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Where do I report unprofessional behavior by members of a volunteer fire or rescue squad in Brunswick County?

Ana Ribeiro

The first step in reporting unprofessional behavior by fire personnel should be telling the chief of the fire department, says Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner.

“If someone in the department is doing something wrong, the chief has a right to know,” Garner said.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the chief’s answer — or if the allegation is against the chief himself — then it merits taking the complaint to the authority that oversees the whole department, Garner said. In the case of volunteer squads operated independently from towns, such as Leland Fire/Rescue and the Navassa and Northwest fire departments, that authority would be the president of the board of directors. As for town-operated departments such as the ones in Southport, Oak Island, Shallotte, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach and Bald Head Island, complaints should be reported to the appropriate town manager, Garner said.

If the complaint is against Brunswick County Emergency Services, the person should contact the department’s administration first, then go to county government if the outcome is not satisfactory, he said.

Brunswick County Emergency Services also will listen to allegations against local volunteer fire squads, but will take those back to the particular squad’s board of directors or town manager, Garner said.

To reach Brunswick County Emergency Services’ administrative offices, call 253-5383.

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