Raleigh Adds Shift Safety Officers

Big day in Raleigh yesterday. Safety Officer 14 was placed in service at 0800 hours on Saturday, July 17, 2021, the first shift-assigned incident safety officers (ISO) for the department.[1]

Staffed by three seasoned captains, the unit is based at Station 14, and is automatically dispatched on structure fires, haz-mat calls, and technical rescue calls. They can also be requested to other incidents as needed.

On scene, they’ll moving around and watching what’s happening, and looking for hazards and making suggestions as needed to the incident commander. They can also jump on the radio, if urgent safety matters need immediate attention.

Among their new equipment and PPE are high-visibility vests and SCBA identifiers, red. And one Fire Fighters Friend-brand exit locator device, which will be deployed just inside the threshold of a structure, to aid in evacuation. It’s equipped with both a flashing beacon and a siren.

Shown left to right at Captain/ISO K. C. Ray (A shift), Safety Chief Keith Wilder, Captain/ISO Stephen Welch (B shift), and Captain/ISO Brian Taylor (C shift).

[1] What’s the historical perspective? The most-recent Safety Officer position was created in 2010 as a day-duty position at Fire Administration. Currently filled by Battalion Chief Keith Wilder and named Safety Chief, it oversees the Health and Safety Compliance Division.

Earlier safety officers included Command Tommy Gattis, assigned to training, and who performed that role at (major?) incidents in the 1990s (and other years?). See the Facebook version of this posting for more about that. 

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Wake County Fire Commission will hold its regular-schedule meeting on Thursday, July 15, 2021. This is a physical, in-person meeting. It starts at 7:00 p.m. 

The agenda and meeting documents are below. Information on submitting public comments and access for viewing/listening are posted on the Wake County Public Meetings Calendar

View Meeting Documents


  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
    • Adoption of Minutes for May 20 Regular Meeting
    • Approval of Agenda
  • Public Comments:
  • Items of Business
    • Committee Appointments
    • Update on Future Opportunities
  • Regular Agenda
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report – Aaron Brown
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Administrative
      • Apparatus
      • Budget
      • Communications
      • Equipment
      • Facility
      • Health & Wellness
      • Training
      • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Report
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment – Next Meeting – September 16, 2021
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Relocating Fire Station 14 – Now in Service

This is an ongoing blog posting about the relocating of Fire Station 14. 

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


  • 7/8/21 – Now in Service
  • 4/16/21 – Construction Nearly Completion
  • 8/10/19 – Walls Going Up
  • 6/25/19 – Site Work Nearly Finished
  • 3/23/19 – Site Work Finishing
  • 7/25/18 – Site Work Started
  • 1/17/17 – Construction Bid Awarded
  • 12/28/17 – Site Cleared
  • 11/9/16 – Second Public Meeting
  • 8/15/16 – Drawings and Floor Plan
  • 8/6/16 – Public Meeting

July 8, 2021
New Station 14 opened on July 7, 2021. It was activated at 6:17 p.m. 

Squad 14, Ladder 14 from Station 17, and Battalion 3 moved into their new quarters that day. Units and personnel moved their PPE and work equipment, along with personal belongings. IT staff relocated computers and communications equipment. Some other things, such as exercise equipment, would be transferred later. 

In addition to Squad 14, Ladder 14, and Battalion 3, the new station also houses Mini 14 and three trailers, for boats, ATV, and technical trainer. The boat trailer is parked inside the station, with the other two parked outside.

Station 14 will also house a new shift Safety Officer, who will be placed in service in the coming days. 

April 16, 2021
Construction nearing completion. Here’s a photo from last month:

Continue reading ‘Relocating Fire Station 14 – Now in Service’ »

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Charlotte in Yellow

This is a version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Here’s view of a vintage Charlotte Seagrave 70th Anniversary Series pumper in yellow, along with other not-red units of the time. The 1966 model, nicknamed “the Chiquita Banana”, was one of two that were bought as a pair.

