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+ 3 - 3 | § Reader Mail - February 28, 2014

Holy cow, it's almost March. Where does the time go? Well, that's easy... research projects! Lately been digging into the history of local rescue squads and EMS, plus a short trip down memory lane on Wake County fire service governance and more. (Pinned down the prior fire marshals last night.) Plus the usual comings and goings at the Raleigh Fire Department, the Raleigh Fire Museum, and around town. Also making travel plans for April. See you at FDIC, first-time visit (!), and around town shooting historic or former Indianapolis firehouses. Now onto the mails...

Q: Question about Raleigh apparatus. What's housed at Station 14. And are any plans in the future for another tiller?

A: Station 14 on Lake Boone Trail houses a rescue pumper (Squad 14), a reserve rescue (twin of Rescue 1) that can also be used by Squad 14 to transport additional technical rescue equipment. Squad 14 also has a boat trailer, housed in a small building behind the station.

Regarding a second tiller for the city, there continue to be words on the street to that effect. Such apparatus are exceptionally maneuverable, which is super-helpful in areas of the city with tighter streets. And they can carry a quite a bit more gear!

Q: Hey Mike, are you going to post some coverage of Smithfield's recent haz-mat incident on your blog?

A: Yes, no, maybe. I'm using Twitter these days for micro-blogging.* That is, to "blog" short sentences with such links as Jason Thompson's photos of the incident. He also posted a short narrative on jocofire.com. Let me see about a blog posting, and any additional incident details. Maybe readers will send me something.

* Wait, you don't use Twitter? No problem! My latest "tweets" automatically appear on the blog home page.** Or check legeros.com, which has a big fat embedded feed.

** Can't you just write regular blog posts? Twitter and Facebook is too complicated! Agree, you should try managing content across all those channels!

Q: Do you do ride-alongs?

A: Negative, they're pretty rare for me. They’re fun to do, but the raw time is tough. There's just too much time required sitting and waiting for a fire. Plus, ours isn't a burning city. Fires are mostly room and contents. For "intense fireground action," you have to nearly already be there. Ours is a geographically huge area.

For special projects, however, ride-alongs are great. Such taking an afternoon or evening to make the rounds with an EMS district chief. Done that a couple times.

READ MORE

+ 2 - 2 | § Wake County Fire District Descriptions - 1993

Here's a blast from the past, descriptions of Wake County's fire districts, as appeared in the budget document for Fiscal Year 1993-94. Click once or twice to enlarge, or see summary transcriptions below:
 


 
These appear to exclusively reflect county payments to these departments, based on their special tax rates. The budget information doesn't necessarily reflect municipal contributions, nor are municipal-only departments included. e.g., Raleigh, Cary, Zebulon (Municipal), etc.

+ 5 - 2 | § Scenes From Slagle's in South Boston

Photographer Lee Wilson took a drive to South Boston, VA, yesterday, to see what's still for sale at Slagle's Fire Equipment & Supply Company. The company announced their closing in May of last year, as noted in this prior posting. As their web site noted in December, they're still working on going on out of business. Here are some of the trucks they still have available. See more from Lee.
 


 

 

Lee Wilson photos

+ 4 - 2 | § Garner Fire Department Fourth Annual Relay For Life Golf Tournament

The Garner Fire Department announces the Fourth Annual Relay for Life Golf Tournament, to be held on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at Pine Hollow Golf Club in Clayton. They'll again have their exciting putting contest and complimentary lunch starting at 11:00 a.m. with a shotgun start following at 12:00 p.m. This year's tournament prizes are better than ever and tournament champions will take home $1,000! Their closest to the pin and longest drive contests will also be higher than ever. Please join them and help the Garner Fire Department raise money for Relay for Life and American Cancer  Society. See this web page for information on both sponsorship and playing.
 

+ 3 - 1 | § Video of Pin Job in Smithfield

Jason Thompson of JocoFire.com has posted a view of last night's serious motor-vehicle accident in Smithfield. The head-on collision closed Highway 210 for over an hour. Three people were trapped in their cars in the 500 block of Highway 210. Smithfield FD, Wilson's Mills FD, and Johnston County EMS responded to the incident. The three victims were transported to WakeMed, one by Duke Life Flight and two by Johnston County EMS. See also these photos from Jason on Flickr.
 

+ 3 - 2 | § Raleigh Fire Museum on Facebook

Now posting photos and historical goodies, once a day or maybe more. Visit the Raleigh Fire Museum on Facebook. You don't even have to have an account. Or dive into the museum's extensive collection of historical photos on their web site.
 

+ 8 - 1 | § Raleigh Receives New Pierce Engines, Ladder

The Raleigh Fire Department this week took delivery of four pieces of Pierce fire apparatus: two rescue pumpers, one "regular" pumper, and one rear-mounted aerial platform. They'll be assigned to Squad 14, Squad 15, Engine 19, and Ladder 1, respectively. See more photos from Lee Wilson (shown below) and a few from Mike Legeros. Read prior postings about the squads and showing factory photos. Continue reading for additional details.
 

2014 Pierce Arrow XT rescue pumper, 1500/500/30
  • Job #27077-1
  • New Squad 14
  • Delivered February 17.
2014 Pierce Arrow XT rescue pumper, 1500/500/30
  • #27077-2
  • New Squad 15
  • Delivered February 17.

Photo by Lee Wilson.

     
2014 Pierce Arrow XT pumper, 1500/500/30
  • Job #27076
  • New Engine 19
  • Delivered February 19.

Photo by Lee Wilson.

 
2013 Pierce Arrow XT aerial platform, 1500/300/30/102-feet
  • Job #27078
  • Delivered February 19
  • New Ladder 2, after temporary assignment as Ladder 1.
  • Station 11 expansion of apparatus bays pending.

Photo by Lee Wilson.

 

Fleet Changes 

Other notes:

About The New Trucks

Features: 

Notes:

LaLadder features:

Squad features include:

Notes:

About the squads:

+ 5 - 3 | § African American Heritage in the Raleigh Fire Department

On Saturday, February 8, the Raleigh Fire Museum conducted a special event in recognition of Black History Month. Featured were multimedia displays about African Americans in the Raleigh Fire Department. The slideshows included a historical perspective, beginning in the late 1860s with the city's first company of volunteer black firefighters. Named the Victor Company a year later, they were part of the volunteer Raleigh Fire Department until the career organization was formed in 1912. A second company of black firefighters, named the Bucket & Ladder Company, also served during that era. Called "colored fire companies," they were among many such segregated fire companies that served in North Carolina both back in the day and toward present day.

 

Watch Part Two - Watch Part Three

 
The museum event also included participation by the United Professional Firefighters of Raleigh (UPFFR). Members assisted museum staff with operating the museum that day. At 1:00 p.m., the UPFFR members presented a framed photo to Dr. E. B. Palmer and his wife Juanita. They're the founders and operators of Raleigh’s African American Cultural Complex. The photo, created in collaboration with the Raleigh Fire Museum, presents a montage of portraits of retired and fallen black firefighters that served the Raleigh Fire Department from 1963 to 2013. Click to enlarge:
 


 

The presentation was also taped by the Raleigh Television Network (RTN), for the February episode of FireWatch. You can watch that episode online. And see photos from the museum's special event.

