Raleigh Fire Department History – Charts and Data

Updated on April 21, 2024, with added chart showing recruit class length. Updated on February 24, 2023, with additional charts showing fire station growth. Updated on January 11, 2023, with additional charts: extra-alarm fires and recruit graduating class sizes. 

Random data play about the Raleigh Fire Department. These charts originally appeared as postings on Legeros Fire Line on Facebook. They were created using Excel.


  • Growth Trends – Number of Stations
  • Extra-Alarm Fires
  • Counts of Companies
  • Population Growth vs. Response Growth
  • Most Popular Month for Opening New Fire Stations
  • Recruit Academy Starting Sizes
  • Recruit Academy Graduating Class Sizes
  • Recruit Academy Length

Growth Trends – Number of Stations

Continue reading ‘Raleigh Fire Department History – Charts and Data’ »

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Oldest Rescue Squads in North Carolina

Research notes on the oldest rescue squads in North Carolina. Compiled in September 2022 in this Facebook posting.

Source data in this Google spreadsheet copied from Excel master file.

Name County Status Start Stop
Winston-Salem Rescue Squad, Inc. Alamance former 1937 2014
Davidson County Rescue Squad, Inc. Alamance active 1941 ——
Elkin Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc. Alamance active 1941 ——
Beaufort Rescue Squad (v1) Alexander former 1942 TBD
Gaston Life Saving and First Aid Crew Alexander former 1948 2021
ADR [?] Rescue Squad Alleghany former 1950 1963?
Red Cross Rescue Squad Alleghany former 1950 TBD
Rowan County Rescue Squad, Inc. Anson active 1951 ——
Mooresville Rescue Squad Anson former 1952 2015
Pink Hill Rescue Squad Ashe former 1952 2004
Wake Forest Rescue Squad (v1) Ashe former 1952 late 1950s?
Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc., The Avery former 1953 1960s
Goldsboro Rescue Squad, Inc. / Goldsboro Rescue & EMS Inc. (1989) Avery former 1953 TBD
Mount Holly Lifesaving Crew, Inc. / Mount Holly Life Saving and First Aid Crew, Inc. Avery former 1954 2001
Graham Rescue Unit, Inc. (renamed Alamance Co. Rescue in 1972) Beaufort former 1955 1972
Wilkes Rescue Squad, Inc. Beaufort active 1955 ——
Lovelady Rescue Squad, Inc. Beaufort former 1956 2017
Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad, Inc., The Beaufort active 1956 ——
Pembroke Rescue Squad, Inc. Beaufort active 1956 ——
Robeson County Rescue Squad (renamed Lumberton RS) Beaufort active 1956 ——
Alexander Rescue Squad, Inc. / Alexander Rescue Squad and EMS (1990) Beaufort active 1957 ——
Chatham County Rescue Squad of Siler City, Inc. Beaufort active 1957 ——
Hendersonville VFW Rescue Squad / Hendersonville Rescue Squad, Inc. (renamed Henderson County RS) Bertie former 1957 1972
Johnston County Civil Defense Rescue Squad (renamed Smithfield RS) Bertie former 1957 1981?
Lincoln County Life Saving and First Aid Crew, Inc., The Bertie former 1957 2014
Madison-Rockingham Rescue Squad, Inc. Bertie active 1957 ——
Anson Rescue Squad, Inc. Bertie active 1958 ——
Claremont Rescue Squad, Inc. Bertie active 1958 ——
Kings Mountain Rescue / Kings Mountain Emergency Services, Inc. (1977?) / Kings Mountain Emergency Rescue Services, Inc. (1979) Bladen former 1958 2022
Ahoskie Rescue Squad, Inc. Bladen former 1958 2011, by
Raeford Rescue Squad Bladen former 1958 TBD
Kenly Rescue Squad Bladen former 1958 TBD
Macon Search and Rescue Squadron, Inc. / Macon Search and Rescue Squad, Inc. (1969) Bladen active 1958 ——
Shelby Life Saving and Rescue Unit, Inc. / Shelby Rescue Squad, Inc (1993) Bladen former 1959 2022
Trenton Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc. / Trenton EMS, Inc. (2005) Bladen active 1959 ——
McDowell County Rescue Squad, Inc. / McDowell County Rescue Squad & Ambulance, Inc. (1990) Brunswick active 1959 ——
North Mecklenburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc. Brunswick former 1959 2017
Morehead City Rescue Squad Brunswick former 1960 2000
Grover Rescue Squad, Inc. Brunswick former 1960 2012/13
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North Carolina Firefighter Fatalities During Interior Operations

On March 29, 2024, Lexington Fire Department Captain Ronnie B. Metcalf, 54, died after being injured during an interior fire attack at a house fire on March 26. What’s the historical perspective of other firefighters in North Carolina, who were killed during or from injuries sustained during interior operations? That list includes the following:

Theodore W. Stoner
High Point

Captain Stoner died of burn injuries received while fighting a fire at Pickett Cotton Mill on the night of July 17, 1925. Stone had led several firefighters into a pit to extinguish a small fire in a bale of cotton. The fire spread suddenly and the cotton became “a mass of flames.” The other firefighters escaped without injuries, but Stoner was badly burned before being rescued. He suffered burns about the face and body, and died at High Point Hospital four days later. On the day of the fire, Stoner had just returned from the state firemen’s convention in Asheville, arriving about 8:00 p.m. He had been home for less than an hour when the fire bell sounded. Stoner was a volunteer member who was employed as a wholesale grocery salesman. 