Recounts retired Charlotte Battalion Chief Kenneth Shane Nantz, they originally served as Engine 1 and Engine 20, both at Station 1. They were also the first engines equipped with pre-piped turret guns and electronic sirens, and the last two purchased with bells. 

The other one ended up as Engine 8 and remained red. This one became Engine 5, had a significant wreck, and was repainted yellow when rebuilt. 

The picture was posted to the Facebook public group North Carolina Towns by Makatoka King. Visit the group and search on “fire” to find some other vintage fire pics from around NC, posted by King. Source posting

Makatoka King photo

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Raleigh Short Academies

This is a version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Hey Mike, how many “short academies” has Raleigh conducted before the one that graduated today? First, a bit of context.

Academy 46, which graduated today, was one of two that started on the same day in late April. Sixteen were hired, for a ten-week academy, and with existing firefighter experience and certifications as a requirement. (Why did the city implement a “short academy?” To get a quantity of new firefighters on line ASAP, to fill vacant positions.)

The academy was conducted concurrently with Academy 47, which required no prior experience for hiring, and concludes its thirty-week academy in November. Those members will graduate with experience and state certifications in EMT, Firefighter I, Firefighter II, and Haz-Mat Technician Level I.

Prior to 2021, the last “short academy” was held in 2004. The first was held in 1998, and that series is shown in orange in the below bar chart. Also shown, in green, were three academies that included recruits from outside FDs. (From Wilson and Wake County.)

See more academy history notes and data at https://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/history 

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One Truck, Two Trucks, Yellow Trucks & More – Solving a Mystery at the Airport

June 29, 2021
And, finally, here are new old photos showing both CB3000 crash trucks at the CFR station at the same time. Proof positive of what’s explained below. Sid Meier photos, scanned from film prints.

Sid Meier photos

May 11, 2016
Let’s solve a mystery.

Did the airport fire department have one or two Walters CB3000 crash trucks, back in the day? Wait, doesn’t story go that the 1973 Walter CB3000 (delivered new) was re-manufactured by Crash Rescue Equipment Services in/around 1990? Yes, that’s the long-told story.

Continue reading ‘One Truck, Two Trucks, Yellow Trucks & More – Solving a Mystery at the Airport’ »

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Kinston Fire Department History

Random research notes on the history of the Kinston Fire Department. 


  • 1878 – Lenoir County Court House destroyed by fire.
  • 1880 – Temporary courthouse burns.
  • 1885 – Population 3,000. No fire apparatus. Source: Sanborn.
  • 1891 – Population 2,000. No fire apparatus. Source: Sanborn.

1895 to 1899

  • 1895 – Great fire, destroys two blocks of buildings, which comprised nearly the entire business district. 
  • 1895 – Steam engine added. Third-size Silsby, 500 GPM, delivered March 22, 1895.
  • 1895? – Fire department organized. Hand reel (home made) and steam engine.
  • 1896 – Kinston Mantel Company fire.
  • 1896 – After fire, wagon and horse added. Horse is also used for street cleaning.
  • 1896? – Tower built in rear of city hall, for drying hose, and bell at top as fire alarm.
  • 1896 – KFD snapshot: volunteer, 60 members, one Silsby steamer, one hose wagon, two horses,600-feet new home, five fire wells with steamer attachments. Source: Sanborn.
  • 1897 – Atlantic Coast Line depot fire.
  • 1897 – After fire, more hose added, and six sets of hats, boots, and coats.
  • 1897 – First water main added. This supplemented the Neuse River and several deep wells.
  • 1898 – Hook and ladder wagon added, hand-pulled, used by colored fire company. Carried five ladders.

Continue reading ‘Kinston Fire Department History’ »

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Remembering a Fallen Brother

On Sunday, June 14, 1987, Greensboro Fire Department Captain Raymond J. Cockman, 49, suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty at Station 6, which was then located on Westover Terrace.

