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Last Postings of 2015

Vintage Raleigh Fire Department Rules & Regulations Booklet
Crews of Christmas Past
Lillington's Antique Engines - 1928 GMC/ALF, 1951 Ford/Seagrave
New Engines For Orange Rural Fire Department
UPDATED AGAIN - Hillsborough FD / Orange Rural FD - Apparatus, Patch, History (8 comments)
Raleigh Fire Department Publishes Strategic Plan, 2015-2020 (2 comments)
Orange Pierce Platform Ordered For Buies Creek (2 comments)
How Many New Fire Stations Have Opened in Raleigh and Wake County? (2 comments)
Cary's New Station 2, New Engine 9, and Looking Ahead (1 comment)
Apex Station 5 and Other Capital Plans
Mystery Apparatus from Mystery Town Named Charlotte
Clayton's New Rescue 1 (2 comments)
Stony Hill's Mack Before Stony Hill
Beaufort Fire Station Locations - 1898 to 1941
New Raleigh-Wake ECC Nears Completion (1 comment)
Three Pierce Impel Pumpers Delivered in Wake County
Bunn's New Tanker - 2015 Spartan/Custom Fire (2 comments)
County Logos Added to County Fire Apparatus (5 comments)
Two Alarms in Cary This Morning
Wake County Fire Commission Meeting - November 19, 2015

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+ 14 - 4 | § Vintage Raleigh Fire Department Rules & Regulations Booklet

The Raleigh Fire Museum tweeted about this the other week. Let's examine more closely in this blog posting. This is a vintage "rules and regulations" booklet from the early twentieth century. It was donated to the museum by a retired member of the department. Here's a PDF version of the booklet, as scanned by myself and posted to my history page. Or view page-by-page in this photo gallery.  

Look familiar? We've blogged before about a similar booklet from the Charlotte Fire Department. We'll compare both in a bit. First, let's look more closely at the Raleigh booklet:

"Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Officers and Members of the Raleigh Fire Department."


Measures about four inches wide by six inches high.


Guessing 1920s or 1930s, but could be as late as late 1940s. Page 3 references the Commissioner of Public Safety. The city was governed by a Board of Commissioners until July 1, 1947. Thus the booklet is no older than that. There are also six pages of alarm box locations in the back of the booklet. They include streets in locations annexed between 1930 and 1949, such as the "far ends" of Glenwood Avenue as well as Whitaker Mill. Thus the booklet can be reasonably dated as between 1930 and 1947.

Page 23 references "appointees". Fire department members were appointed positions until March 1, 1935, when they were granted civil service protection. Does that further narrow the scope of this document? Possibly. Was the verb "hired" used after that date, or were new member said to be "appointed" (as now based on competitive hiring). And/or, once that change was made, were all documents updated with revised language? Was this booklet updated or older terminology left in place. (Such as "hose carts" that are cited in the booklet and despite a couple decades since the horse-drawn era.)


  • Page 1 - Title page.
  • Page 3 - List of department positions.
  • Page 3 - First page of rules, beginning with duties of Fire Chief.
  • Page 5 - Rules for Captains and Lieutenants
  • Page 9 - Rules for Lieutenants
  • Page 9 - Rules for Drivers, Pipemen and Laddermen
  • Page 10 - Rules for Drivers
  • Page 10 - Rules for Watch
  • Page 11 - Rules for Going to and at Fires
  • Page 17 - Rules for Care of Hose and Apparatus
  • Page 18 - General Rules
  • Page 27 - Fire Alarm [Signal] Code[s]
  • Page 28 - Number and Location of Fire Alarm Boxes

