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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…
Joseph (Vintage Air Force…): I was stationed at Hurlburt field (Eglin aux fiel…
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…
Sarah (Historic Millbroo…): I am trying to track down information or photos f…
Sarah Cope (Mystery Street): Does anyone have any recollection as to what was …
Legeros (UPDATED: Vintage …): Pictures of the airport’s equipment in December 2…
Chad Matthews (Old Oshkosh P-15 …): I am the owner of the truck and interesting enoug…
Dee (The Kidd Brewer H…): My husband and I were engaged in April 1988 at Cr…
Legeros (Save Zebulon's Ol…): Negative, it was sold in 2007.
Dan Ratte (Historic Millbroo…): I’ve been meaning to come back to this site to se…
Grant (Save Zebulon's Ol…): Hi is it still for sale?
CJH (Back to Beacon La…): Oh, and some readers may remember what was across…
CJH (Back to Beacon La…): Beacon Lake (and most of the surrounding land) be…
williams (UPDATED: Historic…): The Old Firehouse On Park Blvd In Highland Park ?…
allen chesbro (Old Oshkosh P-15 …): I was stationed at Wurtsmith AFB MI. from 1976 to…
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Jane Powell (North Carolina Fi…): As I was “surfing the web” this morning I stumble…
Geoff (Iowa Fire Service…): We are currently building one of these for Easter…
Legeros (Who Responds When…): Blog post content moved to my history site, and a…
Rod Doty (UPDATED - Oteen V…): Sharing a vintage map of the Oteen property as it…
Justin Pruitt (The Hose & Nozzle…): I would like more information on the H and N maga…
Don Long (Vintage Air Force…): I was stationed at Eglin AFB Aux field 3 (Duke fi…
Frank Lengele Jr (Vintage Air Force…): I worked on the 011A and B also the P4,P8,P12, P2…
Frank Lengele Jr (Vintage Air Force…): I was stationed at England AFB La and we had the …
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Stan Creech (UPDATED: Raleigh …): Antioch Fire Department in northern Johnston Coun…
Stan Creech (UPDATED: Raleigh …): Harris Park Properties ie…Harris Wholesale Budwe…
Legeros (Greensboro Airpor…): Here’s a link to Steve’s ebook on Amazon, …
Legeros (Greensboro Airpor…): Awesome Steve, thanks for the update! Will check …
Steve Greene (Greensboro Airpor…): Here we are almost 5 years later from the last po…
Legeros (Morehead City Fir…): Thanks Jeffrey. Check out this page of MHFD histo…
+ 15 - 13 | § American LaFrance Pumpers

Have seen a number of later-era American LaFrance pumpers still in service around these parts, seeming Series 900 or Series 1000 models. Such as Saluda (below), Rutherfordton, and Forest City. Who else still has them around western North Carolina, or at least the eastern side of western NC?
 

+ 11 - 16 | § Children's Museum

That's a vintage American LaFrance pumper behind glass at a children's museum in downtown Rutherfordton. Asked about its origins, one of the employees didn't think it was a town truck. The model and year is likely a 700 Series from the 1950s. The truck is truncated, attached to a wall just past the pump panel. Children can activate a beacon atop the windshield. The room contains wee turnout gear for donning, a pole with a short riser, and a bell with a long cord. Kids seemed to love the place. Interior photos were not available, due the presence of said children. The museum's web site provides a photo, however. And doofus that he is, Mr. Blogger forgot to check the cab for a registration number. D'oh!
 

+ 17 - 10 | § House Fire on Oberlin Road

WRAL has posted reader photos and footage of today's house fire at 1009 Oberlin Road. Dispatched about 10:30 a.m., the blaze at the single-story structure closed Oberlin Road. No injuries were reported. Read more and see video footage.
 


Jason Edwards/WRAL photo

+ 11 - 14 | § After ICC Vote, Fire Sprinkler Mandate Stands

Firehouse.com reports on Wednesday's vote at the International Code Council's annual conference in Baltimore that retains a requirement that all new homes have sprinklers by 2011. The nation's home builder's had lobbied the ICC to kill the requirement. Two other provisions, that weakened the sprinkler requirement, were also voted down. Firefighters and burn survivors from across the country descending upon the event, including nearly a dozen members of the Raleigh Fire Department. Read the Firehouse.com article.

+ 10 - 17 | § Mt. Pisgah Academy Fire Department

Reporting from Buncombe Country, where an Asheville Citizen newspaper article of May 17, 1959, tells of a Mt. Pisgah Academy Fire Department. The institution is a four-year secondary-education boarding school in Candler. The fire department was organized in 1952, with facility and students serving as members. In 1959, the department had one truck and was led by Fire Chief L. C. Rilea, and Asst. Chief C. E. Davis. Their fire district was the same as the four-mile district served by the fire department of the American Enka Corporation. The Enka Fire Department dates to 1926. They had 24 volunteers and three trucks in 1959, and were contracted by the county to provide fire protection for that four-mile district. The town of Candler subsequently organized a fire department in 1961, reported the February 14 edition of the Asheville Citizen of that year. Today the area is protected by the Enka-Candler Fire Department, which was organized in 1987. How long was Mt. Pisgah Academy FD in operation? Maybe readers can advise.

+ 13 - 10 | § History and Annexations

Why are we blogging about former fire departments of Mecklenburg County? Mostly, it's just general historical research. Adding additional information to our slowly expanding database. But there's also current relevance, at least in the case of Charlotte annexations. Perhaps we can gain some insight in Wake County from how fire departments in Mecklenburg County adapted to the expansion of the city limits. 

Take the case of the Sharon Fire Department, as profiled in the Charlotte Observer on April 9, 1980. Fire Chief Don Creason noted his 25-member department had relocated three times in seven years. The department, which organized in 1959 and protected areas along Sharon Road south of Charlotte, operated their first station at the corner of Fairview and Sharon Roads. They moved south in 1973 to a new station near Sharon Road and Champaign Streets, after annexations in 1970 (?) took many of the homes it served. And the station land. 

Within a few years, however, the new station location was again annexed. In 1978, the department began building a third station at 6325 Carmel Road, and after assurances by city planners that they’d be safe from annexations for about five years. The $100,000 building was occupied January 1, 1980. Exactly two weeks later, the city announced plans to annex the station and most of its service area on Carmel Road Extension on June 30, 1980. Creason noted that the department was in debt about $11,000 for the building. Their operating expenses were about $12,000, and they received about $4,800 a year from the county. Resident’s contributions typically made up the difference.

READ MORE

+ 7 - 15 | § Wilkinson Boulevard Fire Department

Found a nifty booklet on the history of Wilkinson Boulevard Fire Department of Mecklenburg County, one of the first rural fire departments in the state1. It clarifies some facts about WBFD. They attempted to organize in 19432, but didn't successfully form a fire department until 1947.

