Wednesday.

Harvey, who died on June 25, 2007, was serving as the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department chief. A Vietnam Army veteran, he is buried at the Coastal Carolina Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville. Timothy Bruns, current chief, said Harvey received two calls the day of his death, but only responded to one. He said firefighters went to check on him, and Harvey was found on his porch and appeared to have suffered a heart attack.

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Onslow County sends firefighters to help battle blaze

Firefighters with Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services, Onslow County Emergency Services, Swansboro Fire Department and Piney Green and Rhodestown volunteer fire departments sent 14 people and three fire trucks to help in the western part of the state.

NOV 14, 2016

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Piney Green VFD raises concerns over median

With Piney Green Road’s construction extended to summer 2017, Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department’s leaders worry about limited left-turn access on the byway.

The new median — which road experts call a “mountable median” — separates the fire station from the road’s far lane. The gap allows fire trucks to cross the road while taking a left, Jacksonville Transportation Administrator Anthony Prinz said. He added that the elevated crossover is a deterrent to keep non-emergency vehicles from crossing the road.