Fatal Ambulance Accidents in North Carolina

Research notes on fatal ambulance accidents in North Carolina. Most involve collisions with other vehicles. Sources include newspapers.com, Digital North Carolina Newspapers, the Fayetteville Observer archives via News Bank, and numerous Google searches. 

See source documents in this Google Drive.

2020 to 2024 

February 13, 2024 – Cumberland County
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center ambulance collided with a Dodge Dakota pick-up truck on Butler Nursery Road near Nash Road just about 10:30 p.m. The ambulance was operating its emergency lights and travelling eastbound. It had slowed to make a left turn into residential driveway when the driver of the truck attempted to pass the emergency unit. The resulting collision caused the truck to leave the roadway and strike a tree. The 42 year-old female driver of the truck died at the hospital early the next morning. The two EMS members aboard the ambulance were not seriously injured. Two others riding in the truck sustained non-life threatening injuries. Investigators estimated that the truck was travelling 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. The accident happened less than two miles from the driver’s home. Source: Fayetteville Observer, 2/17/24; WRAL, 2/24/24.

August 3, 2023 – Pender County – Two Killed
Pender EMS & Fire ambulance collided with a 2010 Ford Edge SUV on US 117 near St. Helena around 2:00 p.m. The SUV crossed the center line and struck the ambulance head-on. Three other vehicles were also involved in the crash. The ambulance was transporting a 54 year-old female from Jacksonville to Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. The transported patient died at the scene. The driver of the SUV was hospitalized and died of her injuries on August 12. She had been charged with driving while impaired, and other drivers had reported her erratic driving just before the collision. The two EMS crew members were seriously injured. Source: Carolina Coast Online, 8/6/23; WWAY, 8/14/23.

April 25, 2023 – Johnston County
MedEx medical transport ambulance collided with a motorcycle on Barbour Road near Wilson’s Mills Road just before 4:52 p.m. The motorcycle crossed the centerline into the path of the emergency vehicle. The 35 year-old male motorcyclist was ejected and died from his injuries. The EMS unit was responding to a vehicle accident. Source: Johnston County Report, 4/26/23; WCNC, 4/26/23.

June 19, 2022 – Duplin County – Patient Killed After Exiting Ambulance
Womack Army Medical Center [correct?] ambulance was carrying a solider from Fort Bragg, who had become ill during a training exercise, and had been diverted from Womack to the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune, due to limited beds at Womack. There were two EMTs in the ambulance along with an Army Sergeant escorting the patient. The ambulance was traveling eastbound on I-40 near Warsaw. There was a struggle that started inside the back of the ambulance. The ambulance pulled onto the shoulder of the interstate and came to a stop. The 28-year old male patient jumped out the back door of the ambulance, ran toward US 117, and was struck by an oncoming vehicle on US 117, and died at the scene. He was pronounced dead at 3:47 a.m. Investigators believed that the patient’s exit from the ambulance was related to his medical condition. Source: News12, 6/23/22; WRAL, 6/23/22.

January 22, 2022 – Wake County – Cardiac Patient Died After Collision, During Transport By Second Ambulance
METZ medical transport ambulance crashed on Interstate 87 near Exit 13 near Knightdale Boulevard around 4:00 a.m. The ambulance hit a patch of black ice, left the roadway, and overturned down an embankment. It was transporting a cardiac patient to Duke University. The patient went into cardiac arrest while being transported from the crash site by a second ambulance and died at the hospital. The two ambulance workers were also hurt. Source: JEMS, 1/21/22. Continue reading ‘Fatal Ambulance Accidents in North Carolina’ »

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Charlotte Fire Museum History


Left, news photo from 1979 via eBay. Right, Legeros photo from December 2008.

This posting is a series of research notes.

See source documents in this Google drive.

Read a history of Charlotte’s former and historic firehouses

First Iteration (Failed), Old Station 2

1969, January – Plans to open a fire museum are announced at a meeting of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce by Michael G. Allen, chairman of the Fire Prevention Committee. The museum “would contain old fire trucks, fire fighting equipment and uniforms.” He named John Pipkin “chairman of a committee to investigate the possibilities of such a museum” Source: Charlotte News, Jan 30, 1969. 

1972 – Theo Wolfe, owner Floyd Fowler Brake & Wheel Alignment Service & Radiator Repairs, tried and failed to buy Old Station 2, the Dilworth station, that his auto repair establishment occupied. The property owners instead later sold the building to the fire museum organizers. Source: Charlotte News, Aug 4, 1976.