The impetus was the burning of two houses on May 1, 1943. They were located on Gary Street, just off Wilkinson Boulevard, and one mile west of the Charlotte city limits. Several neighborhood property owners were present, and did what they could with garden hoses.

Shortly after the incident, a water main was installed along Wilkinson Boulevard. This led to a meeting of the neighborhood, to investigate installing hydrants. This beget the installation of plugs, which beget the acquisition of hose, which beget the formation of a fire department.

Or at least, the first incarnation of the fire department. Click the cover to read the complete early history:
 


 

The first fire station was a 12 by 24-foot building located at 2925 Wilkinson Boulevard. The lot was donated, and the building erected on a Saturday by volunteers. Early apparatus included a 1941 Army Holabird pumper and a 1948 Ford pumper, 500 GPM with a 1,000 gallon tank. Click to enlarge:
 

READ MORE

+ 8 - 12 | § Heavy Rescue

This Freightliner/American LaFrance rescue pumper (?) serves the Saluda Fire Department in Polk County. I'm guessing the short, raised wheelbase helps with tight mountain curves, snowy surfaces, and weight-limited bridges. The fire department dates to the early 1900s, has a single station with eight or so pieces of apparatus, and a district that covers over 51 (!) square-miles in Polk and Henderson counties. Their current station at 191 Walnut Street opened in 2003. Their last station serves as a senior center, and the prior (?) and first fire station on Main Street still serves as City Hall and the police station. Pictures coming, of course. Read more about SFD and other Henderson County fire departments.
 

+ 9 - 9 | § Forest City Engine 1

Reporting from Rutherford County, here's the first motor engine of the Forest City Fire Department. It's a 1928 GMC/Boyer triple combination with a Buick inline, six-cylinder engine, and a Hale Type S, two-stage 500 GPM pump. The apparatus was restored in recent years by Alloy Welding Company in North Wilksboro, NC. Click to enlarge. More pics of this beauty later, which is housed at the Forest City fire station. Nice guys, there. For more pictures of Boyer fire apparatus, check out these discussion forums on youngstownfire.com.
 

+ 9 - 12 | § Mecklenburg County Fire Protection Map, 1959

Here's another find, a rural fire protection map for Mecklenburg County that appeared in the March 8, 1959, edition of the Charlotte Observer. The districts depicted are Cook's Community, Cornelius, Craighead (Huntersville), Davidson, Derita, Harrison, Hickory Grove, Long Creek, Mallard Creek, Matthews, Mint Hill, Moores Chapel, Newell, Oakhurst, Pineville-Arrowood, Pinoca, Providence, Sharon, Statesville Road, Steele Creek, Wilkinson Boulevard, and Woodlawn. Anyone have a current map, for comparison? Click once or twice to enlarge:
 

+ 6 - 11 | § Statesville Road Fire Station

Moving onto Mecklenburg County, here's the old station of the Statesville Road Fire Department, one of 30+ volunteer fire departments that served the county at their peak. The department was organized after the community, which depended on Derita and Long Creek for aid, experienced several fires. They formed the fire department within a year, in 1957, and built the station within two years. Statesville Road Fire Department disbanded in 1989, after annexations left little remaining of their territory in northwest Mecklenburg County around Lakeview Road and Highway 115. The old station at 3315 Lake Road presently serves as a community center.  Read more about former fire departments.
 

+ 7 - 9 | § Rockwell Brush Truck

Here's another interesting find from Rowan County. Recognize this 1977 Dodge Power Wagon? It's a former Charlotte Fire Department airport unit, Blaze 8. It's presently operated by the municipal Rockwell Fire Department, though owned by the North Carolina Forest Service. 
 

+ 15 - 12 | § Miller's Ferry Ladder 64

Reporting from the road. Here's an interesting aerial found in Rowan County at the Miller's Ferry Fire Department. It's a 100-foot platform on a 1992 Mack CF chassis. The apparatus was acquired by MFFD in 2007, says their history site. Prior owner(s) not known. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 12 - 9 | § Keep The Cave Photos Coming!

Deadline is Friday, November 6, for sending photos of your "fire caves." Please indicate if your name, your first name, or no name should be cited. Send your pictures
 

+ 15 - 12 | § Super Crazy Fire Toys

Dig these toys from Takara Tomy in Japan. Part of their Hyper Rescue series. Not sure if it's just a product line, or also a television series. And light years removed from Mr. Blogger's childhood memories of Tonka, Nylint, Tootsietoy, and Matchbox. See more super crazy fire toys.
 

+ 19 - 11 | § Rethinking Laundry

Here's an interesting New York Times collection of editorials on rethinking laundry in the 21st century, and notably through air-drying instead of machine-drying. Notes Alexander P. Lee, executive directory of Project Laundry List, "the tumble dryer is the second largest energy-consuming appliance and the leading cause of house fires among appliances." The machines aren't efficient, and he says look to other countries for ideas. "Look to Italy and Denmark for guidance. In Italy, only about three or four percent of households own a dryer. In Denmark, newly constructed student housing included space for indoor drying. In China, the bamboo shaft is still a ubiquitous clothesline. In the United States, approximately 80 percent of households own a dryer." Read the entire collection of editorials. Interesting perspectives, and with an obvious tie to the fire service. Fewer dryers equals fewer dryer fires.

+ 12 - 13 | § Flag Building Sky

Downtown Raleigh was wide-open if under-attended on Saturday night when this photo of Ladder 2 at the corner of Davie and Fayetteville streets. The fire department bike team was there, too, and sporting their nifty new uniforms. Pictures of those are coming soon. Always more pictures.
 

+ 8 - 9 | § Let There Be Rock

Now for a musical interlude. Veteran hard-rockers AC/DC appeared at Greensboro Coliseum last night. They're touring to support their latest album, Black Ice. The Australian band was formed in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. AC/DC released their first album with their second singer Bon Scott in 1975. Current singer Brian Johnson has been aboard since the release of Back in Black in 1980. AC/DC has released fifteen studio albums to date, not counting the quasi-compilation Who Made Who in 1986. They're the fifth best-selling band in US history, and ninth best-selling articles, having sold more than Madonna or Michael Jackson.
 

READ MORE

+ 10 - 11 | § Road Closed!

NBC17 has a photo of the rock slide that's closed all lanes of Interstate 40 near the Tennessee state line. Several months might be needed to remove the slide and restore traffic. Read the story. Wonder what the impact is on responders, beyond the obvious? Perhaps some western readers can provide details.
 


NBC17 photo

+ 12 - 12 | § Mystery Location

Where is this place? Hint #1: It's old. Hint #2: It's closed.
 

