Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue Merges with Town of Knightdale

This posting will be updated as more information is provided about the operations of the newly expanded Knightdale Fire Department.

July 8
Here’s the post-merger list of units and their locations:

Engines / Squads

  • E131 – Clifton Street (Sta 1) – 2007 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker, 1250/1000 – Ex-EWFD
  • E132 – Steeple Square (Sta 2) – 2017 Spartan/Customer rescue pumper, 1250/750
  • E133 – Hester Street (Sta 3) – 2018 Rosenbauer Commander rescue pumper, 1500/1000 – Ex-EWFD
  • E134 – Robertson Street (Public Works) – 2007 Pierce Contender pumper, 1250/750, reserve – Unstaffed auxiliary unit, can be in service with 15 minute delay. 
  • E801 – Reserve Engine/Squad – 2008 Pierce Saber rescue pumper, 1500/750
  • Parade – 1975 Mack CF pumper, 900/500, ex-Raleigh, former reserve, future parade piece


  • R13 (Clifton) – 2008 Spartan Metro Star/Hackney walk-around rescu – Ex-EWFD


  • Tanker 1 (Hester) – 2005 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker, 1250/1000 – Ex-EWFD
  • Tanker 3 (Clifton) – 2005 International/KME tanker, 500/1800 – Ex-EWFD

Brush Trucks

  • Brush 1 (Hester) – 2019 Ford F-350/CET, 70?/300 – Ex-EWFD
  • Brush 3 (Clifton) – 2005 Ford F-550/Knapheide/EAI brush truck, 300 gallons – Ex-EWFD

Battalion Chief

  • Battalion 1 – Pending, will be at Station 2 (Steeple Square)

June 29
Effective July 1, 2020, Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue Inc. merged with the town of Knightdale and it’s fire department. Here’s some information about the two departments, their compositions, and their histories. 


  • Radio Announcement 
  • Department Snapshots
  • Maps
  • Photos
  • Visual History
  • Hester Street Station, Annotated
  • Historical Perspectives

Radio Announcement 

Department Snapshots

Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue

Organized 1954 as Knightdale Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. Renamed 2003 as Eastern-Wake Fire Rescue, Inc. Two stations, three engine, one rescue, one tanker, two brush trucks, technical rescue trailer, two boat trailers, first responder SUV

Continue reading ‘Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue Merges with Town of Knightdale’ »

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Two Alarms on Winding Waters Way

Two alarms were struck on Saturday evening, July 6, 2020, at 3134 Winding Waters Way in very north Raleigh. Dispatched at 6:28 p.m. Engine 25 arriving at a three-story, wood-frame, townhouse unit with 1,908 square-feet. Built 2003, say tax records. Reported as gas grill on back deck that had caught the structure on fire.

Engine 25 found fire showing from attic, from the front of the structure. Interior attack was started. Second alarm was requested for manpower, as attic conditions worsened. Ladder 5 was positioned for aerial ops, but the fire was contained by the interior crews.

Three lines [correct?] used: two inside and one exterior to the rear. Second alarm dispatched 6:21 p.m. Controlled 6:50 p.m. Cause determined as accidental. First photo at 7:04 p.m. Units included E25, E22, E15, E4, L5, L1, R1, B1, B4, C20, C402, A2, second alarm: E18, E28, E19, L9, plus EMS 39, EMS 42, EMS 38, D4.

See photos by Legeros at https://legeros.smugmug.com/Fire-Photos/2020/2020-07-04-rfd-winding-waters-way

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Cancelled Due to War Conditions – NCSFA Conference History

Three times before this year the North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association has cancelled their annual convention. Twice due to “war conditions” in 1943 and 1945, and again in 1946, due to restrictions on the availability of meeting places. The government had a very short list of approved groups for convention gatherings.

The Association printed and distributed annual reports in the booklet styles of the conference proceeding. They’re slim volumes but still interesting reading. New digitized versions have been added to https://legeros.com/history/ncsfa/proceedings/

Notably compelling are the Statistician reports from Albert Brinson from New Bern, who served for twenty-year years in that role. And if Brinson’s name looks familiar, that’s because he’s also the uncle of NCSFA Deputy Director and former Fire Chief Ed Brinson. (Hey Ed!)