1975, May – By this time a group of citizens had been “working for years” to turn the Dilworth station into a fire museum. They wanted to restore the building to its pre-World War I appearance and estimated that almost $200,000 would be needed to buy the property and restore the building. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission planned to hold hearings over the next few months. They would then ask city council to declare the building a historic site, which would provide “temporary protection” from major alterations or demolition. Source: Charlotte News, May 20, 1975.

Continue reading ‘Charlotte Fire Museum History’ »

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Renovations Started at Cary Station 4

On January 19, 2024, personnel at Cary Fire Station 4 at 1401 Old Apex Road were relocated from their 1987 engine house to a temporary facility added at the front of the building. Engine 4 was moved into a metal shelter beside a modular living unit. The other unstaffed units at Station 4, including a brush truck, Support 4, and an ATV, were relocated to other facilities. 

The temporary buildings will be occupied for a year, as Station 4 undergoes extensive renovations that will extend the building’s useable life and mitigate major maintenance and repairs for some 20 years. The resulting “like new” station will include such improvements as an added workout room, energy efficient LED lighting, a fire sprinkler system, and bi-fold doors. The exterior appearance of the building will also be updated.  

Station 4 was erected in 1987 and opened in 1988. The three-acre lot was purchased in June 1985. The bid for architectural and engineering services was awarded in July 1986. The site plan was approved in January 1987. The construction contracts were awarded in March 1987.

Station 4 was activated on [goes here] and also housed the town’s first aerial ladder company, Truck 4, which operated a 1988 Pierce Arrow rear-mounted aerial tower. It was placed in service in April-May 1988. An open house at the new station was held on January 29, 1989.

See more Legeros photos.

Background

Continue reading ‘Renovations Started at Cary Station 4’ »

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Major Fires of 2023

Looking back at last year, these were the major fires plus a couple other notable incidents.

1/21/2023
1100 Logger Court
Offices
2 alarms
Dispatched 10:02 p.m. Controlled 10:43 p.m. 
Blog post | Legeros photos

2/4/2023
4707 Walden Pond Drive
Townhomes
2 alarms
Dispatched 11:51 p.m. Controlled ~12:27 a.m.
Blog post | Legeros photos

2/5/2023
9401 Prince George Lane
Townhomes
2 alarms
Plus 3rd alarm struck for mayday, cancelled
Dispatched 6:12 a.m. Controlled 7:13 a.m.
Blog post | Legeros photos

Note: On the evening of February 5 through the morning of February 6, there were four working fires, including the above two extra-alarm fires. 

4/12/2023
4937 Southern Magnolia Drive
Townhomes
2 alarms
Dispatched 12:22 p.m. Controlled 12:58 p.m. 
Blog post | Legeros photos

6/16/2023
1810 New Hope Road
Assisted living
2 alarms
Dispatched 2:49 p.m. Controlled ~3:15 p.m. 
Extended operations for overhaul, air monitoring, and shelter/rehab for both responders and all occupants of the evacuated facility.
Blog post

12/30/2023
5919 Hourglass Court
Townhomes
2 alarms
Dispatched 3:21 a.m. Controlled 4:49 a.m. 
Blog post | Legeros photos

Notes

Mutual aid to major incidents outside the city are not included, such as two alarms in Knightdale on July 4 at a house fire on Whispering Creek Court. 

Other Notable Incidents

Some of the other incidents of note from last year have included: 

3/8/23
Hunting Ridge Road
Extended haz-mat incident, fuel spill containment in residential neighborhood + golf course.

8/8/23
Person Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
Former Lightner Funeral Home
Interior attack with extended operations due to difficulty accessing “cut up” interior spaces. Special call for two sets of two additional engines. 

8/24/2023
2729 S. Wilmington Street
Motel
2nd alarm equivalent
High-life hazard response added, which resulted in the equivalent of a second-alarm’s worth of resources on scene. 

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Parking Deck Fire on Hillsborough Street

See Legeros photos | Listen to radio traffic


Mike Legeros photos

On Sunday, January 7, 2024, Raleigh Engine 5 and Ladder 6 were dispatched at 4:56 p.m. for a commercial fire alarm at 3001 Hillsborough Street, five-story student apartments, with first-floor commercial occupancies plus five-story parking deck.

