Raleigh Fire Department Facility Project Updates

Let’s start a new, recurring feature. Raleigh Fire Department facility updates. The city is upgrading and expanding numerous fire facilities, and it’s long overdue. Fire stations are being replaced with much larger and more modern facilities, either on the same site (Station 6) or near their current stations (Station 12, 14, 22). Others are being renovated with “down to the walls” projects. There’s also the first “infill” station on the books, Station 30 off Wake Forest Road on Ronald Drive. Here are the assorted statuses. Will update again in three/four/five/six months.
  

Facility Project Type Project Location Project Notes
Sta 1 Replace Convention Center area Programming complete. Site selection still underway, in area of Convention Center. Funding for multi-year project started in FY18. Combination Station 1 and relocated Headquarters.
Sta 2 Renovate 263 Pecan Road Construction underway. Completion expected in fall. Included renovation of adjoining former shop building. See photos. Read blog.
Sta 3 Replace Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & Rock Quarry Rd. area Land acquisition underway, on state property near corrections center. Construction funds to be requested in FY19. 
Sta 6 Rebuild 2601 Fairview Road Demolition completed. Site preparation starting. 14 month construction time. See photos. Read blog.
Sta 11 Renovate 2925 Glenridge Road Project re-started, after reduction in scope. Primary focus is expansion of apparatus bay, to accommodate 100-foot ladder truck. Plus complete renovation. Design work starts in August.
Sta 12 Relocate 807 Bus Way Construction underway. Completion expected in late winter. See photos. Read blog.
Sta 14 Relocate Harden Road & Nancy Ann Drive Existing structures to be abated/demolished in August. Building plan permitting in September. Bid estimate in October. Read blog.
Sta 15 Renovate 1815 Spring Forest Road Sprinkler system recently added. Complete renovation starts in 2018, with FY18 funding.[1] See photos.
Sta 22 Relocate 10050 Durant Road New project, on fast-track. Replacement site chosen, city property. Design work starting this month. Construction starting in fall 2018. Read blog.
Sta 23 Relocate Pinecrest Road & Westgate Road area Land acquisition funding to be requested in FY19. Will house E23, L9, at Battalion Chief.[2]
Sta 30 New 1514 Ronald Drive Land acquired. Construction funds to be requested in FY19. This will be an “infill” station.
Services Renovate 4120 New Bern Avenue Mechanical system enhancements to garage bays and supply store started this month.

[1] Station 15  is the third in a series of planned renovations, which completely renovate the structures. First was Station 5 (see photos, read blog), which completed in the fall of 2016. Though programmed as two per year, it’s playing out as one per fiscal year, due to cost. (Excludes Station 11, which will also be a full renovation, plus bay expansion.)

[2] Station 23 is a new-ish project. It’s part of the RFD five-year strategic plan, published in 2015: http://raleighfirenews.org/pdf/strategic-plan-2015.pdf

 

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Greensboro Fire Department’s First Rescue Truck, 1944

In October 1944, the Greensboro Fire Department placed their first rescue truck in service. By my estimate, this was one of the state’s first fire department rescue squads or ambulance services. Readers, please help verify.

They operated a Ford panel van (?), a former Army ambulance purchased from Fort Bragg six months earlier. It was bought and equipped using “civilian defense salvage funds,” noted the Greensboro Record on October 12, 1944. That month, civilian defense officials formerly presented the truck and equipment to the city.

The “dusty, battered vehicle of war” was “reconditioned and remodeled and fitted with an extensive selection of equipment designed to meet any emergency.” It cost about $1,400 to equip. Converting the truck into a “modern rescue car” was largely performed by members of the fire department. They also repainted the rig.

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It was housed at Central Fire Station and was dispatched to any emergency, though not as an ambulance.[1] It was operated solely by city firefighters and intended for use in Greensboro and immediate vicinity.