To learn more about black firefighters in both Raleigh and North Carolina, here's more information:

+ 5 - 1 | § Morning Reading / Recent Tweets - February 21, 2014

Good morning Raleigh. More recent Twitter postings (tweets), which you can see anytime in the top-right section of the blog home page. My twitter handle is @Legeros. 

Friday, February 21

Thursday, February 20

+ 5 - 1 | § Vintage Photos - Inside EMS Station 1

For your Friday enjoyment, here a half-dozen vintage photos of old EMS Station 1 at 201 W. Martin Street. The former automotive garage served as both Station 1 and the administrative offices. (They had twenty-size people and three stations at the beginning.) Wake County EMS occupied the building from 1976 to 1991, at which time they moved to the Public Safety Center at 330 S. Salisbury Street. With materials from the county, the members added a number of their own improvements, including a kitchen and day room. Inside the vehicle bay were two ambulances, the supervisor's vehicle, and the director's car.

They later added a third ambulance, in 1986 or 1987. This required additional concrete and the third ambulance parked on a six-inch concrete platform. The building had a basement and a freight elevator. Supplies were stored downstairs, along with a huge boiler and old-fashioned coal chute in the alley. Read more about the building (including memories of the crews) in these research notes of mine (PDF), available on this new project site: www.legeros.com/history/ems.

And see tons of more old photos on the History of EMS in Wake County Facebook page. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 3 - 1 | § Fire Commission Minutes - 1998 to 2013

Here's a newly discovered treat, the minutes of the first fire commission meeting on November 24, 1998. Via this county web page. The commission was created as one of the recommendations of a 1994 fire service study that recommended appointing and empowering a "fire advisory board" to serve as a the "primary source of policy direction for fire protection, and advise county commissioners on fire service needs." 

The following members appeared at that first meeting:

  • George Mills, North Region/Primary
  • A. C. Rich, North Region/Alternate
  • Tom Vaughan, East Region/Primary
  • Rodney Privette, East Region/Alternate
  • Ed Brinson, West Region/Primary
  • Tony Chiotakis, West Region/Alternate
  • Phil Mitchell, South Region/Primary
  • Max Ashworth, Citizen/Consumer
  • Ned Perry, Citizen/Consumer
  • Chuck Sannipoli, Citizen/Consumer
  • Bonnie Woodruff, Citizen/Consumer
  • Blaine Parks, Citizen/Consumer (Alternate)
  • Bill Stevenson, President of Firemen’s Association
  • Cloyce Anders, External Facilitator (Non-voting)
  • Ray Echevarria, Interim Director-Fire/Rescue Division.

 Absent were:

Their mission, which they chose to accept, were these priorities:

Then what happened?

Read the minutes!

They're available on this web site. Or see this special compiled version (PDF), which collects all of them from 1998 to 2013.*

What's the larger history here, on how the county's fire service formed and has been governed (and funded)? See this prior posting on that very topic!

Among the things that you'll learn about is the Wake County Fire Chiefs Council, which operated for decades. It was superceded by the fire commission. There was also something called the Wake County Fire Districts Commission, cited in documents from the 1970s. Still researching!

Anyway, happy reading.

*Wait a minute bud, a couple of those 2012 and 2013 minutes in that digest of yours say "draft minutes." What are you trying to pull? Those are there because the county web page is missing a couple of those. Thus, the draft versions in my digest, until the county web site is updated. I've sent them a note.

+ 2 - 0 | § Interesting Rig - Graham Haz-Mat 7

Found for sale on eBay, scan of 35mm slide of Graham's Haz-Mat 7, a 1987 Mack R / 1982 Freuhau haz-mat unitl. Don't know the date of the photo (mid- or late-1990s), or the photographer. Interesting, rig, what's this history? Anyone know? How many other smaller towns or departments have operated tractor-drawn haz-mat rigs? Click to enlarge:
 

+ 6 - 2 | § Every Last Ladder Truck

How many do you recognize? Here's your cheat sheet. Bottom right to be delivered this week. Montage first conceived in 2004, as a poster of all aerial apparatus to date. Have acquired some better old photos since that time, and added service trucks. Click once or twice to enlarge:
 

+ 2 - 0 | § Cary Hiring Certified Firefighters

The Cary Fire Department is hiring! They expect the positions to be filled in August, when successful candidates begin an eight-week academy. Here's part of the announcement posted on the town's web site:

FIREFIGHTER I

Closing Date/Time: Friday, March 7, 2014, at midnight
Salary: $35,609 to $55,203

The Town of Cary is seeking certified Firefighters to work 24.5 hour rotating shifts, averaging a 53-hour work week responding to fire, EMS, and rescue emergencies requiring physical exertion. Selected candidates must pass a medical exam prior to employment. The Town of Cary is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Starting salary: $35,609 plus excellent benefits. Upon successful completion of six month probationary period, new hires will receive a 5% pay increase and move to Firefighter II rank.

An Open House for interested persons will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 25th 6:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, February 26th 6:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, March 1st 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

These sessions will be held at Cary Fire Station #1, located at 1501 N. Harrison Avenue, Cary, NC 27513. Please feel free to attend a session of your choice.

At the time of application, you must possess a North Carolina certification as a Firefighter I & II, Technical Rescuer (with specialty) and Emergency Medical Technician.

Read entire job posting.

+ 2 - 0 | § Cary Hiring Certified Firefighters

The Cary Fire Department is hiring! They expect the positions to be filled in August, when successful candidates begin an eight-week academy. Here's part of the announcement posted on the town's web site:

FIREFIGHTER I

Closing Date/Time: Friday, March 7, 2014, at midnight
Salary: $35,609 to $55,203

The Town of Cary is seeking certified Firefighters to work 24.5 hour rotating shifts, averaging a 53-hour work week responding to fire, EMS, and rescue emergencies requiring physical exertion. Selected candidates must pass a medical exam prior to employment. The Town of Cary is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Starting salary: $35,609 plus excellent benefits. Upon successful completion of six month probationary period, new hires will receive a 5% pay increase and move to Firefighter II rank.

An Open House for interested persons will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 25th 6:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, February 26th 6:00 - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, March 1st 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

These sessions will be held at Cary Fire Station #1, located at 1501 N. Harrison Avenue, Cary, NC 27513. Please feel free to attend a session of your choice.

At the time of application, you must possess a North Carolina certification as a Firefighter I & II, Technical Rescuer (with specialty) and Emergency Medical Technician.

Read entire job posting.

+ 4 - 0 | § Raleigh's New Squads

Two 2013 Pierce Arrow XT rescue pumpers (1500/500) were delivered yesterday. These are the new Squad 14 and Squad 15, and will replace a pair of 2004 American LaFrance Eagle pumpers (shown in last photo) that have served the special engine companies since they were placed in service on February 5, 2013. They're expected to be in service by the end of the month. The units operate as engine companies, with their own territory, but are also dispatched to other call types including technical rescue calls. 

Among the new features, different from "regular" Raleigh engines, include a higher hose bed, ladder to ascending to said hose bed, "coffin" compartments on the top, rear camera with monitor in the cab, bumper mounted compartment equipped for both a hydraulic rescue tool and reel, and a hose line, and the absence of either a booster reel or a pre-piped deck gun. 

