Holly Springs Fire Department(s)

History


pre-history

1943, farmers organize volunteer forest firefighting service. Two-dozen farmers meet and elect community leaders. Appointment of a forest warden for the township is also urged. Buckhorn and White Oak townships are invited to join in setting up an organization to protect the three communities, which annually have been hit hard by fires. (February 1943) no14feb43

1970-1979

1971, Holly Springs Rural Fire Department chartered. (July 21, 1971) sos

1972, first fire chief is Jimmy Holland.rt23aug72

1972, fire department becomes operational in August, and just a year after its first organizational meeting.

They have 28 men, and serve a four-mile radius from the fire station. Fire calls are reported to Raleigh Central, which dispatches the department. Twelve of the firemen carry monitors. Each are responsible for telephoning two other firemen. Each responds to the fire station, and a fire truck can leave once at least three firemen are at the station.

They've had no training drills yet, and there haven't been any fires in/around town all summer. The members received their 42 hours of firefighting instruction last winter, and will get another 120 hours this winter. They haven't had time for any fundraising projects yet, but have collected $3035 by canvassing the community. (August 1972.)rt23aug72

1972, first fire station is two-bay building at 1140 Avent Ferry Road. The cinderblock building is built with "Saturday labor" on then-named Holly Springs-Corinth Road. The alarm is a siren on a pole, procured from the county Civil Defense office. rt23aug72

1972, first fire apparatus:

  • 1953 GMC tanker, 0/1500
  • 1955 International tanker, 350/1000.

Note: Alternate tanker capacity is 1250. One of the tankers was a converted oil truck. Both are purchased from other departments, and have new hoses, nozzles, and other gear. The trucks can be refilled at fire hydrants within the town limits.rt23aug72

1972-1974, apparatus deliveries:
  • 1955, GMC tanker, ex-military. It's purchased and rebuilt by the firemen, over months of work conducted after their regular meeting.fvi19sep74
  • 1953? Dodge brush truck, 90/250.fvi19sep74

1974, apparatus delivery: 1974 Ford / Bean pumper, 750/750. Purchased with $30,000 loan from the first Farm Home Administration (FHA) "community facility" loan to be granted in Wake County. Delivered in September 1974.fvi19sep74

Late 1970s, pit building added behind fire station to hold pigs for fundraising barbecues.oh

1980-1989

1980 (?), apparatus delivery: 1980 Chevy/FMC tanker, 250/1350.oh

1985, fire station expanded with additional apparatus space.oh

1986, apparatus delivery: 1985 Kenworth/FMC Omega pumper/tanker, donated by Carolina Power & Light.

Demonstrator model purchased with funds donated by Carolina Power & Light for first-in fire protection at the Harris nuclear power plant. The power company was contracting with HSFD, but the level of service was found insufficient by federal regulars during a review. At the time of the review, HSFD was operating a borrowed pumper-tanker from Fuquay-Varina, as the department's 1974 Ford/Bean pumper was out of service, after a pump failure at a house fire. The demo truck was also exhibited at the 1986 North Carolina State Fair, and operated by the State Fair Fire Brigade, prior to delivery to Holly Springs.oh, fdws

1989, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant suffers fire. After nuclear reactor automatically shuts down at 11:06 p.m., workers spot two fires. One involves the transformer and is extinguished largely by sprinkler system. Second fire involves the generator in the turbine building. Plant's five-member fire brigade is assisted by Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina fire departments. Plant officials confirm fire is out and associated hydrogen leak is contained at 2:43 p.m. (October 10, 1989) rt10oct89, no11oct89

1990-1999

1990 - Town population is less than 1,000.

1990, apparatus deliveries:

  • 1977 Ford/Howe tanker, 400/1200
  • 1990 Dodge/EEI brush truck, built on chassis donated as a Christmas present by Mr. Henry Collins. oh

1990s, early, before this time, the town population was too small and didn't have sufficient tax revenues to fund its own fire, police, and EMS services. With dramatic residential growth in the early 1990s, the town created a police department in 1992 and a fire department in 1995.  Source: Holly Springs, Wake County - A Community Assessment..., April 28, 1999.

