Rebuilding Fire Station 6 – Update August 2017 – Now Gone

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


  • 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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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.


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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Moving Rex Hospital, 1980

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from December 7, 2009, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems.

On Sunday, September 28, 1980, fifteen ambulances assisted with moving 170 patients from Rex Hospital on St. Mary’s Street to their new location on Lake Boone Trail.1 Teams of doctors, nurses, rescue personnel, and other volunteers assisted. The big move started at 7:04 a.m. when a specially fitted transfer truck was loaded with two patients in complicated traction arrangements.

Patients David S. Bostic and Paul N. Humphreys Sr. arrived at the new location 15 minutes later, and had expected to be admitted in the new facility. But they were beat by Jane Waring H. Wheeler, a mother-to-be who arrived from Louisburg. She got the drop, so to speak, two minutes earlier. Her daughter, Mrs. Wheeler’s second, was the first baby born at the hospital, arriving at 10:00 a.m. The night before, the last child delivered at old Rex Hospital was born at 9:04 p.m. on Saturday.

Click to enlarge:

Robert L. Ott Sr. photo

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Cold War History – Ground Observer Corps

This is a re-posting of a Legeros Blog Archives posting from January 6, 2010, that’s no longer available on the old site, due to technical problems.

One of the interesting civil defense programs of the 1950s was the Ground Observer Corps. They had their roots in World War II, when 1.5 million civilians watched for enemy aircraft on the nation’s coasts. Enrolled by the Army Air Forces, they manned 14,000 observation posts. Our country had limited radar capabilities at the time, and these volunteers literally watched the skies. As the threat from German and Japanese air forces declined, the program was disestablished in 1944.

In February 1950, an Air Force Commander proposed formation of the Ground Observer Corps. These civilian volunteers would number 160,000 and staff 8,000 observation posts in the gaps between proposed radar network sites. Recruitment was easy, as the Korean War was perceived as a precursor to a possible Russian attack. In 1951, the first  national drill of the system was conducted. Some 210,000 volunteers at 8,000 observation posts and 26 filter centers. The latter were regional communication centers, that “filtered” the reports from the observation posts.


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North Asheboro Fire Department, Looking Back

We’ve blogged about this former fire department before, back in 2009. Here’s some more information, lately uncovered, and beginning with this vintage photograph. Source is the vertical files in the local history room at the Asheboro Public Library. Written on the back of the is “prior to 1971.” Click to enlarge:

From there, let’s consult the old city directories via DigitalNC. The listings:

  • 1941-42 – No entry.
  • 1947-48 – No entry.
  • 1949-50 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Fire Station, 119 E. Beasley.
  • 1951-52 – North Asheboro Fire Department, Wm F Hughes chief, 119 E. Beasley.
  • 1953-54 – North A’boro Fire Department, Jas P Tatum chief, 119 E. Beasley. Same address also listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1955-56 – North A’boro Fire Department, Jas P Tatum chief, 119 E. Beasley. Same address also listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1957-58 – North Asheboro Fire Department, 119 E. Beasley. Same address listed for North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District.
  • 1960 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District, 119 E. Beasley. No entry for fire department.
  • 1962 – North Asheboro & Central Falls Sanitary District, 119 E. Beasley. No entry for fire department.

Beasley Street Today

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Updated – The Zoo, Their First Fire Truck, And Some Questions

August 5, 2017
After a visit to the Asheboro public library, and the local history room, I’ve updated this posting with more information. See the Courier-Tribune citations below.

March 24, 2016
Did you know that the North Carolina Zoo had a fire truck? And that the truck originally served in Wake County?

As the story goes, the Six Forks Fire Department donated their 1961 International/_____ pumper, which was their original Engine 2. They’d had the truck for a decade-plus, and perhaps was delivered new. (Or maybe built new? The body looks it could be shop-built.)

Construction on the zoo started in 1974. By that time, SFFD was operating at their fourth fire station on Lynn Road. Here’s a Blog Archives posting, with a profile of SFFD in 1971, when they still lived on Six Forks Road.

The truck became the zoo’s first fire truck, after the park was opened in 1974. Who staffed the thing? How was it used? How often did it respond to call? To be determined times three. The park also has a hydrant system and the hydrants look like they’ve been there from the get-to. (We visited a few weeks ago.)

Click to enlarge:

From Mike Legeros Collection, originally provided by David Ritchie


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Blog Archives Now Searchable

Trying to find an old blog posting of mine and Big Google isn’t helpful? The Legeros Fire Blog Archives (2006-2015) are now searchable. We added Little Google searches a few months ago.

I’ve updated the home page with a prominent banner and a wider search box. Lots of content on the old/original blog. Including so many great and often heated discussions, back when blogs and social media comments as a new thing.

Also, now, some missing content. A few dozen pages present errors, due to technical reasons. The best of those are/have been moved to the current blog, or as new pages on my history page. Got that?

Also, there are Little Google search boxes across Use ’em to search the whole site, or notable content areas.

All that and more, and still without ads and/or requests for donations! What a bargain.


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Charlotte Fire Department Rules & Regulations, 1940

This is a re-posting of a 2009 blog post, from our blogs archive site. It was originally posted at on September 12, 2009. 