Two more new trucks are due this week, a 2013 Pierce Arrow XT pumper (for Engine 19) and a 2013 Pierce Arrow XT rear-mount aerial platform (for Ladder 1 until Station 11 is expanded, then for Ladder 2). Legeros took these photos yesterday, see others by Lee Wilson. Click to enlarge.
 



+ 2 - 2 | § Man Rams Truck Into Raleigh Police Car After Domestic Assault

Credit this WRAL story for that dramatic headline as well as this dramatic photo from yesterday, where three Raleigh police officers were injured after responding to a reported domestic assault on Williams Road. Officer L. N. Yesh was in the cruiser and transported to WakeMed with non-life threatening injuries. Also injured, while arresting the suspect, were Officers E. E. Tansey and R. Sirinna. They were also  transported to WakeMed, with minor injuries.  See also WTVD and the News & Observer stories.
 


Here's the information release from the Raleigh Police Department's Facebook page.

Shortly after 10 a.m. today, Raleigh Police Department officers were dispatched to a domestic assault call involving a male suspect reportedly beating a female victim in the 900 block of Williams Road.

Responding officers were informed the assault suspect had driven away from the scene in a pickup truck, and the officers saw a vehicle matching the truck's description as they neared the call location. Suspecting the driver of the truck was the suspect who had been involved in the assault, the officers attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver of the truck refused to stop, and, after traveling a short distance, crossed the center line and struck a Raleigh Police Department patrol car that was stopped in the opposite lane.

The driver of the police vehicle involved in the crash, Officer L.N. Yesh, 24, was transported to WakeMed for treatment of her injuries. Officer Yesh, who was employed by the RPD in April 2012, is assigned to the department's Field Operations Division.

The driver of the pickup truck, Max Felton Mitchell (DOB 9/12/60), was taken into custody and transported to WakeMed by Raleigh Police Department personnel. Thus far, he has been charged with various traffic-related offenses. Follow-up investigations related to the crash and to the underlying domestic assault remain underway and additional charges remain pending.

+ 3 - 2 | § Run Numbers For 2013

Who has run numbers to share for last year? Below are the calls and company runs for Raleigh and Cary, plus station totals for Fuquay-Varina. Good start, but can we get county- or even region-wide participation? Drop me a private message or post yours here!
 

Raleigh   Cary Fuquay-Varina
37144 calls
55270 runs

E01 - 1922
E02 - 1740
E03 - 2684
E04 - 1160
E05 - 1291
E06 - 1228
E07 - 2027
E08 - 1981
E09 - 1484
E10 - 1586
E11 - 2129
E12 - 2412
E13 - 1388
E14 (end 2/5/13) - 142
E15 (end 2/5/13) - 217
E16 - 1628
E17 - 1234
E18 - 1065
E19 - 2075
E20 - 1396
E21 - 1369
E22 - 1250
E23 - 870
E24 - 792
E25 - 793
E26 - 927
E27 - 606
E28 – 587

Top Ten

E03 - 2684
Sq15/E15 - 2426
E12 - 2412
E11 - 2129
E19 - 2075
E07 - 2027
E08 - 1981
E01 - 1922
Sq14/E14 - 1760
E02 - 1740

See more Raleigh
run number data
(PDF)
L1 - 838
L2 - 1852
L3 - 997
L4 - 2231
L5 - 866
L6 - 403
L7 - 913
L8 – 467

SQ14 (start 2/5/13) - 1618
SQ15 (start 2/5/13) - 2209

R1 - 839
R2 (end 2/5/13) - 75
R3 (end 2/5/13) - 62

Bat 1 - 386
Bat 2 - 528
Bat 3 - 439
Bat 4 - 233
Bat 5 - 525

Air 1 - 174

Haz-Mat 1 - 56
Haz-Mat 2 - 75
Haz-Mat 3 - 56

C20 (Div Chief) - 218
C401 (Investigator) - 279
C420 (Platoon DFM) - 844
8126 calls
14607 runs (total of below)

Engine 3 - 1577
Engine 2 - 1113
Engine 1 - 1065
Engine 4 - 1027
Engine 5 - 878
Engine 6 - 672
Engine 7 - 579
Engine 8 - 371

Ladder 3 - 885
Ladder 1 - 726
Ladder 5 - 642
Ladder 6 - 278

Rescue 2 - 1225
Rescue 4 - 1019
Rescue 7 - 489

Battalion 1 - 1089
Battalion 2 - 972

3,403 calls

Station 1 - 2,063
Station 2 - 817
Station 3 - 522

+ 2 - 1 | § UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute on Facebook

Speaking of Facebook pages, the Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) created a Facebook page last month, and they've been generating some great discussions with photos asking "where does the first line go?" And, more importantly, they're also asking readers to answer "why does the first line go there?"
 


 
 
Who is this group and what are they doing? UL a safety consluting and certification company that dates to 1894, and with offices in forty-six countries. FSRI is a UL program that has partnered with the fire service, research departments, and other agencies. They conduct and disseminate cutitng-research and training programs that focus on (a.) the changing dynamics of structure fires and (b.) the impact that has on fireground tactics and strategy.

Here's a graphic, also from their Facebook page, that nicely summarizes the changing dynamics of residential structure fires today:
 


 

What are their findings? Tool on over to that Facebook page, and read some of "where does the first line go" discussions as a primer. You'll read about such topics as "pushing fire," what exactly is a "straight" versus "solid" stream," flow paths and perils of opening doors and windows, and even pressure dynamics. Here's on excerpt from an UL FSRI comment, on a "where does the first line go" post:

The interior of the house [with fire peaked in size without additional oxygen] is now a higher pressure than the outside, so when you flow water from the outside you will not push heat into the house because the front door is the low pressure. The steam will be created in the fire room and exit out to the front door (the only low pressure). If a door or window was opened in the rear, heat and steam would move in that direction because that is also a low pressure but this can be minimized based on stream choice and placement.

 
Good reading, great research. Visit www.facebook.com/ULfirefightersafety.

+ 3 - 3 | § Durham Fire Department History on Facebook

Have you heard about (relatively) new Durham Fire Department History Facebook page? Splendid site that's been posting on a daily basis, old photographs and newspaper clippings and documents about the department's history. And across all era's of the department, from horse-drawn to modern. Believe the page is updated daily, maybe a couple times each day. Check it out.

Meanwhile, here are some nifty pictures they've recently posted. Search this blog, from the main page, for recent DFD history postings of our own. Such as: Historical List of Durham Apparatus and History of Durham Rescue and EMS. Click to enlarge:
  

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Top to bottom, left to right:

+ 4 - 1 | § Snowmageddon

This photo was making the rounds late yesterday, showing (a.) Raleigh's heavy snowfall, (b.) disabled or abandoned vehicles that soon littered many roadways, and (c.) at least one vehicle burning, apparently as the result of a motor-vehicle accident. [ See WRAL story about the photo, taken by Lindsay Webb with her iphone. ] Engine 24 was dispatched, no idea on the run time or additional units. Fire department responded to quite a few vehicle accidents, though it didn't seem like the usual gazillion. Maybe vehicles were all moving too slowly. Didn't hear any or many tree down or line down calls. Maybe they were held at dispatch?

