Raleigh Fire Facility Updates – Summer 2019

What’s happening with the city’s fire department construction projects? Here’s your summer update… 

Station 6  – Construction continues on rebuilding Station 6 on Fairview Road. Concrete masonry unit walls are finished on the first story, and construction continues upward with the second-floor slab placed. Planned completion January 2020.

The 1949 engine house was closed in May 2017, and Engine 6 was relocated to Station 5. Project progress has been slower in all phases, alas. During site prep, there was fuel contamination from an underground storage tank, as well as unsuitable soils for compaction and structure.

And as the walls have started going up, the pace is slower due to the very small site size, which adds a limit to on-site materials and activities at any time. See photos | read blog post

Station 11 – Renovations to Station 11 on Glen Eden Road are well-underway. Ladder 2 relocated to Station 25 on October 27, and Station 11 was vacated on December 5, when Engine 7 relocated to Station 7.

Renovations started in February, after demolition of the apparatus bay. The new, expanded bay structure has been completed, and interior work has started. Planned completion November 2019. See photos | read blog post.

Station 14 – Site work is nearly finished on new Station 14 on Harden Road. Sediment monitoring is nearing completion for the back fill of the retaining wall and footers and under-slab utilities should begin in July 2019.

Nearly identical to newly completed Station 12, it will replace a 3616 square-foot, 1974 engine house on Lake Boone Trail, with a 17,000 square-foot facility. See photos | read blog post.

Station 22 – The relocation of Station 22 on Durant Road is underway. Engine 22 and Ladder 5 were relocated to temporary quarters on February 5, 2019, at the Falls of Neuse water plant and Station 25 respectively. Haz-Mat 4, the decon unit, was also moved to Station 25.

 Demolition of the vacated fire station was done in March and April. The new station will be erected at 10050 Durant Road.  

Currently in design and plan review, facility is estimated to begin construction in the spring of 2020. The design team has to submit documents to the Board of Adjustment in August 2019 for final determination on multiple requested variances. See photos | read blog post.

Other updates:

New Station 1/HQ – Still planned for South Street between Dawson and McDowell street. The planned site is currently used as a vendor lot for the convention center. The city is in the process of purchasing nearby land as a replacement site for the vendor lot. Design of the new facility will commence in the fall of 2019, upon the closing of the South Street site.  

Renovating Station 15 – Design development complete and renovation construction documents being prepared for potential bid in the fall of 2019.  Targeting construction to begin upon the completion of Station 11 renovations, and moving Engine 11 and Ladder 2 (at Station 15) back to their quarters. This is the latest in a multi-year project to update legacy fire stations, after Station 5 and Station 2. 

New Training Center, Phase 1 – Land acquisition and preliminary services have been funded for FY20.  That’s the first part of the Phase 1 development, which is funded in FY20 and beyond. Planned site in the Battle Bridge Road area.     

Plans for relocating Station 3 (Rock Quarry Road) and new Station 13 (Ronald Drive) have been pushed out. They’ll be funded in a future coming budget year.   

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Seagrave Painter’s Log – 1906 to 1951

https://www.legeros.com/history/library/_apparatus-records/

Added my digital history library. Have had for a couple years. Bought on eBay. List originally saved by Eric A. Sprenger (“Mr. Seagrave”), then shared by Ken Soderbeck. Original date unknown.

Scan of second-generation (or more) photocopy. Close as we’ll get to a Seagrave delivery list, I guess.

How many were delivered to North Carolina? See this blog post, from 2016: https://legeros.com/blog/seagrave-deliveries-in-north-carolina-1906-to-1951.

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New Bern Firefighter Dies From Injuries After Apparatus Accident – 1963

Found another firefighter fatality of yore, from an account in Daniel Bartholf’s new book “History of Firefighter in New Bern, North Carolina.” Here’s the story, from the book and newspaper accounts, copied from the state library in downtown Raleigh.

On February 26, 1951, a New Bern Fire Department engine overturned while en route to a grass. The driver, Robert Glenn Broadstreet Jr., was pinned beneath the truck. “Observers in the vicinity,” reported newspaper accounts, rushed to the scene, rescued the driver, and took him and the other firemen to the hospital.

