As a Friend of First Responders… Thank You

Thank you to the Greater Raleigh Chamber, for this morning’s honor of being named the 2017 Friend of First Responders, at their annual First Responders Appreciation Breakfast

It remains my privilege and great pleasure to be the “keeper of history” for our local emergency services. For fifteen years now, I’ve been playing photographer and blogger and historian and author, and it’s been a blast. And I’m a proud member of so many families.

Fire and EMS and law enforcement… they are the stories that I tell, and theirs is the support that has made my work possible. Thanks, all, for your support, and for what you do. You are the ones with the heavy lifting. Mine is an easier task, just watching, and recording, and telling the stories. See you on scene.

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – Thursday, September 21

The next meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission is Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the Wake County Emergency Service Education Center, 221 South Rogers Lane. The meeting’s in Suite 160, the large conference room. Starts at 7:00 p.m.

Agenda is below. View the meeting documents.

  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Billy Myrick
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
    • Barry Doyle Proclamation
  • Items of Business
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Adoption of Minutes for July 20, 2017 Regular Meeting
  • Public Comments
    • Comments from the public will be received at the time appointed by the Chairman of the Fire Commission for 30 minutes maximum time allotted, with a maximum of 3 minutes per person. A signup sheet for those who wish to speak during the public comments section of the meeting is located at the entrance of the meeting room.
  • Regular Agenda
    • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Request
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Administrative
      • Apparatus
      • Budget
      • Communications
      • Equipment
      • Facility
      • Staffing and Compensation
      • Steering
      • Training
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Director Report
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment
    • Next Meeting November 16, 2017
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More Vintage Wallops Flight Facility Fire Apparatus

By way of a this thread in the Facebook group Fire & Rescue Apparatus 25 Years And Older, from Aaron Moore and originally photographed by someone at WFFFD, here are vintage rigs NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility fire department.

They’ve been added to my department profile and Antares rocket explosion recap, which originated as a blog post in April 2015.

Pictured are:

  • 1970s (?) Yankee/Walter crash truck
  • 1970s (?) Oshkosh MB5 crash trucks (2)
  • 1978 ______/Swab ambulance
  • 1980 Pemfab/PTI pumpers, 1000/500/40 (2)
  • 1980 White Commander II/Almont Welding Works runway foamer, 650/7000/1200

Click to enlarge:


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Raleigh Adds Third Tiller

The Raleigh Fire Department placed their third tiller in service today. Ladder 8 at Station 26 has received a 2010 Pierce Arrow XT tractor-drawn aerial ladder, 1500/300/100-foot. 

Formerly Ladder 4 at Station 1, it has replaced a 2006 Pierce Arrow XT rear-mounted aerial ladder, 1500/300/105-foot. 

This is the city’s third tiller, joining Ladder 4 (2017 Pierce) and Ladder 9 (2015 Pierce). All three are equipped with 1500 GPM pumps, 300 gallon tanks, and 100-foot ladders.

Raleigh’s the first city in the Carolinas to operate three tillers. In North Carolina, tractor-drawn aerials include:

  • Cornelius-Lemley (Mecklenburg County) – Seagrave
  • High Point – Pierce
  • Raleigh – Pierce x 3
  • Wilmington – Pierce
  • Winston-Salem – KME (in production)

Thinking there’s one or two others. Readers?

Lee Wilson photo

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Vintage USAF Crash Rescue Instructions For Local Responders

For your holiday weekend reading pleasure, a “crash rescue guide” for local responders, prepared by Field Training Detachment 205A at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Undated and found in the archives of a local fire department.

Contains information on (a.) telephone numbers for reporting crashes, (b.) types of information to provide when calling, (c.) instructions for assisting injured personnel, (d.) instructions for when injured or deceased military personnel are moved from the scene, (e.) notes on prohibition on release names of deceased personnel, (f.) instructions about security matters and allowing pictures to be taken, and (g.) instructions for safety of civilian population.

 Click to enlarge:

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Swift Water Rescue Teams Leave Raleigh For Texas

Two swift-water rescue teams left Raleigh yesterday, headed to Texas to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They were part of a five-team deployment requested by Texas emergency officials. 

Personnel and equipment from NC USAR Task Force 8 and Task Force 9 departed from the Raleigh Fire Department training center, following a 10:00 a.m. press conference that included remarks from Governor Roy Cooper and Mayor Nancy Macfarlane. 

Mike Legeros photos

Personnel and equipment from Chapel Hill and Durham fire departments arrived at the training center after 8:00 a.m. Crews prepared the Task Force 8 vehicles, which included:

  • Two four-door utility trucks/water rescue, pulling trailers with boats and rescue equipment
  • Two pick-ups with camper shells, one pulling a logistics trailer that includes a UTV
  • Box truck/communications unit, pulling a generator, lighting, and antenna trailer.