In the summer of 1945, noted the Greensboro Record on October 18, 1945, their responses included four drowning cases, rescuing a worker from a “high radio tower,” “cut a man from a crush truck cab,” and “cut loose debris of other wrecks.” Squad members have also “loosed children from locked bathrooms, rescued cats from precarious perches, and provided numerous other services.”

In October 1945, they received an Emerson resuscitator, inhaler, and aspirator, donated by the Greensboro Junior Chamber of Commerce. They were also equipped with an iron lung, donated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars when the squad was organized. The iron lung was “light enough to be taken to the scene.”

Staffing included Capt. R. C. Fortune, who was in charge of the squad. Equipment carried on the truck in 1945 included: rubber raft, extension ladders, life preserver, grapple hooks, ammonia gas mask, fire extinguisher, hydraulic jacks, first aid equipment, stretcher, all-service gas masks, H. and H. inhaler, floodlight generator and lights, heavy duty cord, portable electric hammer, electric saw, acetylene cutting outfit, L. and R. safety carrier, pics, shovels, spades, wrecking bars, “five bathing trunks,” and “dozens of smaller items.”

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The fire department’s operation of the squad was apparently short-lived. The Greensboro Record on August 6, 1947, reported that the title of the truck was transferred to the Greensboro Life Saving and First Aid Crew. What happened? Google finds no immediate references to the group. They were likely a volunteer rescue squad and, perhaps, ambulance service. Were they an off-shoot of the fire department rescue squad? Did they share or transfer members? Good questions.

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Six years later in Raleigh, a volunteer rescue organization was created and sponsored and hosted by the fire department. The Raleigh Fire Department Emergency Rescue Squad was housed at Station 1, and city firefighters operated the two-piece unit. As the story goes, the volunteer members assisted at some incidents, such as drownings. Within a number of years, the squad was exclusively fire department-operated.

[1] Though not dispatched as an ambulance, it probably served as a back-up to the local ambulance services, which were probably provided by the local funeral homes.

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Raleigh Plans Relocation of Fire Station 22

As noted in this agenda item for tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the city is planning to relocate Fire Station 22 on Durant Road. The site is needed for projects related to the proposed Southeast Corridor high-speed rail initiative.

The state is planning an expansion of the crossing on Durant Road, just east of the fire station. The added grade separation will occupy the entirely of the fire station property.

This project’s been on the city’s radar since as early as 2010. This year, they were notified that the state sought to accelerate the schedule of the rail project. That is, now fast-tracked.


Google Maps

This spring, Engineering Services and the Fire Department began programming for a replacement facility. They’re planning a 14,000 square-foot fire station with two stories and three bays. It will equipped to house an engine and ladder company, haz-mat apparatus, and space for a future Battalion Chief, which may be added later.

The size and scope of the facility is consistent with the scope of other planned and pending fire department facilities, such as the new Station 12 and Station 14 buildings. (Those two have been designed to also house a Division Chief.)

City officials have selected a replacement site at 10050 Durant Road, which is part of a larger city-owned parcel that includes Abbotts Creek Park. They’re proposing using a 1.3 acre parcel on the southeast corner of the property. Click enlarge:

Project timeline:

  • August 15, 2017 – Presentation to City Council
  • September 5 – Approval requested from City Council
  • September 2017 – Design work starts
  • Fall 2018 – Construction starts
  • Early 2020 – Operational

Project cost are:

Land, Design and Site Work $967,700
Construction 5,087,500
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment 300,000
Cost Escalation 1,675,600
Contingency and Other 969,200
TOTAL $9,000,000

Source:

City Council Agenda Item – August 15, 2017
http://www.boarddocs.com/nc/raleigh/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=APWQN65CE165

History of Station 22

Fire Station 22 is located at 9350 Durant Road. The 1.95 acre parcel was donated by Mallinckrodt Corporation. The construction permitted was issued on December 3, 1997.

