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This is a blog by Mike Legeros. To start your own discussions, try The Watch Desk. New to blogs? Read these Rules of the Road

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Linwood (Gone): Hi, I know this is an old blog but I recently fou…
Stan Creech (UPDATED: Raleigh …): Pine Tree Harrispark on the corner of St. Albans …
jay campano ret c… (The History of th…): Thank you I heard that (origin of 704) years ago …
Rich Garrett (Vintage Air Force…): Anyone have or know of a manual service/maintenan…
Rich Garrett (Vintage Air Force…): Any manuals available from anyone on 011A??? Cont…
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Steve Scaffa (Military Ocean Te…): We are thinking of moving to Brunswick Forest in …
Fred LaPoint (UPDATED: Historic…): Stephanie Williams, not sure what you mean when y…
Stephanie william… (UPDATED: Historic…): Is the old firehouse open to be rented
Legeros (Historic Millbroo…): Dan, Some readers responded via private mail, t…
Legeros (Historic Millbroo…): Reader Maggie Graham notes: I believe that the pa…
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Legeros (UPDATED: Vintage …): Pictures of the airport’s equipment in December 2…
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+ 11 - 13 | § Raleigh Station 28

Groundbreaking on Raleigh Fire Station 28 is expected in March. The single-story station with three double-length bays is planned to house one engine company. Located on Forestville Road just south of Mitchell Mill Road, e.g. Wake Crossroads, the facility should open in early 2007. From the most recent CIP budget document, the cost is almost $2 million.

+ 8 - 13 | § Most Recognizable Radio Voice?

Who has the most recognizable radio voice on the fire channels? On the county side, I say EWFD Chief George Gupton has it hands down. On the city side, Div Chief Rusty Styons gets my vote.

+ 17 - 20 | § History of Firefighting, 1609-1911

Some weeks ago, I went looking for a master timeline of early firefighting milestones. Couldn't find one, so I made one, posted same to the firehouse.com forums, got their input, and consolidated the results as http://www.legeros.com/temp/timeline/. It's USA-centric, and no sources are cited.

+ 19 - 16 | § Wiring a Whole House?

Has anyone wired a whole house for scanning / trunked scanning? Here's what I was thinking: base station scanner with RFD Alert and Wake Fire Alert talkgroups locked out, then two cheap VHF scanners on the old Raleigh and Wake dispatch freqs. READ MORE

+ 9 - 12 | § RFD Radios and Status Buttons

Radio installation in Raleigh apparatus is reportedly complete. Status button use should start around March 1, so expect less traffic on the channels.

+ 11 - 5 | § RFD Virtual Museum Additions

Some recent-era pictures have been added to http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/history/museum/. Improved captions for them forthcoming.

+ 11 - 11 | § Five Minutes to Flowing Water, 1888

Random historical tidbit, from the May 1, 1888 edition of the News & Observer: "The sound of the fire alarm roused the city Sunday night about midnight and from the tap of the bell which showed that the alarm was sent in from box 41, the fire was soon located and it was found that the kitchen of Mr. John Beckham on Dawson Street was in flames. READ MORE

+ 12 - 15 | § RFD Academies Since 1978

Random historical compilation: http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/history/rfd-academies.pdf. RFD academies since 1978.

+ 12 - 10 | § NCCVFA Info?

Having recently received a historical query from elsewhere in the state, is anyone sitting on any old North Carolina Colored Volunteer Fireman's Association materials? Old convention programs, or documents, or other errata? READ MORE

+ 11 - 10 | § RFD Apparatus Counts

How many different engines, trucks, and rescues has Raleigh operated over the decades? READ MORE

+ 18 - 14 | § What's in the Facility Queue?

What's in the queue for new or remodeled facilities, beyond long-range planning? What we know: READ MORE

+ 16 - 16 | § What's in the Apparatus Queue?

What's in the queue for new apparatus, now that the county-wide stuff has wrapped up? What we know: READ MORE

+ 13 - 13 | § Quote

Imagine my surprise on Saturday, while reading Kurt Vonnegut's 1959 science-fiction novel The Sirens of Titans, to discover that the novel is the source of his famous quote: "I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine." Not surprisingly, he once was a volunteer fireman.

+ 14 - 10 | § FFing History Timeline - Firehouse Forum Thread

This may yield some interesting input: http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?p=648210. So many things to research...

+ 12 - 18 | § Computerized Dispatch

The joy of the computerized dispatch system, both for city and county calls, is hearing something new, like the strange pronounciation of a street name or even just a newly programmed word or phrase. Such as "Battalion Chief," that Locution apparently started saying today, on Raleigh fire dispatches.

+ 12 - 13 | § Heard on Scanner

Heard on scanner to EMS, to the effect of "you can disregard. Subject does not want to go to the hospital, and is going to the grocery story instead." Classic.