The Fayetteville team from Task Force 9 arrived around 10:00 a.m., with a similar vehicles and equipment. 

Mike Legeros photos

News media, local officials, and Mr. Blogger also gathered at the training center that morning. They interviewed and photographed the firefighters. Google for news stories. Also search Twitter for stories, pictures, and video. 

See more Legeros photos. Or watch this short clip:

Five Teams From Across The State

The five teams consist of 92 personnel from the following agencies, each part of a larger North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force:

  • Task Force 9 – Fayetteville FD, Fayetteville PD, Cumberland County EMS and Lumberton Rescue & EMS
  • Task Force 8 – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill fire departments
  • Task Force 6 – Greensboro FD
  • Task Force 3 – Charlotte FD
  • Task Force 2 – Henderson County Emergency Services, Blue Ridge FD, Etowah Horse Shoe FD, Fletcher FD, Henderson County Rescue Squad, Saluda FD, Valley Hill FD

The Greensboro, Charlotte, and Henderson County teams departed from the Charlotte Fire and Police Training Academy, also on Friday morning. 

The five teams are part of the state’s swift-water rescue program, which is organized by North Carolina Emergency Management. There are 30 teams positioned across the state. They meet national standards and can be deployed locally, regionally, or across the country.

Read this NC DPS press release for more background.


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Cherry Point’s New Rescue Pumper

Lee Wilson went to the beach last week, and shot this sweet Rosenbauer rescue pumper at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.

Was just delivered on August 24. It’s a 2017 Rosenbauer Commander, 1500/500 with 20 gallons Class A foam and 30 gallons Class B foam. 

See more pics from Lee, in his album of trip photos. What’s the rest of their fleet comprised of, and how many stations do they have? (Three structural, one ARFF.)

Maybe readers can advise.

Update, September 12 – From reader Trav May via Facebook comment, from the base web site:

“Operations Division – The Operations division is led by two Assistant Chiefs and six Captains. This division consists of all personnel assigned to suppression and associated services. 39 operations personnel are assigned to 7 work groups working a 48 hour on/72 hour off schedule. Each of the workgroups is assigned 6 to 7 personnel manning three fire stations. Minimally two 1250 GPM pumpers and one 1750 pPM 75-ft Quint are each staffed with four personnel daily.”

2017-08-31-mcas1 2017-08-31-mcas2

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Raleigh’s Old Steamer Gets Gong, Passes Boiler Inspection

Last month, Raleigh’s old steam fire engine received some work. A new gong was installed, and the boiler passed its annual state inspection.


The 1905 American LaFrance Metropolitan steam engine was moved to Station 29, and “A” platoon personnel (shown below) assisted Steamer Committee members with its annual state-mandated boiler inspection.

On July 29, a fire was lit, the steam was raised, and the 100+ year-old pumping engine flowed water behind the fire station. Here’s a short video of the test. That’s Captain Mike Ezzell at the controls and ably assisted by Lt. Pat Murphy. They’ve led the restoration and operation of the steamer since the project started in 2011. (See history below.)

Continue reading ‘Raleigh’s Old Steamer Gets Gong, Passes Boiler Inspection’ »

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The Yarborough Hotel Fire – July 3, 1928

From Research Central, here’s a new retrospective. Raleigh’s renowned Yarborough Hotel on Fayetteville Street. Was the social and political center of the city for decades. Burned on July 3, 1928. Brought hundreds to the scene, as well as engines from Durham and Smithfield. 

Posted on the Raleigh Fire Museum web site, the account is pulled primarily from newspaper stories. They’re transcribed in their entirety. Plus other bits and pieces and photos. Oh my.

Read the history


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Rural Fire Protection Origins – Guilford County

How did rural fire protection begin in North Carolina?

That’s been a nagging question for a few years now. We posted this historical perspective from 1977, with excerpts from a state government document. 

But how about some details? What were the developments among individual counties? We’ve asked inputs on our Facebook fire page, in this posting. That’s where a discussion is unfolding. 

And, we’ve got some data to share on Guilford County, and its early rural fire protection history…

Guilford County

Guilford was one of the first counties to address “the problem of rural fire protection.” They started discussions in 1939, pressed their General Assembly reps to introduce legislation, and by the middle of the next decade, had three “community fire departments” operating: Bessemer, Guilford College, and Oak Grove.

Here’s a detailed history by way of the Greensboro Daily News and the Greensboro Record, from 1939 to 1948. Let’s start at the end, with a great recap in a GR story from September 16, 1948. From there, we’ll go back to the beginning.

What happened after 1948, both in Guilford and statewide? To be continued!

Click to enlarge:

Full text:

Guilford College Fire Department Result of Legislative Enabling Act Continue reading ‘Rural Fire Protection Origins – Guilford County’ »

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