Two Alarms on Midway West

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Two alarms were struck Sunday night at 8917 Midway West Road. Dispatched 7:39 p.m. One-story, abandoned modular office building, with approximately 6400 square-feet. Site (8.66 acres) owned by state since 2001, used by DOT for salt storage.

Engine 23 first-arriving, flames showing through roof. Interior attack with three+ hand lines, from Engine 23. Aerial to roof, from Ladder 9. Supply line from hydrant in cul de sac, boosted by Engine 24.

Extra lighting from Rescue 1, in cul de sac. Staging along long driveway, in cul de sac, along Midway West, and in a couple driveways that access the street. Durham Highway third-due, auto-aid.

Second alarm requested for manpower, dispatched ~8:04 p.m. Controlled 8:40 p.m. Wake EMS and Cary EMS with medical monitoring and rehab, in NE corner of parking lot, in front of building. No injuries, no occupants. Cause determined as intentional.

Units on scene included E23, E24, E29, E17, E18, E16, E4, L9, L6, L3, L1, R1, B4, B5, C3, C12 [?] (Safety Officer), DHFD P162, EMS5_, EMS 4_, D4. Run card included additional DHFD and EMS units. Some (three?) of the RFD second-alarm companies released 8:10-8:15 p.m. or abouts. 

First photo above about 8:03 p.m.

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Wake County Fire Commission Virtual Meeting – Thursday, Sep 17, 2020

The Wake County Fire Commission will hold a virtual version of its regular scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2020. The meeting 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


  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
  • Items of Business
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Approval of July 16, 2020 Fire Commission Minutes
    • Firefighter’s Association Fire Commission Seat
    • Sub-Committee Appointments
  • Public Comments:
    • Comments emailed in from the public, as directed on the public advertisement on the County Meeting Calendar prior to noon on May 21, 2020, will be emailed to the Fire Commission prior to the meeting. Depending on the number of comments received, the comments may be read by Deputy Director Alford at this time.
  • Regular Agenda
    • Wellness Committee Scope and Kick Off
  • 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 – November 19, 2020

View meeting documents.

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Ca-Vel Fire Departments of Stanly and Person Counties

This content was originally posted in August 2018 on the original blog site. It’s been moved here and expanded with additional content.

September 10, 2020
Here’s a new old photo of the Ca-Vel fire department in Roxboro, from an undated picture posted by Mike Warren to the Facebook group Reminiscing in Roxboro, in this thread. It was re-posted to Legeros Fire Line on Facebook on April 4, 2020. Click to enlarge:

August 1, 2015
Found this vintage fire apparatus photo in Thomas Herman’s book Oren Fire Apparatus Photo Archive (Iconografix, 2010). Gorgeous 1947 General Motors/Oren pumper, serial number 500 A-979. Delivered to the Collins & Aikman textile plant in Norwood, NC. That’s in Stanly County, south of Albemarle.

The author’s caption notes that the overhead rack housed a wooden Bangor ladder and a pair of booster reels were mounted in the back, behind the rear wheels. The truck presently privately owned, the author adds. It still resides in Norwood. Click to enlarge:

Collins & Aikman operated other plants in North Carolina, including in Farmville and Roxboro. We’ve blogged before about the latter location and in context of the Ca-Vel Fire Department. Or CA-Vel, depending upon your spelling. The plant was located three miles north of town.

Continue reading ‘Ca-Vel Fire Departments of Stanly and Person Counties’ »

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Forsyth County Fire Department History

Let’s start a timeline, shall we? Posting to be updated as we go along…


 FCFD created in 1951.

  • Effort led by Forsyth County Commissioner Wally Dunham, in response to a growing need for fire protection outside the city limits of Winston-Salem.
  • There were just a handful of volunteer departments operating at the time: Kernersville, Rural Hall, and Triangle.
  • First Unit 109 is a 1944 Jeep with front-mounted pump and trailer with water tank and booster hose reel.
  • First housed at WSFD Station 3 on Liberty Street.
  • Operated by county’s first paid firemen, F. W. Broadstreet and B. W. Atkins. Source: H&N, 9/2/56.
  • After a few fires, the Jeep proves inadequate for handling the “serious fire hazard that was continuously facing the rural section” and a pumping engine is purchased. Source: H&N, 9/2/56.

