Raleigh Receives Two New Pierce Pumpers

The Raleigh Fire Department has received two new engines: a pair of 2017 Pierce Enforcer pumpers, 1500/500. Job numbers 30631-01 and 30631-02. They’re the first new engines in two years, following Engine 29, a Pierce Arrow XT delivered in 2015.

Changes with these two engines include rolling compartment doors now unpainted, and ground ladders returned to a rear compartment. The latter also means high-side compartments on both sides. Different hose bed configuration, as well. Readers can add other observations. 

Engine 17 arrived on Friday, June 2. Engine 10 was delivered on Thursday, May 26. They’ll be joined by a new 2017 Pierce Arrow XT tiller, 1500/300/100′, that’s finishing production. It’ll be here by the end of the month.

Engine 10 and Engine 17 both operate 1998 Pierce Saber pumpers, 1250/500. Those were two of six (!) delivered back in the day. Engine 10 is also receiving its first new engine since 1968 (!!). That’s when Engine 10 was the second engine at Station 1, and received an open-cab 1968 American LaFrance 900 Series pumper, 1000/250.

Photographer Lee Wilson has been tracking these trucks since they started production at pierce. See more of his pictures.


2017-06-03-rfd2Lee Wilson photos

Facebook Comments

Rebuilding Fire Station 6 – Update May 2017 – Now Closed

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


  • 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 

May 31, 2017

Now Closed

Fire Station 6 on Oberlin Road has closed. Engine 6 on “B” platoon shuttered the fire station at 10:29 a.m. on Monday, May 29. They have relocated to nearby Fire Station 5 in Cameron Village, where they’ll share quarters with Engine 5 during the fourteen-month project. Demolition starts in July. See photos from moving day, from inside the fire station, design drawings, and some historical photos.


May 27, 2017

Moving Day is Nigh!

Engine 6 relocates to Station 5 on Monday, May 29. The oldest active engine house in the city will be closed, and a new fire station will be erected on the site. Watch this space for updates, as construction gets underway.


April 20, 2017

Construction Bid Awarded

Last month, the construction bid was awarded for the Station 6 project. See below. Construction is planned to begin in May, and Engine 6 will be relocated to Station 5 while the new engine house is being built. 

From the City Council meeting minutes of March 7, 2017, published this week:


On March 7, 2017, six formal bids were opened for the Fire Station Number Six New Construction project. KMD Construction submitted the low bid of $5,002,803. After reviewing its bid, KMD Construction requested the bid be withdrawn due to a significant arithmetic error. The next lowest responsible bid was submitted by Pro Construction, Inc. with a bid of $5,057,200. Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) participation is 16.6 percent. Funding is appropriated in the capital budget.

  • Name of Project: Fire Station Number Six New Construction
  • Managing Division: Engineering Services – Construction Management
  • Reason for Council Review: Formal Bid Award Amount >$500,000
  • Original CIP Budget: $6,395,000
  • Vendor: Pro Construction, Inc.
  • Prior Contract Activity: None
  • Budget Transfer: NA
  • Encumbered with this approval: $5,057,200
  • April 4, 2017

Recommendation: Award the contract to Pro Construction, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $5,057,200 and authorize the City Manager to execute the contract. Upheld on Consent Agenda. Branch/Thompson – 7 ayes (McFarlane absent and excused).

Other Updates

For the last several weeks, Rescue 1 has been housed at Station 6, while sprinklers were being installed at Station 15. The engine was not relocated, however. They should be moving back any day now.

On April 11, 2016, Engine 5 relocated to Station 6, as temporary quarters while renovations of Station 5 started. They returned to their updated engine house on November 10.

Lee Wilson photo (left), Mike Legeros photo (right)

Continue reading ‘Rebuilding Fire Station 6 – Update May 2017 – Now Closed’ »

Facebook Comments

Two Alarms on Prince George Lane

Two alarms were struck Friday morning at 9511 Prince George Lane. That’s near Six Forks and Strickland roads, in north Raleigh. Dispatched ~12:07 p.m.