Observations and Amusements

  • #10 - Station officers will see that "sleeping rooms and all beds and bedding therein are kept scrupulously clean and properly aired." Also, all beds must be made up by 8:30 a.m. daily, and "kept so during the day."
  • #12 - At the end of each fiscal year (ending May 31), station officers will forward to the Fire Chief an "accurate and complete inventory of all city property then on hand under their charge."
  • #16 - "Commanding officers of stations shall visit the sick and injured members of their respective companies at least once a week."
  • #21 - Watch members will "exercise economy and good judgment in the use of fuel and station lights."
  • #21 - Watch members may not "sleep or doze or recline in a position to indicate sleep" and "will remain in a position to hear and attend promptly all calls or signals whether received by telegraph, telephone, or verbally."
  • #22 - Run card rules and assignment of companies "must in all cases be strictly adhered to."
  • #27 - When the bell rings, when going to and returning from fires, and on the fire ground, "the greatest degree of silence compatible with the efficient discharge of duty" is required.
  • #28 - Companies arrive at fires in the shortest possible time, but without exceeding established speed limits.
  • #29 - When two or more apparatus are traveling on the same street to a fire, they must travel single file.
  • #32 - The first arriving company office is in charge at a fire, if the Fire Chief or Assistant Chief haven't arrived.
  • #37 - Arriving ladder trucks must not park near hydrants, nor in the way of other companies.
  • #46 - "No member shall willfully direct a stream of water upon any fireman or citizen."
  • #51 - No apparatus can leave the city without the consent of the Mayor or the Commission of Public Safety and the Fire Chief.
  • #55 - Every thirty days, any unused hose must be removed, examined, aired, and recorded.
  • #56 - Members are expected to be well-disciplined both on- and off-duty.
  • #59 - "Proper decorum must be observed at all times, no altercations, or ungentlemanly, profane, abusive, or improper language or disorderly conduct will be permitted at any station upon the part of any officer or member of the Department."
  • #64 - Intoxication will result in suspension.
  • #65 - "Gambling is prohibited" while at the fire station.
  • #70 - Quarters are dusted and cleaned each morning. Saturday is general house cleaning at all stations.
  • #72 - Visitors permitted, but "habitual loafing" by them is not.
  • #73 - No unattended children can "congregate within or about the station."
  • #74 - "After members have retired for the night, or when sick in the sleeping room, the room must be kept quiet."
  • #75 - On Sundays at at night, stations must be kept quite. On Sunday, "no mechanical work shall be done around the quarters."
  • #82 - "All reports, messages, or communications received at headquarters pertaining to Department business, whether written, by telephone, or otherwise, must be delivered promptly to the Chief of the Department, or where he is absent, to the Assistant Chief."
  • #84 - New appointees shall serve a ninety-day probation.
  • #91 - "Officers and members must be prompt and exact in returning from all leaves of absence."
  • #95 - No loaning of badge or uniform to others, including other firemen.
  • #100 - "No one is allowed to use the Department telephone promiscuously."

Fire Alarm [Signal] Codes

  • One tap followed by a box [number] indicates a test.
  • Two taps indicates a telephone call.
  • Three taps after either a telephone call or a box alarm indicates control.

How did those work?

  • Gongs (and tape punch reels) were located at each engine house.
  • Box alarms would sound with the box number "tapped out" and repeated probably three times.
    • How did that work?
    • Every engine house in the city received bell signals.
    • Companies self-dispatched, based upon run cards, which were based on box numbers.
    • What did those run cards or run assignments look like? Believe two engines and the service ladder truck for locations except the "fire district" downtown, which were two engines and the aerial ladder truck. Need to check and confirm.
    • What happened at night? Every company was awakened by the bell? Correct.
    • For those companies that didn't respond, believe they remained "at watch" until either (a.) they were requested as additional companies or (b.) the fire was marked under control, by three bells.
    • How were additional companies requested? Was the box alarm transmitted again? Was the request sent as a telephone alarm? Don't know.
  • Two taps of the bell signaled a telephone call.
    • How did that work?
    • Believe this required each station officer to pick up the telephone, and either initiate or receive a call from the fire alarm dispatcher, to who provided details of the call.
    • Believe this used only for fires (or emergencies) at locations that were outside the city, or a distance from an alarm box. Presuming that a telephone alarm of a fire within, say, a half-block or more of an alarm box location, would be dispatched as a box alarm to the nearby alarm box.
  • Three taps of the bell signaled that the fire was under control.
    • Believe the companies that did not respond would stand by, or remain "at watch." If overnight, they stayed at the trucks or maybe in the watch room or apparatus floor. They didn't go back to bed until "control" was sounded. This practice, I'm told, continued as late as the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Where were the radios?

  • As late as 1946, the Fire Chief had a two-way radio. He could communicate with law enforcement officials as well as hospitals, or at least relay messages therein.
  • In 1955, two-way radios were installed in all pieces of apparatus. A base station radio was also installed in the Dispatcher's room at Station 1.
  • In 1957, two-way radio base stations were added at all fire stations. Radio watch started, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., with two hour watch periods, on February 7, 1957.
  • In 1958, a county-wide two-way radio system was installed for fire departments. The Raleigh Fire Department Dispatcher began dispatching select county fire departments. The Dispatcher was based at Station 1, or "Central Fire Station." The radio handle for county fire dispatch was or became known as "Central."

How long were the alarm boxes used?

  • Until 1973. The last box alarm was received on May 14, 1973. Read that history on this page.