+ 14 - 9 | § Two Train Collisions within Four Hours in Fayetteville

Or perhaps better titled Job Security for First Responders. Twice overnight in Fayetteville, vehicles were struck by trains after becoming stuck on railroad trucks in road construction zones. Both times, the driver ignored and drove around construction barriers. The first collision occurred at Moore and Orange streets around 9:30 p.m. Three injuries included two children, and on still in serious condition. No injuries on passenger train. The second collision occurred at 121 Whitfield Street about 1:20 a.m. Driver left scene. No injuries on passenger train. And readers everywhere the next day were shaking their heads. Read the WRAL story. The first accident is also reported by the Fayetteville Observer.

+ 13 - 7 | § Thursday's Fire in Chapel Hill

Another major apartment fire blazed in Chapel Hill on Thursday morning. Crews rescued two residents trapped on a third-floor balcony at 208 Conner Drive. The fire was reported at 4:32 a.m. Thirty-three people and several pets evacuated safely, reports this WRAL story, but two people couldn't get out of their front door. Firefighters raised a ladder to their balcony and brought them down. Twelve of the 24 units were extensively damaged. Chapel Hill, Carrboro, New Hope, and Durham fire departments responded, reports WRAL. The News & Observer also posted this photo.
 


Chris Seward / News & Observer photo

+ 13 - 17 | § The Evolution of the Raleigh Fire Helmet

For your Friday enjoyment, let's look at early fire helmets in the Capitol City. During the volunteer era, a few firemen had helmets. Such as this Carnes High Eagle owned and photographed by a collector in Wake Forest. It dates to perhaps the 1900s. We blogged about these before. They appear in photos as late as the 1920s, the odd helmet sitting on a truck. Haven't found any photos of them worn in pose, or on scene. Click to enlarge:
 


 
What did city firefighters wear? Dress caps, which were worn at fires from the 1910s through the late 1940s. Then the plastic helmets arrived with leather shields. This one was assigned to Firefighter Joe Allen, who served from 1922 to 1963. The shield numbers were assigned by order of start date, we think. The Allen family took this photo. Click to enlarge:
 


 
In later decades, the plastic helmets added a clear visor, and a newer shield design. Below is the newest addition to Mike's man cave. The maker is MSA, and the visor is labeled plectron. There's a leather chin strap, and a neck flap with a secondary chin strap. The presence of Velcro dates the flap to the 1960s or later. Underneath are the initials CTK, which suggest the owner was Firefighter Clyde T. Leonard, who served in the 1980s.

 
Fiberglass helmets replaced the plastic helmets in 1984. They were color coded by rank for a few years, captains wearing yellow, truck companies wearing black, engine companies wearing red, and rescue personnel wearing blue. Our last helmet was issued in 1989 to one M. J. Legeros. The maker is Cairns and the model is N660C Metro. It's missing a decal that was affixed to the front. Same was melted and removed after the helmet's owner's first fire. Duplex on Appleton Lane, off North Bend Drive. The helmet was retired a couple years later, when the future blogger moved onto other pastures. It hasn't smelled of smoke or sweat in a long time.
 

+ 13 - 17 | § The Evolution of the Raleigh Fire Helmet

For your Friday enjoyment, let's look at early fire helmets in the Capitol City. During the volunteer era, a few firemen had helmets. Such as this Carnes High Eagle owned and photographed by a collector in Wake Forest. It dates to perhaps the 1900s. We blogged about these before. They appear in photos as late as the 1920s, the odd helmet sitting on a truck. Haven't found any photos of them worn in pose, or on scene. Click to enlarge:
 


 
What did city firefighters wear? Dress caps, which were worn at fires from the 1910s through the late 1940s. Then the plastic helmets arrived with leather shields. This one was assigned to Firefighter Joe Allen, who served from 1922 to 1963. The shield numbers were assigned by order of start date, we think. The Allen family took this photo. Click to enlarge:
 


 
In later decades, the plastic helmets added a clear visor, and a newer shield design. Below is the newest addition to Mike's man cave. The maker is MSA, and the visor is labeled plectron. There's a leather chin strap, and a neck flap with a secondary chin strap. The presence of Velcro dates the flap to the 1960s or later. Underneath are the initials CTK, which suggest the owner was Firefighter Clyde T. Leonard, who served in the 1980s.

 
Fiberglass helmets replaced the plastic helmets in 1984. They were color coded by rank for a few years, captains wearing yellow, truck companies wearing black, engine companies wearing red, and rescue personnel wearing blue. Our last helmet was issued in 1989 to one M. J. Legeros. The maker is Cairns and the model is N660C Metro. It's missing a decal that was affixed to the front. Same was melted and removed after the helmet's owner's first fire. Duplex on Appleton Lane, off North Bend Drive. The helmet was retired a couple years later, when the future blogger moved onto other pastures. It hasn't smelled of smoke or sweat in a long time.
 

+ 12 - 14 | § Gregson Street Guillotine

That's blogger Dave Statter's name for the low bridge in Durham that infrequently decapitates unsuspecting tall trucks. Check out the latest and most spectacular video to date from Jurgen Henn, who runs the cameras (now plural!) that capture the drivers who ignore the big yellow sign reading 11 feet 8 inches. His website is appropriately named 11foot8.com. And while we're at Brightleaf Square, let's put in a plug for Satisfaction Restaurant and Bar, site of the best pizza in the Triangle. Mr. & Mrs. Blogger make the drive there at least once a month.
 

+ 13 - 7 | § Your Fire Cave Photos Wanted

Man cave. Room, space, or section of a dwelling that's serves the solitary male, to be removed from the rest of the house and pursue all things related to himself. Fire cave. Same as a man cave, but with firematic decorations. Helmets, nozzles, extinguishers, alarm boxes, models, display cases, etc. You get the picture. Now take that picture and send a copy. Include the citation. Full name, part name, or no name. Send your pics by Friday, November 6. We'll post 'em.
 

+ 14 - 7 | § Smithfield Emergency Services Open House, Saturday, October 24

Smithfield Emergency Services holds an open house this Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the fire station, 111 S. 4th Street. During the event, the department's 1927 Seagrave pumper "Big Bill" will be rededicated. Smithfield's first piece of motor apparatus was recently restored. It event responded to Raleigh back when, assisting at the Yarborough House fire in 1928! There'll be plenty of other fire and EMS vehicles for show, and displays from the Red Cross, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, Johnston County Emergency Services, and the Johnston County 911 Center. Plus plenty of other things happeening. The event is open to the public. Big Bill will be rededicated at 10:30 a.m.
  


WTSB Radio photo

+ 12 - 12 | § Blogger Comments on Blogger Comments

Statter911 blogger Dave Statter offers a useful perspective on blog comments. He's had almost 12,000 posted to his site since May 2007. He moderates each and every one. He begins "The comments on this blog bring a lot comments to me. I catch a lot of grief from friends, enemies and strangers for allowing comments, allowing anonymous comments, allowing personal attacks and allowing crude language. I see everyone’s point on this and it is an issue I wrestle with daily." Read his entire remarks, which conclude with the helpful suggestion to be nice, deal with the facts, and try to discuss the issues and not the personalities.