1952 to 1959

  • 1952 – New Engine 109, 1951 Chevy/Bean. 
  • 1952 – County employed third fireman, Reece Baugass. Source: H&N, 9/2/56.
  • 1954? – Second engine added, Engine 209, 1954 Ford/Bean. 
  • 1954? – New Engine 109, 1953 GMC/Howe. 
  • Mid-1950s – First firefighting program started at airport, 1953? 1954? Operates out of the hangar. Fire brigade operational by September 1955. Source: Piedmoniter, 9/1/55, 9/1/65.
  • Late-1950s? – Unit 108 added, former phone company utility truck with a short wooden aerial ladder. Housed [?] at Forest Hills FD, later disposed [?] to FHFD.

1960 to 1969

  • 1965, June? – New Engine 109, 1965 IHC/Bean. 
  •  1965, August? – Airport receives new crash truck, ex-USAF O-10.
    • Staffed by members of FCFD, plus members of WSFD, MSFD, and Piedmont Airlines.
    • Alternate: Staffed by 22 employees of Piedmont only. They’ll respond for Alert I (actual crash), Alert II (possible crash), Alert III (military crash). Source: H&N, Sep-Oct 1965; Piedmoniter, 9/1/65
  • 1967 – Snapshot of airport crash crew, from The Piedmoniter, 2/1/67.
    • Crash crew has 22 members, all Piedmont employees.
    • O-10 crash truck carries 500 gallons water, 50 gallons foam.
    • Crew just received six alumnized rescue suits, purchased by FCFD.

1970 to 1979

  • 1971? – County firefighter’s association builds air and light trailer, with generator and six tanks for refilling SCBA bottles. Operated/later operated by FCFD. Source: H&N magazine.
  •  1975 Oshkosh M1500 crash truck delivered.
  • Unit 109 receives 1975 White/Saulsbury heavy rescue.
  • CFR 2 added, 1970s GMC pick-up with twin-agent foam/Purple K system.

1980 to 1999

  • Unit 109 receives 1980s GMC rescue.
  • Unit 209 added, unstaffed support unit, 1980s Chevy van, also pulls air trailer.

1990 to 1999

  • 1990 Ford/E-One crash truck delivered. 
  • 1993 International/Mickey box truck delivered. Donated by FCFRA in December 1994.
  • Unit 109 receives 1990s Chevy Suburban.
  • Unit 109 receives 1990s Chevy “Squad 51” style truck.

2000 to Present

  • Unit 209 added, second manpower unit.
  • Unit 309 added, third manpower unit
  • 2001 – County awards bid for new QRV to Emergency Vehicles, Inc., on 6/25/01. Source: BoC minutes.
  • 2007 Oshkosh Striker 1500 crash truck delivered.
  • 2010 Ford F-250/A.R.E. delivered – Unit 309.
  • 2015 Ford F-550/Northwestern Emergency Vehicles light-duty rescues delivered – Unit 109, Unit 209.

Apparatus Roster

Created by Micah Bodford.

Pumpers, Rescues, Air Truck, Manpower Units 

  • U109 – 1944 Jeep with front-mounted 300 GPM pump, w/trailer-mounted 250 gal tank.
    • Alt. capacity 200 and 220 gallons. Ex-military?
    • Disposed to City View FD by September 1956. 
  • E109 – 1951 Chevy/Bean. Serial #611.
    • Purchased 1952. Delivery year from H&N, 9/2/56.
    • From Bean delivery records:
      611 Forsyth County Winston-Salem NC. 803 08-31-51 Chev UWH3518 JEA737229. 
  • E209 – 1954 Ford Big Job/Bean, high pressure pump. Serial #829.
    • From Bean delivery records:
      829 Forsyth County Winston-Salem NC. 09-19-54 Ford J3H32343
  • E109 – 1957 GMC/Howe, 500/___.
    • Serial #10149.
    • Later wrecked, repaired & placed back into service by Belews Creek VFD.
    • Sold to BCFD in June 1965. Had over 40,000 miles on odometer. Source: TCS, 6/22/65.
  • U108 – 1952 GMC aerial, 35-foot. Ex-telephone company.
    • Acquired 195_.
    • Model year from H&N, 9/2/56.
    • Later sold to Forest Hill VFD, where it was re-chassied on a 1960s GM truck at a later date. 
  • E109 – 1965 IHC V190/Bean, 60HP/800, plus foam (in containers?).
  • U109 – 1971 White cab-over/Saulsbury walk-in rescue. With a pump system, including 150 gallon tank.
  • U109 – 1980s GMC/E-One[?] rescue.
  • U209 – 1980s Chevy SV-30 Vandura.
    • Unstaffed, pulls two-axle air trailer and used as backup to 109 with assortment of tools.
    • Later sold to Belews Creek FD [?].
  • Air 1 – 1993 IHC 4600/Mickey box truck.
    • Serial #6458.
    • Equipped with four-bank air compression.
    • Donated by FCFRA, accepted by county on 12/19/94. Source: BoC minutes.
  • U109 – 1990s Chevy Suburban. Former Forsyth EMS Medic 4.
  • U109 – 1990s Chevy/_______ “Squad 51” style utility body.
  • U109 – 2007 GMC C5500/SSV remount, 4×4 chassis.
  • U409 – 2008 Ford Expedition. Later transferred to FCEMS Medic 1.
  • U209 – 2010 Ford F-250/ARE, four-door pickup. Later moved to 309.
  • U109 – 2015 Ford F-550/SSV/Northwestern re-mount. Body from 2007 GMC.
  • U209 – 2015 Ford F-550/Northwestern re-mount.