Comparing Charlotte and Raleigh Booklets

Here's a blog post from 2009, feature a similar booklet from the Charlotte Fire Department. Gets me thinking that such booklets were perhaps replicated among urban fire departments. Maybe with help from the IAFF? Some observations:

  Charlotte Raleigh
Date 1940 Early 1930s?
Total Rules 112 100
Apartment Houses yes no
Hotels yes no
Alarm Boxes yes yes
Alarm Box Signals no yes
Street Directory yes no
Total Pages ~60 33

+ 9 - 9 | § Crews of Christmas Past

Presented by the Raleigh Fire Museum, the men and women of the Raleigh Fire Department who stood watch on December 25, in select years between 1928 and 1996. Log book excepts. View the photo album, or see same via their Facebook posting.

+ 10 - 7 | § Lillington's Antique Engines - 1928 GMC/ALF, 1951 Ford/Seagrave

Last week Lee Wilson paid a visit to Lillington, to photographer their two antique (and well-preserved) antique engines. The older one is a 1928 GMC/American LaFrance Type 99 triple combination, #G-125. (Shipped on June 27, 1928, says the Peckham database.) With 500 GPM pump and 80 gallon tank. Cost $6,500. The newer one is a 1961 Ford/Seagrave pumper. (Model? Specs?) Both are housed in the former Lillington Rescue Squad building. (The squad was chartered in 1968, say state corporation records. They operated through the 1970s, we're told. The corporation dissolved in 1995.) Such beautiful trucks. See more photos from Lee.

Lee Wilson photos

+ 15 - 5 | § New Engines For Orange Rural Fire Department

Orange Rural Fire Department in Hillsborough has received a pair of 2015 Sutphen Monarch pumper-tankers, 1500/1000. They were delivered on Friday, December 18. Notes this town press release, they cost $480,00 each. One was purchased by the town and is lettered for Hillsborough Fire Department. The other was purchased by Orange Rural, which is the private fire department that is contracted by the town. (The contract requires the town to provide one engine and one ladder for operation by ORFD.)

The "town truck" replaces a 1996 KME pumper, 1500/750. The "rural truck" replaces a KME engine (model year?) that overturned in January. See blog posting about that incident. See more photos on the ORFD Facebook page, as well as some from Lee Wilson last week. See also our ongoing updates about the history of HFD and ORFD. Still doing some research there.

Courtesy Orange Rural Fire Department

+ 15 - 11 | § UPDATED AGAIN - Hillsborough FD / Orange Rural FD - Apparatus, Patch, History

March 7, 2016
Station histories and timeline moved to dedicated web page

December 23, 2015
New and improved posting. Sections changed. Timeline vastly expanded. Whole thing retitled.

History of Hillsborough and Orange Rural Fire Departments

Orange Rural Fire Department has recently posted a few dozen historical photos on their Facebook page. Some of these had already appeared on their web site. Let's take a detailed look at ORFD and its predecessor, the Hillsborough Fire Department. We'll try to piece together the history of the departments and their stations, apparatus, et al.

Hillsboro Fire Department in 1937

Pictured from left to right are (kneeling) Rainey Roberts, Dr. H.W. Moore, Edwin Lynch, Mayor Ben Johnston, Chief George Gilmore; (standing) Marvin (Jug) Walker, Herman Strayhorn, Curtis (Hank) Rhew, Jim Gordon, C.D. (Buck) Knight, Vincent (Chunk) Forrest, Leonard Rosemond, Roger Wilson, Homer Watkins, Seth Thomas, Mitchel Lloyd, George Teer and Harvey Watkins. Click to enlarge:

Courtesy Orange Rural Fire Department

Historical Photos

More pictures, from the early decades of both HFD and ORFD. Click to enlarge:  

Courtesy Orange Rural Fire Department

Early Patches

Circa late 1970s.  Circa mid-1980s.
Both of these patches were used for both HFD and ORFD. 

See this web page.  

+ 11 - 5 | § Raleigh Fire Department Publishes Strategic Plan, 2015-2020

We covered the future plans (prospective or otherwise) of Cary and Apex in their respective prior postings. Let's look at the city and see what they're cooking for the next five years...

The Raleigh Fire Department recently produced a five-year strategic planning document. A copy has been posted to the RFD newsletter site and accompanies an article about the plan in the fall 2015 issue. The plan was created by a thirty-two member planning committee during a series of meetings this summer. It was developed with inputs gathered from a stakeholder survey in May 2015.

Five goals are outlined in the Strategic Plan: promoting workforce excellence, adjusting operational and support staffing levels, strengthening functionality and condition of infrastructure, automating business systems, and enhancing public communication. The thirty-four page document concludes with appendix materials.