+ 13 - 11 | § Launching Fireworks

Here's what launching fireworks looks like at the State Fair. The picture was taken on the bridge by the lake, with the photographer facing west. The launch site was the jetty that extends from the south shore of the lake. Personnel and units were staged at both the launch site, and around the fallout zone. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 12 - 8 | § After the Fire

Tool of the trade, as seen after this morning's apartment fire in Morrisville.
   

+ 12 - 10 | § This Morning's Major Fire in Morrisville

Crews are still on the scene of an apartment fire at 2100 Summit Ridge Loop in Morrisville. Three-story, wood-frame apartment building with 18,630 square-feet, built 1998. Dispatched 1:46 a.m. with Engine 1 arriving with heavy fire through the roof. Some reports of flames as high as 30 feet. Interior attack with multiple lines, as well as aerial operations with Morrisville Ladder 2. Units included Morrisville E1, E3, L2, Car 3; Apex E3, L3; Western Wake P196, R295; Swift Creek E1, Bat 27; Cary E5, L5, T7; Durham E12; EMS 54, EMS 51, EMS 41, D1, T1; WC1, WC2. WRAL is reporting that the fire started on a third floor deck, took four hours to control extinguish, gutted four units, damaged others, and displaced about 50 people. WTVD is reportiing that the apartments had sprinklers, but were limited in effectiveness by the collapsing roof.
 


WRAL photo

+ 10 - 8 | § Western Wake Anniversary Ceremony & Flea Market, Saturday, November 21

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for the Western Wake Fire Rescue Anniversary Ceremony & Firematic Flea Market. Celebrate over 50 collective years of fire protection in western Wake County, with a ceremony honoring past and present members of the Cary Rural, Fairgrounds, Yrac, Western Boulevard, and Western Wake Fire Departments.

The event also features a flea market, where you can buy, sell, trade, or ask about "firematic" merchandise. You know, stuff related to firefighting. I'll have a booth with stuff for sale such as a giant Gamewell gong, maybe some nozzles or extinguishers, numerous die-cast fire models from Code 3, Corgi, Del Prado, Siku, etc., and a mess of firefighting books, including some Japanese-language picture books. Full sale list later.

The location is the Western Wake fire station at 4021 District Drive, Raleigh. The flea market starts at 10:00 a.m., and the ceremony starts at 12:00 p.m. Anyone and everyone is invited. For registration information and event rules, visit www.westernwakefirerescue.com/fleamarket. Also available is this flyer about the event.
 

+ 13 - 10 | § Wake County Firefighter's Association Meeting, Tuesday, November 10

The quarterly meeting of the Wake County Firefighter's Association is Tuesday, November 10, at Rolesville Fire Department. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. The agenda is forthcoming. Visit their web site to review minutes from previous meetings.
 

+ 13 - 8 | § Saw You at the State Fair

Megan Young from Knightdale took the picture on the left. Mike Legeros from Raleigh took the picture on the right. They're displayed at the Scott Building.
 

+ 10 - 10 | § Tunnel Response Truck

Here's an interesting apparatus innovation, found in this flyer for a Camiva/Iveco/Magirus tunnel response truck from France. Check out the roof-mounted hose tray, that allows a supply line to pulled from the front of the vehicle. The bulk of the hose is stored behind the cab, atop the unit. Never seen that before.
 

+ 8 - 10 | § First Annual Rolesville Public Safety Golf Tournament, Wednesday, October 21

Speaking of charity events, Rolesville area responders are sponsoring a golf tournament at Zebulon Country Club on Wednesday, October 21. Fire, EMS, and law enforcement members from around Rolesville have formed a charity group to help people in need. Some of their activities including providing Thanksgiving dinners, and adopting families at Christmas. They also donate money raised at their annual softball tournament to the Wake County 200 Club. The tournament starts at noon, with registration and lunch at 11:00 a.m. Though the deadline has passed for entry, here's a flyer with more information.

+ 13 - 7 | § Clayton Fire Department Crop Tops Saturday, October 24

Clayton Fire Department members are shaving their heads to support a local family with a child being treated for cancer. Their tops get cropped at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, at the Flipside at 105 S. Lombard Street in Clayton. The event is sponsored by the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which raises money to combat childhood cancer research. Meet the shavees, donate money, and read Bo's story at the event web site. Even Chief Barbee is going under the blade! Expect great fun for a great cause.

+ 12 - 10 | § Firematic Racing

Found by a reader, here's something fun called firematic racing. Old-school competitions with teams racing up ladders or quickly flowing water or so forth. Just like the stuff we watched in Warrenton a couple weekends ago, and which dates-- in North Carolina, at least-- back to the 1880s and earlier. In New York state they are serious about their racing. Check out the site for the New York State Drill Teams. They have an information page about the races. And they have superb videos, which include motorized events that must be seen to be believed. Like the drag-racing ladder and hose wagons in this clip of the Hampstead Invite 2009. Start watching about 1:15. Hilarious!
 

+ 11 - 13 | § Planes, Trains, and Tanker Trucks

Here's a summary of transportation accidents in and around Raleigh. The selection criteria is that the Raleigh Fire Department responded. Included are a few plane crashes in the 1940s with no fire response. Excluded are a number of plane crashes at and around the airport in the 1950s and 1960s that the Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad responded to. See this airport fire department timeline for information on those crashes. For roadway includes, only tanker fires are included here. Don't have good historical records on transfer truck fires, or major motor vehicle accidents. See my Raleigh Fire Department timelines for information. Readers are welcome to add, edit, or reminisce.

Aircraft Accidents

Jan. 11, 1929 - Light plane crashes at Poindexter Field, airstrip located outside city limits. Pilot killed. Fire department responds. First fatal air crash in city.

Feb. 12, 1940 - Light plane crashes on Highway 15-A, south of Raleigh Municipal Airport. Two killed aboard. The next day, the plane bursts into flames while being towed from site. Fire response not known.

Aug. 9, 1942 - Twin-engine bomber crashes into woods outside Raleigh Municipal Airport. Three crew members killed, five injured. Plane strikes pine trees at end of runway, and remains airborne for about three-quarters of a mile. Lands in middle of small swamp. Rescuers include golfers playing on nearby course. No bombs aboard, but 50 caliber ammo is denotating as rescuerers arrive. No fire response.

Nov. 10, 1942 - A-24 Douglas dive bomber crashes into Army tent encampment at Raleigh Municipal Airport. Pilot killed, radio operator thrown from plane but walks away, two on ground injured. Plane slices off several pine tree tops, and bursts into flames after striking recreation tent and mess tent. No fire response.