+ 9 - 26 | § RFD's Volunteer Era, Chapter 1

Attached is the first chapter of Raleigh Fire Department: 1880-1910, a "mini book" that, on a good day/week/month, is nearing completion. It'll run 60 or 70 pages and consist nearly entirely of text. It'll document the decades leading up to the formation of a fully-paid Raleigh Fire Department. The completed document will be made available online, for anyone who wants to print a copy. Or to take same to Kinko's to print 'n' bind. It won't be professionally published, however. Click this icon to download the first chapter:

+ 17 - 10 | § FWD in Action, 1950

Random historical image: Raleigh's first FWD pumper being put through the paces, circa 1950. READ MORE

+ 10 - 13 | § Scanners and Cold Weather

In addition to a crystal-driven Regency scanner and a programmable Bearcat scanner, my car is also equipped with a Radio Shack Pro-2096 digital scanner. On cold mornings, say 10 or 20 degrees, the scanner behaves strangely, intermittenly losing its squelch and blaring the control frequency for a few seconds. I believe I've had similar problems with the Bearcat, and the squelch staying open on similarly cold mornings.

+ 14 - 11 | § Who Were Raleigh's Chiefs?

Who were Raleigh's past Fire Chiefs? Here's a convenient list. Three died in office, though not in the line of duty. Three have been hired from outside the department, including the newly appoint Chief McGrath. The longest tenure was Chief Keeter, who served 18 years. The shortest span Chief Brockwell, the first chief of the fully-paid RFD.

+ 16 - 6 | § Image Scanning and Processing Tricks

Here are a couple simple tricks to scanning and processing photos. I was recently sent the following historical image. READ MORE

+ 16 - 8 | § The Irish Roots of Firefighters?

Ever wonder why so many firefighters from "up north" have Irish roots? Between 1847 and 1854, some 1.6 million people immigrated from Ireland to the eastern United States following the great potato famine. Discrimination hindered employment and many took such "less desireable" jobs as police officers and firefighters. Here's a little background as well as a Wikipedia entry.

+ 10 - 11 | § Raleigh's Modern Volunteers

Here's a random essay answering the question "how many volunteer agencies have been associated with the Raleigh Fire Department in recent decades?" The PDF document will live a little later at a permanent location, after any reader-id'ed discrepanices, errors, or omissions are caught. Take a peek: http://www.legeros.com/temp/volunteers.pdf.

+ 9 - 11 | § WakeMed Special Ops Vehicle

Noticed an interesting vehicle parked among WakeMed's transport units yesterday, a long "beer truck"-type of vehicle labeled Special Operations Support Team or similar. Behind it was a long, two-axle trailer labeled State Emergency Medical Team, I think. What are these units? Mass casualty units? Field triage units? Some of both? And how many other area hospitals have such equipment?

+ 15 - 12 | § Speaking of Warning Devices...

I recall riding Engine 19 right out of the fire academy in 1989. The 1968 American LaFrance, formerly open cab and equipped with a fiberglass roof, had a single roof beacon, a Sireno siren light on the nose, an electric horn, and the familiar "eagle bell" on the bumper. All four were utilized when crossing all six (or is it eight) lanes of Capital Boulevard. Explained our company officer, we needed all the help we could get!

+ 13 - 12 | § CFD and CHFD Merge?

Very interesting article in today's N&O: http://www.newsobserver.com/722/story/395064.html.

+ 14 - 14 | § Pics of RFD SR2

As stated in the previous post, RFD's SR2 has been emptied. The GMC extended panel van was carrying haz-mat support supplies. It's been emptied in preparation for conversion to a mobile command post. The vehicle was originally designed as a combination command post and air supply unit. Placed in service in 1988, the forward section consisted of an climated-controlled command module, while rear section housed a cascade refilling system. It was converted to a haz-mat support unit in 2002 with the delivery of a new air supply unit. Here are Lee's pictures of the now-empty vehicle: READ MORE

+ 16 - 8 | § Pic of RFD Mini Pumper at Station 2

Here's a picture from Lee of the new mini pumper at Station 2. As noted in a prior posting, it's stationed there to both serve the downtown area as well as tow a trailer containing haz-mat support supplies. Said supplies were previously carried by SR2, the GMC extended panel van also pictured: READ MORE

+ 12 - 12 | § Cary Station 7

Construction on Cary Station 7 is well underway. The approximately 17,200 square-foot facility at 6900 Carpenter Fire Station Road-- right beside Morrisville Station 3-- will have three double-length drive-through bays to house both Cary Engine 7 and Truck 7 and Morrisville Engine 3 and Tanker 3. Built on 2.95 acres of land, the $4.16 million facility will be constructed of brick with a metal roof. One story, with office space, radio room, training room, day room, kitchen, and individual bedrooms and bathrooms for firefighters. The architect's web site: http://www.fire-facilities.com/cary.htm. The town's also has a Station 7 construction site. And here's a picture from this afternoon: READ MORE