For your Saturday evening enjoyment, here’s a small booklet bought on eBay of Charlotte Fire Department rules and regulations from 1940.

The contents includes duties for all ranks and roles, directives on responding to fires, and general rules. Plus additional pages listing apartment houses, hotels, alarm boxes, and a street directory. It’s a great snapshot of the time. I’ve scanned the main pages, plus a sample of the additional sections.

Read the rules and regulations (PDF, 5.8M).

How big was the department in 1940?

Don’t know.

Sanborn Maps from 1929 list the chief, two assistant chiefs, 114 men, six stations, seven engines, one aerial ladder, three service ladders, one reserve engine, and 144 alarm boxes.

Sanborn Maps from 1951 list the chief, four assistant chiefs, 155 men, nine stations, 11 engines, one aerial ladder, four service trucks, one light/salvage truck, two reserve engines, one reserve aerial ladder, and 340 alarm boxes. So, somewhere between those numbers. 

Related – Raleigh Fire Department Rules & Regulations

See also this earlier posting about a similar booklet in Raleigh.


Legeros: There are quite a few gems in here, and which were probably present in most department’s rules and regs in that time. Once a week, company officers were required to visit personnel who were sick, and report on their condition. Off duty members wanting to leave the city were required to get permission. And keep in touch at all times by telephone. Since, in the event of second or general alarm fires, they were required to report for duty. And, my favorite, “proper decorum must be observed at all times, no altercations or ungentlemanly, profane, abusive or improper language or disorderly conduct will be permitted at any station upon the part of any officer or member of the department at any time.”

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Early History of Greensboro-High Point Airport Fire Department

For your weekend reading, let’s tool over to the Triad, for an early history of the Greensboro-High Point airport fire department. And an early history of Guilford County Fire Services, which provided the “crash crew” staffing starting in 1966. 

The story starts in 1962, with the deadly crash of a military transport and the resulting criticism of the airport’s firefighting capabilities. The plane crash, that killed seven servicemen including the cousin of the governor, brought attention to a problem… that was already being addressed.


As the local newspapers soon reported, a committee was already examining the issue of the airport’s fire protection, and in particular preparation for new FAA regulations that were forthcoming. 

New apparatus was soon purchased, including one of only eight American LaFrance Airport Chief crash trucks ever built. Full-time firefighters were hired and an airport fire station building was erected.

The new fire station also the county fire marshal’s office and a communication center for the dispatching of the rural fire departments in Guilford County. Fire support vehicles, for use county-wide, were later housed there, including units for disaster and oil spill responses. 


Here’s the new site: 

Click around, see what you think. And please pass along comments, corrections, edits, and inputs. Or any other photos, worth adding.

Sources, you ask? Did this required a ton of driving between Greensboro and Raleigh? Negative and just the opposite. Most was done via NewsBank, which brokers the digital archives of the Greensboro News-Record. Very affordable rates. 

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Wake Public Safety PIO Consortium and a Conversation with Jeff Hammerstein

On April 20, Wake County EMS Assistant Chief of Community Outreach Jeff Hammerstein conducted the first in a planned series of public information officer (PIO) workshops for Wake County public safety agencies. Called the Wake Public Safety PIO Consortium, it was held at the Garner police station.

The hour-long discussion talked about the typical approach to media interaction among fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies, and the importance of developing more cooperative working relationships with news-reporting agencies.

Garner Police Department photo

We’ve invited Chief Hammerstein to talk about the workshop, the topic, and himself.

His Background

18558991_10213272916206604_5324445001731592364_o (1)Jeff Hammerstein is a lifelong member of the EMS profession, first as a longtime EMT beginning in 1985 at Garner Rescue Squad, and as paramedic with Wake County EMS since 1988. Over the last twelve years, he’s gained extensive experience working with media on behalf of EMS, and has presented on the topic at a number of EMS-related conferences.

And including as a co-presenter with Yours Truly, on the topic of social media and public information! See those slides.

The second Wake Public Safety PIO Consortium workshop is next week, on Friday, August 4, at 11:30 p.m. The Garner Police Department is again hosting. They’re located at 912 Seventh Avenue. The presenter will be WRAL News Reporter Amanda Lamb. She’ll talk about media perspectives on covering emergency scenes. Contact Jeff for more information,

Let’s talk with Jeff…

The Conversation

Q: Thanks for participating, Jeff. Tell me about your background in public information, and about your current role.
A: As a field paramedic during the 1990s, I was occasionally assigned to talk to reporters, usually about things like responding in winter weather or the difficulty of navigating traffic on the way to calls…

Q: Chosen for your flat or non-accent, perhaps?
A: Well probably not. I grew up in Indiana and mixed in a North Carolina tone when I got here. People from both states have told me I talk weird!

Q: Ha.
A: But over time, after talking with reporters, I saw how positive the exposure for EMS was, when we were willing to participate in those news stories. And even when they were simple stories about day-to-day practices.

In the early 2000s, I started thinking about the concept of offering up stories for media in addition to just responding to their occasional requests. I felt like the more exposure we received, the more awareness people would have about EMS.

Q: Did it work?
A: It worked great! The benefits of better understanding were enormous, and we didn’t have to just sit back and wait for reporters to come to us. Continue reading ‘Wake Public Safety PIO Consortium and a Conversation with Jeff Hammerstein’ »

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