1995, municipal fire department formed. Named Holly Springs Fire Service Division, part of Holly Springs Department of Public Safety. (April 1, 1995) oh

1995, temporary fire station at Omaha Meat Company at corner of Thomasmill Road and Irving Parkway. oh

1995, first fire apparatus for town includes:

  • 1974 Ford/Bean pumper, 750/750 (correct?) purchased from Wendell Fire Department. Later sold to Surf City Fire Department
  • 1990s International tanker, later sold to Northwest Harnett County Fire Department. oh

1995, first fire station completed at 127 N. Main Street. (September 1995) oh

1995 (?), town apparatus deliveries:

  • 1995 Pierce Dash pumper, 1500/750, originally ordered by rural department, but purchased by town.oh
  • 1995 International/4 Guys tanker, 500/1500.

1996, snapshot:

  • Public Safety Department has 26 full-time members, plus part-time and volunteer members.
  • Town also has its own dispatchers.
  • The town's ISO fire protection rating is six for the town and nine for the rural area.
  • Call volume has been steadily increasing:
    • 1993 - 78
    • 1994 - 212
    • 1995 - 242
    • 1996 - 485
    • 1997 - 520
  • Source: Holly Springs, Wake County - A Community Assessment..., April 28, 1999.

1997, town apparatus delivery: 1986 GMC Kodiak/____ rescue truck with 55' boom and bucket. Built from donated by Carolina Power and Light. Firefighters added a piped waterway and converted the hydraulic auger assembly into a remote-operated master stream. They also added generators and floodlights and modified the air compressor to work with rescue tools. It was sold  1998 to Swepsonville. (July 1997)oh

1997, rural department merges with town. Rural station is designated Station #1, municipal station is designated Station #2. (August-September 1997)oh

1998, fire department begins EMS service on April 1, 1998.

  • They are licensed as a BLS provider, and Wake County provides one full-time Wake
    County paramedic and ALS supplies.
  • The town provides one ambulance, a driver, and all equipment.
  • They operate an ambulance for over a decade, including later with a full-time paramedic
    provided by Wake County EMS.
  • Ambulance first operates from Station 1 at corner of Holly Springs Road and Highway 55. Later moved to Station 2, and again to new Station 1 on Flint Point Lane.
  • In 1998, the ambulance answers 406 calls.
  • Source: Legeros EMS History

1998, apparatus delivery: 17-foot Shore Line rescue boat donated by Wake County Sheriff's Department and modified by firefighters to include canopy, crane, portable pump with 2" discharge with 1 1/2" gate, and stokes basket bracket..oh

1999, pit building behind Station #1 remodeled into training facility. oh \

1990s, apparatus notes:

  • 1974 Ford/Bean pumper converted to rescue truck, with walk-in body added in late 1990s. Later disposed to Public Works for use as a pressure water.
  • 1972 Ford 800/Saulsbury rescue added in late 1990s (or early 2000s?).

2000-2009

2000 - Town population is over 9,000.

2000 - Apparatus delivery: 2000 International/Pierce pumper/tanker.

2000-2001, ambulance involved in accident. Former Fuquay-Varina EMS Ford F-350 ambulance utilized as frontline unit until Holly Springs vehicle returns from shop. oh

2002, fire department assists the town of Knightdale and their Public Safety department's newly created Fire Division. Also donates hose, turnout gear, and other equipment. (Summer 2002) oh

2002, apparatus deliveries: 1996 Ford L8000 chassis with Salisbury rescue body. Replaces 1972 Ford 800 chassis. (September 2002)oh

2003, apparatus delivery: 1986 Pemfab/Boardman telesquirt, 1000/__/55-foot. Purchased in Texas.

2006 - New Station 1 at 700 Flint Point lane opens. The $3M structure has some 12,000 square-feet.

2007 - Station 2 on Avent Ferry Road renovated. One of the three apparatus bays is converted into living quarters.

