Eastern Carolina Firefighters Association

ECFA Mission Statement: To support each member by providing education, information and representation for the fire service of Eastern North Carolina.

About Eastern Carolina Firefighters Association

We support our mission by promoting informed and progressive leadership through professionalism, dedication and integrity. We shall also foster a professional and personal relationship among our membership, and each strive to assist the return of our personnel safely to their families.

NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Service

Wednesday, April 22, 2015  The 10th annual North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in downtown Raleigh.

The day starts at 10 am with a parade that begins and end at Nash Square.  The memorial service starts at 12:30 also in Nash Square at the NCFFF monument.  This year, two fallen firefighters from previous years and six from 2014 are being honored for their heroism and ultimate sacrifice to our great state and our citizens.

Everyone is welcome to attend this annual event.  For more information, visit the NC Fallen Firefighters Foundation.



Carova Beach Fire and Rescue Takes to the Sky

Wednesday, April 8, 2015  Currituck County.

Carova Beach Volunteer Fire and Rescue will now have a set of eyes in the sky with the addition of its P-2 Nighthawk, a two-pound, radio-controlled drone officials say will be used to bolster emergency efforts.  Responding to about 12 miles of unpaved neighborhoods and oceanfront on the northern tip of the Outer Banks, the department is the first in the region to incorporate a drone into its line of emergency equipment.

“This is not the easiest place to determine where a problem is,” Carova Volunteer Fire Chief Bill Vann said, adding that he expects to use the Nighthawk for everything from identifying the source of smoke to locating missing persons and responding to ocean rescue calls.  “We saw a real need here. We do a lot of searching for fires and missing people and we do not have a good road structure here.”

Carova, about a mile wide, can only be accessed by four-wheel drive, and much of it is remote and difficult to access, particularly on the heavily-forested west side that includes a system of canals. And while Carova’s year-round population hovers around 500 residents, it can swell up to 8,000 during the summer months.

Fire-and-rescue officials say the Nighthawk will not only allow them quick and accurate access to hard-to-reach areas, but will save the department on wear and tear of vehicles and free up emergency responders.  Paramedic and firefighter Dave Messina was one of two from the Carova department who attended a Florida-based flight school to learn how to operate the drone. The majority of the students at the school were farmers or in the film industry, he said.

“This has been a year in the making and of fine-tuning the program. It works flawlessly,” Messina said. “I fully expect other departments to begin to question why they don’t use drones as well.”  The Nighthawk is equipped with a high-resolution camera to provide a panoramic view, which can be transmitted immediately to emergency responders on the ground. It has a flight-time capacity of about 15 minutes.

The aerial unit is entirely mobile, and while the pilot concentrates on flying the drone, the co-pilot is watching the video screen.  “If there is a point of interest, it can slow down to between five and 10 knots to provide a panoramic view of the area in question,” Messina said. “It provides a crystal clear picture. You can even make out the cottages in Sandbridge.”

The drone is capable of flying at a maximum of 80 mph and will generally operate at an altitude of between 100 and 200 feet. Fire officials say they anticipate using the Nighthawk to conduct damage assessment after major weather events and to respond to reports of objects in the ocean, which typically turn out to be balloons or balls.

The drone is wired for the installation of an infrared camera, which could be added sometime in future, Messina said.  “We wanted to get our feet wet with this before we jumped in the deep end.” But with an infrared camera, “if someone was lost at night, an infrared camera could light the area up like a Christmas tree.”

Messina says he even envisions a day when a life jacket or other flotation could be attached to a drone and dropped down to a distressed swimmer.

Department officials say the department has adopted standard operating procedures to ensure the Nighthawk’s operation is in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.  The drone is slated to be fully operational beginning April 11, but has already be used to locate a significant amount of black smoke reported, which was found to be from a spot in the Currituck Sound that required no response.

Such a “locate and investigate” mission could tie up emergency responders and equipment for more than an hour given the geography and limited accessibility of the area, a department press release read.  “This saves us from responding,” said Vann, adding that he looks forward to putting the Nighthawk to use this summer.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Outer Banks Voice.  Originally written by Michelle Wagner.  www.outerbanksvoice.com 



Wilson Relay For Life Fundraiser

Wednesday, April 1, 2015  Wilson Fire Rescue Services, along with several area fire departments are quite active in Relay For Life.  This year, they have partnered with Heroes Sports, Oyster Bar and Grill on Barnes Street SW for a Cornhole tournament.

The tournament will be Saturday, April 25 and starts at 1 p.m.  Fire Department teams welcome!  For more information, click here to see the flyer.  If you are up for a little friendly competition, click here for the registration form.

Help make this year's Relay For Life fundraiser a success.  Join us at Heroes.



Exciting Changes Coming To Annual Seminar

Wednesday, April 1, 2015  The ECFA seminar committee is excited to announce changes to the annual Fall Fire Rescue Seminar held in October at Cape Fear Community College.  This year, several new classes are being added that cover a wide array of Public Safety classes, including Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Management, Building and Fire Inspector con ed and lots more!

As we finalize class opportunities, we will begin announcing the newly revamped Eastern Carolina Public Safety College.  But for now, save the date:  Wednesday, September 30 through Sunday, October 4.

Stay tuned!



Fire Officer Symposium in New Hanover County

Tuesday, February 10, 2015  New Hanover County Fire Rescue is pleased to offer the 2015 NHCFR Fire Officer Symposium with nationally renowned instructors.  The symposium offers fire officers, both current and future, a fresh perspective on topics that are relevant in today's fire service.

The first session, focusing on leadership, is Leadership Tenants for the Individual, for Large Organizations, and during Crisis.  This class was held in March, led by Colonel Royal Mortenson.

The second session, focuses on tactics, is Bringing Fire Dynamics Research to the Fireground - SLICE-RS, and will be held May 7 and 8.  This class is led by Hanover (VA) Fire EMS Division Chief Eddie Buchanan.

All classes will be at the north campus of Cape Fear Community College in Castle Hayne. For more information and to register, click here.  



ECFA Expands Scholarship Opportunities

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  The scholarship committee has been working to add greater financial value to the ECFA scholarships that have been offered in the past as well as increase the dollar amount awarded annually.

After meeting in Ahoskie in January 2015, the committee proposed modifications to the scholarships and the application process.  The ECFA board accepted the recommendations of the committee and we are excited to announce the following changes are now effective for the current application cycle:

  • Increased the dollar amount of the Richard Leach and Ernie Bryant General Scholarships to $1,500 each.  Previously these were for $1,000 each.
  • Increased the number of General Scholarships to four (4), up from two (2).
  • Simplified the application and extended the application period by approximately 45 days.  Scholarship applications must now be postmarked by May 1.
Visit our Scholarship page for the application as well as contact information.  



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