Broadstreet was conscious and “apparently suffering no ill effects other than cuts” when he arrived at Craven County Hospital. During the night, however, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and entered a coma.

Three volunteer firemen were also aboard, and all suffered injuries and were also taken to the hospital: A. A. Kafer, with a fractured elbow and broken ankle; Clyde Smith, with shock; and Tim Connor, with no serious injury.

On Saturday, March 3, he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. The operation was performed by a neurosurgeon who flew in from Winston-Salem. The three-hour operation was “regarded a success.”

Broadstreet was a new driver, who had started on February 15, noted the news story. This was his “fourth run.” The apparatus, described as “the old International,” responded from a fire at Askew Cleaners. It overturned while making the turn from Highway 17 onto Chattawka Lane, the reported location of the grass fire.

Broadstreet died from his injuries twelve years later, on January 5, 1963. He was 35 years old. He died at Craven County Hospital. Noted his obituary, he had “been ailing” from the 1951 accident. He was buried at New Bern Memorial Cemetery on Sunday, January 6, following funeral services at Pollock Chapel.

His death certificate lists “convolution” due to “severe brain injury” years ago as the cause.

The “old International” had its equipment all removed and was “carried to the city yard.” Except… NBFD didn’t have an International pumper on the roster! Mystery there, for someone to solve…

Supporting docs are below. Click to enlarge:


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New Book on New Bern Fire History

New book alert!

History of Firefighting in New Bern, North Carolina – Colonial Days to the 21st Century has been published. The author is Daniel Bartholf, a 45-year veteran of the volunteer fire service (NY, NC, WV) and a member of the staff at the New Bern Firemen’s Museum. His bio is below.

The softcover book measures 8.5 by 11 inches and has 234  pages. There are some 200+ images (by my count), and numerous, glorious pictures of NBFD in the days before motor apparatus. The book is self-published.

Paging Through

Here’s a video preview of the book, paging backwards through the chapters:

Table of Contents

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Colonial Times Thru 1861
  • Chapter 2 – Civil War Years
  • Chapter 3 – Post Civil War to 1900
  • Chapter 4 – Black Fire Companies
  • Chapter 5 – Other Independent Fire Companies
  • Chapter 6 – Notable Chief Engineers of the 19 th Century
  • Chapter 7 – Early 1900s
  • Chapter 8 – The Great Fire December 1, 1922
  • Chapter 9 – 1923-1959
  • Chapter 10 – 1960-1999
  • Chapter 11 – 2000-Present
  • Chapter 12 – Competition 1880s-early 20 th Century
  • Chapter 13 – The Horses
  • Chapter 14 – The Mystery of the Missing Fire Truck
  • Chapter 15 – New Bern Firemen’s Museum
  • Appendix A – History of New Bern fire companies
  • Appendix B – Chief Engineers of New Bern Fire Dept. 1800s
  • Appendix C – Chiefs of New Bern Fire Dept 1900-Present
  • Appendic D – A Snapshot in Time of the Department
  • Appendix E – 1875 New Bern Steam Engine
  • Appendix F – Roster of 1828 Fire Companies
  • Appendix G – Fire Stations
  • Appendix H – Fire Apparatus
  • Appendix I – Notification of Fire

Ordering Information

The book is sold on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for starters. The retail price is $29.99. Copies can be obtained from the author himself. Contact wxman232@yahoo.com. 

Bartholf will also be attending the fire truck festival at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC, on Saturday, June 22. He’ll have a table in the Back Shop.

About The Author

Daniel Bartholf is a 45-year veteran of the volunteer fire service, serving mainly in several departments in New York state, but also in North Carolina and West Virginia. He has held positions of Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain and Lieutenant, and was certified as a Level II Firefighter.

In addition, he was certified as a Hazmat Technician, was a member of the Onondaga County (Syracuse) Underwater Recovery Team (SCUBA), and wrote articles for Fire Chief, Firehouse, and Engine Engine! (official publication of SPAAMFAA) magazines.

