That time of year again! Get geared up for public safety days, firemen's days, and other fall fire events. Durham Highway Fire Department's annual Public Safety Day will be held on Saturday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Leesville Road High School. It's always a great event with live and static demos and plenty of fire, police, and EMS vehicles to enjoy.
Vintage Firefighting Images via Digital NC
From a reader, there are some great vintage firefighting images on the
DigitalNC site, in their
Images of North Carolina collection. (Thanks Greg!) High-resolution versions
are available for most of them, along with descriptions and usage information.
Here's a sampling. Click to enlarge:
Left to right, top to bottom:
- Brevard Fire Department and old Town Hall on West Main Street, circa 1913 to 1930. (Looks like Brevard's 1925 American LaFrance triple combination, #5111.) Courtesy Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.
- Draper Volunteer Fire Company in 1958. Copyright Rockingham Community College Foundation, Inc., Historical Collections, Gerald B. James Library.
- Farmington Volunteer Fire Department in Davie County, circa 1960. Courtesy Davie County Public Library.
- Wilson Fire Department, circa 1918. Courtesy Marion (Monk) Moore Collection, Wilson County Public Library.
Statter911 found this video from Allen Locklear, featuring a fully involved mobile home (abandoned) and the arrival and initial attack from the Shannon Fire Department in Robeson County. Plus a bit of enthusiastic commentary from the videographer.
Guest column by Bay Leaf firefighter and American LaFrance antique owner George Mills.
North Carolina fire departments, including career, combination, and volunteer organizations, have a rich history of service to their communities. Many of these departments have or are striving to retain a piece of their history by preserving or restoring their original or early motorized apparatus. Of particular prominence is the famous brand of American LaFrance.
Beginning in the 1910s, the Elmira, NY, company supplied motorized hose cars, combination hose and chemical cars, triple combination pumpers, combination service ladder trucks, and aerial ladder trucks to dozens (hundreds?) of cities, towns, and institution in North Carolina. (Search the John Peckham database for information on these trucks.)
Raleigh, Greensboro, Louisburg, Newton, Winston-Salem, to name just a few, each have early-era American LaFrance engines that are still capable of making appearances in community parades. Some departments, like those in Oxford and Williamston, are in various stages of fundraising to restore or complete the restoration of their early rigs. Still others have rigs that are awaiting their destiny with history, either hopefully restored or lost in neglect.
The City of Hickory has three of their early American LaFrances that are
keeping each other company. They include a pair purchased in 1924 with
sequential purchase order and serial numbers. One is a Type 75 triple
combination and the other is a Type 14 service ladder truck. Below are a
photos and information about some of these trucks.
Raleigh's 1926 ALF Type 75 triple (#5629). Housed at Station 28 along with
the city's other antique apparatus.
Louisburg's 1921 ALF Type 75 triple (#3682) is named "Maude" and is shown in a Christmas parade.
Newton's 1937 ALF Type 475CB (#L-887) is housed at Station 3 in Startown
and waiting for room at the Catawba Fire Museum.
Newton's first rig is waiting for some loving, a 1921 ALF Type 40 triple (#3371).
Hickory's diamonds in the rough, all three seen in this picture: 1919 ALF Type 75 triple (#2714),
1924 ALF Type 75 triple (#4698), 1924 ALF Type 14-6 combination service ladder (#4699)
Hickory's first fire engine, a 1914 ALF Type 10 combination hose and chemical car (#484).
Presently privately owned by a collector in Granite Falls, NC.
See this blog posting from December 1913 titled Oldest Motor Apparatus in North Carolina, with a list of known surviving rigs dating to 1930, and links to photos.
Data by Mike Legeros
American LaFrance database contains 403 entries for "early era" rigs
delivered to North Carolina, with 217 trucks shipped to 108 cities, towns, and
institutions between 1912 and 1939.
The most popular models?
Type 75 triple - 74
Type 45 triple - 11
Type 12 triple - 11
Type 14 ladder truck, including combination - 10
Type 10 combination - 10
Top delivery destinations?
