FOREST CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT
The mission of the Forest City Fire Department is to provide aggressive, twenty-four hour a day protection to the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Forest City from the devastation of fire, hazardous materials incidents, and mitigation of the effects of natural and manmade disasters.
FIRE CHIEF MARK McCURRY
Mark McCurry was promoted to Fire Chief on January 5, 1985 after the retirement of Chief Robert G. Harrill. He served the fire department for 10 years prior to this date as a volunteer officer of the combination department. He comes from a family of firefighters with his grandfather and uncle serving as past chiefs in other fire departments. He has also served the state of North Carolina by serving as President of the Western Fire Fighter's Association and President of the North Carolina State Fireman's Association.
In 2009 was awarded the North Carolina Association of Fire Chief's award for, "Career Fire Chief of the year."
When becoming chief, his goals were to move the department into the future with a progressive approach on training, education, and prevention. Not just for the public, but for the department as well. "Fire departments have been one of the best kept secrets, our goal is to educate our council and the public as to what we do. The general public has very little knowledge of our jobs or extensive training and education," states Chief Mark McCurry.
In his tenure he has changed his paid staff from police dispatchers to firefighters working a 24 on – 48 off shift, added additional personnel, built a new 1.5 million dollar station, and purchase new apparatus including a new Sutphen Tower and Engines. The Forest City Fire Department is growing along with the community it serves.
Chief Mark McCurry is very proud of his employees and would like to publicly recognize them for their achievements. All paid fire fighters are NC Certified EMTs; we now have a fire educator as a part of our staff. And nine fire fighters are state certified instructors who train others in the department.
Our goal is to educate all of our citizens on fire education and how to reduce the risk of fire. One way of doing this is with our free smoke detector program. Firefighters will go out and install the smoke detectors and counsel citizens on how to protect themselves from fire.
Our fire department also sponsors blood drives for the American Red Cross.
Our goals for the future will be to lead by example. Technology is leading us to a new frontier and we must ride the wave. Accountability of our firefighters must be upgraded with thermal imaging systems, tracking systems of interior crews, and Replace outdated equipment with multi-purpose equipment. Increase our service to the community with better medical care, On board computers for easy access of building pre-fire plans, More public fire education for the young and elderly. We must involve our community with our fire problems to get the best returns on our concerns for the betterment of all citizens when it comes to fire prevention.
Our roles in the future must go beyond our traditional role. Not forgetting these roles but incorporating them into a 21st century way of thinking. As technology and diversity changes, we must change.
The fire service years ago was the backbone of many communities. We must shoulder the responsibilities of getting that feeling back by becoming more involved with non-emergency community projects. Hosting community CPR classes, safety classes, home inspections, etc. This will be vital in keeping the support of the community: past, present, and future.