Engine 5 arrived with nothing showing from the front of the building. Ladder 6 arrived and reported heavy smoke seen from the parking deck. The call was upgraded to a working structure fire and additional units were dispatched.


Image via @barstoolpack on Instagram

Crews found vehicles burning on the fourth level of the parking deck. A mini-pumper was dispatched, to access the deck and the fire floor. Lines from the standpipe system were also used, along with a line brought from the ground ladder, using Ladder 6. 

Command called for one additional engine during the incident. The command post was located behind the building on ME Valentine Drive. Medical monitoring and rehab was located at the northeast corner of the building, at Hillsborough Street and Friendly Drive. 

The fire was controlled at 5:39 p.m. Three vehicles were heavily damaged, started from initial vehicle that caught fire. Five others also were also damaged. There was extended overhaul, that included smoke removal on the deck levels and subsequent air monitoring.

The entire structure was evacuated as a precaution during the incident. 

Run Card

  • Fire alarm: E5 L6
  • Working fire: E8 E6 L14 Sq14 R16 B3 B5 SO14 DC1 INV1 A10
  • Special call: MP7
  • Special call: E13
  • Medical: EMS12 EMS18 EMS79 D1

Radio Traffic

Listen to radio traffic

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – January 11, 2024

The Wake County Fire Commission will hold a regular meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., at the Wake County Emergency Services Education Center, 221 S. Rogers Lane, Raleigh, NC 27610.

View agenda and meeting documents.

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Raleigh Run Numbers – 2023

Here are the Raleigh run numbers for 2023. Historical numbers in this PDF document.

Overall

54,746 – Total Incidents
73,166 – Total Per Unit Runs

Unit Runs

Engine 01 – 2,219
Engine 02 – 2,709
Engine 03 – 3,069
Engine 04 – 1,577
Engine 05 – 1,514
Engine 06 – 1,421
Squad 07 – 3,159
Engine 08 – 2,282
Engine 09 – 2,104
Engine 10 – 2,023
Engine 11 – 3,062
Engine 12 – 3,046
Engine 13 – 2,232
Squad 14 – 2,172
Engine 15 – 3,005
Engine 16 – 2,378
Engine 17 – 1,562
Engine 18 – 1,455
Engine 19 – 3,155
Engine 20 – 2,168
Engine 21 – 2,382
Engine 22 – 1,802
Engine 23 – 1,268
Engine 24 – 1,459
Engine 25 – 1,011
Engine 26 – 1,623
Engine 27 – 1,013
Engine 28 – 1,106
Engine 29 – 501
Ladder 01 – 2,170
Ladder 04 – 1,138
Ladder 06 – 1,517
Ladder 12 – 2,199
Ladder 14 – 1,440
Ladder 15 – 2,040
Ladder 20 – 1,032
Ladder 22 – 1,106
Ladder 23 – 1,077

Rescue 16 – 1,387

Battalion 1 – 456
Battalion 2 – 657
Battalion 3 – 677
Battalion 4 – 438
Battalion 5 – 1,012

Division Chief 1 – 142

Safety Officer 14 – 965

Investigator 1 – 195
Chief Investigator – 44

Air 10 – 88
Air 28 – 69

Haz-Mat 02 – 61
Haz-Mat 08 – 56
Haz-Mat 22 – 19
Haz-Mat 27 – 64
Haz-Mat 29 – 61

Mini 07 – 18
Mini 14 – 24
Mini 28 – 4

ATV 14 – 20
ATV 22 – 9

High Water 17 – 3

USAR 801 – 15

Chaplain – 44

Top Engines

Squad 07 – 3,159
Engine 19 – 3,155
Engine 03 – 3,069
Engine 11 – 3,062
Engine 12 – 3,046
Engine 15 – 3,005
Engine 02 – 2,709
Engine 21 – 2,382

Top Ladders

Ladder 12 – 2,199
Ladder 01 – 2,170
Ladder 15 – 2,040

Top Battalion Chief

Battalion 5, as usual – 1,012

Top Rescue

You get one guess. 

Definitions

  • Air – Mobile air unit, that can replace and refill breathing air bottles.
  • ATV – All-terrain vehicle, used for responses to greenways and trails.
  • High Water – High-water rescue unit.
  • Mini – Mini pumper, used for brush fires, parking deck fires, and other special calls.
  • Squad – Rescue pumper that can operate as both an engine company and a rescue unit.
  • USAR 801 – Swift-water rescue unit.