13 - Charlotte
11 - Raleigh
8 - Greensboro
7 - High Point, Wilmington
6 - Asheville, Rocky Mount, Winston-Salem
5 - Hickory
Starting our Saturday with a question. How many firefighters in the United States have died on duty, in the century before the last century? Before 1900? Back in the days of hose wagons and steam engines and fire horses and telegraph boxes. When play pipes and pompier ladders were the tools of choice.
Yours Truly has started a survey of national line of duty death (LODD) data. Based on incomplete, state-by-state findings, over 11,000 firefighters have died in the line of duty to date. How many of these were killed before January 1, 1900? Over 679, though my data remains incomplete. What's the earliest one? So far it's a Maryland entry, William B. Carlton of Junior Fire Company No. 2 in Frederick County, who died in the line of duty on December 22, 1840. (He was 38.)
Want to learn more about this project? Or even assist?? Visit www.legeros.com/temp/lodd. Meanwhile, here are the state-by-state totals (or lack thereof). Plus two detailed lists, from Connecticut and District of Columbia. They provide causes of death and additional details.
|Alabama||0||None yet recorded|
|Alaska||0||None yet recorded|
|Arizona||0||None yet recorded|
|Connecticut||22||See details below|
|District of Columbia||16||See details below|
|Iowa||0||None yet recorded, it appears|
|Massachusetts||Need data, includes 45 in Boston|
|New Jersey||Need data, earliest 1857|
|North Carolina||0||None yet recorded|
|North Dakota||Need data|
|Rhode Island||Need data|
|South Dakota||Have names, need dates|
|Utah||0||None yet recorded|
|West Virginia||0||None yet recorded|
|Wyoming||0||None yet recorded|
|Total||679||Including 45 from Boston|
See my research site for links to data sources. Note, manuial counting was used above. Could be errors.
|James T. Hemingway||June, 1852||Injured / Died at fire Flight's Store|
|Bevil Sperry||Oct. 24, 1852||Crushed Chimney Collapse|
|James B.T. Benjamin||Jan. 1, 1858||Crushed Under Wheels of Equipm|
|William Miles||Feb. 9, 1858||Shot and Killed During Riot|
|Noah Risley||Feb. 7, 1871||Injuries sustained at Box 26|
|Benjamin F. Herrick||June 7, 1875||Injuries sustained at Box 18|
|Harry M. Books||May 14, 1878||Fell from roof when adjoining wall|
|Charles E. Harper||May 24, 1878||Wall Collapse|
|John H. Parker||May 24, 1878||Wall Collapse|
|Daniel S. Camp||May 24, 1878||Wall Collapse|
|Edwin L. Hubbell||July 4, 1888||Fall from ladder|
|Willie Bush||Feb. 17, 1892||Injuries sustained at Box 31|
|George A. Dennison||Jan. 7, 1893||Fatally Injured at House Fire|
|Wilbur C. Judd||June 26, 1894||Ladder Accident|
|Owen McMahon||Jan. 7, 1896||Collision with Trolley|
|Charles E. Main||Feb. 21. 1897||Injuries sustained at Box 26|
|John Roberts||June 16, 1897||Service Connected Illness|
|John Kampf||Oct. 24, 1898||Train Accident|
|Walter P. Hovey||July 12, 1899||Heart Attack|
|Ludwig Upstrom||Oct. 13, 1889||Fell while entering a building.|
|Jeremiah F. Regan||Nov. 20, 1899||Thrown from hose wagon|
|Thomas Langan||Dec. 6, 1899||Smoke Inhalation|
Note: Due to the formatting of the Connecticut data, couldn't easy extract department names. Feel free to submit annotated list.
District of Columbia
May 6, 1856
Volunteer Fireman Benjamin C. Greenup of Columbia Fire Co. 1 was killed as a result of being thrown from the fire unit and run over while en-route to a fire call at Shreeve's Stable on 7th St NW.