He was employed as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service for 35 years and served in offices in Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Newport (NC), and Charleston (WV).

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Emergency Management from Jacksonville (FL) State University.

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Wake Forest Engine Returns Home

Antique acquisition alert! 

The Wake Forest Fire Department has re-acquired their old 1947 Chevrolet 6000/Southern pumper[1].  It was delivered in 1948, and replaced a 1934 Chevrolet pumper, which was given to the town’s second fire department, Wake Forest Fire Department #2.

They were an all-black department, that operated separately from WFFD. And were one of the few all-black fire departments in our state, in modern times.[2] 

See pics of this truck, plus a couple historical images, at https://www.flickr.com/photos/legeros/albums/72157709108683743

Moved in 1953

In 1953, the town received another Chevrolet pumper with front-mounted pump, that one a 1951 model year and built by American, according to Legeros.[3]

Upon the 1953 delivery of the 1951 pumper, the 1947 pumper was moved to Wake Forest Fire Department #2. And their 1934 pumper was sold to the town of Sanford, and eventually ended up in a small town near Spartanburg, SC. 

And was still in service in South Carolina of February 1972, records Legeros at https://legeros.com/ralwake/wake/history/wake-forest.shtml

Photo courtesy Wake Forest Birthplace Society

Then What Happened?

How long did Wake Forest Fire Department#2 operate their 1947 pumper? Good question! Based on these later photos, WFFD #2 also operated the 1951 Chevy pumper, which also had a front-mounted pump.

The picture on the right is dated January 1977. By that time, the Wake Forest Fire Department had upgraded their pumpers a couple times. Most likely, the 1951 Chevy pumper was transferred to WFFD #2. Did they keep the 1947 Chevy pumper on the roster? Good question.

Wake Weekly photographs

The department disbanded in 1982, with its few remaining members merging with WFFD. The 1947 Chevy pumper eventually ended in the hands of a private owner, in Broadway, NC. It returned home this month.

Recall that Wake Forest Fire Department recently acquired another earlier engine, the original rural fire truck. That 1942 Chevrolet with a home-built body was returned in 2016. It’s presently undergoing a restoration. See pics of that truck at https://www.flickr.com/photos/legeros/sets/72157673628037806.

About Southern

Southern Fire Apparatus was located in Roanoke, VA, and operated by fire equipment dealer Charles E. Baker, who built a number of motor apparatus in the 1930s and 1940s, notes Walter M. P. McCall in his book “Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Fire Engine Manufacturers.”

[1] Legeros previously recorded the builder as American Fire Apparatus, with a 500 GPM pump by Barton, and a 500 gallon tank. That information is incorrect. The truck has a name plate from “Southern by Chas. E. Baker – Roanoke, VA” which includes the serial number “583”. 

[2] Other all-black fire departments in modern times included Warrenton FD and Soul City FD. There were also many black fire companies back in the day, both in big cities in the 1950s and 1960s, and across the state in the early 1900s and mid- and late 1800s. Learn more on this page of Early Black Firefighter history: https://legeros.com/history/ebf 

[3] Okay, Legeros was wrong about the builder of the 1947 Chevy. Is he also wrong about the builder of the 1951 Chevy? Good question. He hasn’t dug into his source records (yet) to check. Southern Fire Apparatus, noted above, operated only through the 1940s, says Mr. McCall. And American Fire Apparatus did build a couple other trucks for departments in Wake County, including Rolesville FD and Six Forks FD. 

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New Source of Digitized Conference Proceedings

There’s a new source of digitized proceedings of the early conferences of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association.

The Internet Archive (archive.org) has digitized a portion of the proceedings in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina. The direct links are listed below, and each year’s proceedings is fully-searchable. There are also a range of download formats.

Completed:

Pending:

  • 1929 to 1934 – 42nd to 47th
  • 1956 and 1957 – 69th and 70th

The proceedings are available at archive.org. Search on “firemen’s convention” [with apostrophe].

Legeros has also created digital versions of the 1896 to 1903 proceedings, using a book scanning camera at Wilson Library at UNC. They’re a little rougher.