And that’s a wrap. See you in January 2025.

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Two Alarms on Hourglass Court

See Legeros photos | Listen to radio traffic

Two alarms were struck on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at 5919 Hourglass Court. Dispatched 3:21 a.m. as a multi-residential structure fire. While units were en route, dispatch reported receiving multiple calls. Upgraded to working fire. 

Engine 17 first-arriving at a two-story row of townhomes, with heavy fire in the front and rear of a second-from-end unit. Behind the fire unit, a gas meter was burning along with a number of vehicles. Two lines were taken inside for fire attack.

Arriving fire units also found three injured occupants: adult woman with serious burns, adult woman who jumped from a second-story window, and adult male with smoke inhalation. Firefighters began patient care and assisted arriving Wake County EMS units, who transported all three WakeMed hospital. One firefighter also received minor injuries and was treated on scene. 

Crews were subsequently withdrawn from the fire unit, and aerial operations were started with Ladder 14 and Ladder 4. By this time, fire was showing through the roof of the fire unit. Heavy fire had also spread to the adjoining end unit and was also showing through the roof. 

Exterior lines were also used, during defensive operations. After the fire had been knocked down, interior operations resumed in the fire unit, where crews could access. Ladder 15 was also used for access, having replaced Ladder 4, after Ladder 4 experienced mechanical issues with their manually operated nozzle. 

Second alarm was requested at 3:32 a.m. Staging area was set at nearby Fire Station 17. Fire was marked under control at 4:49 a.m. Units remained on scene for a number of hours. 

The fire unit had 1,978 square-feet, including a full basement. Built 2006, from tax records. With six units in the entire structure. At least five parked cars were also damaged, parked outside and inside the units. 

Run card included:

First alarm: E16, E17, E18, E23, L23, L4, R16, B3, B4, ISO14, Durham Highway E4 [replaced with E1?]
Added: Durham Highway E1, 200
Added: L14
Working fire: A10 B5 INV1 DC1
Second alarm: E29, E9, E4, E8, L15, L20 
Added: Logistics Chief

Medical:
EMS 12, 14, 40, T1 [did it respond?], D5
Second alarm: EMS 42, 73, M93, D1
Chief 200


Mike Legeros photo

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From August 2011 – Wake County Fire Service Leadership Overview / FAQ

This was originally posted to the old blog in August 2011 and is being reprinted here, for easier of newer readers to find. 

As a public service to our readers, Mike Legeros, A. C. Rich, and Lee Price present an overview of fire service leadership in Wake County. The information is delivered in the format of an FAQ. First, though, let’s identify the speakers. Mike Legeros is the historian, author, and photographer who runs this blog. A. C. Rich is Fire Chief of the Stony Hill Fire Department, in addition to a career firefighter in Raleigh. Lee Price is Asst. Chief of the Wake-New Hope Fire Department, in addition to a career firefighter in Rolesville. Below is their best attempt to explain the many heads of the hydra that we call “local fire service leadership.” We’ll start with the fire commission, and work our way outward.

Q: What is the Wake County Fire Commission?

A: It is a group of people appointed by the Wake County Board of Commissioners, and empowered as a group to make recommendations to the County Commissioners, about aspects of the fire service within the control of the county. This web site lists the expected duties of the Fire Commission: http://www.wakegov.com/fire/commission.

Q: Who are the members of the Fire Commission?

A: Conceptually, they consist of: One County Commissioner. Four primary regional representatives of the county-funded fire departments: one for north region, one for south region, etc. Four alternate regional representatives, for above. The president of the Wake County Firefighter’s Association. One representative from the town of Wendell. Five citizens, also called “consumers.” The specific members are listed on a web site (http://www.wakegov.com/fire/commission/members.htm). However, that page is out of date at this time.

Q: How can you get appointed to the Fire Commission? Continue reading ‘From August 2011 – Wake County Fire Service Leadership Overview / FAQ’ »

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Visual History of Raleigh Aerial Apparatus

Updated November 24, 2023 – Added picture of new Ladder 22 plus all service ladder trucks of yore.

Presenting a new infographic, this time with a visual history of Raleigh Fire Department aerial apparatus, sorted by manufacturer. And, in the case of Pierce, further sorted by apparatus type. 

View JPG version.

Very PDF version.

See more charts and infographics

 

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