ARFF Apparatus

  • CFR 1 – 1950s American LaFrance O-10, ___/500/50F. Ex-USAF.
    • Delivered August? 1965. Source: H&N, Sep/Oct 1965.
    • Staffed by 22 employees of Piedmont Airlines and/or airline employees, plus FCFD, WSFD, MSFD.
  • CFR 1 – 1975 Oshkosh M1500, 1200/1500/180F.
    • Owned by Airport Commission.
  • CFR 2[?] – 1970s GMC one-ton pickup with twin-agent foam/Purple K system.
    • Owned by FCFD.
  • CFR 1 – 1990 Ford F-800/E-One R-500, 750/600/45F/450# DC.
    • Serial #8192.
    • E-One order date 2/28/90. Source: E-One delivery records. 
  • CFR 1 – 2007 Oshkosh Striker 1500, 2000/1500/220F/450PKP.


Photo Credits

  • Hose & Nozzle Magazine
  • Andrew Messer
  • Keith Shepherd
  • Tad Byrum
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Before You Post That Photo to Facebook

This a re-posting of archive content, that’s no longer available on the Legeros Blog Archives site due to technical issues. For a related posting, see How to Become a Fire Photographer.

March 6, 2015

Here’s today’s thought exercise. Should you post a fire photo to Facebook, if you’re a member of the department that’s fighting the fire?

Let’s talk through this.


Question one. Why Facebook, specifically? Versus elsewhere on social media or other web sites?

To me, Facebook seems like its own animal. So popular, so easily used, so easily misused. It’s also where Yours Truly spends much of his social media time. (Versus a more modest presence on Twitter, and nearly no use of other channels.)

Also, some have reservations or outright apprehension about Facebook. Since fire photos are records of “other people’s lives,” it’s easy to imagine someone saying “I didn’t call the fire department just to see my life posted on Facebook.”

(Now there’s a social experiment worth conducting! Measure public reactions to identical fire photos, as posted on Facebook versus Instagram, Twitter, official web site, or personal web site.)

Question two. Why are talking about firefighters only? Why not all responders, including EMS and law enforcement?

We’re starting simple. Bear with me. We’ll be talking a bit about medical responders, often components of a fire department. Either as first responders or fire-based EMS.

Question three. What about all those fire photos posted by Legeros and Lee Wilson? Or what photojournalists and the “the news” produce? Or just Joe Q. filming from the street corner?

Good question! On one hand, it’s absolutely a different animal. None of those individuals are city/county/agency employers or members. Nor are they responders with real and perceived responsibilities.

On the other hand–at least with the news and our favorite fire photogs—they have their own protocols. They, too, weigh issues such as personal values, employer or sponsor procedures, and the base ethics of their actions.

But back to firefighters…

Shooting Photos versus Posting Photos

We’ll start with semantics. Shooting versus posting.

Every photo posted to Facebook is actually three things:

  • The photo itself.
  • The action of posting the photo.
  • Any caption, commentary, or comments included (or later added) to the photo.

Sometimes simply taking a photo is problematic.

Think about, say, a fire investigator arriving a working structure fire. They hop out of their “red car” and begin snapping pictures for documentation. Bystanders observe this and contrast their actions with the other arriving units. “Why is that guy taking pictures? Why isn’t he going to get a hose?”