Here’s a longer blog post about the cancellations, as well as tournament cancellations during World War I. Plus the one time the convention was bumped a month due to a polio outbreak. That was in 1944 in Charlotte. There’s also a digital version of the 1944 proceedings in the above library.

Read blog post: https://legeros.com/blog/ncsfa-cancellations

Here’s the short version of all NCSFA conference and tournament cancellations to date:

2020 – Conference cancelled (pandemic)
1946 – Conference cancelled (war)
1945 – Conference cancelled (war)
1944 – Conference postponed one month (polio)
1943 – Conference cancelled (war)
1919 – Tournament cancelled (war)
1918 – Tournament cancelled (war)
1917 – Tournament cancelled (war)
1893 – Tournament cancelled (funding)


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Raleigh’s Mobile Life Safety System Lab

See more photos at https://legeros.smugmug.com/Fire-Photos/2020/2020-06-rfd-sprinkler-trailer


Let’s take a look inside the Raleigh Fire Department’s new Mobile Life Safety Systems Simulator Lab. It was developed by the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) as a portable teaching tool for firefighters, fire inspectors, and business owners to learn about the inner workings of fire alarm, fire sprinkler, and standpipe systems.

Providing a wider learning experience than is normally available outside those industries–through in-depth, hands-on learning–the training tool will help reduce the city’s most common code violation in commercial structures: insufficient maintenance of fire protection systems. The simulator helps students learn how the systems operate and to how to perform basic troubleshooting as well as routine maintenance operations. 

The simulator is equipped with two types of fire alarm systems, four different types of sprinkler systems, a fire pump, and a typical standpipe system. These are the most common types of fire protection systems found in most commercial structures and larger residential multi-family dwellings across the city, the state, and the nation.

Except for fire pump, these simulated systems are fully functional and students can practice the same scenarios encountered in an emergency, but without the danger and stress of an actual event. They can open and close valves, operate control panels, and observe the systems working together.


Inside the handsomely wrapped trailer are fully-functional fire-alarm control panels, a horn/strobe notification device, and a manual pull station. There are also smoke and heat detectors to mimic what happens when the system detects a fire, either through actuation or system malfunction. Carefully crafted training scenarios are based on situations encountered in the field and allow students to perform actions at the fire alarm control panel to successfully mitigate a system activation.

The sprinkler systems in this trailer consist of one wet commercial sprinkler riser, one wet 13R residential riser, one pre-action riser, and one dry sprinkler riser. The most common system seen in the field is the wet-pipe sprinkler riser, but there are other types of sprinkler systems and this training prepare firefighters for scenarios involving those systems.

Dry-pipe systems are used in places where cold temperatures can cause water within the piping to freeze. In these systems, the pipes are filled with pressurized air instead of water until a fire is detected. In addition to an accelerator, the simulator contains a newer style of dry-pipe sprinkler riser with an external reset feature. These features allow students to actually trip the valve, watch water move through the system, then reset the valve.

Although pre-action sprinkler systems are rare–they’re used mostly in computer rooms to reduce the chance of an accidental water discharge–there are dozens of them in use across the city. Thus firefighters must also learn to recognize and operate them. Like the others systems, the pre-action sprinkler in the simulator allows to students to manipulate the controls and study the effects without the danger and costs of controlling a live system.


The simulator was placed in service in January 2020. It is presently housed at Station 12 on Poole Road, with plans to move it to the training center at a later date. It’s towed using one of the pick-up trucks assigned to OFM. The division plans to obtain a dedicated towing vehicle for the simulator and other OFM trailers.

Although based at the Raleigh Fire Department and with its initial mission to better train the city’s firefighters, the simulator is available throughout the region for qualified training events, and has the potential to provide valuable training for individuals from across the state.


The Mobile Life Safety System Simulator Lab was the idea of Asst. Fire Marshal Brandon McGhee, but quickly turned into a combined effort between the Office of the Fire Marshal and Clayton-based J&D Sprinkler Company. The project took about 18 months to develop from start to finish.

McGhee says “We took the idea to J&D sprinkler who turned the idea on paper, into CAD drawings of the simulator lab. Once the design was finalized they reached out to many different vendors that they work with who in turn donated various pieces for the different sprinkler systems. Once they received all the pieces J&D fabricated and assembled the sprinkler portions for us.”