He’s combined the Internet Archive versions with his versions, and merged everything together. Those and other digital NCSFA (and NCVFA) proceedings are available at www.legeros.com/history/fa/proceedings.

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Handbook of Civilian Defense – 1942

New addition to the Legeros history library, the Handbook of Civilian Defense – What every loyal American can do to help the United States win the war. By Lt. Robert H. Rankin, St. John’s Military Academy and published 1942.

https://legeros.com/history/library/_civil-defense

Scanned from copy in personal collection. Wee hardcover with 95 pages. Includes such “keys to defense” as

  • Defense work for men and women
  • Defense at home
  • Air raid protection
  • Wartime first aid
  • Wartime and defense information.

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Plane Strikes Fire Truck While Taking Off – Charlotte, 1977

Here’s an usual apparatus accident, reported by the Charlotte Observer on Saturday, April 9, 1977.

Douglas Municipal Airport on Friday night, April 8. Piece of fire apparatus with three aboard. They were returning to the station, after doing some pre-planning of a DC-10 that had made a rare landing at the airport.

The FFs radioed the tower for routine clearance to cross the runway and thought they had received an okay.

While crossing the runway the rig was struck by a Piper Seneca that was taking off. The collision ripped away “part of one landing gear.”

Pilot Russell George Ashbaugh, 28, was flying for Corporation Jet Aviaition in Atlanta, and making a “regular trip” from Charlotte to “ferry checks for Purola Courier Corp”.

He opted to return to the field for an emergency landing, when he was unable to “crank the other landing gear and nose wheel up.”

He circled the field for over an hour, to “burn off surplus fuel.” After the runway was foamed, he made a “low sweep over the field” at 10:15 p.m.

However, he couldn’t see the foam, and asked for the fire and rescue equipment to park on either side of the runway, where the foam started.

After another practice pass, he landed the plane, at about 100 mph.

He held the plane straight “until the last moment”, when it “veered to the left as it slid to the stop.” The craft was heavily damaged and had to be moved by a wrecker.

Interviewed by an FAA investigator, the pilot told him: “The truck crossed in front of me on take-off” and “I clipped the top of it.”

The apparatus, which wasn’t identified in the story, received only minor damage. No injuries to the firefighters.

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Running Across America for Firefighter Cancer

Meet Matty Gregg, pictured below (center left) at Raleigh Fire Station 2 yesterday. He’s running across America for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

For seven months and nearly 4,500 miles, he’s been spreading the word about firefighter cancer and the national support group. 

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network is active in 35 states and growing. They work on a number of fronts: investing in research and development, teaching firefighters how to reduce cancer risks, and running a mentor program that pairs their own member-survivors with newly diagnosed firefighters.

Gregg, 40, is a former Senior Engineer from Apple in Cupertino, CA. He’d been planning  this run for two-years. His first mile was around the track at Apple HQ. He turned in his keys, and kept going.

He’s wanted to run cross-country since he was seven. And he’s taking a more circuitous route, than the standard San Francisco > New York path. His route has zigged and zagged, so he can experience more cities and communities along the way. 

Pictured above right is Pheobe Brimer, the latest and longest-serving of his support team. She drives the RV along their route, one of two vehicles. In a rear compartment (pictured below) are some of the 29 pairs of running shoes he’s gone through. So far.

Since you asked, he’s averaged 26 to 27 miles per day. (That’s five hours of motion, not counting a lunch break.) His max? 38 miles, somewhere in the Arizona desert. He’s also been solo for a few stretches, for a few days.

He drove two vehicles using a tow bar: leaving one at the finish, then driving back to the start, they driving from the finish back to the start, then towing the second vehicle to the next leg.

Shown is a flag of the Firefighters Cancer Support Network that’s getting signed by firefighters along the way. Here’s an action shot of Engine 2 on “A” platoon, doing their part.  

Meet Keith Kirton

Raleigh Fire Department Senior Firefighter Keith Kirton (above right) is the organization’s director in North Carolina. And a cancer survivor. He survived kidney cancer in 2014-15 and is now a mentor for those diagnosed with kidney cancer.