Read the strategic plan (PDF)

Let's look closely at staffing, apparatus, and facility objectives through 2020:


  • Hiring 20 firefighters per year, from F17 to F21, to optimize supplemental staffing levels.
  • Expand Operations with second Division, e.g. Three Division Chiefs, three Aides, and three Battalion Chiefs
  • Expand Services with a Division Chief, a Battalion Chief, an Emergency Fleet Parts Coordinator, and a Fire Equipment Inventory Coordinator
  • Expand Training with an Asst. Career Development Coordinator (Lieutenant), and a Fire Academy Training Officer (Lieutenant).
  • Expand Office of Fire Marshal with a Division Chief, a Public Information Officer (PIO), three Fire Educators, four Deputy Fire Marshals, and a Training Officer.

Read the strategic plan (PDF)


  • Implement multi-year replacement schedule, as part of fleet management program.


  • Renovate legacy fire stations to improve them. Planned schedule:
    • Station 5 (FY16)
    • Station 2 (FY16, FY17)
    • Station 10, Station 15 (FY17, FY18)
    • Station 8, Station 16 (FY18, FY19)
    • Station 9, Station 17 (FY19, FY20)
    • Station 18, Station 19 (FY20, FY21)
    • Station 4, Station 20 (FY21, FY22)
    • Station 21, Station 22 (FY22, FY23?)
  • Relocate two legacy facilities:
    • Headquarters (Office of Fire Chief, Office of Fire Marshal, etc.) and Station 1 (as joint facility)
    • Station 3
    • Station 23
  • Add additional fire station:
    • Station 30 (see page 10 for map of city growth areas. Includes both in-fill and expansion areas.)
  • Develop a [new] training center that includes an emergency vehicle driving course.
  • Improve (e.g., likely expand) Services facilities.


  • Move from legacy mobile data terminals (MDTs) to hybrid tablet and cloud-based systems.
  • Move to new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.


  • What would six battalions look like? Page 32 has a prospective map:
    • West Division
      • Station 1, 2, 3, 10, 26
      • Station 4, 9, 15, 16
      • Station 5, 6, 8, 14, 20
    • East Division
      • Station 7, 11, 12, 21, 27
      • Station 19, 22, 25, 28
      • Station 17, 18, 23, 24, 29

+ 10 - 3 | § Orange Pierce Platform Ordered For Buies Creek

The Buies Creek Fire Department has ordered an black-over-orange Pierce Arrow XT (though the drawing shows a Velocity) aerial platform, notes this Facebook posting from Atlantic Emergency Solutions. The truck will equipped with a 1500 GPM pump, 300 gallon water tank, and 100-foot platform. The colors are those of the Campbell University Fighting Camels. This is the first truck in the department's history to be painted in the University's colors. Very cool and you know the next question. What other orange fire engines are operating in the Carolinas? It'll replace a 1988 Pierce Arrow rear-mount platform, formerly operated by the town of Cary.

+ 12 - 3 | § How Many New Fire Stations Have Opened in Raleigh and Wake County?

The opening of Cary's new fire station this week gets me thinking. How many newly constructed fire stations have opened in Raleigh and Wake County? Let's take a look...


  • Purpose-built as a fire station, or
  • Purpose-built to house a fire department. Thus can include town hall buildings or other combination structures


At least 122.

Details below. See Mike's Wake County station register (PDF) for more information.



  1. N. Salem St. , Sta 1 (1956)
  2. New Hill Holleman Rd., Sta 2 (1997)
  3. Hunter St. , Sta 3 (2002)
  4. E. Williams Street, Sta 4 (2009)

Excludes 1927 municipal building, not purpose-built with fire station space.

Bay Leaf


  1. Six Forks Rd. #1 (1967)
  2. Six Forks Rd. #2 (1983)
  3. Six Forks Rd. #3, rebuild of 1983 structure (2014)
  4. Norwood Rd. (1993)

Excludes Lynn Rd., not built for BLFD

Excludes original station on Six Forks Rd., space inside commercial structure.



  1. Downtown (1923) – Prefab garage
  2. W. Chatham St. (1953)
  3. N. Academy St. (1965)
  4. E. Cedar St. , Old Sta 2 (1953)
  5. SE Maynard Rd., Old Sta 2, (now Sta 9 (1976)
  6. N. Harrison Ave., Sta 1 (1992)
  7. E. Chatham St., Sta 2 (2015)
  8. Kildare Farm Rd., Sta 3 (1987)
  9. Old Apex Rd., Sta 4 (1988)
  10. High House Rd., Sta 5 (1996)
  11. Ten Ten Rd., Sta 6 (2001)
  12. Carpenter-Fire Station Rd., Sta 7 (2007)
  13. Mills Park Drive (2014)

Excludes other earlier facilities likely not purpose-built, such as Public Utilities building used in 1960s for temporary housing of original service ladder truck.