Sources: Hickory Daily Record, 7/18/25; High Point Enterprise, 7/22/25, 7/23/25; Charlotte Observer, 7/22/25; Raleigh News and Observer, 7/19/25, 7/23/25

Gilbert W. Kimball

Lieutenant Kimball died of injuries sustained in a roof collapse on the night of February 10, 1934, while fighting a fire in the garage and servants quarters at a home on Country Club and Bitting roads, at the residence of former state Senator W. M. Hendren. While inside the structure, Company 6 members Kimball and firefighter Franklin Griffith became trapped after the heavy rafters of the roof collapsed. Both were rescued. Griffith suffered injuries to his back and hips. Kimball died the following day at North Carolina Baptist Hospital. The cause of death was recorded as pneumonia following internal injuries. Kimball had been a member of WSFD for 12 years.

Sources: COD, Greensboro Daily News, 2/13/34; Winston-Salem Journal, 2/9/34, 2/13/34, 2/14/34

Floyd A. Jackson Jr.
Hendersonville Continue reading ‘North Carolina Firefighter Fatalities During Interior Operations’ »

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – April 11, 2024

The Wake County Fire Commission meets again on Thursday, April 11, 2024, 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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Wake County Apparatus Snapshot

For truck fans and list lovers, reader Nicholas Jones has created and compiled a list of all fire apparatus serving in Wake County, NC. 

The document includes department and even company patches, vehicle photos with credits, and specs for most of the rigs. 

View the Google document.

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North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Ceremony – May 11, 2024

On Saturday, May 11, 2023, the following names will be added to the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the annual ceremony in downtown Raleigh. See below for narratives and notes, about each member and how they died.  

  • Ricky Dale Allen – Conover – 2023
  • Minton Beach, III – Oak City – 2023
  • Dewayne Fender – Asheville – 2022
  • James William Goudelock – Dallas – 2022
  • Scott W. Hinson – Concord – 2021
  • David Scott Holmes – LaGrange – 2022
  • Jeremy Michael Klemm – Durham – 2021
  • David S. Merritt – Durham/White Cross – 2021
  • J. Sorrell Thomas – Concord – 2021
Narratives and Notes
Name Age Department Date Notes
Scott W. Hinson 52 Concord 06/03/2021

Senior Firefighter Hinson died after an eight-year battle with cancer, and six years after retiring in 2015 due to his illness. He was a 27-year veteran of the fire service and a member of Concord FD since 1989. Read his NFFF memorial page.

Jeremy Michael Klemm 45 Durham 09/18/2021 Driver/Engineer Klemm died after contracting COVID on August 17, 2021. He had served 15 years with Durham FD at the time of his death. Read his NFFF memorial page.
J. Sorrell Thomas 67 Concord 12/08/2021 Senior Firefighter Thomas died after diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2019. He had served 20 years as a member of Concord FD before retiring in 2016. Read his NFFF page.
David Scott Merritt 54 Durham / White Cross 12/26/2021 Assistant Fire Marshal Merritt died after a short battle with intestinal cancer. He had been a member of Durham FD since 2014 and retired posthumously on January 1, 2022. He was also a member of White Cross FD. 
Eddie Dewayne Fender 57 Asheville 01/08/2022 Fire Investigator Fender died after 13-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He had served Asheville FD for 28 years. Read his NFFF memorial page.
David “Pumper” Scott Holmes 51 LaGrange (Lenoir County) 02/28/2022 Captain and retired Fire Chief Holmes died after suffering a heart attack while operating an engine at a fire on February 20. He had served LaGrange FD for over 20 years, including ten years as Chief of Department. He also served on the town council for twelve years and was the mayor pro tempore. Read his NFFF memorial page.
James William Goudelock 39 Dallas 07/23/2022 Captain Goudelock died of cancer, two and a half years after diagnosis. He was a 24 year veteran of the volunteer fire service and worked as a tow truck operator, and received the national Order of the Towman in 2021. Read his NFFF memorial page.
Minton “Butch” Beach III 68 Oak City (Martin County) 03/22/2023 Fire Chief Beach died at the hospital of a heart attack, after feeling unwell and going home from training at the fire station on March 13. He had been a volunteer member for 49 years, and had worked for Edgecombe for 19 years, as Director of Emergency Services and as a county Building Inspector. 
Ricky Dale Allen 36 Conover 03/04/2023 Engineer Allen died after fighting cancer for over two years. He was a 19 year veteran of Conover FD, which he joined after two years as a junior firefighter. He also served with Taylorsville FD for the last year of his life. Read his NFFF memorial page.