The city provided these updates in press releases:

Today:

The Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications answered more than 2100 calls between 12:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. The average day this time of year is approximately 2360 calls for an entire day. The majority of the calls were for minor property damage accidents, for requests for assistance or advice about traffic.

Raleigh Police report that 92 motorist accidents were reported between 1 p.m. Wednesday and 3:30 a.m. today.

Yesterday:

The Raleigh Police Department Field Operations personnel will be supported by the Special Operations Division throughout the event. Community officers from every district have been reassigned from regular duties to assist with crashes and stranded motorists. All RPD officers, including detectives, will have their uniforms ready in the event of a larger-scale event.

Raleigh Fire Department stations will be available as rest areas to City personnel working during the storm.

Raleigh had one working fire,  4324 Presley Court, Raleigh. Squad 15, Engines 11, 27, 22, , Ladder 2 and 5, Rescue 1 (among others) on run card. Upgraded to working fire while units were en route, I think. Radio on direct channel, due to VIPER unavailable perhaps? The dispatchers were talking about unavailability of radio channels.

Bay Leaf operated a command post and implemented an IAP, after stranded motorists began arriving at Station 2, due to the impassability of Creedmoor Road. (Working on inferences from radio traffic here.) They had thirty or forty or some people at the station at one time. 

The city and some (all?) county departments switched to single-engine responses soon after the flakes began falling. Heard a lot of chatter by fire departments advising each other about road conditions. Many probably performed service calls, such as Bay Leaf, which did some shuttling of people. Probably from roadways to their station, but, again, that's all inference. 

What are your stories? Visit me on Facebook (personal page), for a discussion on "how did this happen"? We'll excerpt the highlights here, later.
 

+ 1 - 2 | § Early Black Fire History via Sanborn Maps

Was digging through some digital Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps last night, which are available online for Wake County Library patrons (via this page) or statewide before 1927 (via this site). Was adding some annotations to my archived copy of the late Chuck Milligan's history of Early Black Firefighters of North Carolina. What the heck are Sanborn Maps? Read this posting of ours from 2011. What do Raleigh's maps look like, from this (and other) eras? Visit this gallery.

Tips for finding, viewing, and saving said maps? Use the above links and explore "download" options. Each map sheet is stored as a single PDF document (or single JPG image), which is infinitely easier to consume than within a browser-based viewer. Once you've download some maps, you can use your favorite screen capture tool to excerpt images, as shown below. What if you don't live (or work) in Wake County? Check your county library system, and see if they have licensed access to the digital maps.
 
How are those two sites different? The Digital Sanborn Maps site (via Wake County library) contains black and white, high-contrast versions of the maps, and including 1927 forward. Downloads of map sheets are PDF files. The second site, via the North Carolina Maps site, contains scans of the paper maps and only those before 1927, which are public domain. Downloads of map sheets are color JPG images.

Here are a few examples of what you might find, for the smaller towns and cities. (The maps of larger cities use a different logo and placement of water supply and fire protection information.) Give me another decade, and maybe I'll build a statewide gallery of these. Click once or twice to enlarge:
        

 

 

+ 3 - 1 | § Smoke Showing | Yesterday's Mobile Home Fire

This column of smoke was seen Sunday morning, after a trailer caught fire at Stony Brook North Mobile Home Park. That's off Trawick Road, off Brentwood Road. And one of the few (?) trailer parks in the thick of the city. (Readers can correct me on that.) First picture is while traveling north on Raleigh Boulevard. That's maybe five minutes after dispatch, but before Engine 11 had arrived. Working fire assignment had also already been dispatched, based on multiple callers.

Second picture is after entering the park, on Stonybrook Drive. (Wait, Stonybrook and Stony Brook? Which one's the correct spelling?) The mobile home, located on Branchwater Circle, was "half involved" with heavy fire. Or, if you prefer, fully involved in half the structure. Photos by Legeros coming soon to the photo site. Some were also posted to Twitter and Facebook, early yesterday.

Here's the incident description: 

Mobile home fire at 155 Branchwater Circle at Stony Brook North  Mobile Home Park. Working fire dispatched while units were en-route due to multiple callers. Engine 11 reporting heavy column of visible from Capital Boulevard. They arrived to find a single-wide mobile home with half of the structure involved with heavy fire. Dispatched 7:55 a.m. Controlled 8:19 a.m. Cause determined as accidental. Three people displaced, and transported to hospital: one adult and two children, with minor burns (adult) and smoke inhalation (children). Units on scene included E11, E19, E21, E_, L2, L8, R1, B2, A1, C401, EMS 62, D1.

That was the morning's second working fire in Raleigh, and the second with one or more occupants injured. Read some of those news stories: WRAL #1, WRAL #2, WTVD #1, WTVD #2. (Was a suitably busy news day, with the afternoon bringing the fatal fall of a man off an overpass on I-540 at Highway 70. Google for that story.) Click to enlarge:
 


 

 

+ 2 - 0 | § Ashe County Firefighter Buried Today

On Tuesday, Glendale Springs Fire Department Asst. Chief Donald Ray "Donnie" Miller, 61, died after collapsing at his home. He was preparing to leave his home to attended an "emergency care class" at his department. Funeral services will be held today at 2:00 p.m. at the Calvary Freewill Baptist Church at 3044 Old Wilkesboro Road, Jefferson, NC 28640. Burial will follow in Claude Mash Cemetery. The family will receive friends before the funeral, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the church. Read his obituary. Other stories: WXII, WBTV, Ashe Mountain Times.
 

+ 2 - 2 | § Conversation About Social Media

Had a good conversation about social media on my Facebook page the other week. Allow me to repeat the thing, with my comments re-posted and the replies of others rewritten and repurposed. That'll solve the pesky problem of attribution. Think of this as a conversation with myself, that's pretty close to a real conversation along the same lines. Comments by myself are obvious. Comments are others are called "Q". Not to be confused with Ian Fleming's James Bond series character, the Star Trek series character, or Q source.

Legeros:  Really wish we had a virtual place around to "talk shop" between buffs and firefighters and anyone in-between. The blog past it's prime. The Watch Desk's long gone. The Carolinas Fire Page (CFP) mailing list isn't used much. Same for the comments section on FireNews.net, though that might change with their new publishing platform that's debuting any day now. There's no buff's club in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Triangle, nor web-based discussions forum(s). I'm about THIS close to creating a Facebook group for such purposes.

Q: What happened to the Watch Desk? Is it still around?

Legeros: Was operated by one or more DCFD firefighters. They did a reboot of the thing a couple years ago. Don't remember what happened next. Might've turned into a members-only system.

Q:  That was a good place to read about Baltimore City!

Legeros: Yeah, and folks got fighting mad over there. Lots of bashing of the chief and command staff, as I recall. For a while their Car 1 would engage in discussions, but he withdrew. Moved over to their IAFF local's discussion board, if memory serves. That was a members-only and more moderated place.

Q: So start a new Facebook page already.

Legeros: That might be the way of the future, at least to start. Don't have to moderate posts, per se. The requirement of real names tends to prevent too much malice. And people are pretty good at self-policing, and retorting to posts that are accidentally or intentionally a$$-showing.

