Trench Rescue at Brier Creek – January 15, 2020

These notes were originally posted on Facebook, after a trench rescue incident on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. See more photos from Mike Legeros in this SmugMug album



  • Dispatched 11:03 a.m. Gas station construction site at 4209 Corners Parkway, near intersection of Glenwood Avenue and TW Alexander Drive. Below grade earth collapse trapping four workers. 
  • One self-rescued and two were rescued by responders. The second worker was removed soon after air readings showed safe conditions for rescuer entry. The second worker was removed about 11:45 a.m.
  • The third worker–reportedly trapped up to his waist–required a longer operation, including assistance from a City of Raleigh Public Works vacuum truck that arrived about 12:10 p.m. The third worker was extricated about 12:35 p.m.
  • Two of the workers were transported to Duke University Hospital. Their conditions were reportedly non life-threatening.
  • Crews continued working at the scene into the afternoon, to locate the missing fourth worker. Though, as news stories noted, their pace was slower, as a precaution to protect the rescuers. The fourth worker was recovered, deceased, about 4:15 p.m.



  • Location was inside the Durham city limits, but just inside Wake County. [ Initial dispatch assignments go here. ]
  • Raleigh sent a full technical rescue assignment: Rescue 1, Squad 7 and 14, Engine 17, Ladder 3, USAR 801, Battalion 5. Plus special call for the two new trench rescue trailers. (In addition to the nearby closest engine and ladder, at Station 24.)
  • Durham’s technical rescue assignment consisted of [ goes here ]. And, of notable note, Raleigh Rescue 1 and Durham’s newly reactivated Rescue 1 were working side-by-side.
  • Fire command by Durham Battalion _. Rescue branch command by [ goes here ]. EMS command by Wake County EMS Chief 200, then Chief 102.
  • EMS resources responded from both Durham and Wake County, including major incident support units from both (MIRV 1 and Truck 1).



  • Units staged at various locations around the incident site, including the parking lot of Harris Teeter for medical and some unit staging.
  • News helicopters were overhead. See those stories for aerial footage and images.
  • Legeros arrived about 11:40 a.m. See his pictures in this album.

Run Card

Durham Fire

  • E3, E17, E9, E13, E4, E8
  • L12, L3, L17, L2
  • R1, Tactical 2 (technical rescue box truck)
  • Sq4
  • Bat 3, Bat 4
  • Haz-Mat 13, MS1 (air truck, support unit)
  • FD20 (Shift Training Officer), FD8 (Division Chief), FD3, FD2, FD1 (Fire Chief)

Durham County EMS

  • Medic 22
  • [Unit] 51 (Supervisor)
  • Chief 203, Chief 204
  • MIRV 1 (major incident support)

Durham Highway Fire

  • P161
  • R16
  • Car 16

Raleigh Fire

  • E24, E17
  • Sq7, Sq14
  • L6, L3
  • R1
  • Bat 5, Bat 4
  • Air 2
  • Safety Officer
  • Mini 3 + Collapse Rescue 1 (trailer)
  • USAR 801 + Collapse Rescue 2 (trailer)

Wake County EMS

  • EMS 10, 33, 39, 44, 49, 52 (Cary EMS)
  • DC 6 (Eastern Wake EMS)
  • Medic 96
  • Truck 1 (major incident support)
  • Chief 200 (Shift Commander)
  • Chief 102
  • MD20 (Deputy Medical Director)
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Fire School Program, 1955

For your Friday enjoyment, here’s a vintage program from the 27th Annual North Carolina Fire College and Pump School, held in May 1955 in Charlotte. The popular event was conducted by the then-named North Carolina State Firemen’s Association. It was held from 1929 to 2002 in various locations around the state.

View a PDF version of the program at

Scanned from a physical copy from the Hose & Nozzle archives, courtesy of the Troy Fire Department. 

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – January 16, 2020

The next meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., at the Wake County Emergency Services Training Center, which is located in a warehouse building at 220 South Rogers Lane, in Suite 160.  

Agenda is below. View the meeting documents.

  • Meeting Called to Order – Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
  • Items of Business
    • Annual Election of Chair and Vice Chair – Director Campasano
    • Adoption of Minutes for November 21, 2019 Meeting
    • Approval of Agenda
  • Public Comments
    • Comments from the public will be taken at this time. Members of the public are invited to make comment to the Commission, with a maximum of three minutes per person. A signup sheet for those who wish to speak during the public comments section of the meeting is located at the entrance of the meeting room.
  • Regular Agenda
    • 2020 Census Presentation – Tim Maloney
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Administrative
      • Apparatus
      • Budget
      • Communications
      • Equipment
      • Facility
      • Training
      • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Report
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment – Next Meeting – March 19, 2020
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Audio Recording from Commuter Plane Crash Response in Morrisville, 1994

Here’s a surprise historical find, newly discovered audio recording of the 911 call, the dispatch, and the first 13 minutes of radio traffic, of fire units responding to the commuter plane crash in Morrisville on December 13, 1994. Listen to the recording at

It was contributed by David Ferrell, a Morrisville Fire Captain and one of the first-arriving responders. American Eagle Flight #3379 crashed at 6:34 p.m. with twenty souls aboard. There were five survivors.

Have started updating my research materials, to incorporate the new information that the recording reveals. See those and more at

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New Trailer for USAR 3

North Carolina Task Force 8 has received a new trailer for USAR 3. It’s their first first curtain-side trailer, which will allow access from both sides as well as the back. It’ll replace a box trailer that transports their Base of Operation (BoO) portable shelter system, which includes tents, showers, cots, generators and HVAC systems, etc. And it’ll be further modified with a rear attachment to carry their Moffett forklift.