Station 22 was opened on July 31, 1988. Engine 22 was activated with a 1985 Pirsch Pumper. The 5,222 square-foot, one-story fire station was designed by Cherry Huffman Architects and erected by SAL Construction. The $850,000 facility was dedicated on August 5, 1998.

Truck 22 was activated on August 14, 2001, with a 1988 Pierce articulating platform. It was renamed Ladder 22 on August 21, 2006, and renamed Ladder 5 on July 7, 2009. Ladder 5 also staffs a haz-mat decontamination unit, a fifth-wheel trailer and prime mover that’s parked under a shelter at Station 22. 

Source: Legeros history.


Lee Wilson photo

 

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Snorkels in North Carolina

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from December 21, 2013, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems.

Articulating platforms, to be specific. Snorkel is a brand name. Let’s extend the discussion from this thread, as well as the topic itself, which replays on this blog every twelve to eighteen months.

Here are some photos. Still looking for more, such as posed shots of Durham’s Hi-Ranger, High Point’s Snorkel, and others we’ve missed. Photo credits include the Richard Adelman Collection (via eBay), Jeff Harkey, Andrew Messer, Mike Legeros, Lee Wilson, unknown via eBay, and a couple fire departments.

Click once or twice to enlarge:

 

Continue reading ‘Snorkels in North Carolina’ »

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Active Shooter in Apex – May 30, 2010

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from May 30, 2010, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems. It was originally titled “This morning’s shooting in Apex.”

Double shooting at 1201 Beaver Creek Commons Drive, at Target store. Dispatched about 11:09 a.m. Law enforcement response included Apex, Cary, Holly Springs, Raleigh, Wake County, and State Highway Patrol. Extensive fire and EMS response. Apex fire units utilized to block incoming traffic. Apex Battalion 1, then Car 1 as fire branch. District 5 as medical branch. Command post, EMS staging, and rehab established in front of Lowes store, beside Target building.

Two fatalities inside. Additional medical calls outside store, not directly related to gunfire. Rehab operations established for responders as well as store employees. About 150 shoppers and employees inside at time of incident. Wake County EMS Tactical Team members also present. Units on scene included Apex Engine 2, Ladder 3, Ladder 4, Battalion 1, Car 1, Mobile Command 1; Apex EMS 41, 42; Cary EMS 51, 52, 55, District 5; Wake County EMS 8, EMS 9, District 3, Medic 91, Truck 1, Chief 100, MD 1. Incident still underway, including fire unit standing by during investigation of suspect vehicle. Photos from Legeros posted.
 


Mike Legeros photo

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Raleigh Adds Squads, Fifth Battalion, and More – February 5, 2012

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from February 5, 2012, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems.

Big changes today in the Capital City, effective 0800 hours. Here’s take one of a summary of the rescue reconfiguration, the new battalion, the unit renumbering, and more. We’ll correct this posting as needed. 

Overview

  • Two rescue engines (as squads) placed in service.
  • Five-person heavy rescue placed in service.
  • Fifth battalion added.
  • Unit renumbering for department support vehicles.
  • Response changes, including two ladders on all structure fires.

Heavy Rescue and Squads

Five-person heavy rescue placed in service.

  • Rescue 1 at Station 21.
  • Operating 2007 Pierce rescue unit.
  • Expanded seating for six people.
  • Some equipment added, such as hand tools for three more members. Unit was previously staffed with two people.

Continue reading ‘Raleigh Adds Squads, Fifth Battalion, and More – February 5, 2012’ »

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Northern Wake Fire Department Ceremony Videos – July 23, 2017

Here’s raw video footage from the ceremonies at Northern Wake Fire Department Station 1 on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The event celebrated the joining of Bay Leaf and Stony Hill fire departments, as well as a dedication of their new Rescue 35.

We previously posted two short excerpts: the coupling ceremony and the housing ceremony.

Here’s the full footage from the event, recorded on a FujiFilm X30. That’s Mr. Blogger’s travel camera. (And an upgrade from his usual iPhone footage.) Lousy audio, but the camera’s fairly steady. Will do better next time!

