The Town of Mocksville and Davie County have a long and proud tradition of volunteer fire departments serving our communities. These dedicated men and women generously give their time and talent to preserve life and safeguard property. This tradition was possible in larger towns because people worked where they lived and businesses allowed volunteer firefighters to leave work when duty called.
Over the years, our community has changed and the volunteer service has changed as well. Most people who live in Mocksville now commute to jobs outside the Town or county. Volunteers are now required to complete hundreds of hours of training each year to maintain their certification. These changes have resulted in a drastic drop in the number of new volunteers. This decline led to a need for part-time firefighters to staff the Mocksville fire station around 10 years ago.
The firefighters who work part-time for Mocksville also work full-time with other fire departments. Even with the addition of part-time firefighters, there were many times during the year when there was no coverage available and this increased response times. The statistics are clear that minutes matter when responding to a medical call, serious traffic accident with injuries or a structure fire.
The Board of Commissioners recognized this community safety issue and included six full-time firefighters in the 2022-2023 budget unanimously passed on June 7, 2022. The Town is now in the process of advertising these positions. There will be an intensive testing and selection process over the next few months to choose the most qualified and experienced firefighters available. The new firefighters will be in training for a month before they are released to work at the station.
We expect full-time 24-hour coverage to begin around November 2022. The Town has also applied for a grant that would pay the salaries of six additional full-time firefighters for three years and will receive notification by the end of 2022 if the $1.2 million grant is approved. The cost of the six full-time firefighters included in the 2022-2023 budget is being paid for through the growth of our tax base, savings generated by our contract with Davie County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement and an extra allocation of funding for fire services approved by the Davie County Board of Commissioners. No taxes or fees were increased to provide this community safety enhancement.