Mint Hill Fire Department holds public meetings to discuss ambulance service

MHVFDA meeting was held on Monday, September 9 at 7 pm at the Mint Hill Fire Department on Fairview Road to discuss the future of ambulance service in Mint Hill and to provide the public with information on the current challenges facing the department which serves over 27,000 people.

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s board chairman Jerry Mullis welcomed the crowd and set the agenda for the evening.

“The purpose of this meeting is to explain the improvements within our department to our community,” he said. “We want to explain the approach on our plan to charge for EMS service for transportation to a hospital.”

Mullis used historical data and information about current trends across the country to explain the need to raise funds to support additional positions for staff who would be solely responsible for EMS transport services.

“For 38 years we have provided free service for transportation to a hospital,” says Mullis, “Now we’re about the only volunteer fire department that provides transportation to hospitals, period.”

Life-long Mint Hill resident and current Fire Chief John Phillips started his career in 1974 at age 16.

“A lot has changed since I joined the department,” says Phillips. “If we’re going to continue the level of service the people of Mint Hill deserve, we need to take measures to keep up with the growth.”

Population increases as well as economic growth that has come with the completion of I-485, has the department stretched to the breaking point.

In reviewing the call data, MHVFD reports a 1,323 percent increase in call volume from 1999 to 2012. According their records, the department responded to 252 calls in all of 1999.  In 2012, that number jumped remarkably to 3,334. By the end of 2013, that number is expected to keep pace with the 10 to 15 percent annual growth and reach around 3,600 calls.

The increase has not been impetus for Mecklenburg County to provide more funding. In fact, any funding that the department has been receiving from Mecklenburg County will be phased out by July, 2014.

The need to raise funds in now greater than ever, and charging insurance companies for ambulance service for transportation to a hospital for Mint Hill residents is what the department will be doing beginning around October 1, 2013.

Billing will occur for ambulance services provided to all those who reside outside of Mint Hill.

The goal is to hire six new employees whose sole responsibility will be to provide EMS transport services.

“Our current staff provides both fire suppression and EMS transport services,” says Chief Phillips.

The intention is to have the money raised through billing provide the necessary funds for hiring the additional personnel.

At this point the funding is critical to keeping the level of service citizens are used to.

“Without charging we would have to cease providing EMS transport,” says Chief Phillips.

The next public meeting will be September 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm at 8313 Fairview Road in Mint Hill. Call 704-491-6324 for more information, or email Chief Phillips at jphillips@fire.minthill.com

 

 

Share

Producer has Mint Hill roots

Free movie screening at Blair Road United Methodist

movieSeason of Miracles, the latest movie from Elevating Entertainment, has an official release date of October 1, but Blair Road United Methodist Church will host an early release screening of the new family friendly movie on September 13 at 7:00 pm. This is the third feature film produced by Mint Hill native Dave Moody and his son Josh.

Season of Miracles tells the story of the Robins, an underdog Little League team in the deep south who turn their season around when newcomer and autistic baseball savant, Rafer (Grayson Russell, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Talladega Nights) joins their team.  Continue reading

Share

Mint Hill Tractor Show

The 2013 tractor and hit and miss engine show will be held from 9 am to 3 pm Sep- tember 28 at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. There will be vintage tractors and farm equipment, cow pie Bingo, gold panning, food and music.

It’s not too late to register to bring your old tractor or hit or miss engine. There
is no entry fee. Call Dale at 704-506- 7773. For more information, contact www.minthillhistory .com or info@minthill history.com.

Share

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department to charge for ambulance service

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department representative Roger Martin shares the findings of the long- range study completed in January. Martin demonstrates the need for additional personnel that will be funded by charging for ambulance service. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department representative Roger Martin shares the findings of the long- range study completed in January. Martin demonstrates the need for additional personnel that will be funded by charging for ambulance service. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

At the August 15 Board of Commissioners meeting, representatives from the Mint Hill VFD made a presentation outlining a plan to move forward with billing for ambulance service. This plan is an effort for the service to become self-sustaining.
MHVFD Chairman Jerry Mullis addressed the Board to explain the findings of a study initiated in January to determine long-range needs of the department based on the steady increase of call volume due to population increases in the Mint Hill area.
“All indications are that our call load will increase each year,” says Mullis. “We need to be proactive in our readiness and future abilities to serve.” Continue reading

Share

Blair Road United Methodist welcomes new associate pastor

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 7.21.24 PMBy Michele Dotson-Staff Writer

Pastor Innocent Justice is settling into his new role at Blair Road United Methodist Church. Justice comes to Mint Hill from Durham where he has just completed his Master’s in Divinity from Duke University.