Why the new trailer and new style of trailer? Two reasons. First, they’ll increase their storage space by about a third, because side-loading allows for more efficient placement of stored equipment. Second, stuff stored in the back will no longer block access to stuff stored in the front. Side-access allows selective retrieval of equipment.

Also, note that their name and logo has changed. The state teams are slowly rolling out a rebranding that subtracts the word “urban”. Though they are training as and defined by FEMA as USAR teams, their response areas (and response capabilities) cover urban, suburban, and rural areas.

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Renovations to Station 11 – December Update – Moving Day

This is an ongoing blog posting about the renovation of Fire Station 11. 

See Legeros updates below. See also ongoing Legeros photos. And here’s the official project site from the city.


  • 12/17/19 – Moving Day
  • 11/24/19 – Nearly Finished
  • 9/27/19 – Doors Have Been Added
  • 6/25/19 – Interior Work Has Started
  • 5/29/19 – New Bays Nearly Complete
  • 3/23/19 – Construction Has Started
  • 12/7/18 – Rendering Added
  • 12/6/18 – Companies Moved
  • 10/12/18 – Site Plans, Floor Plans

December 17, 2019
Crews completed two days of moving today into their new old home. Station 11 was reactivated early this afternoon, with Engine 11 and Ladder 2 relocating from their temporary quarters at Station 7 and Station 15, respectively. Here are a some pictures:

November 24, 2019
Nearly finished. And a good-looking plaque seen through the windows…

September 27, 2019
Doors have been added! 

Continue reading ‘Renovations to Station 11 – December Update – Moving Day’ »

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Air Ambulance Crash in Oxford, 1949

This is a blog version of a pair of earlier Facebook postings on Legeros Fire Line.

Here’s a photo and a news clipping about an early air ambulance crash in our area. Converted Cessna five-seat plane crashed near Oxford on August 25, 1949. Three aboard, the pilot and two nurses. Two died at the scene and the third, one of the nurses, died at the hospital. The plane was returning from New York to Durham, after transporting a patient, and attempting an emergency landing at “Brent Meadows farm.” The plane crashed into a cornfield after striking a tree. It was operated by Piedmont Aviation Inc.

Was this the same Durham-based air ambulance service seen in this vintage Esso advertisement from 1947? To be determined. See earlier posting.

See also Mike’s master Google map of Raleigh-Durham area plane crashes.

Phone photo of film negative by Charles Cooper, P0105/1-01-13-141 in the Durham Herald Co. Newspaper Photograph Collection #P0105, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Statesville Daily Record, Friday, August 26, 1949.

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Durham Rescue Trucks in 1974

For your Friday enjoyment, here’s a vintage picture of Durham’s early rescue trucks. Left is the city-county rescue squad’s second truck, a late 1960s GMC van procured after the original late 1950s Civil Defense rescue truck was wrecked in November 1966.

Right is the squad’s third and newly repaired rescue truck, with a new Ford cab and chassis and remounted Murphy body. The prior unit, delivered new in 1973 with a one-ton Chevy chassis, was wrecked in July 1974.

Read more Durham rescue history at See also closer views at

Durham Sun photo, P0105_1_03_36_189 in the Durham Herald Company Newspaper Photograph Collection #P0105, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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After the Attack on Pearl Harbor

On December 10, 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a meeting was held at the State Capitol in Raleigh with 170 fire chiefs from around North Carolina. State Fire Marshal Sherwood Brockwell (pictured center) provided instruction on wartime fire protection. He had just graduated from a school conducted by the United States Army at Edgewood Arsenal.

Civilian Defense

The Governor the day before had issued bulletin to the mayors of cities with over 5,000 people, describing how to organize Civilian Protection Committees. Numerous initiatives were started, ranging from blackout drills to the training of volunteer auxiliary firemen. The latter began serving and augmenting the fire departments in such cities and towns as Asheville, High Point, Kinston, Raleigh, and Tarboro.

In Raleigh in July 1942, certificates of training and arm bands were presented to 154 auxiliary firemen in a graduation ceremony at Hugh Morson High School. They were trained in wartime firefighting and rescue techniques, and participated in exercises including city-wide blackout drills from 1942 to 1944. The auxiliary firemen also assisted in actual emergencies.

Wartime Impacts

Other wartime impacts included the loss of personnel due to firefighters enlisting or being drafted into the armed forces, or leaving for war-industry jobs, and which often offered higher pay. There were also restrictions that affected infrastructure, with departments unable to obtain new apparatus or build new stations.

In Raleigh, the city needed an additional pumper for a new engine company in 1943. The solution? They purchased a 1919 American LaFrance “triple combination” from the town of Farmville. Similar restrictions on building materials delayed the building of a new Raleigh Station 1 for over a decade.

Photo credit: News & Observer. Pictured far left is Lt. Kenlon H. Brockwell, son of Sherwood and Post Fire Marshal at Fort Bragg. Right is Captain J. M. Munday, Drill Master of the Charlotte Fire Department.

About The Photo

From the December 11, 1941, issue of the New & Observer:

“Brockwell demonstrated the content of an incendiary bomb and explained the equipment needed and the procedure for extinguishing it. From a chart, he explained the appearance and effect of armor piercing, demolition, fragmentation, aerial mine, light and scatter aerial bombs. [He] also explained the action of white phosphorous and thermite, the formerly highly adaptable to sabotage, and offered ways of counteracting their flames.” He explained thermite is used against oil deposits, and urged special precautions in such places as Wilmington.

More Information

Read the Handbook for Auxiliary Firemen at

See these related blog postings:

See also Names of Raleigh Auxiliary Firemen, 1944 (PDF)

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