Durham Highway


  1. Davis Cir. (1965)
  2. Pinecrest Rd. (1976)
  3. Norwood Rd. (1992)

Eastern Wake


See Knightdale.


+ 11 - 9 | § Cary's New Station 2, New Engine 9, and Looking Ahead

The town of Cary opened a new fire station on Monday. The personnel of Engine 2 and Rescue 2 reported for duty at the newly completed Station 2 at 601 E. Chatham Street. They were transported to old Station 2 at 875 SE Maynard Road, and brought the apparatus to the new facility. Those are a 2006 Pierce Dash pumper and a 2012 Pierce Velocity walk-around heavy rescue.

The 13,395 square-foot facility is a two-story structure and the town's second fire station with a pole. Or poles, plural. It's also their second station with accordion-style (also called bi-parting) bay doors. (They open fast. Within seconds.) Including land, design, and construction, the new fire station cost about $5.5M. A dedication ceremony is planned for Friday, December 18, at 11:30 a.m. Read the press release.

Upon the relocation of Engine 2 and Rescue 2 yesterday morning, old Station 2 became Station 9. The legacy facility will house Engine 9 until a permanent home is constructed at 1427 Walnut Street. The property is located at the corner of Walnut Street and Nottingham Drive. There's an abandoned church on the site, which the fire department has been using for occasional training. There's been $750,000 funded for the project thus far.

Engine 9 was placed in service with Engine 6, relocated from Station 6 at 3609 Ten-Ten Road. Same is a 2003 Pierce Dash pumper that will be re-lettered when new decals arrive. Also yesterday morning, Ladder 6 was renamed Engine 6. They'll operating as a quint company with their 2008 Pierce Velocity aerial ladder. Additionally, Rescue 4 was moved to Station 6. Now Rescue 6, they operate the town's second 2012 Pierce Velocity rescue, which is identical to Rescue 2.



+ 3 - 0 | § Apex Station 5 and Other Capital Plans

Construction has started on Apex Public Safety Station 5 at 1050 Kelly Road. Notes this FY 2015-16 Capital Improvement Plan document, the $3.8M project will be a 16,500 square-foot facility that will house twelve firefighters, two paramedics, and the Community Services division of the police department. The station will house Engine 5 and a future 75-foot quint, along with an ambulance and police mobile equipment.

The need for the station has been forecast since 2004, and was highlighted as an important facility as part of the town's 2013 ISO review. It'll serve three new schools and some 2,000 new residences. The station will reduce response times by approximately two minutes in all primary service areas west of Kelly Road. Here's a panoramic photo of the site. Click twice to enlarge:


The above document also details other fire department and public safety capital plans, notably:

  • FY15-16
    New engine for Station 5 - $385,000
    Already ordered, being built by Spartan.
    Rescue 4 replacement - $445,000
    Being spec'ed, believe.
    Replaces 1995 HME/Rescue Master.
    SCBA replacement - $470,400 (two-year total)
  • FY16-17
    Engine replacement - $385,000
    Replace 2001 HME pumper that is reserve at Station 3.

    Ladder truck for Station 5 - $850,000
    ISO inspection in 2013 noted three ladder trucks are needed to properly cover town.

    Renovations to Station 4 - $253,890
    Will allow relocation of Traffic Safety Unit of police department, including personnel, equipment, trailers, and vehicles used by the unit.
    Relocation Fire Station 1 - $1.5M
    Construct single-company fire station on town-owned land at corner of Old Raleigh Road and Apex Peakway. Would house engine and other apparatus at Station 1. Existing facility would be repurposed and administrative and training functions moved there, plus continue to have portions of building available for civic functions.
  • FY17-18
    Engine replacement - $395,000
    Replace 2002 Quality pumper that will be serving as a reserve.
  • Horizon Issues
    Public Safety Station 6 - $4.2M
    For providing emergency services to the White Oak Basin and Green Level areas of town. Modeled after Station 5. Would house engine company and twelve personnel. Would also generate need for a second Battalion Chief.

+ 8 - 7 | § Mystery Apparatus from Mystery Town Named Charlotte

Found for sale on eBay is this vintage photo labeled "Chrlotte Fire Dept." Does'nt appear to be Charlotte, North Carolina, as the fire station doesn't match their old station photos. That leaves six other towns named Charlotte in Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. As for the apparatus--probably 1910s era--is it a Knox? Seagrave? Christie retrofit? (Thanks to the SPAAMFAA gang on Facebook for those suggestions.) Click to enlarge:

+ 11 - 4 | § Clayton's New Rescue 1

The Clayton Fire Department yesterday took delivery of their new Rescue 1, a 2015 Pierce Enforcer heavy rescue. As noted in this Facebook announcement, they expect the truck to be in service within the next week or two. The truck will also serve as a Service [Ladder] Company for the NCDOI Response Rating System. It replaces a 1997 Simon-Duplex-Salisbuy heavy rescue, ex-Morrisville. Clayton acquired that truck from Morrisville in the early 2000s.Below is Lee Wilson's photos of the new truck, as well as the current rescue when it served in Morrisville.