He adds, “While the sprinkler system was being built at J&D, other vendors were also interested in donating materials for the build. We were extremely fortunate in that donations funded most of the trailer, leaving OFM with only the wiring of fire alarms, lights, and other components to complete the project.”

The construction participants were McGhee as Project Leader, designer Jason Graham (J&D Sprinkler), Asst. Fire Marshal Robert Maddry, and Deputy Fire Marshals Kevin Bailey and Lee Lovic, and who also assist with teaching. The primary instructors for the simulator are Deputy Fire Marshals Andy Culbreth, Chris Laxton, Kelvin Whitehead, and Jason Boggs.

The Raleigh Fire Department Office of the Fire Marshal extends their sincere gratitude to all who contributed to making this project possible and they hope to make all their communities safer through its use.

See more photos at https://legeros.smugmug.com/Fire-Photos/2020/2020-06-rfd-sprinkler-trailer

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Early Knightdale Tankers

This posting originated on Facebook and the content was moved to the blog on June 24.

Let’s see if we can make some sense of Knightdale’s early tankers. Here’s what’s found in the old meeting minutes, plus a couple other sources:

Unknown year, International, 1200 gallons
Served 1957 to 1971

1956, Aug 02 – Ask Congressman for assistance in “getting surplus fire trucks”.
1957, Jan 03 – “International tank truck discussed and mounting pump therein.” Military surplus? Seems likely.
1957, Feb 07 – “Work on International truck discussed.”
1957, Mar 21 – Work session on truck.
1957, Apr 25 – “Red turn signals and blinker lights have been installed on International tank truck and it is filled with water and ready to go.”
1971, Jan 7 – Tanker needs repairs. Members vote to purchase replacement chassis and remount tank.
1971, Jan 21 – Replacement tanker chassis has been purchased, ready for tank remount.

1955 Reo/KFD, 1800 gallons
Served 1965 to 1975

1964, Mar 19 – Discussed need for another tank truck. G. E. Robertson to see about finding a “surplus truck.”
1964, Apr 16 – Purchase of new radio for new tanker approved.
1964, Oct 1 – Discussed procured required to purchase a surplus truck for use as a tanker. Purchase approved. [Truck is a 1955 Reo 2 1/2-ton, ten-wheel, M35 military cargo truck.]
1964, Dec 3 – Approved checking into the cost of a “new tank truck.”
1964, Dec 17 – Discussion on “size and makes of trucks needed for a tanker.”
1965, Jan 7 – Discussion on type of tank to mount on the “second tanker purchased recently.”
1965, Feb 4 – “Mounted the tank on the Reo and then returned to the meeting room.”
1965, Feb 18 – Approved to buy six red lights for tanker.
1965, Mar 4 – Approved removing the radio from the International tanker and installing in the Reo tanker, but only after the Reo tanker is “checked out and in service.” Also, several members worked on the Reo Tanker “after the room discussion.”
1965, Apr 1 – Approved to find a siren for “our #2 tanker.” [The Reo was designated Rural Truck 2.] Also approved to convert spark plugs and distributor to “conventional type.”
1965, May 6 – Approved to purchase “rotating red light” for tanker.
1975, Dec 21 – Advertised for sale in News & Observer, but with incorrect 1952 model year. Noted as 1,800 gallons, with winch, spare tires, and parts.
1976, Jan 15 – Bid received for $750 but members decide to postpone sale, to see if other (higher) bids are offered.
1976, Feb 5 – Sold to private owner for $800. Sale approved at member meeting. Continue reading ‘Early Knightdale Tankers’ »

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Knightdale Fire Calls – 1956 to 1959

During their first three months of 1956, the Knightdale Volunteer Fire Department responded over 100 fire calls. They were in their third year of operation. The calls are listed below, transcribed from the original log book. 