Q: Retorting? Is that a real word?

No idea. And do you like how I'm thinking of the negative implications FIRST? And before any consideration to positive aspects?

Q: The blog has been good, but there's been a lot of complaining over the years.

Legeros: Anonymous comments have allowed a lot of pot-stirring and worse. There's some cognitive reason for that that -ologists talk about. It's one of the reasons more and more people are advocating retiring anonymous commenting.

Q: Wish we had a positive forum in our area, for openly discussing ideas and lessons learned.

Legeros: Like I said, am THIS close to creating a Facebook group for that.

Q: Just don't let the news outlets see the thing.

Legeros: Great question. Public or private? Open or closed? It goes without saying my preference is open, public, everyone. It wouldn't even occur to me to create such an animal as anything BUT public. But that's me.

Q: Go with a public forum. That way, we're always mindful of what we say and do. When it's private, we sometimes forget that private isn't really that private.

Legeros: It's easy forget the first rule of electronic communication, the one they taught when e-mail was invented. Even on a seemingly closed or private system, never type anything into a message that you wouldn't want shown to your friends, family, spouse, boss, pastor, district attorney, etc.

Q: Stop moderating on the blog and things would be VERY interesting! How about a "non-moderated" day? Call it Friday Free For All!

Legeros: Been there, done, that, got the t-shirt.

Q: The idea of an open forum is a good one. The blog gets burdened with too much emotion and beliefs, instead of facts, learning, and logic.

Legeros: Learning isn't supposed to be fun. Didn't you get the memo?

Q: Think about the fire the other week and a mechanical failure that was discussed. When something doesn't go right, and we talk about it in public, the wrong people can use it against us?

Legeros: That's a great point. Hell, even I started getting heartburn about that aspect of that conversation some weeks ago.

But what does "used against us" REALLY look like? Do citizens march on city hall with pitchforks? Do we see Detroit-style exposes on FD ops on the news?

What it What it FEELS like (or feels like it COULD be) might be a bit different than how things play out. Don't know. Need to ponder before further pontification.

Q: Our critics, these days, are primarily firefighters. But in a public purview.

Legeros: A wise Chief Officer once remarked to me, years ago, until butts show in seats at city council/county commissioner meetings, there's nothing on a blog that necessarily impacts things.

Q: With regard to "wrong people," I was thinking about lawyers and law suits.

Legeros: Great point as well. But what does reality look like? What are the actual trends toward legal actions against fire departments, based on fireground performance, as initially documented or reported in social media?

Arguing a bit for arguments sake, here. So sue me, ha. But it's something that I have long wondered about.

We can might also lump "bosses" into the same conceptual category. Everyone on the line has experienced a punitive reaction to some piece of "revealed knowledge."

Q: Try a closed Facebook group. If someone gets out of line, they can be booted off.

Legeros: Perhaps, but we're starting yet again from a negative perspective. From the "what will go wrong" versus the "what might go right?" Seems like the sky's the limit on the upside, and positive to be gained through open and public and transparent conversation?

Will work on that list.

+ 2 - 2 | § Conversation About Social Media

Had a good conversation about social media on my Facebook page the other week. Allow me to repeat the thing, with my comments re-posted and the replies of others rewritten and repurposed. That'll solve the pesky problem of attribution. Think of this as a conversation with myself, that's pretty close to a real conversation along the same lines. Comments by myself are obvious. Comments are others are called "Q". Not to be confused with Ian Fleming's James Bond series character, the Star Trek series character, or Q source.

Legeros:  Really wish we had a virtual place around to "talk shop" between buffs and firefighters and anyone in-between. The blog past it's prime. The Watch Desk's long gone. The Carolinas Fire Page (CFP) mailing list isn't used much. Same for the comments section on FireNews.net, though that might change with their new publishing platform that's debuting any day now. There's no buff's club in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Triangle, nor web-based discussions forum(s). I'm about THIS close to creating a Facebook group for such purposes.

Q: What happened to the Watch Desk? Is it still around?

Legeros: Was operated by one or more DCFD firefighters. They did a reboot of the thing a couple years ago. Don't remember what happened next. Might've turned into a members-only system.

Q:  That was a good place to read about Baltimore City!

Legeros: Yeah, and folks got fighting mad over there. Lots of bashing of the chief and command staff, as I recall. For a while their Car 1 would engage in discussions, but he withdrew. Moved over to their IAFF local's discussion board, if memory serves. That was a members-only and more moderated place.

Q: So start a new Facebook page already.

Legeros: That might be the way of the future, at least to start. Don't have to moderate posts, per se. The requirement of real names tends to prevent too much malice. And people are pretty good at self-policing, and retorting to posts that are accidentally or intentionally a$$-showing.

Q: Retorting? Is that a real word?

No idea. And do you like how I'm thinking of the negative implications FIRST? And before any consideration to positive aspects?

Q: The blog has been good, but there's been a lot of complaining over the years.

Legeros: Anonymous comments have allowed a lot of pot-stirring and worse. There's some cognitive reason for that that -ologists talk about. It's one of the reasons more and more people are advocating retiring anonymous commenting.

Q: Wish we had a positive forum in our area, for openly discussing ideas and lessons learned.

Legeros: Like I said, am THIS close to creating a Facebook group for that.

Q: Just don't let the news outlets see the thing.

Legeros: Great question. Public or private? Open or closed? It goes without saying my preference is open, public, everyone. It wouldn't even occur to me to create such an animal as anything BUT public. But that's me.

Q: Go with a public forum. That way, we're always mindful of what we say and do. When it's private, we sometimes forget that private isn't really that private.

Legeros: It's easy forget the first rule of electronic communication, the one they taught when e-mail was invented. Even on a seemingly closed or private system, never type anything into a message that you wouldn't want shown to your friends, family, spouse, boss, pastor, district attorney, etc.

Q: Stop moderating on the blog and things would be VERY interesting! How about a "non-moderated" day? Call it Friday Free For All!

Legeros: Been there, done, that, got the t-shirt.

Q: The idea of an open forum is a good one. The blog gets burdened with too much emotion and beliefs, instead of facts, learning, and logic.

Legeros: Learning isn't supposed to be fun. Didn't you get the memo?

Q: Think about the fire the other week and a mechanical failure that was discussed. When something doesn't go right, and we talk about it in public, the wrong people can use it against us?

Legeros: That's a great point. Hell, even I started getting heartburn about that aspect of that conversation some weeks ago.

But what does "used against us" REALLY look like? Do citizens march on city hall with pitchforks? Do we see Detroit-style exposes on FD ops on the news?

What it What it FEELS like (or feels like it COULD be) might be a bit different than how things play out. Don't know. Need to ponder before further pontification.

Q: Our critics, these days, are primarily firefighters. But in a public purview.

Legeros: A wise Chief Officer once remarked to me, years ago, until butts show in seats at city council/county commissioner meetings, there's nothing on a blog that necessarily impacts things.

Q: With regard to "wrong people," I was thinking about lawyers and law suits.

Legeros: Great point as well. But what does reality look like? What are the actual trends toward legal actions against fire departments, based on fireground performance, as initially documented or reported in social media?

Arguing a bit for arguments sake, here. So sue me, ha. But it's something that I have long wondered about.