He was Captain on Engine 6, and they had just returned from a call. It was 7:20 p.m. and they were getting ready to play basketball.

The other firefighters at the station promptly started CPR. Guilford County EMS arrived and began advanced patient care.

Raymond’s brother Larry was a Captain on nearby Engine 9. His Battalion Chief, also housed at that station, took Larry to Station 6. They responded with lights and siren.

Larry remembers holding his brother’s hand as he passed away.

Raymond had been a member of the department 29 years. He was loved by many, and the reason that Larry entered the department.

Two days later, the funeral service was held at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The arrangements were handled by Forbis and Dick funeral service. The burial was at Lakewood Cemetery in Greensboro.

The night before, Larry and the family received friends for four hours at the visitation. The next day, hundreds of firefighters attended the funeral. The procession included several Greensboro fire units.

At the burial, Larry remembers, it was a bright sunny day. “And all of a sudden, a big rain cloud just came over and dumped rain” on everyone at the grave site. We all said it was his last prank on us, everyone “standing out in the rain in full dress uniform.” Larry remembers his brother as a “fun-loving jokester.”

On the day of Raymond’s passing, the two brothers had attended a funeral that morning, for the brother of Greensboro firefighter Eddie Coleman. Larry notes that Eddie as always a good friend to both of them. Now retired, Eddie’s on the list for a future interview. Since 2019, Larry has been interviewing retired GFD members as part of a department-wide history project.

Larry still vividly remembers the day of his brother’s passing, the support of his fellow firefighters, and many who came to the visitation.

“My brother was a college athlete who played quarterback at Lees McCrae and ASU. At the visitation, his high school coach was there and he whispered in my ear that Raymond the best quarterback he had ever coached.”

Larry recalls that when his older brother graduated from Rankin High School, he was selected as their Mascot and got to dress up in a cap and gown and march with them. “At eight years old I thought I had really done something.”

Now a retired Battalion Chief himself, he looks back on June 14 and says “that was the toughest day in the fire department I ever had.” And adds, the second toughest day was when I went back to the station, to get his clothes and clean out his locker.


Raymond Cockman was the second Greensboro firefighter to die in the line of duty. Firefighter Jesse Grey died on Christmas Eve, 1969, after falling from and being run over an engine that was backing up. And April 10, 2002, Captain W. “Jackie” Beard died of a heart attack, while leading a live burn for recruits at a house on Church Street.

Old Station 6 on Westover Terrace opened in 1949 and closed in 1989 and was subsequently demolished. The present Station 6, formerly numbered Station 17, is located at 4504 Lake Brandt Road. [It is now numbered Station 41.]

The Greensboro Fire Department history project has made 40+ video interviews of retired members available for public viewing at http://gfhbc.org/interviews.html. Here’s a news story about the project, https://myfox8.com/news/greensboro-firefighters-stories-being-preserved-in-history-book/

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Relocating Fire Station 22 – June Updates

This is an ongoing blog posting about the relocating of Fire Station 22. 

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


  • 6/12/21 – June Update
  • 5/29/21 – Walls Going Up
  • 5/7/21 – Building construction started
  • 2/22/21 – Site clearing started
  • 12/23/20 – Construction bid awarded  
  • 9/16/20 – Construction bids started 
  • 6/25/19 – June Update
  • 4/23/19 – Revised Design Drawings / Demolition Fone
  • 3/23/19 – Demolition Starting
  • 2/15/19 – Temporary Quarters Occupied 
  • 10/22/18 – Temporary Quarters Being Installed
  • 12/1/17 – Design Services Selected
  • 8/14/17 – City Council to Approve Project

June Update

June 12, 2021

Project sign has been added at the site. Tim Blaisdell photo from June 5:

Updated drawing from Kane Davis Architects:

Walls Going Up

May 29, 2021 Continue reading ‘Relocating Fire Station 22 – June Updates’ »

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