February 15, 1877
Foreman Thomas H Robinson of Truck 1 died of injuries he sustained on February 7, 1877 as a result of being thrown from the fire unit and run over while responding to a local alarm
August 18, 1882
Driver Joseph Daniels of Engine 3 died of injuries he sustained on August 17, when the steamer overturned on him while returning from a fire.
February 20, 1891
Pvt. Thomas R. Newman of Truck A died of injuries sustained on February 19, 1891 when the fire unit he was on was struck by a cable car at 7th & D St's NW.
December 12, 1893
Foreman Zedock Williams of Chemical 1 suffocated at a fire in the Blau Building 700 14th St NW.
July 25, 1894
On this day three DC Fireman were killed in the line of duty as a result of burning to death at a fire at Knox's Express Stables 2nd & B St NW. Assistant Foreman Sam. Mastin and Pvt's Michael R. Fenton and Dennis O'Donoghue all from Engine Company 1.
June 3, 1895
Engineer Thomas J. Martin of Engine Company 6 died from being over come by heat at a stable fire at 710 North Capital ST. NW
May 18, 1896
On this date five DC Fireman were killed in the line of duty when a wall collapsed on them while fighting a fire at the Commission House on Louisiana Ave NW. Assistant Foreman Thomas A. Griffen of Truck B, Pvt Daniel Conway of Engine 9, Assistant Foreman George H Giles of Engine 9, Pvt Joseph Mulhally of Engine 8 and Assistant Foreman George Kettler of Engine 8.
August 12, 1896
Engineer John D. Angell died in quarters, his death was ruled a line of duty death.
March 4, 1897
Assistant Foreman John A. Merriman of Engine 6 was struck and killed by a B&O Train while returning to the fire house from the fire ground 308 13th St NW.
Source: DCFD LODD Memorial.Wake County Fire Academy Hiring For Recruit Class 8
Applications are now being accepted for Wake County Fire Academy Recruit Class 8. The academy begins in January 2016 and graduates in July 2016. The academy is twenty-five weeks, and the hours are primarily Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It's held at the Wake County Fire Training Center in New Hill, NC.
Students who complete the program receive certifications in Firefighter II, Hazardous Materials Responder, EMT Basic, ICS 100 & 200, Firefighter Rescue, Firefighter Survival, Technical Rescuer, and SCBA Fit Testing. Requirements include eighteen years of age and affiliation with a fire department.
Here are the
necessary documents, including application forms and a flyer about the
academy. Good luck!
Had another two-alarm fire in Raleigh last week, believe just the third this year. On Saturday night, August 22. Multi-unit residential structure at 1426 Quarter Point. Reported fire on balcony. Upgraded to working fire while units were en route, due to multiple callers. EMS 35 arrived first and reported fully-involved. Engine 18 arrived about a minute later, at a two-story, four-unit townhome building with approximately 6,600 square-feet. (Built 1987.)
Heavy fire in the rear of the structure, on the end unit. Engine 18 deployed a two-inch line to the rear of the structure, for initial attack. Fire also active inside structure. Crews took lines into the building, then were withdrawn as fire extended into attic space of adjoining unit. Aerial stream was deployed into the rear of the building from Ladder 1 on Lead Mine Road. (The building was behind the trees, on the southwest corner of Lead Mine and Strickland roads.)
Two hydrants were caught, with Engine 4 on Quarter Point boosting to Engine 18, and Engine 15 on Strickland and Lead Mine boosting to Ladder 1. Ladder 9 also deployed on Strickland. Command at the corner of Lead Mine and Strickland. Staging on both streets. Rehab on Lead Mine and on Quarter Point at Engine 18.
Dispatched 8:44 p.m., working fire at 8:46 p.m., special call for two engines at 9:09 p.m., rest of second alarm requested at 9:16 p.m. Controlled 10:15 p.m. Cause determined as accidental, and started on the back deck. Three people in the fire building self-evacuated. Four people from two units displaced. One firefighter with dislocated shoulder, transported to hospital.