Originally from Rwanda, Justice thinks his mother had high hopes of his future in the ministry by picking such a fitting name.

“My mother, who was a good Catholic, looked in the books of the Saints and she chose Innocent. Maybe she thought I was going to serve the Lord,” he says.

If there was any doubt that his first name might allude to his future calling, there is no question about his last name.

“In African culture, there are no such things as a family last name,” he explains. “So when I was born, I was given the last name Ndagijimana, which means ‘God is my Shepherd.’”

Justice fled the genocide in Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1994, only to be chased back into the country when the atrocities began in the refugee camps there. In 2001 he fled to South Africa with his wife and daughter and remained there until 2005.

“I came to the US with my wife and daughter to Kentucky,” says Justice. “We were sponsored there by Wesley United Methodist Church and I knew then that God had called me to the ministry.”

Justice completed his BA in Pastoral Ministry at John Wesley College, which is now Laurel University. In 2010 he applied and was admitted to Duke Divinity School. He served as Associate Student Pastor at Duke’s Chapel in Durham from July, 2010 to June 9, 2013.

2010 also marked another milestone for Justice and his family. They became US citizens.

“In Africa, wives don’t take the last name of their husbands. So when we came here, I would go to the school to pick up the children, they would ask if they were adopted since my wife, children, and I had different last names; it caused such confusion,” explained Justice.

So when they became citizens in 2010, they decided to choose a last name that was appropriate for them.

“Because of my passion for justice and reconciliation, I chose the last name “Justice.”

“We are happy in this country, but it was important to remember where we came from, so I did not lose my last name, Ndagijimana became my middle name.”

Upon completion of his degree at Duke, Justice began to look into positions at specific churches and started interviewing. Churches in need then submit their top two candidates to the Conference for approval. Even though he was from Durham, Justice is a member of the Western Conference.

“The Bishop and the Cabinet will sit together to pray and discern and decide which church needs who, with the gifts and Grace, as we call them, and they decide the appointments,” explains Justice.

“God wanted me to be here, and here I am,” he adds.

As associate pastor, Justice will assist Senior Pastor Lynn Upchurch in many ways.

“My responsibilities will involve teaching, preaching and pastoral care, and all the life of the church,” he says. He’s very excited about the possibilities at the church and is working now to get to know the congregation as well as prepare for his first sermon which will be July 21.

The family has grown since leaving Africa and now includes two more daughters.

“My wife Vicky, and daughters Divine, Deborah, and Dianna are really loving Mint Hill,” he says. “It is a wonderful place. I love Mint Hill because it’s a small town. It’s very calm. You can access everything and it’s not far from Charlotte. I can drive 20 minutes and I am in the big city, and then come back here to this safe sanctuary, so I love Mint Hill.”

 

 

Share

Mint Hill Board of Commissioners hears plans on development

Before the normal Mint Hill Board of commissioners meeting last Thursday, January 10, the town held their quarterly developer’s workshop, hearing presentations from several area land developers.

The board heard from Jerry Helms regarding Blair Road Development, Chris Isaacs regarding Mint Hill Commons development, and Brian Jackson regarding modifications to the Summerwood Community’s architecture requirements. 

Helms presented preliminary plans for an area of land owned by a number of residents, and potential uses for the land include a retirement community and a retail shopping space.
“I’m afraid if we develop Lawyer’s Road, we develop 218, we develop Blair Road, it’s going to turn Mint Hill and the outer belt into a nightmare,” said Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers, speaking of the potential development for a retail shopping complex along 485 in Mint Hill. “So at this point, I’m not encouraging this project. I think there are components of it that may be viable down the road, but this project is one big project that  I’m just not encouraged by.”
Share