Rowan County commissioners met Monday night to consider whether or not to switch some homeowners from one fire district to another. Mount Mitchell Fire Chief Robert Earnhardt says commissioners threw out two petitions, one in favor and one against changing the fire districts. Earnhardt says it appears the districts will remain as they are currently.
A resident living in the southern part of the county started a petition to have the fire districts changed, but some other residents are concerned the change would put their safety at risk because the fire district they’re in now is closer than the proposed district.
Jeff Eury lives about half a mile from the Mt. Mitchell Fire Department, but under the plan his home would be switched to the Bostian Heights Fire District, which is more than five miles from his house. Eury said, “I’d feel a lot better knowing I’ve got a fire department less than a mile away to take care of my family.”
“That could be time of saving somebody’s life," Earnhardt said. "And it’s just seconds is what saves somebody’s life these days.” Earnhardt says about 60 homes would have been affected by the changes. He says people in favor of the switch want cheaper insurance rates, but he adds that people living more than five miles from the fire station would still have to pay the higher rate, which means some homeowners wouldn’t save any money.
Eury said, “To me, you can’t put life on an insurance rate.” Eury added, “Everybody’s pinching a penny, but when it comes to a life, you don’t pinch a penny.”
WJZY FOX 46 3501 Performance Rd. Charlotte, NC 28214 Main Number: (704) 398-0046