First alarm E18, E4, E16, E15, L1, L9, R1, B4, B5, working fire A2, C20, C420, C401, special call E23, E9, second alarm E1, L2, L5, B1, C2, C1, medical EMS 35, EMS 38, EMS 12, EMS 15, D4, D9, T1, Logistics 1. Coverage included E6 to Station 9 and E29 to Station 18.
See more photos by Mike Legeros, who snapped his first picture at 9:00 p.m.
Vintage Forest Service Photos
From a reader (thanks Greg!), the Forest History Society
(that happens to be located in
Durham) maintains a photograph collection of over 30,000 items. They've
digitized a portion of same, and searching "fire North Carolina" finds 201
matches. People, places, and things, from plows to planes to foresters. Here's a
sampling, click to enlarge:
Left to right, top to bottom:
- Tractor with fire plow, not dated
- Fire truck trailer (!), not dated.
- Horse Ridge lookout tower, Burke County. Built 1928. Not dated.
- Fleet of forestry trucks, with lettering "Forest Service and Wayne County Cooperating." Circa 1936
- Firefighting at a ground fire at a Navy bomb range in Dare County, August 1957
- Fixed-wing aircraft at State Fair, October 1963
Happened upon a reproduction of American LaFrance Catalog No. 20 (1923), via eBay last week. Forty-eight pages and a thick, glossy stock. Printed in 1972. Within are entries for their popular Type 17 tractor-drawn aerial ladder and Type 14 combination service ladder truck. One of each was bought by the city of Raleigh, in 1916 and 1922, respectively.
Here are drawings from the catalog. The service truck says "R.F.D."
Doubtful that's Raleigh, as ours said "R.F.D. No. 2" on the hood. Rochester? Racine? Reno? No telling. Click once or
twice to enlarge:
Below are the complete catalog pages.
Raleigh's 1916 American LaFrance Type 17 aerial ladder (#1047) had a
manufacturing date of February 5, 1916. It was originally delivered in white and
repainted red in the early 1920s. Two decades later, the tractor was replaced
with a 1939 American LaFrance 500 Series. Note the height of the tillerman seat. That's because the ground ladders were stored in a single stack, instead of side-by-side as seen in later decades. Read more of the truck's history and
see some photos,
here. Click once or twice to enlarge:
Raleigh's 1922 American LaFrance Type
14 combination service ladder truck (#3941) had a manufacturing date of
September 26, 1922. It was placed in service on August 10. Cost $9,457.00. The
truck was operated as a two-piece ladder company. Based on the location of the
reported fire, Truck 1 members would take the service ladder truck (for higher
buildings) or the service ladder truck (for lower buildings). Both were housed
at Station 1 on West Morgan Street until 1941, when they were moved to Station 2
at Memorial Auditorium. Read more of the truck's history
here. Click once or twice to enlarge:
American LaFrance buffs or others, what else would tell about these great old rigs?
Made this video the other week at the South Atlantic FIRE RESCUE Expo in Raleigh. Mobile phone for recording, Microsoft's free Movie Maker for editing, and Flash Integro's free video editor enhancements. (Looking for photos? Yours Truly was otherwise camera-free. See these pics on Flickr from John Franks and Tim Blasidell, for starters. Pics from Lee Wilson are pending.)
The West Virginia Department of Transportation has taken delivery of three 2015 Freightliner M2-106/Pierce pumpers, 1250/1000 with Husky foam systems. (And bumper turret!) The trucks will protect a pair of mountain tunnels on Interstate 77. They’ll be staffed with contractors (four employees per shift are trained to operate the trucks) and provide preliminary response until local fire and rescue departments.
The project to purchase the rigs was initiated in summer 2013. Last year’s truck fire in the East River Mountain Tunnel further validated the plans. (Google for stories and stunning photos from that incident.) Training of personnel and delivery of the vehicles was completed in June.
Both tunnels had their own engines until the 1990s. Notes this Bluefield Daily Telegraph story by Greg Jordan, they fire departments were removed due to “more stringent training standards and costs with associated with implementing those standards” as well as increased costs for operation and maintenance. (Makes and models, anyone?)