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+ 11 - 13 | § Planes, Trains, and Tanker Trucks

Here's a summary of transportation accidents in and around Raleigh. The selection criteria is that the Raleigh Fire Department responded. Included are a few plane crashes in the 1940s with no fire response. Excluded are a number of plane crashes at and around the airport in the 1950s and 1960s that the Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad responded to. See this airport fire department timeline for information on those crashes. For roadway includes, only tanker fires are included here. Don't have good historical records on transfer truck fires, or major motor vehicle accidents. See my Raleigh Fire Department timelines for information. Readers are welcome to add, edit, or reminisce.

Aircraft Accidents

Jan. 11, 1929 - Light plane crashes at Poindexter Field, airstrip located outside city limits. Pilot killed. Fire department responds. First fatal air crash in city.

Feb. 12, 1940 - Light plane crashes on Highway 15-A, south of Raleigh Municipal Airport. Two killed aboard. The next day, the plane bursts into flames while being towed from site. Fire response not known.

Aug. 9, 1942 - Twin-engine bomber crashes into woods outside Raleigh Municipal Airport. Three crew members killed, five injured. Plane strikes pine trees at end of runway, and remains airborne for about three-quarters of a mile. Lands in middle of small swamp. Rescuers include golfers playing on nearby course. No bombs aboard, but 50 caliber ammo is denotating as rescuerers arrive. No fire response.

Nov. 10, 1942 - A-24 Douglas dive bomber crashes into Army tent encampment at Raleigh Municipal Airport. Pilot killed, radio operator thrown from plane but walks away, two on ground injured. Plane slices off several pine tree tops, and bursts into flames after striking recreation tent and mess tent. No fire response.

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+ 13 - 12 | § State Fair Fire Department

Western Wake is again providing contracted fire protection at the State Fair. Same place as always, based at a trailer over toward the Village of Yesteryear. They'll respond on fire and EMS calls. That is, fire and a lot of EMS calls. Staffing numbers 13 from morning till late night, and four from late night till morning. The Greenville Fire Department Fire Safety Clown Troupe makes an appearance today next Friday, October 23. They'll have three shows: 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The Fair guys are also distributing fire prevention materials donated by LGFCU and VFIS. The Western Wake crews are easy to spot, as they're typically being bothered by a guy with a camera in a Hawaiian Shirt. And don't forget your fair food, which this year reportedly includes chocolate-covered bacon and deep-fried Ho Ho's. See you at the next cardiac saves ceremony!
 

+ 8 - 12 | § This Morning's Major Fire / Wingate Drive

Two alarms at 4508 Wingate Drive. Engine 9 arriving at a two-story brick residence with heavy fire showing through the roof and second-story windows. Building with 2,733 square-feet, built 1985. Second alarm requested within minutes. Interior attack through garage and into kitchen. Subsequent defensive attack including aerial stream from Ladder 2 and deck gun from Engine 9. Residents safely escaped. No injuries. E9, E15, E11, E19, E16, E4, E6, L2, L1, R1, R2, B1, B2, C10, C20, A8, EMS16, EMS3, EMS121, D4, D1, M91, T1. Dispatched 5:05 a.m. Second alarm companies released within about an hour. Salvage and overhaul continued through change of "A" shift to "B" shirt. Late incident pics from Legeros coming. See NBC 17 coverage. Or watch fire footage from WTVD.
 

+ 10 - 12 | § TriData, Again

For fellow report junkies, we've uploaded the entire Wake County Fire/EMS Capital Facility and Equipment Study that was presented to the Wake County Fire Commission in January 2004. (Gads, have I really been attending those meetings for over five years now!?) The report was prepared by TriData of Arlington, VA. It is important to note that the commission voted to not move the study forward.

View the report, which includes some very large PDF files.
View the summary presentation
, shown to the fire commission in 2004.  
 
Read our recap and discussions from 2007.
See earlier county studies by TriData of the EMS service in 1999 and the fire service in 1994.

+ 8 - 16 | § Buy Your Tartan Ball Tickets

The Fourth Annual Tartan Ball on Friday, November 13, has sold only half of its 320 tickets. What are you waiting for? To purchase the $20 tickets, visit www.ForOurFallen.org and look for Tickets Here. Show your support for the Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums. The event is again at the Downtown Raleigh Sheraton Hotel, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. There's a guest band, featured dancers, adult kegged beverages and appetizers, and a full-service cash bar. Come and join the fun.

+ 12 - 10 | § Rock and Roll Dances at Memorial Auditorium, 1961

Found in the files at Olivia Raney Local History library, here's an interesting City of Raleigh Memorandum dated December 13, 1961:

To: Chief Tom Davis, Mr. Fred Johnson, and Promoters of Rock and Roll Shows at the Memorial Auditorium
From: City Manager
Subject: Procedures to be followed for Supervision and Operation of Rock and Roll Dances at the Memorial Auditorium

1. The Chief of Police, in collaboration with the Auditorium Manager and the Promoter of a particular event, shall determine the number of extra police and their assignments believed necessary to maintain law and order before and during the event in addition to the two regular firemen who are to be assigned.

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+ 12 - 9 | § Mystery Apparatus

Who will be the first person to identify this apparatus? Hint #1: Hose. Hint #2: Bed.
 

+ 14 - 10 | § Wake County Fire Station Closure Update

The Board of Commissioners today received an update from the Wake County Fire Marshal on the fire station closure project. The update was delivered at the board's works session. The Fire Marshal's office reports board members have been receiving questions about the station closure process from residents in northern Wake County. The update included this presentation. Also, NBC17 is reporting on this closure process. Read their story.

Next steps, as listed in the presentation, are (a.) complete assessment of cost criterion, (b.) Fire Commission reviews staff analysis, (c.) Fire Commission receives feedback from fire departments and others, (d.) Fire Commission considers recommendation, (e.) Informational sessions for citizens in areas served by fire stations, and (f.) Recommendation forwarded to Board of Commissioners.

The fire stations being evaluated for closure criteria are Bay Leaf #3, Falls, New Hope #1, and Western Wake. Search the blog to learn more, in the upper-right corner. Try keywords such as "closure." There are a number of prior postings.

+ 14 - 7 | § Remaking Downtown Raleigh

The latest issue of the Independent Weekly has a fascinating feature on urban planner Dan Douglas and his vision for remaking downtown Raleigh. He believes a nonprofit development corporation is the answer, similar to the one that created the RTP. The corporation partners would be the city, county, state, Progress Energy, PSNC, the three railroads (CSX, Norfolk Southern, North Carolina Railroad), and Triangle Transit. Why those partners? Because they own 120 acres of vacant or underutilized land that runs right through the heart of the city. (What is underutilized, you ask? For example, there are 18 acres owned by the city on the west size of Capital Boulevard, where vehicles are parked. The old baseball stadium site.)