03/11/56 – Two farm storage barns
03/14/56 – Car burning in yard
03/15/56 – Seven-room dwelling (out on arrival)
03/19/56 – Mutual aid with Wake Forest, structure fire, Scandia Village, Highway 1 six miles north of Raleigh, provided water supply from pond
03/23/56 – Mattress fire in farm dwelling
03/30/56 – Tobacco barn
05/30/56 – Woods fire (used “back pumps”)
06/11/56 – Mutual aid to Millbrook, false alarm
06/22/56 – Tenant house
06/26/56 – Tenant house
08/10/56 – Tobacco barn
08/19/56 – Tobacco barn
08/19/56 – Tobacco barn
08/27/56 – Frying pan and grease on fire
08/28/56 – Tobacco barn
08/31/56 – Allen’s Store, general store building, started by electrical fuse box (half-hour on scene)
09/04/56 – Tobacco barn and shelter
09/05/56 – Tobacco barn (four miles NW of town)
09/08/56 – Tobacco barn (Wilder’s Grove)
09/10/56 – Tobacco barn (Wilder’s Grove)
09/11/56 – Tobacco barn (Poole Road)
09/16/56 – Woods fire
09/27/56 – Dwelling house (seven miles S of town, started by electric motor)
11/25/56 – Tenant house (seven miles S of town)
11/27/56 – Car fire
11/27/56 – Woods fire
12/03/56 – Grass fire near houses
01/24/57 – Grass fire near house
04/29/57 – Electric hot water heater (out on arrival)
05/09/57 – Woods fire
05/24/57 – Structure fire, saw mill (“out of control and almost to destroy sawmill”, 400 gallons of water on GMC used, and about half of the 1,200 gallons on the International)
07/14/57 – Tobacco barn (six miles W of town at Lee’s Store[?], fire resulted from explosion of “oil covers”, flames coming out of roof on arrival, 500 sticks [??] of tobacco lost)
07/14/57 – Wheat field
07/21/57 – Tobacco barn (Auburn Road)
07/??/57 – Tobacco barn (Poole Road)
08/??/57 – Tobacco barn (six miles NW of town by Allen’s Store)
08/??/57 – Tobacco barn (seven miles NW of town)
09/11/57 – Tobacco barn (seven miles SW of town)
10/21/57 – Tobacco barn (six miles NE of town)
10/26/57 – Tenant house
11/16/57 – House fire in Raleigh (Rose Lane) (extinguished before arrival)
11/23/57 – Truck load of cotton (Louisburg Road)
12/07/57 – Tobacco sticks at farm
12/16/57 – Tenant house (Shotwell)
12/23/57 – Farm barn
01/05/58 – Farm barn
01/21/58 – Dwelling house (seven miles S of town, Clayton Road)
02/14/58 – Dwelling
02/17/58 – Dwelling (chimney)
02/20/58 – Grass fire
02/20/58 – Barbecue stand (Strickland’s Barbecue, out on arrival)
02/26/58 – Dwelling house (reported as cotton gin on fire, KVFD couldn’t locate same. Later learned that operator had misunderstood caller. Was across field from cotton gin. Floor furnace had exploded and was burning under house)
03/08/58 – Trash fire (New Hope Road)
04/17/58 – Stove in house
07/25/58 – Tobacco barn (Clayton Road)
07/26/58 – Tobacco barn (Faison Road)
07/28/58 – Tobacco barn (Faison Road, same as two days earlier, out on arrival)
08/02/58 – Tobacco barn
08/02/58 – Tobacco barn (same location, rekindle)
08/15/58 – Tenant house
08/16/58 – Tobacco barn
08/18/58 – Tobacco barn
08/24/58 – Tobacco barn
09/20/58 – Tenant house, two-room (alarm received from Raleigh by “radio-siren”)
09/24/58 – Pack [?] barn
10/31/58 – Grass fire near house
11/16/58 – Tenant house (eight miles NE of town)
12/12/58 – Frame dwelling (eight miles SW on Poole Road)
12/30/30 – Frame dwelling (nine miles SW on Poole Road)
01/04/59 – Frame dwelling (burned)
01/04/59 – Frame dwelling (burned)
01/05/59 – Frame dwelling (saved)
01/21/59 – Frame dwelling (saved)
01/21/59 – Shavings pile (Pair Lumber Company in high wind)
01/22/59 – Garage (Knightdale Repair Service)
01/25/59 – Grass fire
01/26/59 – Grass fire
01/27/59 – Tenant house
01/29/59 – Dwelling
02/15/59 – Tenant house
02/17/59 – Woods fire
02/21/59 – Grass fire in field
02/23/59 – Car fire
03/08/59 – Structure fire, Massey’s Grocery, two-story, brick
03/12/59 – Brush fire
03/23/59 – Tobacco “strip house”
06/01/59 – Frame dwelling (near town limits, with two trucks from New Hope as mutual aid)
06/10/59 – Frame dwelling
06/12/59 – Stove or store (but with two hours recorded of service time, probably “store”)
06/15/59 – Combine + wheat field
06/23/59 – Tenant dwelling (near Broadwell’s Store)
07/30/59 – Tar bucket (Morganton Roofing Company)
08/06/59 – Tobacco barn
08/06/59 – Tobacco barn
08/07/59 – Tobacco barn (burned again on 11/04/59)
08/15/59 – Frame dwelling
10/02/59 – Frame dwelling
10/05/59 – Garbage can
[ missing one or more entries, photocopier operator error ]
10/29/59 – Tobacco “strip room”
11/20/59 – Frame dwelling
12/03/59 – Brush fire
12/11/59 – Dwelling