First-due Engine 4 was out of quarters, on another call. With multiple callers reporting the fire, the dispatcher upgraded the incident to a working fire, while the fire department was still en route. Engine 4 also cleared their other call, and responded. They arrived about a minute ahead of second-due Engine 18.

Engine 4 arrived with heavy fire showing from a brick-and-frame, garden-style multi-unit apartment building.[1] 10,440 square-feet, built 1986, say tax records. The middle units of the building were fully-involved.

They “laid in wet”, stopping first at the fire hydrant, and laying their own line to the building. With the volume of fire and reports of subjects possibly trapped, the Engine 4 officer requested as second alarm within about a minute.

WTVD viewer video screen capture, uncredited, via Twitter

As the fire department was arriving, two men were going door-to-door as the fire was spreading. They kicked in doors, and called for anyone inside to come to safety. Their actions were captured on cellphone video by Corey Grant Eason.

Engine 4 continued evacuation of the building with the two civilians, as their water supply was established. Crews then started an interior attack with hand lines, but were soon withdrawn to start aerial operations. Evacuation tones were sounded on the radio, and air horns were sounded on scene.

Ladder 1 (platform) and Ladder 3 (straight stick) flowed.They were positioned on the front right (L1 supplied by E18) and front left (L3 with own hydrant) corners of the building. They knocked down the bulk of the fire, and crews resumed suppression, and then salvage and overhaul.

Battalion 5 had command, then assumed by Car 20, then assumed by Car 3, the Assistant Chief of Services. Wake County EMS provided medical monitor and rehab. The fire was controlled in just under an hour. Three additional engines were called for manpower, starting about ninety minutes into the incident.

Nineteen residents were displaced. At least eight units were damaged by fire, and at least four were damaged by smoke and water, said officials. (The Red Cross reported eleven occupied units were destroyed.) There was a firewall between each apartment, they noted.

The fire started on the porch of a rear, second-floor apartment, burned through the porch to the first floor, and spread from there, said officials via news reports. The cause was not determined. No residents were injured.

Run Card

  • ~12:07 – First alarm – E18, E16, E15, E9, L1, L3, R1, B5, B4, C420.
  • ~12:10 – E4 added to call, after clearing another.
  • ~12:11 – Working fire – A1, C20, C401.
  • ~12:13 – E4 arrived.
  • ~12:14 – Second alarm – E17, E29, E6, L9, L5, B1.
  • ~12:29 – E13 to Station 18, move-up.
  • ~12:29 – E3 to Station 9, move-up.
  • ~13:00 – Fire under control.
  • ~13:31 – E13, E23, special called.
  • ~14:51 – E24, special called.

News Stories

  • News & Observer – Homes ablaze on North Raleigh’s Prince George Lane
  • WNCN – Multiple units damaged in Raleigh apartment fire
  • WRAL – Visitors, bystanders warn residents of Raleigh apartment fire
  • WTVD – Raleigh townhouse fire displaces 19

[1] But wait Batman, weren’t these townhomes? Unsure. Seeing conflicting reports. Tax records indicating only one property owner. Ergo apartments?

Facebook Comments

City and County Budgets for FY18

Proposed budgets for FY18 have been announced of late, for local cities and counties. Here’s what’s happening on the fire department and fire service fronts, in those proposed budgets released thus far:


Salary range adjustments for firefighters, part of changes to compensation system for fire and police. Includes such adjustments as:
Starting pay will increase to $39,200, highest of any regional municipality in FY17.
Pay maximums for senior firefighters will increase by nearly 20%.

Two engines
One ladder (another tiller, we’ve heard)
One rescue (larger replacement for Rescue 1)
Other “service equipment” (two mini-pumpers, we’ve heard, for starters).

Ten firefighter positions, supported by grant from Homeland Security. Midyear addition, e.g. for calendar year 2018.
One Deputy Fire Marshal position.

