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    Default 4 Questions About Charlotte Fire Department

    My wife and I are looking to move south and I am very interested in Charlotte, NC. I understand that they hire annually, so I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I just have 4 questions about the department:

    1.) What kind of call volume does Charlotte have?

    2.) How much fire does Charlotte see within its call volume?

    3.) Is the Charlotte area a good place to live and raise a family?

    4.) What's the overall morale among firefighters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    My wife and I are looking to move south and I am very interested in Charlotte, NC. I understand that they hire annually, so I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I just have 4 questions about the department:

    1.) What kind of call volume does Charlotte have?

    2.) How much fire does Charlotte see within its call volume?

    3.) Is the Charlotte area a good place to live and raise a family?

    4.) What's the overall morale among firefighters?
    From everything I have seen and heard, Charolette is a busy, progressive fire department and a great place to live.

    If I were you however, I would recommend you ask folks from Charlotte.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    My wife and I are looking to move south and I am very interested in Charlotte, NC. I understand that they hire annually, so I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I just have 4 questions about the department:

    1.) What kind of call volume does Charlotte have?

    2.) How much fire does Charlotte see within its call volume?

    3.) Is the Charlotte area a good place to live and raise a family?

    4.) What's the overall morale among firefighters?
    Charlotte is the largest FD in NC and is also one of the busiest. They see a good amount of fire. The Charlotte/Mecklenburg County area, is a very nice place to live, lots to do and has a Great school system. From what my friends, who are on CFD, tell me moral among the troops is above average to high.
    Stay Safe
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    Can't tell you much about the Fire Department, but I own a house just north of Charlotte (it is where I plan to retire). As pointed out, Charlotte and it's surrounding area is an excellent place to raise a family. As pointed out C-M and most of the neighboring suburban school districts are pretty good. Lots of stuff to do for everything from the outdoors types to the sports fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick80 View Post
    My wife and I are looking to move south and I am very interested in Charlotte, NC. I understand that they hire annually, so I'm throwing my hat into the ring. I just have 4 questions about the department:

    1.) What kind of call volume does Charlotte have?

    2.) How much fire does Charlotte see within its call volume?

    3.) Is the Charlotte area a good place to live and raise a family?

    4.) What's the overall morale among firefighters?
    Maverick 80,

    1. Charlotte runs about 100,000 calls annually.

    2. As far as how many fires per year, I'm not exactly sure. I'd say about 5-10 working fires per month, ballpark estimate.

    3. Charlotte has many good places to live, and the surrounding suburbs are nice as well.

    4. Morale is pretty good among the firefighters.

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    1. Id trust someone else for numbers, however I can tell you depending on the station you are looking at 25-30 calls a day or if your posted out near lake wylie on the south side...3 calls a day...

    2. They see a lot of fire...and a lot of crowded fire scenes...many times you will operate with 30-70 firefighters on scene. I think you automatically get like 6 engines a rescue and a battalion on anything that smells of smoke

    3. There are a ton of great places to live if your willing to drive 25-30 minutes to work, heck even Fort Mill in South Carolina is a GREAT community

    4. My understanding is Moral is not quite as high as it used to be but still pretty good. One thing to be careful of is as I understand it Charlotte has cut retirement Health Insurance or benefits to nothing for new hires. So when you retired you used to get full health benefits and my understanding is now for new hires when you retire you get close to nothing....Everything else is super competitive as far as pay or benefits while you are working..etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rialaigh View Post
    1. Id trust someone else for numbers, however I can tell you depending on the station you are looking at 25-30 calls a day or if your posted out near lake wylie on the south side...3 calls a day...

    2. They see a lot of fire...and a lot of crowded fire scenes...many times you will operate with 30-70 firefighters on scene. I think you automatically get like 6 engines a rescue and a battalion on anything that smells of smoke

    3. There are a ton of great places to live if your willing to drive 25-30 minutes to work, heck even Fort Mill in South Carolina is a GREAT community

    4. My understanding is Moral is not quite as high as it used to be but still pretty good. One thing to be careful of is as I understand it Charlotte has cut retirement Health Insurance or benefits to nothing for new hires. So when you retired you used to get full health benefits and my understanding is now for new hires when you retire you get close to nothing....Everything else is super competitive as far as pay or benefits while you are working..etc...
    Thanks everyone for all your feedback.

    So regarding the health benefits, what are retirees supposed to do for health care?? The cost for private insurance is astronomical and would take up nearly all your pension. Maybe I'm wrong here, but that seems extreme to cut health benefits altogether.

    Still, sounds like Charlotte Fire is a great place to work and live. If I'm fortunate enough to get hired this year, I hope they don't impose the residency requirement on my class, which has been rumored. I had my eye on Ft. Mill, SC as a potential place to settle. But I guess you can't go wrong with Matthews or several other Meck county towns.

    To your knowledge, is either Matthews or Ft Mill affordable on a firefighter's salary? (assuming a dual income family where my wife makes about the same)

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    Rialaigh,

    I believe i know what im talking about. Are you a charlotte firefighter?

    And maverick, youre pretty much on your own after you retire, in regards to healthcare. The union here is fighting to get it back for all those hired after july 2009.

    Our retirement system is top notch, seperate from the state. You can retire after 25 years . Also be aware that the department is looking at placing a residency requirement that will require you to live in mecklenburg county, and possibly Charlotte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Ted13 View Post
    Also be aware that the department is looking at placing a residency requirement that will require you to live in mecklenburg county, and possibly Charlotte.
    Where are they at with this? Is this happening soon (e.g., this year) or some other time? I assume the department would have to give new hires notice before they report for academy. So, if anything happens this year, I think it would have to been soon because 2012 interviews, background checks, and appointment to academy will occur over the next 3 to 5 months.

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    Its in the planning stages. May be implemented as early as this year, but possibly next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Ted13 View Post
    Rialaigh,

    I believe i know what im talking about. Are you a charlotte firefighter?

    And maverick, youre pretty much on your own after you retire, in regards to healthcare. The union here is fighting to get it back for all those hired after july 2009.

    Our retirement system is top notch, seperate from the state. You can retire after 25 years . Also be aware that the department is looking at placing a residency requirement that will require you to live in mecklenburg county, and possibly Charlotte.
    You mentioned the union is trying to bargain for the return of retiree health benefits. I thought North Carolina was a 'right to work' state. What influence, if any, do the unions have in NC?

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    It is a right to work state. The union has regular meetings with the fire chief and they also attend city council meetings in order to convey the thoughts of the firefighters.

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