They’ll protect the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel (opened in 1972) and the East River Mountain Tunnel (opened in 1974). On average, notes the story, some 30,000 vehicles per day pass through them. (The story only cites two fire trucks. Maybe the third is a spare, or auxiliary truck?)
Here are some more pictures from the Atlantic Emergency Solutions
Trucks in Production page, showing Raleigh's forthcoming Pierce Arrow XT
pumper and tiller. See many more pictures at the above site. Tiller is due in
four weeks. Both trucks will be assigned to Station 29, as Engine 29 and Ladder 9. The tiller will be Raleigh's second, following a 2010 Pierce Arrow XT that's assigned to Ladder 4 at Station 1. Click to enlarge:
From the Atlantic Emergency Solutions Trucks in Production page, here's a comparison of the bumpers of Cary and Raleigh's new Pierce engines under construction. Cary adding a white reflective stripe (job #28596, Velocity chassis). Raleigh adding their first bumper-based chevrons (job #28621, Arrow XT chassis).
When Stock Photos Fail
See if you can tell what's wrong with this picture. Found by FireNews.net on Twitter (they even wrote this headline!), retweeting from WFMY News yesterday. (Promoting story about $1.1 SAFER grant granted to Greensboro. Read that story.) What, you're not following FireNews via Twitter? They're the go-to source for local and national fire news headlines. Worth the leap, if you haven't started using Twitter.
Firefighter Fatalities in Johnston and Clay Counties
Two North Carolina firefighters have passed away while on duty, this morning in Johnston County and on Friday morning in Clay County.
Johnston County Firefighter Christopher Joe Daniels, 40, died this morning while on duty at Pine Level Fire Department. Daniels was a career Engineer/Acting Captain in Smithfield, and a part-time firefighter at Pine Level, Selma, and Thanksgiving fire departments. He collapsed at the fire station this morning and died.
Flags at area fire stations were lowered today. At the Smithfield fire station, Daniels' helmet and turnout gear were placed outside the station. Four Oaks sent an engine to town, to provide coverage while Smithfield firefighters visited the family. Funeral arrangements are pending. Source: Johnston County Report. Photo from Facebook.
Fire Chief James D. "J. D." Robinson, 59, of the Brasstown Volunteer Fire Department in Clay County died on Friday, August 14. He had a medical emergency while standing by at a dirt track car race. He was found not breathing and CPR was immediately started. He was treated at the scene and transported to Murphy Medical Center, where he passed away.
Chief Robertson was also a Fire Instructor at Tri County Community College and a wildland firefighter with the North Carolina Forest Service. His fire service career spanned over thirty years. Sources: Firefighter Close Calls, USFA Fatality Report. Photo from this BFD blog.
Construction is well underway for Cary new Fire Station 2 at 601 E. Chatham Street. Here's the project page on the town's web site. Below is a site plan, found via this document (PDF) on the town's FTP server via Google. Plus a couple photos from this morning. Hearing that the facility should be occupied by late November or early December.
Would you believe a school bus turned water tanker? That's what the Warrenton Rural Volunteer Fire Department did in the late 1950s, when they converted a school bus into their first tanker. This picture appeared in the Warren Record on July 26, 1957.
Read the caption: "This is the original built by the rural firemen. It is still in use, but will be located in another part of the county as soon as another tanker can be built. The school truck body was left on chassis to provide cover due to lack of fire house."
The picture was posted to the department's Facebook page in March, and they added some additional details. The tank was 1,000 gallons as best they recall. Round and without baffles. The truck, named Tanker 1, was also equipped with a pump that "ran of belts that engaged a power take-off which was also located inside the bus. A hose would run off the pump [and] out the door."