His idea is simple. The partners donate their land to the development corp, which then uses the land to leverage private and public development. Such as by holding an international competition to produce the best master plan possible for downtown development. With these ideas, based on research spent in European cities that have successfully revitalized similar areas, he believes 46,000 additional jobs and 8,500 housing units for 15,400 people could be located in that corridor's 369 acres. Total value of $7 billion, with tax value to the city and county of $73 million annually. At current rates.

What exactly would Douglas do, in downtown Raleigh? Well, he'd tear apart Capital Boulevard from Peace Street to Atlantic Avenue. In place of that "grungy highway," he'd install a "tree-lined boulevard with stoplights, sidewalks, and cross streets." The latter would connect to new frontage roads parallel to the railroad tracks. His other ideas including adding nine new public squares, six green streets, a new "grand central station" for the city, and a new downtown arena.

Read the article.

+ 17 - 11 | § Lego Oshkosh P-15

Found on a model apparatus collector's board, would you believe a 1:30 scale Oshkosh P-15 airport crash truck built entirely of Legos? And one that rolls, steers, and pumps. The project took the Danish builder six months of researching, planning, building, and rebuilding. Read more and see more. I want one!
 

+ 13 - 11 | § Vitriol

On Wednesday, Statter911 surfaced the story of a fire prevention demonstration in Washington, DC with live fire that went wrong. One firefighter received burns on his cheek and hands, and was admitted to a burn center. His story includes a complete video of the demonstration, and the footage and story is making the rounds on news and blog sites. On Statter's site, nearly 100 comments have been posted and they represent a range of passionate opinions and perspectives. Some take swings at the department, others at fire officials. Career versus volunteers is lobbed out. Suppression techniques are argued, as are safety practices. And, of course, anonymous versus named posters. It's virulent stuff, and perhaps characteristic of online discussions in the DC/Baltimore area. Such as their Watch Desk forums, which are also quite... colorful.

+ 9 - 12 | § Alligators

On Thursday, a golfer was attacked by an alligator near Hilton Head, SC. He lost his arm below the elbow, reports this newspaper story. There are alligators in the Carolinas? What? And are they lurking in North Carolina?1 Looking around the web, it appears that 'gators have been sighted as far north as the Great Dismal Swamp near the Virginia border. Others report seeing basking beasts in the canal along Highway 64 between Columbia and Mann's Harbor. The state's southern counties have the highest percentage of alligators. On the USS North Carolina in Wilmington, a sign warns visitors that the things are dangerous. Implied is that they are also nearby. Next question, how far inland are they found? Readers, please advise.

1Having lived in North Carolina for 29 years, including high school on the coast, I probably already knew there were alligators here. Just hadn't thought it lately. Too much time at the computer can do that. Plus, the question makes for a good posting.

2Yes, alligators are not crocodiles. But the mug is cute.

+ 7 - 16 | § Everybody Loves a Parade

Downtown Creedmoor. Fireman's Day. Units from CFD and Bahama, Bethesda, Brassfield, Bullock, Butner (lot of B's!), Corinth, Cornwall, Durham, Durham Highway, Oxford, Providence, Redwood, Stem, Stony Hill, Townsville, Watkins, and Virgilina fire departments. Ton of people, ton of candy. Lot of fun. Pics coming from Lee and Legeros (below).
 

+ 11 - 12 | § Raleigh Fire Department Office Move

The administrative offices of the Raleigh Fire Department have been temporarily moved to the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive. Administrative and Prevention division staff occupy a trio of classroom trailers, while the Fire Chief has moved into the training center building. Renovations are pending for their existing offices on the second floor of the Dillon Building on West Martin Street. Construction is expected to be completed by Christmas. Visitors to the relocated offices are encouraged to make appointments, as parking at the training center is limited. See photos of the news and exisiting space.

For most of the prior century, fire department administrative officers were located in three incarnations of Station 1 on West Morgan Street, South Salisbury Street, and South Dawson Street. Later locations have included the Keeter Training Center building (1982?-1984?), the Raleigh Municipal Building (1984-1991), the Professional Building on West Hargett Street (1991-1994), and the aforementioned Dillon Buiding (1994-present). Old Station 4 on Wake Forest Road was also utilized as a Career Development Center from 1993 to 1997.
 

+ 10 - 14 | § White Balance

For your Friday enjoyment, here's a bit of camera play. Here's an image from last night's commercial structure fire in Raleigh. The camera is a Canon Digital Rebel XT, in Program AE mode, at 1600 ISO. The file format is RAW. The flash hasn't fired. This is the image without any adjustments:
 

READ MORE

+ 8 - 12 | § Fire Prevention Around The World

This Firehouse.com article reports on the final installment of a three-year study examining how fire prevention is handled in ten countries: Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, England, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and Sweden. The third installment was released this summer. The report was commissioned by the CDC, and researched and written by TriData. The 300-page report has been downloaded 12,000 times, notes the article. And it sounds like compelling reading, with all sorts of examples of how fires are prevented in other countries.

In England, the article cites as an example, a firefighter strike in 2003 caused a dramatic reduction in fires and fire deaths. Why? People had to be more careful. In Canada, some firefighters are required to spend two hours each day doing fire prevention field work. In Australia and New Zealand, home fire safety vans have compartments simulating rooms in a home. In Scandinavia, candle wicks are self-extinguishing. And so on, and so on. Looking forward to reading it. Learn more about the report.
 

+ 14 - 9 | § See You at the State Fair

Mr. Blogger has again entered the Arts & Photography competition at the North Carolina State Fair. Amateur category, where the premiums range from $120 to $55. Entries must be framed and wired for hanging. That's a 16 by 20-inch digital print, with store-bought frame. This year's submission was shot at a live burn in Knightdale in November 2008. It'll be hanging with good company in the Scott Building. See you at the Fair. And for extra credit, identify the pictured firefighter. That is, the soon-to-be-famous firefighter.
 

+ 8 - 17 | § Western Wake Firefighter Struck on I-40 (Updated)

The driver of Western Wake Pumper 196 was injured this afternoon at a vehicle fire on westbound Interstate 40 just east of Harrison Avenue. The Western Wake engine and its three-person crew was dispatched at 4:13 p.m., along with Cary Engine 1. Callers reported a Chevy Blazer on fire in the vicinity of Wade Avenue. Pumper 196 arrived within minutes, and a line was pulled to extinguish a small amount of fire. The two firefighters on the line were wearing full protective gear, while the driver/operator was wearing his helmet and a traffic vest.

About that time, an apparently out of control truck skidded into the scene, and struck Lt. S. M. Shrum. He was thrown clear of the vehicle, which also collided with the apparatus. EMS was immediately requested, and he was transported to WakeMed in Cary, and treated for a minor injury. A second vehicle accident also occurred at the congested scene. The EMS response included EMS 8, EMS 51, and Medic 91. Western Wake Rescue 295 also responded, and relieved Cary Engine 1.