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Wilmington’s Foam Trailers

Did you know that the Wilmington Fire Department has a foam task force, for use at the fuel tank farms at the Port of Wilmington? The assets are:

  • Trailer-mounted 5000 GPM pump
  • 2 foam trailers, with two mounted and one portable monitors, with 900 gallons of foam concentrate in totes
  • 1 hose trailer with six-inch supply hose
  • 2 Ford F-550 trucks for equipment and towing
  • 1 dump truck to pull the pump trailer and carry spare foam totes. Previously served Parks and Recreation.

The foam trailers and pumper trailer were built by Combat Support System. They were delivered in 2015. View this PDF fact sheet about the system.  

Sharon Chase photo, via Wilmington Fire Dept history group on Facebook, posted March 2024.

Mike Legeros photo, May 2020

Mike Legeros photo, May 2020

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Morrisville Moving Away From Quints

Morrisville is moving away from quints. Watch this presentation by Fire Chief Nathan Lozinksy to town council, about MFD evaluating changing from their current “quint concept” (adopted in 2010) to a traditional engine/ladder deployment. Or view his slides (PDF).

As he explains, the concept worked better when it was implemented. But today, the department has newer challenges and a greater pool of nearby resources, due to their participation in the CAM (Cary-Apex-Morrisville) system. Next steps, developing a new deployment model and presenting to council in a later month. 

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Dare County Fire Departments – Past and Present

Research notes on the histories of fire departments and fire stations in Dare County, North Carolina. Last updated March 31, 2024. 

Former fire stations. Left to right, top to bottom: Manteo, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores (demolished), Southern Shores (demolished), Avon, Buxton, Salvo (Demolished). 

Fire Department Histories

See these research notes (PDF) for extensive information.

Fire Stations – Visual History

View as JPG | View as PDF

Fire Stations – Research Notes

Continue reading ‘Dare County Fire Departments – Past and Present’ »

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Two Alarms on Karns Place

See photos by Legeros | Listen to radio traffic

Two alarms were struck on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at a residential structure fire in the 2100 block of Karns Place in very north Raleigh. Dispatched 3:02 a.m. Upgraded to working fire while units were en route, due to callers reporting that the entire structure was involved, and that fire had spread to the house next door.

Wake Forest Engine 5, dispatched as auto-aid, was first-arriving. They reported two houses on fire, and with the primary fire building heavily involved. Both were two-story, single-family dwellings, built the early 2000s. Raleigh Engine 25 was right behind them. There was a hydrant located in front of Engine 5.

Mike Legeros photos

Crews made an interior attack to start. Within five minutes of arrival, a second alarm was requested. Staging was designed at Hopeson and Falls River Avenue. Defensive operations on the primary fire building started about 20 minutes after arrival. Evacuation tones were sounded and crews were withdrawn. 

In addition to the second alarm companies, Engine 15 and Rescue 16 were added to the call, clearing a overturned tractor-trailer truck with a fuel leak on I-540 at Six Forks Road, that occurred just before this fire. Engine 22 and Ladder 22 were on that call, and would have otherwise been first-due to the fire.

Three aerials were deployed (L15 and L4 in front, L23 in rear), two flowed during suppression (L15, L4) and the third (L23) flowed during overhaul. At least one ground monitor was used in the rear of the structure. Three hydrants supplied water, including one with a supply line brought by Engine 9 to Ladder 23. The fire was controlled at 4:29 a.m. There were no reported injuries. 

The primary fire building at 2108 Karns Place was a two-story, single-family dwelling with 2,303 square-feet. Built 2005.

The involved exposure at 2104 Karns Place was a two-story, single-family dwelling with 2,072 square-feet. Built 2003.

There were three occupants in each structure, both families were displaced. 

WRAL image

Run Card

From radio traffic:

0301 – E25 E4 E19 E18 L15 L4 Sq7 (rescue resource) B4 B5 ISO14 + EMS44
0301 – WFFD E5
0308 – EMS__ EMS41 EMS51
0308 – A28 B3 DC1 INV1 (working fire)
0313 – E28 E23 E9 L23 L6 (second alarm)
0314 – E22 (clearing I-540, added to call, but didn’t report to scene)
0315 – R16 (clearing I-540)
0318 – E15 (clearing I-540)
0323 – L14 to 15
0324 – E17 to 25
0350 – EMS42
0408 – L14 to 4
0409 – E27 to 19

Plus: B1, Asst. Chief of Training

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