He became a representative with Firefighter Cancer Support Network in June 2015. They helped him and his family when he was diagnosed with cancer. 

“The risk of cancer in firefighters is 250 percent greater than people not in our line of work,” he notes.

“Researchers found that more than two-thirds of firefighters, 68 percent, develop cancer, compared to about 22 percent for the general population.”

He adds that the biggest thing that’s grabbed his attention—and everyone he’s spoken with—are the risks for male firefighters, who have 2.02 times the risk for testicular cancer, and 1.28 times the risk for prostate cancer, and that’s even higher in black male firefighters.

“You can find all the information you need on our web site,” he says. “You can also call the national office and request a class be taught at your fire or EMS department free of charge.”

Heading North

Where’s Matty headed next?

He’s going north, and will be running from Raleigh to Wake Forest to Henderson to Petersburg to Richmond.

Firefighters have a higher risk for cancer, and Matty Gregg wants the world to hear that, and support the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

To donate to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, visit https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1633587

To learn more about the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, visit https://firefightercancersupport.org 

To learn more about Matty, visit http://www.mattygregg.com/

And here’s a news story from March, about Matty. 

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Run Card for New Hope Woods Fire

Here’s the run card for New Hope Fire Department’s major woods fire last week, on Wednesday, May 29.

Some 50 acres were involved, and threatened some residential structures. The resources included 60 firefighters, 34+ pieces of apparatus, and a complete EMS box alarm with 16+ EMS personnel. 

The first units were dispatched at 5:02 p.m., with a fast-moving outside fire found in the area of an electric power transmission line easement, between Mitchell Mill and Old Milburnie roads. 

Command was located the Old Milburnie side, with New Hope Car 1 as Incident Commander, Rolesville Car 2 as Accountability, and Eastern Wake EMS District 6 as Medical Branch command.

Rolesville 203 was Operations Command, near the center of the fire. Wake Forest Car 6 and Battalion 3 were Aviation Branch, providing drone support starting about 60-70 minutes into the incident. 

Within 90 minutes into the incident, staging was moved to nearby New Hope Station 2. Medical monitoring and rehab was also established at that location. The New Hope FD Ladies Auxiliary also provided food and drinks to the weary firefighters. 

See photos from Legeros, of the support operations at the fire. He arrived about 45 minutes the incident started.

Run Card

New Hope FD
Engine 4 – Structural protection in Greenbrook subdivision
Engine 1 – Moved to Station 2, for staging/coverage
Tanker 9
Brush 7
ATV 31
Car 20 – Personnel transport
Car 1 – Incident commander 

Eastern Wake FD
Brush 6
Brush 7
ATV 

Hopkins FD
Tanker 227 – Water supply, Mitchel Mill side

Raleigh FD
Engine 28
Engine 22 – Staging/coverage
Mini 2
Mini 3

Rolesville FD
Engine 151
Pumper 152 – Water supply/Mitchell Mill
Tanker 157 – Water supply/Mitchell Mill
Brush 154
Brush 159
ATV 15
Car 2 – Accountability
203 – Operations Command

Wendell FD
Engine 115 – Staging/coverage
Tanker 117 – Water supply, Old Milburnie Road
Brush 115 – Staging/coverage

Wake Forest
Engine 1 – Staging, coverage
Tanker 2 – Water supply, Mitchell Mill Road
Brush 2
Battalion 3 – Aviation Branch (drone)
Car 6 – Aviation Branch (drone)

Zebulon FD
Tanker 98 – Water Supply, Mitchell Mill Road
Brush 99 – Staging

North Carolina Forestry
1190
1191
1195
11×95 (plow)

Wake County EMS + Eastern Wake EMS
EMS 10
EMS 16
EMS 38
EMS 61
EMS 66
EMS 67
EMS 68
Medic 92 – Rehab Group Supervisor, at NHFD Station 2
District 3 – Northside Medical Group Supervisor
District 9 – Medical Branch Director, with command
Chief 102 – Checked in with command
Logistics – Staging/rehab
Truck 1 – Staging/rehab

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