Fire station maintenance – $1.3M
Fire Station 14 – $1.07M, addition funding to build retaining wall on site
Fire Station 1 – $1.6M out of $20.7M, over three fiscal years between FY17 and FY20
Fire driving course – $100,000, for design and preparation.



Thirty firefighter positions for two companies for Station 17, under construction on Leesville Road.


Wake County

Noticed Emergency Management now under Fire Services. Happened in September 2016. How’d he miss that?


Durham County

Nothing released yet.


Three firefighter positions.



Pumper replacement – #1706 – $650K
Replacing 1999 KME, current reserve

Note: Station 9 replacement on Walnut Street is already funded. Construction planned summer 2018 to fall 2019. See this project site.


Future Fiscal Years

Aerial ladder replacement (two) – $2,750,000

Aerial ladder replacement – $1,400,000
Sta 10 – O’Kelly Church Road – $750,000

Sta 10 – O’Kelly Church Road – $7M
SCBA replacement – $2M

Pumper replacement – $747,500
PPumper for Sta 10 – $800,000
Sta 10 – O’Kelly Church Road – $1.5M

Replacement pumpers – $4Mbr>RReplacement rescues – $1.2M
Sta 11 – White Oak Church Road
Sta 12 – West Lake/Middle Creek – $9.7M
Sta 13 – Lewter Shop Road and 751
Sta 14 – RDU/Pleasant Grove Church Road – $12M


Facebook Comments

New Rescue For Apex… And Some History

The Apex Fire Department placed a new Rescue 4 in service at Station 4 on Saturday, May 13.  The 2017 E-One Typhoon walk-around heavy-rescue, job #140490 , was delivered on April 21.

Features include top-mounted coffin compartments, a rear staircase, and a lighting tower. (Believe it also has a cascade system, for filling air bottles.) Lee Wilson has been following the progress of the truck, and has posted pictures. See his Flickr album.

Lee Wilson photo

It replaces a 1995 HME/Rescue Master walk-in rescue, a demo truck that was added in late 1995 or early 1996. Upon that truck’s delivery, which included new rescue tools, the Apex Fire Department assumed the role of rescue services from Apex Rescue Squad. (The latter becoming the EMS-only organization, Apex EMS.) 

Earlier Rescue Trucks

The prior rescue rig was a 1985 Ford L/4 Guys walk-in rescue, and used primarily as a service company. It was equipped with four SCBA mounts in the walk-in compartment, a mounted generator, and fireground support gear. After the delivery of the 1995 KME, it was used as a dive truck for a period of time. It’s shown in the montage below, and now serves Salisbury FD as Squad 4.

Apex FD also had a later, second rescue, a 1992 International/3D walk-around rescue added in 2004. It originally served Forsyth Rescue Squad, and the North Carolina Canine Emergency Response Team (NCCERT). Click to enlarge:

Left to right, top to bottom: Lee Wilson photos, Apex Fire Department photo (lower right)

The 1992 International/3D entered the fleet in 2004, as part of a partnership with AFD and NCCERT. The canine response team relocated from Winston-Salem to Apex that year, after Forsyth Rescue Squad closed shop in 2003.

NC USAR Task Force 4

NCCERT was also a core component of NC USAR Task Force 4, along with Troutman Fire Department. The partnership added AFD to the task force, and provided a home for  NCCERT’s vehicles and equipment. (The canine team was renting a warehouse on Perry Street.)

The town via the fire department agreed to house and maintain the equipment, which included the 1992 rescue truck and two cargo trailers with trench and collapse rescue equipment, a water rescue truck and various boat and jet ski trailers, a converted modular ambulance-turned-communications unit, and more. Click to enlarge:

NCCERT and Apex Fire Departments photos

In 2006, the town purchased the 1992 rescue truck from NCCERT, along with the two rescue trailers and their equipment, a flatbed trailer, and a panel van that was used as a dive response unit. Also that year, Morrisville Fire Department joined NC USAR Task Force 4.