We can might also lump "bosses" into the same conceptual category. Everyone on the line has experienced a punitive reaction to some piece of "revealed knowledge."

Q: Try a closed Facebook group. If someone gets out of line, they can be booted off.

Legeros: Perhaps, but we're starting yet again from a negative perspective. From the "what will go wrong" versus the "what might go right?" Seems like the sky's the limit on the upside, and positive to be gained through open and public and transparent conversation?

Will work on that list.

+ 1 - 3 | § North Carolina Fire Station Lists - Past 'n' Present

In the spirit of our 2009 request to Post Your Rosters, how about some sharing of station listings? Seeking address and year opened. And all prior station locations, too! Can we do it?

Here's a starter list, PDF format: www.legeros.com/temp/nc-fire-stations.pdf

Need the years that current stations opened in Fayetteville.

And everything deserves a data review.

Important note!

This one-off research project (yeah right)( is entirely indebted to the Carolinas Fire Page North Carolina fire station list. That's where the current station data was drawn from.

Thanks to FireNews.ne Editor-in-Chief Jeff Harkey for keeping that one current.

+ 2 - 0 | § Kill the Flashover Starts Next Week

There's a neat fire service research project happening on the grounds of the South Carolina Fire Academy in Columbia next week. Called Kill the Flashover (KTF), it's three days of test burns (with three burns each day) along with classroom instruction, scenario critiques, debrief discussions, and leadership round tables.

This is the fourth edition of KTF, which was co-founded by Joe Starnes and Shawn Oke. Starnes is a former fire chief and current firefighter with Oak Grove Fire Department in Cleveland County, NC. Oke is the Fire Chief of Albemarle Fire Department in Stanl County, NC.

Here's an article by Starnes on the subject, from 2011 issue of B-Shifter magazine (PDF download). Start reading on page 35. Here's the B-Shifter web site.

The project's goals are simple: understand fire behavior in structure fires, to help fight such fires more smartly and more safely. Most importantly, KTF doesn't advocate specific tactical measures. They're simply striving to collect and analyze data. As their tag lines notes "We test, we demo, we share, you decide."

The burn rooms, for example, contain real, actual furniture and furnishings to replicate real world conditions as close as possible, including sheetrock, carpeting, glass windows, etc. Typical NFPA training burns, by contrast, are done with wood pallets and straw.

Each burn is extensively documented using thermal-imaging cameras and other monitoring equipment. The emphasis this year is on fighting fires in decay, pre-treating surfaces, and indirect fire attacks through adjacent compartments. Past projects have included attacking ventilation limited fires, extinguishing agents, PPV, fire attack with curtains, transitional attacks.

This year's program will feature sixty participants. The dates are February 10-14, 2014. Media queries should be directed to Public Information Officer Jeff Harkey, whose contact information is contained in this pre-event press release (PDF).

Now get out there and push learning, since you can't push fire.

+ 2 - 2 | § Vintage Apparatus Photos From Lee Wilson

Photographer Lee Wilson has lately been scanning some film photos of apparatus he shot in the early- to mid- to late-1990s. So far, he's posted rigs from such North Carolina fire departments as Asheboro, Asheville, Butner, Concord, Durham, Guil-Rand, Havelock, High Point, Idlewild, Kannapolis, Mooresville, Morrisville, Nashville, Raleigh, Seagate, and Thomasville. There might be a Virginia truck in there or two, as well. Can't wait to see what else he finds. See the photos.
 

+ 4 - 1 | § Factory Photos of Raleigh's New Pierces

Pierce has posted photos of Raleigh's four new rigs, a pair of 2013 Pierce Arrow XT rescue pumpers for Squad 14 and Squad 15, a 2013 Pierce Arrow XT pumper for Engine 19, and a 2013 Pierce Arrow XT aerial platform for Ladder 2, by way of Ladder 1.1 We should see them in another week or so. See larger versions at www.flickr.com/piercemfg. Click to enlarge:
 





 
1The truck won't fit into Station 11 until the bay expansion is complete. Work hasn't started and is probably a few months away. Until then, the word is that the truck will serve at Station 4 as Ladder 1.

+ 1 - 1 | § Save the Date - Stony Hill Junior Firefighters Spring Challenge - May 24, 2014

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 24, 2014. That's the date for Junior Firefighters and Fire Explorers to convene and compete at the Stony Hill Second Annual "March into Spring" Junior Firefighter Challenge.

The location will be Stony Hill Station 1 in Wake Forest. The competition will include written and hands-on knowledge tests, followed by fun field events. There's also a Friday night meet 'n' greet at the same location, on the night before.

For more information, including registration details, visit  http://juniors.stonyhillfire.org. And for a glimpse of what you missed at the inaugural event last year, see these photos from Lee Wilson.

Ready, set, go!
 

+ 2 - 1 | § Raleigh Fire Museum Special Event on Saturday for Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, the Raleigh Fire Museum is conducting a special event this Saturday, February 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The museum will feature multimedia displays about African American Heritage in the Raleigh Fire Department.

Through videos and photos, visitors will learn about the city’s black firefighters beginning with the volunteer fire companies of the 19th Century, and continuing with the first career black firefighters hired in 1963.

Members of the United Professional Firefighters of Raleigh (UPFFR) will also be participating in the event, and assisting with operating the museum. At 1:00 p.m., the UPFFR will make the presentation of a framed photo to representatives of Raleigh’s African American Cultural Complex.

The photo is a montage of portraits of retired and fallen black firefighters that served the Raleigh Fire Department from 1963 to 2013. Since the hiring of Larry Gene Williams in February 1963, over 165 African-Americans have served in sworn and civilian positions.

The Raleigh Fire Museum is located in a modular classroom at the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive. On Saturday, high-rise firefighting drills will be conducted. Visitors can watch firefighters and fire apparatus in action, while visiting the museum.

Admission to the Raleigh Fire Museum is free. Parking on Saturday will be on the street. Restrooms are also available. Learn more about the museum, and the non-profit organization that operates it, at www.raleighfiremuseum.org.

Please note that antique fire engines are located elsewhere. Both the museum's 1961 American LaFrance pumper and the city's collection of antique fire apparatus is housed at at Fire Station 28 at 3500 Forestville Road. Visitors are welcome. Or schedule a tour at www.raleighfiremuseum.org/tours.
 


 
Newspaper headlines from late 19th and early 20th century
 


 
Larry Gene Williams, first career black firefighter hired in 1963
News & Observer photo

+ 4 - 2 | § Historical List of Durham Fire Apparatus?

My favorite past time is research, if you haven't noticed. Or maybe it's photography, with research a close second. My curiosity around Durham's former rescue units (see posting) and a recent 1955 list of apparatus (see posting) has had me wondering. What would a full fleet listing look like, of all apparatus since the beginning?

Here's a quick compilation, based on a few ready (to me) sources. Great way to start the day, and good practice for my "how to handle your history" talk that I've proposed for the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in July. 

Huge holes all over, of course. First and foremost are the associated companies and units, which would've changed over the life of a truck's history. We'll ask our friends in Durham to eyeball. Heck, maybe they've already invented this wheel and will get a good laugh at my reinvention. We'll see what surfaces, or what readers have to offer.

