Grissettown/Longwood Fire & Rescue Department (GLFR) is located in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Brunswick County is 856 square miles and is located in the southeastern corner of North Carolina; with the Atlantic Ocean on its southern border. Brunswick County shares its western boundary with the state of South Carolina. The Cape Fear River forms the county’s northern and eastern borders, and is the divider between New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. Brunswick County has 19 municipalities and six townships located within its boundaries.
In July of 1985 a group of concerned citizens met in the local AA building. The concern was the need for fire protection in our community. About 25 to 30 people attended this meeting.
On the 8th day of August 1985 the second meeting was held. The name for the department was decided on as Grissettown-Longwood Volunteer Fire Department; because the department will be servicing both communities Grissettown and Longwood. At this same meeting they voted on the board of directors and raised 4920.00 to take care expenses of getting started.
As the department was getting started they met in a store building on Hwy 17 that was donated by Mrs. Fannie Hewett until a new building was being constructed. While in this old store they had a yard sale set up to help raise money for our new building and equipment that will be needed.
On the 10th day of October of 1985 they voted to purchase a 1964 Ford tanker truck which was paid for by raising money with fish fry and chicken plates. The first fire truck was a 1975 Ford pumper.
A piece of land was purchased on hwy 904, containing 3.75 acres and the process of building a 60’ x 120’ building started. This is still the current location of the department today, as of June 2014.
In 2004, the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshall completed a survey on the department (better known as ISO rating) and in January 2005 it was announced we received a 5/9s. The grade represented 5 being in our hydrated area in which homeowners received a deduction on their fire insurance policy by 40% and 9s still in the rural area in which still are working on the rating.
Following our North Carolina Rural Rating System (NCRRS) in 2005, we were encouraged to amend our Articles of Incorporation (Charter) to show we have involved from a volunteer fire department to a department that responded to rescue and EMS (first responders) incidents. Late 2005 and 2006 another amendment was made to change our name from Grissettown-Longwood Volunteer Fire Department to Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue.
Due to the changing demands on the fire service across the United States from structure fires and fire alarm activations to advanced rescue techniques we are also adapting to the change. During 2005 several members become interested in assisting the community more by starting a first responder program at GLFR. The department started responding on a limited basis to only life threatening calls. By 2006 the department started to respond to all types of emergency calls.
Our department is funded by fire fees. This is a fee schedule prepared by the county and approved by North Carolina. For example, A residence has 1,500 heated square feet would pay $100.00 for fire protection. This schedule consists of single wide mobile homes that are $50.00 to 8,000 square feet that are $700.00. Now the growth in our tourist area has stopped our funded as become limited making it difficult to keep up with new technology. We have three fundraisers a year now. The first is a mail out, typically in August or September, in which we receive $10,000.00; the second is Halloween Haunted Trail throughout the month of October in which we made $30,000.00 and lastly a Christmas Train Show usually the first weekend in December in which we receive $2,500.00. In December 2013 we started a Christmas Light Show which we may not continue as of today.
We hope with the brief overview, this will explain where our department was and what we have accomplished and where we are today. We have a group of dedicated members and board of directors.
Chief Talbot Grissett