Read this history of Task Force 4, which originated as the state’s first independent USAR team, North Carolina Task Force 1, and which was originally named North Carolina Strike Force 1. 

Racing Transporter Turned Rescue Truck

In 2010 or 2011, a former racing transporter was purchased for use by NC USAR Task Force 4. 

The 1995 Freightliner and three-axle extended cargo trailer replaced the rescue trailers for transporting trench and collapse rescue equipment. It cost about $42,000, and the monies were donated by the Apex Community Auxiliary, a group that supports Apex EMS. Click to enlarge:

Mike Legeros photo

In 2013, NC USAR Task Force 4 was dissolved, along with three other teams, after the state streamlined the number of state-sponsored USAR teams.

The Apex Fire Department has remained a state-recognized swift water rescue resource, however. They response several times a year to local lakes and waterways and flood-impacted areas.

Facebook Comments

NC Strike Force 1, NC USAR Teams, Forsyth Rescue, and More History

North Carolina Strike Force 1.

Ever heard of that entity?

They were the state’s first Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, organized in the late 1990s. They were conceived as regional technical rescue team that was based in Forsyth and Davidson counties.

They were incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2000, and renamed from “Strike Force” to “Task Force” in May 2000. Two years later, they shortened their name to NCTF-1.

But wait, Batman, the state-sponsored USAR task forces weren’t created until 2003. What’s the story here?

Thanks to some readers and a recent discussion on social media, here’s a history of the organization, as well as one of their founding agencies, the now-defunct Forsyth Rescue Squad. 

Plus a history of the North Carolina USAR program, and even some information on rescue squads no longer operating in Forsyth County.

Short Version

  • 1959 – Forsyth Rescue Squad (FRS) chartered. 
  • 1962 – FRS incorporated. 
  • 1969 – FRS adds first technical rescue truck.
  • 1989 – National USAR response system created, using city- and county-based teams.
  • 1995 – After Oklahoma City bombing, states begin developing USAR teams.
  • 1998 – North Carolina Strike Force 1 (NCSF1) created as regional technical response team, as joint venture between FRS and Thomasville Rescue Squad.
  • 1999 – North Carolina Canine Emergency Response Team (NCCERT), as a statewide search and rescue resource, and a participating agency in NCSF1 with a home base at FRS.
  • 1999 – First deployment of NCSF1.
  • 2000c – NCSF1 adds Troutman Fire-Rescue.
  • 2000 – NCSF1 incorporated.
  • 2000 – NCCERT incorporated.
  • 2001 – NCSF1 renamed North Carolina Task Force 1 (NCTF1).
  • 2001 – After events of September 11, federal monies made available through NC EM, to develop statewide USAR program.
  • 2002 – State implements progressive plan to establish regional USAR teams.
  • 2002 – NCTF1 renamed “NCTF1”, abbreviated.
  • 2003 – State identifies eleven regional USAR teams
  • 2003 – NCTF1 begins operating as a state team named North Carolina USAR Task Force 4.
  • 2003 – FRS disbands. Most of their vehicles and equipment disposed to NCCERT.
  • 2004 – NCCERT relocates home base to Apex, NC, and partners with Apex FD.
  • 2004 – Task Force 4 adds Apex FD.
  • 2006 – Task Force 4 adds Morrisville FD.
  • 2013 – State streamlines USAR teams, dissolves four teams.
  • 2013 – Task Force 4 dissolved.

Long Version

Visit this web page.


Facebook Comments

Video of Saturday’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial Parade

Video from Yours Truly of Saturday’s fallen firefighters memorial parade, part of the day’s events ahead of the annual North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial ceremony. Participating fire apparatus–with a couple exceptions–represented departments that have lost one or more members in the line of duty. Plus pipes band and honor guard. Still shots coming. Preview of ceremony pictures posted. See www.legeros.com/firepics.