Important note! This is a listing of each UNIQUE piece of apparatus. If they served at more than one station, that information should be added as notes, and not as a new record (line of text).
 

Year/Make/Model Type Specs Unit(s) / History Notes
1903 LaFrance steamer #1 Engine  
 
#1 of 2 Called Black Pattie and Black Jack Only one still on roster in 1907.
1903 LaFrance steamer #2 Engine  
 
#2 of 2 Third size.
1910s Webb triple combination hose car Hose  
 
Source: Sanborn.
1912 American LaFrance steamer[1] Engine 750 GPM  
Serial #3368. Pulled by motor vehicle by 1913. Reserve still in 1937. Third size. (Second Size?)
1915 American LaFrance Type 12 triple combination pumper Ladder  
 
ALF serial #899 DFD history sources say 1912 for date of first pumper. Same truck?
1915 American LaFrance Type 20 combination service truck Ladder  
 
ALF serial #898
1915 White triple combination pumper Engine 500/40 (chemical)  
Source: Sanborn. Same truck as above? Was this a 1915 White/ALF?
1920s Ahrens-Fox triple combination pumper Engine  
 
 
1926 American LaFrance Type 17-6 aerial ladder Ladder 75-foot, tiller  
ALF serial #5427
1928 Ahrens-Fox service truck Ladder  
Ladder 8 (at Sta 3)    

READ MORE

+ 4 - 2 | § Historical List of Durham Fire Apparatus?

My favorite past time is research, if you haven't noticed. Or maybe it's photography, with research a close second. My curiosity around Durham's former rescue units (see posting) and a recent 1955 list of apparatus (see posting) has had me wondering. What would a full fleet listing look like, of all apparatus since the beginning?

Here's a quick compilation, based on a few ready (to me) sources. Great way to start the day, and good practice for my "how to handle your history" talk that I've proposed for the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in July. 

Huge holes all over, of course. First and foremost are the associated companies and units, which would've changed over the life of a truck's history. We'll ask our friends in Durham to eyeball. Heck, maybe they've already invented this wheel and will get a good laugh at my reinvention. We'll see what surfaces, or what readers have to offer.

Important note! This is a listing of each UNIQUE piece of apparatus. If they served at more than one station, that information should be added as notes, and not as a new record (line of text).
 

Year/Make/Model Type Specs Unit(s) / History Notes
1903 LaFrance steamer #1 Engine  
 
#1 of 2 Called Black Pattie and Black Jack Only one still on roster in 1907.
1903 LaFrance steamer #2 Engine  
 
#2 of 2 Third size.
1910s Webb triple combination hose car Hose  
 
Source: Sanborn.
1912 American LaFrance steamer[1] Engine 750 GPM  
Serial #3368. Pulled by motor vehicle by 1913. Reserve still in 1937. Third size. (Second Size?)
1915 American LaFrance Type 12 triple combination pumper Ladder  
 
ALF serial #899 DFD history sources say 1912 for date of first pumper. Same truck?
1915 American LaFrance Type 20 combination service truck Ladder  
 
ALF serial #898
1915 White triple combination pumper Engine 500/40 (chemical)  
Source: Sanborn. Same truck as above? Was this a 1915 White/ALF?
1920s Ahrens-Fox triple combination pumper Engine  
 
 
1926 American LaFrance Type 17-6 aerial ladder Ladder 75-foot, tiller  
ALF serial #5427
1928 Ahrens-Fox service truck Ladder  
Ladder 8 (at Sta 3)    

READ MORE

+ 3 - 2 | § UPDATE #2: Johnson County Firefighter Death

February 4
JoCoFire.com photographer Jason Thompson rode along yesterday with the Four Oaks Fire Department, as they escorted the Chief Lee's body from the Medical Examiner's office back to the funeral home. Here are his photos.
 

 

February 3
Former Four Oaks Fire Department Chief and current Four Oaks and Blackman's Crossroads volunteer firefighter Thomas Gerald Lee died on Saturday, February 1. He had reportedly been active the day before, responding on a call. He was sixty-seven years old and had served with Four Oaks FD continuously since 1978. Arrangements are being made with West and Dunn Funeral Homes.

Here are the arrangements:

+ 2 - 3 | § Before There Were Hurst Tools

Pictures of "Raleigh Rescue" practicing extrication at the Raleigh Fire Department training tower, circa 1971 to 1974.The first hydraulic-powered Hurst rescue tools appeared in Wake County in 1974. Here's that history:

The first Hurst tool was purchased by the Cary Area Rescue Squad, and was profiled in a Raleigh Times story on April 1, 1974.

It cost $4,100 and was demonstrated at Crickett’s Texaco by squad on Saturday, March 30, 1974. Originally developed by “Hurst automotive parts firm to rescue its test race car drivers," the tool had been tested by Raleigh’s firefighters and rescue crews, and county volunteers. Civil Defense Coordinator Russell Capps said he has “tried to find some money to buy some.” He had tried to line up donations from corporations to cover half the cost. Federal grants would pay for other half.

Delivery was expected of two Hurst tools soon (for Raleigh?), with the local share for a third to be placed in Wendell. One night in the fall of 1973, Cary squad members “spent almost two hours trying to extricate a body from a car that had smashed into a tree on Piney Plains Road. “They had only hand tools, a gasoline-fueled jack and two wreckers.   “’That was the night we decided to get the Hurst rescue tool’, said H. Lee Gupton” a member of the squad. John Servis was Assistant Chief of CARS and the area representative for the local Hurst distributor.

The 67-pound tool operated with “two small slide levers.” It’ was powered by a small gasoline motor that “runs a hydraulic line to the tool 30 feet away.”

But back to the chains and pry bars that preceded it. These are courtesy of Raleigh Public Affairs and you can see more on this Raleigh Fire Museum photo page. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 2 - 3 | § Before There Were Hurst Tools

Pictures of "Raleigh Rescue" practicing extrication at the Raleigh Fire Department training tower, circa 1971 to 1974.The first hydraulic-powered Hurst rescue tools appeared in Wake County in 1974. Here's that history:

The first Hurst tool was purchased by the Cary Area Rescue Squad, and was profiled in a Raleigh Times story on April 1, 1974.

It cost $4,100 and was demonstrated at Crickett’s Texaco by squad on Saturday, March 30, 1974. Originally developed by “Hurst automotive parts firm to rescue its test race car drivers," the tool had been tested by Raleigh’s firefighters and rescue crews, and county volunteers. Civil Defense Coordinator Russell Capps said he has “tried to find some money to buy some.” He had tried to line up donations from corporations to cover half the cost. Federal grants would pay for other half.

Delivery was expected of two Hurst tools soon (for Raleigh?), with the local share for a third to be placed in Wendell. One night in the fall of 1973, Cary squad members “spent almost two hours trying to extricate a body from a car that had smashed into a tree on Piney Plains Road. “They had only hand tools, a gasoline-fueled jack and two wreckers.   “’That was the night we decided to get the Hurst rescue tool’, said H. Lee Gupton” a member of the squad. John Servis was Assistant Chief of CARS and the area representative for the local Hurst distributor.

The 67-pound tool operated with “two small slide levers.” It’ was powered by a small gasoline motor that “runs a hydraulic line to the tool 30 feet away.”