2007 - Apparatus delivery: 1999 American Eagle mid-mount aerial platform. Purchased from Pattonville Fire District, Pattonville, MO.

2008 - Station 3 opens at 4112 Friendship Road. Engine 3 is placed in service. Station is operational on August 1. Occupies a leased house with a metal shelter for the apparatus. It protects new annexation areas. (August 1, 2008)

2010-present

2010 - Town population is 24,804.

2010, July 1 (?) Holly Springs Fire Department ceases EMS service.

  • Wake County EMS places EMS 17 in service.
  • Housed at Station 1 on Flint Point Lane.
  • Town had been paying for cost of ambulance and three EMTs, one per shift.
  • Source: Legeros EMS history.

2011 - Holly Springs Station 2 at 1140 Avent Ferry Road closes, after tornado strikes town on April 16.

On April 25, Fire Chief Cecil Parker provides this update:

  • On Saturday, April 16, 2011, Holly Springs Fire Station 2, located at 1140 Avent Ferry Road, was damaged by a passing tornado.
  • The engine and staff have been temporarily relocated to Fire Station 1, located at 700 Flint Point Lane.
  • Second-out equipment has been relocated to Fairview Station 1. Arrangements have been made to have that equipment dispatched and brought by Fairview as needed.
  • The insurance company immediately responded and provided financial support to install temporary shoring for the walls, clean out the facility, and store any undamaged items.
  • The town code enforcement department immediately declared the structure unsafe.
  • On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, VFIS determined that the structure was damaged beyond repair and has authorized demolition.
  • The North Carolina Department of Insurance has been contacted and made aware of situation. They have indicated that plans for reconstruction will be moved through the system immediately so the work can begin.
  • The land next to Station 2 has been rented, for locating temporary housing..
  • Contractors have been contacted for construction of 30 by 40 building, to house one engine, one ambulance, and a brush truck.
  • Staff is reporting to Station 2 each morning and remaining on site until the evening.
  • On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, officials will meet with all interested parties to determine a course of action and timeline for replacing Fire Station 2.
  • Full-time operations at 1140 Avent Ferry Road with temporary housing are expected to resume within 30 days.

Next door, a temporary fire station as erected, consisting of a mobile home for living quarters and a two-bay metal garage. The temporary station was operational by May 22. The old fire station was demolished, and construction started on its replacement.

2011 - Apparatus delivery: 2011 Pierce Saber pumper-tanker, 1250/1000. New Engine 2. Delivered in March.

2012 - Leroy Smith hired as Fire Chief. Former Deputy Chief of BWI Airport fire department. Started on June 4, 2012. Succeeds former Fire Chief Cecil Parker.

2012 - New Holly Springs Station 2 opens in October 2011. An open house was conducted on November 10.

2014 - Apparatus delivery: 2014 Spartan ERV MetroStar rescue pumper, 1500/750/25. Contract price was $475,160. Replaces Engine 1. Designated Squad 1. Delivered September 8, 2014.

2014 - Fire dog added named Cinder, to assist firefighters with teaching fire and life safety skills.fdws

2014 - Apparatus note: Ladder 2 sold on Tuesday before September 22, 2015. Sold to Biscoe FD in Montgomery County, NC.

2014 - Apparatus delivery: 2001 Spartan Gladiator/Baker Aerialscope mid-mount aerial platform, 2000/0/95-foot. Was Truck 2-1 at William Cameron Engine Company in Lewisburg, PA. Originally dark yellow with metal-finish rear body. Repainted black over red. Delivered August 2014. Placed in service July 2015 as Ladder 255.

Fire Chiefs

See Wake County Fire Chiefs (pdf).

Vehicles

See Wake County apparatus register (pdf).

Photos

Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.

Sources

  • fdws Fire department web site
  • fvi Independent
  • oh Oral history
  • rt Raleigh Times
  • sos NC Department of the Secretary of State

Last updated: January 3, 2017


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Copyright 2016 by Michael J. Legeros