Facebook Comments

Eleven Fallen Firefighters Honored on Saturday, May 6, 2017

This Saturday, May 6, 2017, the annual North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will be conducted at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh. The event starts at 1:00 p.m. and will be preceded with a parade at 10:00 a.m., featuring honor guards, pipes and drums, and fire apparatus from across the state, from departments with one or more fallen members in their past. See event information.

Also this weekend, motorcyclists from across the state will participate in the annual Red Helmet Ride to support the families of the fallen members and the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation. They’ll ride on May 5 and May 6. View the flyer.

Eleven firefighters will be added to the memorial wall this year. Ten passed away in 2016, and one is a legacy addition from 1967.

The memorial was dedicated in 2006, and contains the names of some 290 firefighters and fire service members who’ve died in the line of duty since 1902.

And if this posting seems familiar, it is. Have reused the text and formatting from last year’s posting.


This Year’s Honored

Lee Roy Horton Statesville FD 11/22/67
Joshua Woods Siler City FD 1/12/16
James Ronald Varnell Bakertown FD 2/2/16
Richard Michael Sheltra Pineville FD 4/30/16
John Morris Davis Jr. Kenly FD 5/7/16
Prentice J. Tyndall Hugo FD 5/12/16
Bradley S. Long Sherrill’s Ford-Terrell FD 6/6/16
Joshua Lee Warren Alexis FD 6/16/16
David Kevin Britt Severn Fire FD 6/18/16
Lennie J. Terry Triple Springs FD 12/11/16
Donald Key II Whispering Pines FD 12/27/16

Details on those who died in 2016:

  • Joshua Woods, Firefighter, 24, died as a result of injuries, after his personal vehicle crashed while responding to an emergency call. Read USFA report.
  • James Varnell, Firefighter, 53, died after becoming ill, as he prepared to leave the fire station, after participating in fire department training. Read USFA report.
  • Richard Sheltra, Firefighter, 20, died of injuries sustained while operating on the interior of a structure fire at a strip mall. Read USFA report.
  • John Davis, Firefighter, 45, died after suffering a cardiac arrest, while at the scene of a motor-vehicle accident, and after assisting other responders with extrication. Read USFA report.
  • Prentice Tyndall, Firefighter, 45, died of a brain injury, after becoming ill, the day after answering a fire call. Read USFA report.
  • Bradley Long, Captain, 28, died during a diving operation, while searching for a missing boater. He and a second diver were in the water when a mayday was called. He never resurfaced, and his body was later found. Read USFA report.
  • Joshua Warren, Firefighter, 34, died after becoming ill during physical fitness training at a local gym, while on duty. Read USFA report.
  • David Britt, Fire Chief, 54, died after suffering a medical emergency at his home, several hours after responding to a vehicle collision. Read USFA report.
  • Lennie Terry, Assistant Chief, 64, died of a heart-related ailment, after participating in a fire department activity.
  • Donald Key, Lieutenant, 31, died after becoming ill at home, after returning from an emergency call. Read USFA report.

And about the legacy addition:

  • Lee Horton, Captain, 41, was killed in a bomb blast, when his booby-trapped personal vehicle exploded beside Station 2. Read blog posting.
Facebook Comments

Big Orange Pierce Platform for Buis Creek

Coming to the Buis Creek Fire Department is this newly completed 2017 Pierce Arrow XT aerial platform, 1500/300/100-feet. The colors are those of Campbell University’s Fighting Camels. Says me, this is most striking piece of fire apparatus in North Carolina. (Sorry Greenville, with your purple pumper. Sorry Carolina, with those keen Carolina blue trucks.)

The truck arrived at Atlantic Emergency Solutions in Fayetteville this week. Keep an eye on Lee Wilson’s Flickr site, as he’s been to AES and taken some pictures. For larger versions of this factory picture, see the Pierce Flickr page

As noted in the blog archives posting from 2015, the new platform replaces a 1988 Pierce Arrow rear-mounted platform that originally served the town of Cary. 


Facebook Comments