Updated October 9, with photos from readers, shot about 45 minutes into the incident. Click to enlarge:
  

+ 14 - 15 | § Trailer Fire

This is the trailer that burned this evening at 1820 New Hope Church Road, and which was adjoining a commercial structure at the corner of St. Albans Drive. The response included E11, E15, E9, E19, L2, R2, B1, C10, C20, A1, EMS 1, EMS 5, EMS 3, D1, T1. Dispatched 7:31 p.m. Click to enlarge this photo from Legeros:
 

+ 7 - 12 | § District Chief Position Created at Six Forks EMS

On Tuesday, October 13, at 0800 hours, Six Forks EMS will place a new District Chief unit in service. Numbered District Chief 4, the unit will respond primarily in the north and northwest region of Wake County. The Wake County EMS System presently has five District Chief units, three operated by Wake County EMS (DC1, DC2, DC3), and two operated by contracted EMS agencies (Cary, DC5 and Eastern Wake, DC6).

District Chiefs serve as first-line supervisors to EMS personnel, and also respond to larger incidents involving multiple EMS unit and high-acuity clinical responses, such as cardiac arrest and severe respiratory distress. They also supplement Advance Practice paramedic units, and perform many human resource management and administrative functions as well. The District Chief 4 vehicle, a Dodge Ram covered pick-up, is pictured below at Six Forks EMS Station 1. Read this press release from July for more information.
 

+ 12 - 8 | § Old Map of Caraleigh

Here's a great find from a fellow history buff, an old map of the unincorporated community of Carleigh. Date unknown, perhaps 1900s? Many of the streets are still there, as well as the original Caraleigh Mills building. Most of the map was scanned from a copy at Olivia Raney Local History Library, with the rest photographed from a physical copy. Caraleigh and other sections of South Raleigh were annexed in the 1960s.

Click the second image once or twice very large versions, including an overlaid satellite image from Google Maps. Or see Sanborn Maps from 1914 in PDF format, showing some streets and buildings: index map, detail map 1, detail map 2.
 



+ 12 - 12 | § Durham Firefighters Trim Flu Season Schedule

From today's News & Observer, the Durham Fire Department begins limiting non-essential public contact in November. Because of concerns about contracting swine flu, firefighters will stop attending community events. This includes school events. Such requests average about 40 per month. The department will continue to allow station tours, but require that visitors first wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer. Tours will be conducted outside the station only, and children will not be allowed inside the trucks, nor permitted to touch face masks or other personal protective equipment. The Chapel Hill Fire Department is taking similar precautions, the article notes. Durham firefighters will also be required to get flu shots. Read the entire article.

It's worth noting that similar precautions have been implemented by local health care providers. Restrictions have been announced at central North Carolina hospitals, as this WRAL story reported. Young people represent the highest risk for the H1N1 virus, and people under 18 years of age are no longer allowed to visit Duke University Hospital and WakeMed hospitals. At Rex hospitals, visitors must be over the age of 12. At Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids, visitors must be over the age of 5. Etcetra, etcetra.

+ 10 - 11 | § Bodies on Television?

Question of the day. Do our television stations typically show dead bodies in footage from local stories? Despite his seemingly 24/7 media awareness, Mr. Blogger rarely watches newscasts or video clips. Thus the surprise this morning, seeing a[n apparent] body in the street, shown in the WRAL coverage of a fatal shooting in Fuquay-Varina. Is that common these days? Showing a deceased person on screen?

+ 9 - 16 | § Durham Apartment Fire

WRAL has posted an appealingly grainy viewer photo-- wonder how many people will read that as appallingly?-- of an apartment fire at Royal Oaks Apartments in Durham last night. Two apartments burned, and others were damaged with water. No injuries. Reported just before 11:00 p.m. The viewer photo is probably from a mobile device, or lower-resolution camera. It has an appealing "you are there" quality, certainly! Read the WRAL story.
 


WRAL photo

+ 10 - 9 | § EQ Class-Action Settlement Approved For Apex Evacuees

Can you believe it's been three year since the chemical explosion and fire in Apex on October 5, 2006, that sent fireballs into the sky, drew dozens of responders, and compelled as many as 15,00 residents to evacuate? Yesterday, a class-action suit seeking compensation for evacuees was approved. Households and business owners have two weeks (!) to file a claim, and they'll receive $750 or up to $2,200, respectively. As this New & Observer article reports, about 1,900 of the 3,000 eligible households have already filed claims.

More information for claimants is available at www.apexfiresettlement.com.

For recaps and summaries of the incident, see these pages from the Apex Fire Department, as well as the Chemical Safety Board.

+ 15 - 9 | § Wind + Tree + Electricity

Dave Statter surfaces this shocking video of a frying fir (?) in Bellingham, WA. From the audio, there was quite a crowd there. Watch and listen what happens at about 3:55.
  

+ 9 - 16 | § Students Stuck on Bus After Stop-Arm Breaks

Conveniently reported in time for today's school board elections, WRAL is reporting the curious story of a school bus incident in Morrisville. A number of high school students were kept aboard a bus for over an hour yesterday after the stop-arm stopped functioning. As it's against the law to transport students without a working stop-arm, the driver pulled over and parked. School officials sent a repair person to the scene, but getting the thing fixed took a little while. Says a school system spokesperson, the safest place for students was on the bus and not on the street. Good thing the weather was cooler! Wonder what other regulations impact the regular operation of buses? Read the WRAL story.
 


WRAL photo

+ 15 - 8 | § Fire on the Water

Cameras are everywhere these days, as this viewer photo from WRAL reminds us. That's a burning boat off the Crystal Coast, about 35 miles north of the Beaufort inlet. The 35-foot craft reported a distress call about 3:00 p.m. yesterday. The Coast Guard rescued two people, and the boat sank after burning for about 45 minutes. Read the article and see more photos.
 


WRAL photo

+ 16 - 10 | § Fire Prevention Week Events

Thursday, Oct. 8

Friday, Oct. 9

Saturday, Oct. 10

Sunday, Oct. 11

+ 9 - 9 | § In The Pink

Not sure how we caption this one. Is it a wayward troupe of firefighters-turned-chorus dancers? Or perhaps a corrections facility fire brigade that doubles as nightly prison entertainment? The bright gear and brighter truck are part of the Pink Heals Tour, which made an appearance today at Triangle Town Center. Formerly named the Pink Ribbon Tour, it's a non-profit organization that tours the country to raise cancer awareness.

The Raleigh Fire Department sponsored today's event, with participation from agencies including Falls, New Hope, Rolesville, and Wake Forest fire departments, and Six Forks and Wake County EMS. Who's who in the pictured dancing crew? We'll name no names, but it includes a number of chiefs, one fireman's association president, and some blogger/photographer guy. The other pics are equally fun. Thanks for everyone's support. Click to enlarge and chuckle.
 


