Letter to the editor: Chocowinity Fire Department focuses on public service

Published 4:14 pm Monday, February 15, 2016

To the Editor,

This is addressed to our wonderful citizens of Chocowinity. Chocowinity Fire Department has seen some amazing growth over the last few decades. Started as a small department, we have evolved into one of the finest organizations in Beaufort County. Our members, including some who have hung up their helmets and turnout coats after answering that last call, have worked tirelessly over the years to provide the best fire protection that you have come to expect. We continue to train and sharpen our skills so that you can rest easy in your homes and businesses knowing that we will be there to answer the call every day.

Recently, our department has been the focal point of some politically heated stories and reports that have come from various media outlets. We want to ensure you that we, as a department, are focused and dedicated to the core principles of our service: protecting you and your property. Chocowinity Fire Department prides itself on integrity and public service and at no time whatsoever would we ever attempt to tarnish those fundamentals that the fire service has held longstanding for hundreds of years. Our course remains true that we will do our very best to ensure your safety during the darkest hour when the bells toll.

Times are rapidly changing and we are steadily growing. You may see some new pieces of equipment and apparatus on the road and at our stations when you pass by. This new equipment is a direct result of your steadfast support and the dedication of our membership as we endeavor to provide the very best fire/life safety protection to our citizens. Our goal is to constantly improve the equipment we utilize during the implementation of our training and skills, so that we can efficiently rescue and save lives and property. We thank you for your support in allowing us to have the opportunity to receive this new equipment so that we can better serve you.

During this time of political campaigns and debate, it is easy to associate an organization such as Chocowinity Fire Department with certain political agenda(s) handed out by candidates running for election. We want to ensure you that we are in no way undermining any candidate or agenda in Beaufort County. Our department and membership is concerned about the future of Beaufort County and our citizens. We want the very best for our department so that we may be able to do our jobs, as volunteers, easier and at a constantly improving level. We only hope that you will understand that certain political mudslinging towards our department is just that … an attempt to drag the hard work and dedication of our great agency through the mud to make certain candidates look better on the ballot. Our focus is, was, and forever shall be you, the citizens and your safety. While some candidates aim to bring us down and point out flaws, we are hard at work training and polishing all facets of our agency to ensure that we are ready to answer the next call, no matter what it may be.

We want to thank you again for your support through the years. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We train hard every month of the year for a myriad of responses, whether it be fire, rescue or medical in nature. After devoting thousands of hours of training and service to you, we have many hours of said training ahead of us still. The old saying is that “when you feel like you know everything about firefighting, its time to quit the service” because our industry is constantly changing and evolving. Through all of this we stand as one, focused on the bigger picture: your safety and the protection of your property. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to visit our department or talk with one of our firefighters or staff members. We will be glad to clear up any inconsistencies or issues that you may have heard or read. Thank you from all the members and staff of Chocowinity Fire Department.


Tommy Pendley
Fire Chief, Chocowinity Fire Department