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Two Alarms on Suntree Court – Plus Audio

Two alarms were struck on Saturday afternoon, June 13, 2020, in Brier Creek at 10705 Suntree Court. Two-story, brick-exterior, single-family dwelling with full basement, with 5,699 square-feet. Built 2001, say tax records. Alarm time 3:25 p.m.

Working fire assignment dispatched while units were en route, due to heavy column of smoke visible from Arnold Palmer Drive, reported by first-due Engine 24.

Listen to audio, recorded from openMhz.com. See Google drive folder: https://tinyurl.com/yclmj37c

Engine 24 arrived with heavy fire venting from a window above the garage. They also laid their own supply line, with Engine 23 completing the hook-up and boosting. Interior attack with two hand lines. Battalion 4 assumed command on arrival. His report of conditions: heavy fire above the garage in A/B corner of building.

Interior crews encountered high heat and were backed out “to the stairwell,” for a period of exterior attack using a two-inch line. At the same time, the fire vented through roof.

Second alarm requested about 3:50 p.m. Staging was located on Winged Thistle Court. First-alarm companies were sent to rehab, with second-alarm companies rotated in. Controlled at 4:30 p.m. Cause determined as accidental. Five people displaced. No injuries.

First alarm: E24, E23, E29, E17, L6, L9, R1, B4, B3
Working fire: A2, C20, C402
Added: E4 as replacement for E29, out of service mechanical, while responding
Second alarm: E16, E22, L3, L1, Sq14
Added: E18
Added: B5
Plus EMS

Mike Legeros photos

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Raleigh Fire Department Opens New Training Annex

On May 11, 2020, the City of Raleigh Fire Department opened a training annex at Fire Station 26 on Barwell Road. They’ve occupied the former emergency communications training center and back-up facility, which was a separate section of the fire station building. Station 26 opened in June 2003. The Raleigh/Wake Emergency Communications Center vacated the space in the fall of 2016.

The fire department’s Training Division has relocated the offices and storage areas for the EMS and Haz-Mat programs, which were previously housed in the classroom building at the Keeter Training Center on Keeter Center Drive in South Raleigh.

The new space is larger– 4,062 square-feet, from tax records–and adds a meeting room, more office space, and improved storage areas for the programs, notably the EMS equipment and supplies that are used by firefighters on emergency medical calls. One vehicle will also be parked there, for EMS logistics.


By moving these programs to a second location, space has been made available at the training center to accommodate future full-time instructions. That need was recently identified in a fire department staffing study, and the proposed budget for FY21 recommends the creation of two positions, to serve as full-time recruit academy and continuing education instructors.

Though their program offices have been relocated, all EMS and haz-mat training will continue to take place at the Keeter Training Center.

See photos below by Mike Legeros (exterior) and courtesy Raleigh Fire Department (interior).

Fun Fact #1 – This isn’t the first training annex. Old Station 4 on Wake Forest Road served as additional training space, as well as city office space, from 1993 to 1997. Among other functions, it housed the office of the haz-mat program manager, Captain S. T. Eudy.

Fun Fact #2 – Long before there was a formal training division, then-named Memorial Auditorium served as a training facility. It housed both a basement fire station and a rear training tower. That is, the rear of the 1932 building was designed to function as a drill tower. It served as a training location until a dedicated drill tower was erected in 1954, at the current location of the Keeter Training Center.

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