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B-17 Bomber Crashes in Garner, May 9, 1944

The News & Observer this week published an excellent retrospective of the B-17 bomber crash in Garner on May 9, 1944. The Flying Fortress crashed into a wooded area around 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of Garner and Vandora Springs Roads. 

Two crew members were killed, and either others parachuted to safety. The Raleigh Fire Department was notified, and sent two trucks to the scene. Fire Chief W. R. Butts was one of the first officials to arrive at the scene, along with Highway Patrol and military officials, who arrived about the same time.

The burning wreckage was spread over an area 600 yards long and 100 yards wide. Bombs and bullets continued exploding long after the crash. Spectators attracted the scene were warned to keep clear for fear of further explosions. 

Here’s the News & Observer story from May 10, 1944. Click to enlarge:

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More goes here.

Need to see the stories from the subsequent days. And the official report would be neat to see. 

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Rebuilding Fire Station 6 – Update August 2017 – Now Gone

This is an ongoing blog posting about the rebuilding of Fire Station 6.

Contents

  • 08/12/17 – Now Gone
  • 08/02/17 – Demolition started
  • 07/17/17 – Demolition starting soon
  • 05/30/17 – Now closed
  • 05/27/17 – Moving day is nigh!
  • 04/20/17 – Construction bid awarded, other updates
  • 03/11/16 – Comparing current and future station
  • 03/10/16 – 3D renderings
  • 03/04/16 – Another public meeting scheduled
  • 10/07/15 – Public meeting recap
  • 10/07/15 – Historical correction 

August 12, 2017

Now Gone

The building has been removed. Remaining materials to be removed, along with the foundation and other ground features. Next is site preparation. See photos and watch videos

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Continue reading ‘Rebuilding Fire Station 6 – Update August 2017 – Now Gone’ »

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Carolina Beach Expands Fire Station, Plus Some History, 2013

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from June 29, 2013, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems.

Here’s a neat story [link broken] from the Island Gazette about the expansion of the Carolina Beach Fire Department at 9 South Dow Road.

They’re expanding their station with a $1.3 project that’s been on the drawing board for years. The building will be expanded with a 5,785 square-foot expansion, via a 70-foot by 76-foot pre-built metal building. This will add four apparatus bays, which will exit onto Cape Fear Boulevard.

The project also includes renovations to the existing 7,488 square-foot building. Those will include converting two apparatus bays into a classroom, renovating conference rooms, and adding a sprinkler system through the entire facility.

The story also includes a history of Carolina Beach firehouses, as related by Deputy Chief Granger Soward. Below is a detailed look at their history, and a clarification of some points therein.  Click to enlarge:
 

Carolina Beach Fire Department History

1925 – Carolina Beach is incorporated.

1920s – Carolina Beach FD is organized. The fire department is housed in the original City Hall, which was likely located on the opposite side of the ocean-facing Pavilion. The City Hall was a combination town hall, police department, fire department, and school room. (The school room may have been used for Sunday School classes only.) The fire department had a small shed beside the City Hall, which housed a fire truck. The City Hall was converted from an open-air structure used for picnics and social functions. The building’s present day location is along the Boardwalk, and on the site of Britts Donuts (and other shops).

Continue reading on this web page.

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June 30, 2013 – Legeros
From a reader, “Here in Wilmington, I’ve always heard that Carolina Beach got a lot of our old stuff over the decades, including 2 1/2-inch hose. We have our own thread size, 3 1/4-inch by 6, and I’ve always heard Carolina Beach has the same. One of our Assistant Chiefs was also the Chief in Carolina Beach, it’s been told. Maybe back in the 1960s or 1970s.” Says Legeros, the cross-pollination of city > small town (or rural) fire departments is something that we’ve seen here in Wake County, and going back decades. Heck, there are plenty of local Fire Chiefs whose day job is with the City of Raleigh Fire Department.

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