Lee Wilson photos

 1There were two rescues swapped between Clayton and Morrisville in the early 2000s. At the same time they sold their heavy rescue, MFD acquired a 2000 Ford F-550 light rescue from Clayton Area Rescue Squad. (Presumably with CARS moving to EMS-only services? That was happening locally, with area "rescue squads" become EMS-only agencies. Such as Cary, Six Forks, etc.) Morrisville then purchased a 1989 Simon-Duplex/KME/Saulsbury from somewhere "up North." (The small rescue is still in service, and the big rescue was replaced by MFD in 2013.)

+ 9 - 6 | § Stony Hill's Mack Before Stony Hill

In October, this photo was posted to the SPAAMFAA Facebook group. Stony Hill's 1954 Mack before it was Stony Hill's. The truck originally served the  Independent Fire Company of Westville, NJ, as Engine 77. The 1954 Mack B/Howe 750/400 was bought by Stony Hill in 1974.

They paid $10,000 for the truck, which was purchased from Slagle's in South Boston, VA. The truck had been modified there with a new 500 gallon booster tank. Stony Hill further modified the truck, with wooden extension to the hose bed. The truck is still on their roster as a parade pierce.

As for IFC in Westville? They merged with Union Fire Company in 1987, which also protected the town. They merged and formed Westville Fire Department. Click to enlarge:

Bob Norman photo via SPAAMFAA on Facebook

+ 10 - 6 | § Beaufort Fire Station Locations - 1898 to 1941

More fun with Sanborn Maps. This time to Carteret County and the town of Beaufort. Below are annotated map excerpts from 1898 to 1941, showing the various locations for the town's fire station. And fire stations, plural, as they had two and then three in the early decades of the last century. Following those is a table with descriptive information from the map sheets. Learn more about Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Also, see these BFD historical images, that we posted and blogged about in 2009. Click to enlarge:



Year Population Fire Department Fire Equipment Alarm System Water Supply
1898 2,000 Volunteer, 40 men. One combination chemical and hand engine, 1000' 2 1/2'' hose. N/A "Not good"
1904 2,000 N/A N/A N/A "Not good"
1908 2,200 Two companies with 34 white volunteer members in first company and  20 colored members in second company.
  • Company 1 - One Howe triplex gasoline engine, size 6' x 6'. One hose cart, 800'. [Also] 1000' 2 1/2" hose.
  • Company 2 - One hand engine. One hose cart 800 feet 2 1/2" hose.
N/A "For protection of the town not near the water, 8 driven wells have been sunk"
1913 2,500 One chief. Two companies. Two stations.
  • First company, white - Volunteer, 20 members - One paid driver. One partly paid engineer.
  • Second company, colored - Volunteer, 20 members.
  • Company 1 - One Howe triple gasoline engine, size 6' x 6'. One hose wagon carrying 800' 2 1/2" hose. 1000 feet 2 1/2" hose in reserve. One horse, used on street work during day. Drop harness.
  • Company 2 - One hand engine. One hose cart. 800' 2 1/2" hose.
Whistle. Eight artesian wells, three more coming. For fire protection only.
1924 3,200

Two volunteer companies of 42 men, none paid. Three stations.

  • One company 21 men, white.
  • One company 21 men, colored.

  • Station 1 - One horse-drawn hose reel with 800' 2 1/2" C.R.L. hose and two 2 1/2 gal. approved chem. extinguishers.

    To have by November 15, 1924, one Childs triple comb. pumper, chemical and hose mounted on Graham Dodge truck. 300 GPM, 800' 2 1/2" C.R.L. hose, two 2 1/2 gal. chem. extinguishers.
  • Station 2 - One hand hose reel with 350' 2 1/2" C.R.L. hose.
  • Station 3 - One hand hose reel with 350' 2 1/2" C.R.L. hose.
Whistle at ice plant and whistle at pumping station. 48 hydrants
1941 3,200 Partly paid, one station.
  • One Chief partly paid.
  • One Asst. Chief partly paid.
  • One driver fully paid.
  • Four asst. drivers partly paid.
  • 44 men partly paid.
  • One American LaFrance triple comb. motor truck, 1000 GPM, 1000' 2 1/2'' hose, 120 gal. booster tank, 40' of ladder.
  • One Dodge truck, Darley equipment, triple comb. 500 GPM, 200 gal. booster tanker, 1,200' 2 1/2'' hose. 1000' 2 1/2" hose in reserve. One 40 gallon chem. tank. 40' of ladder.
  • One Graham Bros. triple comb. motor truck 500 GPM, 600' 2 1/2'' hose.


