Greenville calls on outside company to assess fire department

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The city of Greenville has called on an outside consulting company to do an assessment of Greenville Fire/Rescue.

The assessment will look into what is and is not working within the department.

On Monday, Greenville city leaders confirmed with Nine On Your Side, plans to look inside the operation.

City manager Ann Wall sent an email to current employees of Greenville Fire Rescue that informed them of the hiring of an assessment team and asked for their cooperation.

Over the past several months, multiple people have spoken out against the department, including Amy McMahon.

“You see, it’s time to stop viewing these employees as if they are disposable,” said McMahon at the September 11, 2017, city council meeting.

McMahon is the wife of a twenty-year employee of the department. Her husband was set to leave the department this past January.

“Chief Griffon also stated that the department is on solid ground,” McMahon said. “There is currently a thirty percent turnover rate. That doesn’t exactly scream solid.”

At Monday night’s city council workshop, Nine On Your Side asked every council member for a comment on the assessment team’s hiring.

Each declined to speak.

The city manager’s office released a statement on behalf of the city that stated, “This assessment will help us identify what is working well, some of the key issues we face, and what opportunities there may be moving forward.”

The group doing the assessment is Developmental Associates of Chapel Hill.

Developmental Associates will be handling the evaluation and getting feedback from a number of parties including the city manager, fire chief, firefighters along with other departmental staff.

The firm specializes in these assessments and has done similar ones in other cities in our area, including New Bern.

According to the company’s proposal to the city, they will aim to find specific concerns and examples of behaviors to support those concerns.

Through a series of interviews over the next several weeks, the assessment is set to cost taxpayers nearly 30,000 dollars.

Interviews are set to start Tuesday.

Greenville Fire/Rescue provided us a statement that said, “We welcome the chance to partner with them and see it as an opportunity for the continuous improvement of the services we offer the City of Greenville”

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