As far as the department knows, the chassis is still located in Warren County. Make and model of the vehicle? Maybe readers know. Next question, what are some other curious apparatus conversions that you've seen or heard of, around North Carolina? (Thanks for heads-up about this picture, Greg.) Click to enlarge:
Coming to the South Atlantic FIRE RESCUE Expo this week? Visit the Raleigh Fire Museum booth on the Mezzanine Level, right around the corner from the lobby escalators. Learn about our organization as well as other area and regional fire museums. We'll have one or two digital slideshows to entertain you.
And challenge coins for sale, newly produced by the museum for sale as a fundraiser. (Coins are $10 each. Can't make the show? We'll have them for sale soon on our web site.) The booth will be open Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Looking for Yours Truly? He'll be around all days, including staffing the booth on Thursday night. Mike Legeros is also co-presenting at a workshop on Friday afternoon. Cameras, Citizen Reporters, Social Media and Emergency Services with Jeff Hammerstein (Wake County EMS) from 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. That's one of two workshops on the subject of social media, the other's that morning with William Suthard (Huntersville FD). See prior posting.
See you at the show!
2015 NC Fallen Fire Firefighters - First Annual Memorial Ride - Sat., Aug. 15
Event announcement. The Brothers of the Inferno Motorcycle Club of Goldsboro is hosting a memorial ride to benefit the North Carolina Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation. The event is Saturday, August 15, 2015. The location is Wayne Community College, 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro. The cost is $20 per bike with $5 per additional passenger.
Registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Then posting colors and prayer at 9:00 a.m. and kickstands up at 9:30 a.m. The route is from Goldsboro to Raleigh and by way of visiting a few fire departments that have experienced line of duty deaths, some local motorcycle dealers, and Barry's Cafe in Cary. (Meal tickets are $8.00 for lunch at Barry's. They'll also have tee shirts for sale for $15 each.)
There will also be door prizes throughout the ride, provided by the corporate sponsors Shelton's Harley-Davidson of Goldsboro, Cycle Gear of Raleigh, Open Road Biker Gear of Goldsboro, and Team Power Sports of Garner. They'll also hold a 50/50 raffle at the end of the ride, which will conclude at the South Atlantic FIRE RESCUE Expo at the Raleigh Convention Center.
All proceeds will be donated to the NCFFF. For more information, contact Paul at 919-418-4530 or "Beast" at 919-921-2552.Vintage Photo - Guilford County Spill Control Unit
This vintage gem was posted to the SPAAMFAA Facebook group last month. From the collection of Scott Mattson, who posted the image. Guilford County Fire Rescue operated this 1958 Chevrolet tanker. Served as an "oil spill control unit." Recall from our prior posting (in 2009!) that the county fire department was created circa 1965, to protect what was called the Greensboro-High Point Regional Airport. Don't know the date of this photo. Maybe late 1960s or early 1970s? Also, wonder what year the airport took over fire protection? Readers can perhaps help there. Click to enlarge:
Let's introduce the Bradford's Ordinary Fire Company, a non-profit service organization recently created by a group of Cary firefighters. They're named for the settlement that was created in 1750 and eventually developed into the town of Cary. Their purpose is simple: doing great things for others. They have a Facebook group and have announced their first event, the 2015 Schondelfire Station Tour Memorial Marathon on Saturday, September 6.
Cary Fire Department Captain and Swift Creek Firefighter Jon F Schondelmayer died on December 18, 2013, after feeling ill while working at the Swift Creek fire station. He went home at lunch to get some medicine and was soon found unresponsive by a Swift Creek firefighter sent to check on him. He was forty-four years old, and a nineteen-year veteran of the Cary Fire Department. Read prior blog post.
The Memorial Marathon spans the entire town, with participants visiting each of the town's eight fire stations. (That's 26.2 miles, with a half marathon option of 14.1 miles.) Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase gifts that promote healthy and active lifestyles to help prolong the lives of needy children. The gifts will be presented during the holiday season, during the town's Interact program that contacts families directly and awards gifts to them individual.
This inaugural event is limited to seventy-people. The registration period is
open from August 1 to August 12.
See this Facebook
event posting for more information, including
their e-mail address.