  • 1927 American LaFrance pumper, source.
  • Fire station burned on August 5, 1966. See blog post.
  • Replaced with current structure at 900 Cedar Street.
Gamewell alarm system. Ten boxes. Alarm by whistle at fire station. 58 hydrants

+ 1 - 1 | § New Raleigh-Wake ECC Nears Completion

The new Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center is nearing completion in the new Critical Public Safety Facility off Skycrest Drive. Among the features of new facility are... windows! The new call center will be located on the third floor of the building, above a new emergency operations center (first floor) and the city's traffic management and data center (second floor).

The current call center is housed in the basement of the Municipal Building at 222 W. Hargett Street. And with no windows, or glorious high ceilings. The ECC opened at that location in 1982, after moving from the first floor of the next-door police headquarters at 110 S. McDowell Street, where they originated in 1972.

And in case you missed it, earlier this month, the RWECC was named of the Top Ten 911 Dispatch Call Centers Centers in the US for 2015, by 911DispatcherEdu. Read that story, or see the RWECC Facebook posting about same.

Congrats to the ECC on their coming new quarters. Can't wait to visit! What are some of the features of the new facility, or comparative stats of future versus present quarters? Maybe readers can advise.

+ 8 - 6 | § Three Pierce Impel Pumpers Delivered in Wake County

Three new 2015 Pierce Impel pumpers have been delivered to three Wake County fire departments: Stony Hill, Wake New Hope, and Wendell fire departments. They were purchased by the county, and spec'ed by each department, from a base spec created for all county fire departments. No factory photos have been posted yet to the company's Flickr site, but Lee Wilson has already photographed each. He'll take proper posed photos soon enough.

  • Stony Hill Engine 261 
    Delivered November 24
    For Station 1. Replaces 1996 International/KME at Station 1, which will be renamed Pumper 395 and moved to Station 2 as a "second out" engine.
    See more photos.
  • Wake New Hope Engine 4
    Delivered November 18
    For Station 2, to replace Engine 8, 1995 Spartan/S&S, which will be sold.
    See more photos.
  • Wendell Engine 112
    Delivered November 20
    For Station 1, to replace Engine 112, 1995 (1994?) Freightliner/E-One.
    See more photos.

Lee Wilson photos

+ 7 - 4 | § Bunn's New Tanker - 2015 Spartan/Custom Fire

The Bunn Fire Department in Franklin County took delivery of their new Tanker 21 on Monday and Lee Wilson was there to photograph the thing. It's a 2015 Spartan/Custom Fire pumper-tanker, 1250/1000/30, and will replace a 1990 Ford/E-One. See more photos from Lee. That their using a new, custom-cab engine as a tanker is unusual in these parts. What other area fire departments have also done same?

Lee Wilson photo

+ 10 - 5 | § County Logos Added to County Fire Apparatus

Here's a highlight from last week's meaty Wake County Fire Commission meeting (see posting). Lots of good updates and discussions, including this item: county logos will be added to all county-owned fire vehicles. That is, those titled to Wake County. This includes both apparatus and administrative vehicles.

The reason is a North Carolina General Statute that's been inadvertently neglected. The state requires the display of a logo with a minimum of eight-inch size, on both sides of the vehicle, and clearly visible when the vehicle is operational. (The law applies only to counties and not municipalities, incidentally.) This was addressed as part of a recommendation that all future fire department admin. vehicles be purchased through county General Services, to ensure utilization of state contract pricing.

How many vehicles are we talking about? Eleven engines, ten tankers, five rescues, and two admin. vehicles. That's about five years of past purchases. County-purchased apparatus and admin. vehicles before that time--such as the bulk purchases that started about 2004--were titled directly to the departments.

Here's the logo that will be added, and which already appears on Wake County Fire Services vehicles:

+ 10 - 5 | § Two Alarms in Cary This Morning

Two alarms were struck in Cary this morning at 1102 Walnut Street. On the Border restaurant, located across the street from Cary Towne Center. Engine 2 arriving with heavy fire showing from the exterior patio of a one-story, brick-and-wood restaurant with 6,869 square feet. Built 1996.