But back to the chains and pry bars that preceded it. These are courtesy of Raleigh Public Affairs and you can see more on this Raleigh Fire Museum photo page. Click to enlarge:
 

+ 6 - 7 | § UPDATE #2: History of Durham Rescue and EMS Services

February 3
Updated with some more images of Durham Fire Department rescue units. Sources are the Durham Fire Department History Facebook page (first two), Lee Wilson, and Mike Legeros. Click to enlarge:
 


 
Plus one montage of the trucks, adding a fifth unit that's pictured earlier in this posting. Left to right, top to bottom: 1957 GMC Civil Defense rescue, late 1960s GMC van, early 1970s GMC/_____, mid-1980s (?) Ford/Frontline, early 1990s International/Frontline (remount). Click to enlarge:
 

 

January 21
Updated with a pair of Parkwood FD and one more Durham FD image, from Carl David Ellott's The Illustrated History of Rescue and Emergency Services.

January 19
With recent news that Parkwood Fire Department will be ending EMS services on July 1, and Durham County EMS becoming the county's lone provider, here are some historical notes on ambulance, rescue, and EMS services in Durham. These are absolutely incomplete, just a one-off compilation of quick research.

READ MORE

+ 1 - 0 | § Jack Slagle Passes

The great Jack Slagle passed away on Friday, January 31, at Halifax Regional Hospital. He was a fixture of the fire service in the southeast, forming and running Slagle's Fire Equipment company for over fifty years. The family company, which closed last year (see prior posting), both sold and built fire equipment. Jack Slagle was also the first fire chief and lifetime member of the Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department. He was also affiliated with many other civic and community organizations. Here's his complete obituary, which was published in today's News & Observer:

Mr. Jack Leo Slagle died Friday, January 31, 2014 at Halifax Regional Hospital. He was born December 24, 1927 in Virgilina, Virginia and was 86 years of age. Mr. Slagle was the son of the late William Robert (Willie) and Annie Vera Puryear Slagle of Virgilina and grandson of the late Langdon "Lank" and Rose Davis Slagle.

Mr. Slagle was of Baptist faith and attended True Light Baptist Church.

Mr. Slagle is survived by his wife, Hallie Anthony Slagle of Commonwealth Assisted Living Facility in South Boston, VA; his five sons and their wives: Virgil and Joyce of Columbia, SC, John and Gail of South Boston, VA.; Barry and Connie of Halifax, VA.; Garry and Jennifer of South Boston, VA.; and Scott and Lisa of South Boston, VA., eight grandchildren; John, Jr., Alex, Joseph, Bryan, Bruce, Lindsey, Joshua and Dora; sister and brother-in-law, Robert and Esther Slagle Fulghum of Greenville, NC. He was predeceased in death by his parents, his sister, Laraine, his brother, William R. (Bill) Slagle, Jr., and sister-in-law, Thelma Murray Slagle.

Mr. Slagle was the manager of Slagle's Store in Virgilina, VA from the early 1950's to 1963. During this time he also served as Virgilina's Vice Mayor and a town councilman. He also founded Slagle's Fire Equipment Company of South Boston, VA and Columbia, SC, an established business of over 50 years that he shared with his five sons. He was an instrumental founding member, the first fire chief and a Lifetime Member of the Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department. Jack was also affiliated with many other civic and community organizations which include: Past President of the Virgilina Ruritan Club, Member of the South Boston Shrine Club, Richmond Shrine Club, Virginia Masonic Lodge #248, Scottish Rite Temple of Danville, VA, Honorary Member of the South Boston Volunteer Fire Company, and long standing Member of the I.D.A in South Boston, VA.

Funeral services will be held at Grace Baptist Church on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Open viewing will be from noon till 1:00, service at 1:00 with Rev. Greg Thomas and Rev. Jack Stewart officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA. All friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life and Visitation immediately following the burial at the South Boston Fire Company Support Building in South Boston, VA.

Those wishing to give memorials should consider Shriners Children's Hospitals, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.

+ 1 - 0 | § Jack Slagle Passes

The great Jack Slagle passed away on Friday, January 31, at Halifax Regional Hospital. He was a fixture of the fire service in the southeast, forming and running Slagle's Fire Equipment company for over fifty years. The family company, which closed last year (see prior posting), both sold and built fire equipment. Jack Slagle was also the first fire chief and lifetime member of the Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department. He was also affiliated with many other civic and community organizations. Here's his complete obituary, which was published in today's News & Observer:

Mr. Jack Leo Slagle died Friday, January 31, 2014 at Halifax Regional Hospital. He was born December 24, 1927 in Virgilina, Virginia and was 86 years of age. Mr. Slagle was the son of the late William Robert (Willie) and Annie Vera Puryear Slagle of Virgilina and grandson of the late Langdon "Lank" and Rose Davis Slagle.

Mr. Slagle was of Baptist faith and attended True Light Baptist Church.

Mr. Slagle is survived by his wife, Hallie Anthony Slagle of Commonwealth Assisted Living Facility in South Boston, VA; his five sons and their wives: Virgil and Joyce of Columbia, SC, John and Gail of South Boston, VA.; Barry and Connie of Halifax, VA.; Garry and Jennifer of South Boston, VA.; and Scott and Lisa of South Boston, VA., eight grandchildren; John, Jr., Alex, Joseph, Bryan, Bruce, Lindsey, Joshua and Dora; sister and brother-in-law, Robert and Esther Slagle Fulghum of Greenville, NC. He was predeceased in death by his parents, his sister, Laraine, his brother, William R. (Bill) Slagle, Jr., and sister-in-law, Thelma Murray Slagle.

Mr. Slagle was the manager of Slagle's Store in Virgilina, VA from the early 1950's to 1963. During this time he also served as Virgilina's Vice Mayor and a town councilman. He also founded Slagle's Fire Equipment Company of South Boston, VA and Columbia, SC, an established business of over 50 years that he shared with his five sons. He was an instrumental founding member, the first fire chief and a Lifetime Member of the Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department. Jack was also affiliated with many other civic and community organizations which include: Past President of the Virgilina Ruritan Club, Member of the South Boston Shrine Club, Richmond Shrine Club, Virginia Masonic Lodge #248, Scottish Rite Temple of Danville, VA, Honorary Member of the South Boston Volunteer Fire Company, and long standing Member of the I.D.A in South Boston, VA.

Funeral services will be held at Grace Baptist Church on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Open viewing will be from noon till 1:00, service at 1:00 with Rev. Greg Thomas and Rev. Jack Stewart officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery, South Boston, VA. All friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life and Visitation immediately following the burial at the South Boston Fire Company Support Building in South Boston, VA.

Those wishing to give memorials should consider Shriners Children's Hospitals, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.

+ 1 - 1 | § How Big is Your Rig? / Adventures in Scale Modeling

Adventures in scale modeling and crappy macro phone photography. Comparing the sizes of four 1:50 scale die-cast models of a Pierce Quantum pumper (Honolulu), a Seagrave tiller (Redwood City), an Oshkosh Striker (MSP Airport), and a Liebherr all-terrain crane (Berlin). Made by WSI Models (Leibherr) and the now-defunct TWH Collectibles (Pierce/Seagrave). Click to enlarge: