Biltmore Forest Fire Changes
The town of Biltmore Forest will have a new fire and rescue service beginning September 1st. Asheville Fire Department's station number five, across the street from the town, has provided services for 18 years. But town leaders decided to switch to Skyland Fire Department. The reason, says Skyland fire chief Dennis Presley, is money. Presley says his department can offer services for $25,000 a year less than Asheville's fire department.
Scott Mullins, president of the Asheville Firefighter Association, says Biltmore Forest residents will suffer, from longer commute times and lack of manpower. However, Chief Presley says Skyland's new branch is on the Ramble Subdivsion, on the west side of Biltmore Forest, so any delays will be minimal. Chief Presley also says Skyland's firefighters are certified to do more medical procedures than Asheville's.
Biltmore Forest resident Skip Ennett says he's concerned town leaders never notified him of the switch. He lives closer to station number five, and says he knows, from his father's heart issues, how important every second is when it comes to E.M.S. response time.
by Karen Wynne