Fire extending to interior dining room and other interior spaces. Attack with two-inch line from Engine 2, plus additional hand lines. Ladder 1 positioned on Walnut Street. Ladder 3 positioned and deployed (but no water flowed) in parking lot, behind structure. Command and medical also located in parking lot. One hydrant caught, also in the parking lot.

Dispatched 12:16 a.m. Contained within 15-20 minutes. Controlled 1:30 p.m. Extended overhaul, with units on scene for a number of hours. Building unoccupied at the time of fire, and had been vacated about thirty minutes prior. No information on cause yet announced in news.

First alarm was E2, E4, E3, L3, R2, B1, and Swift Creek Engine 1. Second alarm was E1, L1, B2, and Car 3.1 Plus WC1 for investigation. Medical with EMS 51, EMS 8, EMS 4, M91, and T1.

And with Station 2 relocating in two weeks, it's likely the last two-bagger for Engine 2 from that location. (Engine 2 and Rescue 2 will move to the new Chatham Street station. On the same day, Engine 9 will be placed in service at the current Station 2, and Ladder 6 will become the quint company Engine 6. ) on Twitter posted this pre-arrival picture. Below that are a couple pictures by Mike Legeros on Twitter, taken later into the incident. And forthcoming to his photo site: contributor photo

Mike Legeros photos

1What constitutes a second alarm in Cary? There are two flavors:

  • Moderate risk, which are most of the structures in Cary:
    First Alarm - Three engines, one ladder, one rescue, one Battalion Chief, and one mutual aid engine.
    Second Alarm - One engine, one ladder, one Battalion Chief, one Asst. Chief.
  • High risk/high rise:
    First Alarm - Three engines, two ladders, one rescue, two Battalion Chiefs
    Second Alarm - One engine, one ladder, one rescue, one Asst. Chief.

+ 6 - 8 | § Wake County Fire Commission Meeting - November 19, 2015

The next meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission is Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. The location is the Wake County EMS Training Facility, in the lower level of the Wake County Commons Building, 4011 Carya Drive. The documents for the meeting are linked below.


  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Lucius Jones
    • Invocation
    • Roll of Members Present
  • Items of Business
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Adoption of Minutes for July 16, 2015 Regular Meeting
  • Regular Agenda
    • Consider Apparatus Committee recommendation to amend Apparatus Policy regarding the Purchase of Administration Vehicles
    • Consider Approval of Calendar Year 2016 Meeting Dates
    • Consider Appointment of Citizen / Consumers for Fire Commission Budget Committee
  • Information Agenda
    • Eastern Wake Fire Department Update on Use of Fund Balance
    • Finance and Fire Apparatus Overview
    • Fire Tax Financial Report
    • FY 2017 Fire Tax Budget Update
    • Share Point Overview
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Equipment Committee
      • Compensation and Staffing Committee
      • Budget Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Director Report
  • Other Business
  • Public Comments:
    • Comments from the public will be received at the time appointed by the Chairman of the Fire Commission for 30 minutes maximum time allotted, with a maximum of three minutes per person. A signup sheet for those who wish to speak during the public comments section of the meeting is located at the entrance of the meeting room.
  • Adjournment - Next Meeting January 21, 2016


Agenda packet (PDF, 8.3MB)

+ 9 - 9 | § Reasons For Rejecting Apparatus Bids, Circa 1958

Found this one among records of Raleigh's 1958 and 1960 aerial ladders. Interpreting the thing as reasons for rejecting bids for building one or more pumpers. Likely dates to 1958, when the city solicited bids for a single pumping engine.

American LaFrance won that one. They shipped a 1958 American LaFrance 900 Series pumper (#N-720), 1000/300, on July 31, 1959. Bid price was $21,800. Purchase price was $23,354.85, including equipment.

This document records apparent reject reasons for pumpers from FWD, Oren, Pirsch, and "Seagraves." Some notes on those four apparatus builders. See my Raleigh apparatus register for more details:

  • FWD
    Built apparatus from 1910 to 1970s
    Raleigh received two pumpers in the 1950s, of model years 1950 and 1957. 
  • Oren
    Built apparatus from 1930s to 1980s
    None ever purchased in Raleigh. There were a handful (or more?) in North Carolina's major cities, mid-century, if memory serves.
  • Pirsch
    Built apparatus from 1900 to 1991
    Raleigh ordered both an engine and a rear-mount ladder in 1984-85. The engine was delivered, 1985 model, but the ladder ended up in Chicago. Read blog post about that.
  • Seagrave
    Built apparatus from 1881 to present
    Raleigh never purchased an engine, but bought a rear-mounted ladder, 1986 model.

Click once or twice to enlarge:


Copyright 2012 by Michael J. Legeros