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"The Lands"

The Richlands Volunteer Fire Department dates back to the 1920’s, when
local farmers and businessmen banded together to provide fire protection
to the community after a fire in town. The Department has grown over the
years into the professional all-volunteer department that provides a broad
menu of fire suppression, rescue, education and community services to the
town of Richlands and greater Northwest Onslow county. Richlands and
Northwest Onslow county have seen unprecedented growth over the years,

and this is not expected to end.

The Richlands Volunteer Fire Department continually assesses the needs
of our Fire District, maintaining high standards with training and equipping
our firefighters to meet present and future challenges. In 2020, we added a
new Spartan Fire Engine. We are in the process of building a new and
much needed Fire Station, to replace our current Fire Station, which we
have occupied since 1965. The new station will be located on the corner of
Wilmington St and Pete Jones Drive and is designed to meet the present
and future needs of our Fire Department and the Fire District.
The Richlands-Northwest Onslow Fire District is a combination of the Town
of Richlands and the Northwest Onslow Fire District. The Town of
Richlands is 1.63 square miles with a population of 2290 as of August
2020.. The Northwest Onslow Fire District is 47.46 square mile with a
population of 5,425.. The total square mileage of the Richlands-Northwest

Onslow Fire District is 49.09 square miles.


Chief: Brent Cook

Deputy Chief: Robert P. Hunt

Captain: Christopher E. Propst - Training Officer

Captain: Elliot N. Jarman

Lieutenant: Mark R. Hollahan

Lieutenant: Zane Craighead


Every five years, fire departments are comprehensively inspected by the State
Fire Marshalls Office and the results of those inspections directly impact the
insurance rates of the residents and commercial business owners within the
fire district.
In 2022, Richlands Volunteer Fire Department was inspected and passed with
high marks. A fire department’s rating affects homeowners’ and business
insurance premiums and helps signal how prepared firefighters are at
responding to calls and battling blazes in their fire districts. The lower the
rating, the better the score. We are proud to announce that effective
September 1st, 2022 our new insurance rating went into effect for both of the
fire districts that we serve! We have lowered the rating in the Town of
Richlands fire district from a 4 to a 3 and in our Northwest Onslow fire district
from a 5/9E to a 4/9E. This will result in savings to property owners’ insurance
in both fire districts! This would not be possible without the continued support
of our community and our dedicated volunteers. Thank you to all in our
community that keep our department going so we can help others.


Richlands Vol Fire Department has 34 active members at present, ranging
from our Junior Firefighters (aged 16-18) to our most seasoned 41-year
veteran Lifetime Members. The leadership in the department is elected by the
membership annually. Our Fire Chief is Brent Cook, Deputy Fire Chief is
Robert Hunt, Assistant Fire Chief is presently vacant. Our President is Elliot
Jarman and Vice President is Mark Hollahan.
We are always looking for a few good men and women interested in serving
their community, learning a great trade and spending time with a great group
of volunteers. Check out the “Contact Us” section for more info.


Our department averages over 350 calls per year, hitting a high of 387 for
2023. We provide the following services to our community:



Richlands Volunteer Fire Department Inc. is contracted by Onslow County and
the Town of Richlands to provide fire suppression. This includes but not
limited to responding to structure fires, vehicle fires, and grass fires. Other
responses that fall into this category are smoke detector activations, carbon
monoxide detector activations, and sprinkler activations.
For smoke detector activations, carbon monoxide detector activations without
symptoms, and similar situations, Richlands Volunteer Fire Department is
dispatched and a minimum of one unit responds initially.
For structure fires, grass fire threatening a structure, smell of smoke in a
building, or any other potential situation where loss of life or major property
loss is possible, a minimum of 4 departments are dispatched. -


Fire prevention includes visits to the schools and day cares, station tours,
smoke detector installations, and other events to promote fire safety. Fire
prevention activities also include conducting courtesy fire inspections, pre-fire
planning, and area surveys. These activities are conducted to familiarize
department personnel with the area and local occupancies. This provides

personnel insights into possible hazards and difficulties if an incident occurs at
that occupancy.


At this current time, Richlands Volunteer Fire Department Inc. is contracted for
fire protection and traffic control. In 2018, the Richlands Volunteer Fire
Department began to purchase rescue equipment for vehicle extrication. The
first set of gear that was purchased was a TNT rescue pump, TNT spreaders,
TNT cutters, TNT ram, and hoses to be used for the tools. In September
2018, the Onslow County Board of Commissioners voted to withdraw funding
to the Rescue Squads in the county. In 2019, 2020, 2021, the department
purchased high-pressure and low-pressure air bags for lifting, rescue struts for
stabilization, a confined space pedal cutter, and
a suite of battery-powered portable extrication tools. Wood cribbing and
wedges have also been built to aid in vehicle stabilization. Richlands
Volunteer Fire Department is not contracted to do vehicle extrication, but no
agency is providing the service in the Richlands-Northwest Onslow Fire
District and is a need in the community.

In the event of a vehicle occupant trapped or a vehicle rollover, a minimum of
3 departments are initially dispatched due to the potentially serious nature of
the accident.


Richlands Volunteer Fire Department Inc. has begun responding to specific
cardiac arrest emergency medical calls. Richlands Volunteer Fire Department
also provides assistance to EMS with lifting assistance, setting up of landing

zones (LZ’s) and landing the helicopter, and providing air packs to patients in
environments that are difficult to access.

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