Lee Wilson Photo

+ 8 - 9 | § Henderson Fire Department Open House, Saturday, Oct. 10

Numerous agencies are participating at the Henderson Fire Department Open House, next weekend on Saturday, October 10. The location is 205 N. Garnett Street, the time is 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. All fire departments in Vance County are participating, along with numerous other agencies and organizations. They'll have numerous vehicles and apparatus on display, a fire safety house, a moon walk, and other activities. Free hot dogs, chips, snacks, and drinks. Door prizes for gift certificates from local businesses, too!

+ 9 - 9 | § National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

Live coverage of today's National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service in Emmitsburg is available at STATer911.com, who has partnered with Firehouse.com. The service starts at 10:00 a.m. Live coverage started at 9:30 a.m.

Nine North Carolina firefighters who died in the line of duty last year are being added to the memorial: James Earl Arthur (Cold Water), George Everett Crocker Sr. (Pine Level), Victor Anthony Isler Sr. (Salisbury), Curtis Jessen (Forest Service), Herman S. Jones (Raleigh), Walter William Michl (Roanoke-Wildwood), Justin Edward Monroe (Salisbury), Carol Irene Taylor (Goldsboro) and Colin Gene Thomas (Verona).

Watch live coverage.

Learn more at the NFFF web site.

+ 11 - 9 | § Distortion

Simple example of lens distortion from Morrisville Fire Prevention Day yesterday. Canon Digital Rebel XT using 17-40mm lens. Top photo shows focal length of 26mm. Bottom photo shows focal length of 17mm. As the lens shoots wider, the pumper's rear grows larger. However, the shots are not entirely apples to apples. Mr. Blogger stepped forward a few feet, before shooting the second photo. 

+ 14 - 9 | § Bay Leaf Pumper Dedication

Tomorrow's open house with the Bay Leaf Fire Department, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Station 1, includes a dedication of their newest pumper in honor of Paula Sukenik. The dedication ceremony takes place at 2:00 p.m. They'll unveil a permanent plaque mounted on Pumper 252 in honor of Paula's service to the department. She passed away last year, after a courageous battle with cancer. Pumper 252 is a 2009 Pierce Contender that was placed in service earlier this year. Bay Leaf Station 1 is located at 11713 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.
 

+ 9 - 7 | § Fireman's Daze

The night was dark, the sky was blue, the smell of cows was wafting through. That's a field cum parking lot in Micro, North Carolina, where the 16th Annual Fireman's Carnival was held this evening. By the light of a full moon and the Dollar General sign next door, there were games, rides, auctions, and even dancing at MFD. 'Twas our conclusion for a date night, after movie and a dinner. Nothing says romance like rural Johnston County. Well, that and a slow dance under the stars. And what was the name of that band? They were great! Pics are coming, along with the day's earlier stops in Garner, Cary, and Morrisville. Alas, didn't get to Zebulon. Tomorow there's more, and as well as next weekend. Daze for firemen, indeed! Click to enlarge:
 

+ 12 - 14 | § Blog Interview - Dale Johnson

New feature. Blog interview. Let's begin...
 

Q: What is your full name?
A: Dale Johnson.

Q: No middle name?
A: Dale is my middle name. My first name, I think, was a sick joke played on me by my parents.

Q: What is your occupation?
A: Paramedic/FTO, Apex EMS. Just as important are other jobs I have: son, husband, and father. The pay is *much* better for the last three.

Q: FTO means...
A: Field Training Officer.

Q: Side jobs?
A: Way too many. Part time paramedic at Six Forks EMS and Clayton EMS; part time instructor at Wake Tech and Durham Tech. By the way, my little plug here: we should pay paramedics a livable wage, in the community that they serve, and one that does not require multiple jobs.

If we have paramedics (and EMTs) who have to work even one extra job, then we are not paying them enough. Period. What I do is at a level comparable to what my daughter does as a registered nurse, and she makes a lot more than I do. *And* she just started.

It’s a shame. But that is a tirade for another day and another blog. Probably will show up on 9-ECHO-1.
 


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+ 10 - 10 | § Old Photo of Station 6

For your Friday enjoyment, here's an old photo that many have seen before. It shows firefighters at Station 6, circa 1948. That's the year that building opened, so it might be showing the original engine and ladder crews. Wearing white on the left is Fire Chief Alvin Lloyd. He served from 1947 to 1955, and died in office. Lloyd joined RFD in 1919.

On the right is Asst. Chief R. Lee Matthews. He joined in 1926 and retired in 1963, and subsequently served as interim fire chief in Cary. He was hired in 1967. Two other Cary chiefs have ties to RFD. Cary Fire Chief C. F. Ayscue, who served 1967-68, left and joined and later retired from Raleigh. And longtime chief Ned Perry was a Raleigh Captain who was hired by the town in 1975 and served until 1993.

Sitting in the engine is Driver Vernon J. Smith, who would be seriously injured on November 14, 1952, while operating Engine 6 which was operating a reserve pumper. It overturned while returning from a call, and Smith died of his injuries four years later. He was Raleigh's first duty death. Read more about his story.

The complete who's who: (front row) Joe Hobby, Capt. John Harrison, Clyde Carter, Chief Alvin Lloyd, Asst. Chief Lee Matthews, Capt. Jack Crabtree, and Bill Durden; (back row) Roy High, Harold Stephenson, Eugene Alford, James Strickland, Thomas Gates, Todd _____, and Frank Beecham; (sitting in apparatus) Vernon Smith and Wade Watkins.

Read more history of the Raleigh Fire Department. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 11 - 8 | § Blog Mugs?

Firegeezer started the trend, making and selling branded mugs. Firecritic is now onboard, with mugs, tees, and even thongs! We'll have some fun with that one later. What would a mug look like for our blog here? Click and see...

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+ 13 - 11 | § Mystery Apparatus

Here's one in super-close-up. Too hard? Probably too easy, for those one, or two, or twenty people that recognize the thing right away.
 

+ 14 - 5 | § At 60 M.P.H., Office Work Is High Risk

The New York Times continues its excellent Driven to Distraction article series with a feature on the perils of mobile officing. The second paragraph describes the situation perfectly: "He grabbed his cellphone [...], cradling it between his left ear and shoulder, and with his right hand e-mailed [...] from his laptop computer — all while driving [...] in a construction zone on a two-lane highway in North Carolina."

There are fascinating factoids a-plenty. Using a phone while driving increases your crash risk four-fold. Some families of victims have successfully sued the employers of multitasking crashers. Your brain is actually bad at doing several things at once. And the productivity boost from mobile working might be its own illusion.

As the article notes. Exxon Mobile ran a pilot program in 2004, restricting some employees from phoning while driving. It found no drop in productivity, and immediately initiated a ban for all workers and contractors. What's this all mean for first responders, beyond job security from continued and perhaps increased crashes? Read the article, and offer your opinion.