Sometimes taking a photo is “okay”, but posting is a problem.

Responders may take pictures for internal use of severe accidents involving fatalities, such as an extended extrication or complicated technical rescue. (They’re particularly good training tools.) But if those photos are shown to the public, the response by the public is usually negative.

Sometimes both taking and posting a photo is fine, but captions or comments cause problems.

There’s a world of difference between the picture of a house fire with the caption “Engine 50 fought a fire today” versus such captions as “Strong work by Engine 50 today” (good) or “Good day for a barbecue” (bad).

Posting Photos Officially

Let’s define “official photo” as any picture that a fire department releases for public consumption. And, for our purposes, also posts to Facebook. Could be a picture taken by a civilian. Could be a donated news photo. Most likely it’s a picture taken by a member of the department. 

When should you post or not post a photo from an incident? Here’s my take, based both on (a.) my approach to posting scene pictures and (b.) what I’ve observed as posted by fire departments to Facebook.

Continue reading ‘Before You Post That Photo to Facebook’ »

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Warrenton History Notes

This week the Town of Warrenton (NC) announced on Facebook that the Plummer Hook & Ladder Museum (not yet open to the public) had a new addition, their second piece of antique apparatus: the town’s old 1982 American LaFrance Century pumper, 1250/1000/25F . The engine originally served Austin, TX, and was equipped with a 500-gallon tank. Purchased by the town in [need date].

It was one of two remaining town trucks in operation when the municipal (and all-black) WFD ceased operation in 2004. Along with a 1987 E-One Hurricane rear-mount platform, 1250/200/95-foot, that formerly served Orange County FL, the town trucks were disposed to Warrenton Rural FD, which currently protects the town. The 1982 ALF also later received a 1000-gallon tank.

Top picture by Legeros from 2013.

Historical Perspectives

Continue reading ‘Warrenton History Notes’ »

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The (Complete) History of the Cary/Yrac Split

What’s the (complete) history of the Cary/Yrac split in the early 1960s, that created a second fire department for calls outside of town? Have lately found conflicting accounts. Let’s take a (long) look.

Earlier Summaries

Legeros in 2003, from his Raleigh & Wake County Firefighting [Volume I], wrote the following:

“In 1961, the Cary fire department became two fire departments: one operated by the Town and another run by rural residents who rejected the Town’s proposed fees for fire protection. The newly created district was named Yrac, which later became the name of the fire department.”

That’s a good starting point. Let’s go backward in time, to some earlier recaps. Here’s what retired Cary Fire Chief Ned Perry recounted in a 1997 history:

“[In 1960, the] Cary Rural Volunteer Fire Department was divided into two separate fire departments. The division was made to formally create the Cary Fire Department. The Cary Rural Volunteer Fire Department had responded to all emergency calls in the Cary Area, including those areas in the Town limits and those calls that were outside of the Town limits. After the division of the Cary Rural Volunteer Fire Department, the rural department changed its name to the YRAC Fire Department. (YRAC is CARY spelled backwards.) After the division the Cary Fire Department was responsible for all calls inside the Town limits and YRAC Fire Department responded to all alarms outside of the Town limits.”

Also in 1997, a similar summary was included in a Cary FD souvenir booklet:

“On September 15, 1960, a division was made to formally create the Cary Fire Department. Before this date the fire department was known as the Cary Rural Volunteer Fire Department. This department responded to any call in the Cary area. After the division, the Cary Fire Department was responsible for any calls within the Cary town limits and the rural department was responsible for any call outside the town limits . The Cary Rural (YRAC) Volunteer Fire Department is still responsible for some areas outside the Cary town limits today and assists the Cary Fire Department when needed.”

But what were the motivating factors behind that split? Let’s build a timeline and see what we find…

Short Version

  • 1952 – Cary FD reorganized, reborn.
  • 1953 – Modern pumper delivered, first annual Fireman’s day, etc. 
  • 1953 – Cary FD incorporated as private corporation, Cary Rural FD, Inc.
  • 1956 – By this time, Civil Defense rescue services added, plus two tankers.
  • 1957 – County creates rural fire district, for areas outside town limits. CRFD now gets $100 per month.
  • 1958 – County approves renaming Cary Rural Fire District district to Yrac Rural Fire District, e.g. Cary spelled backwards.
  • 1960, Jun – CRFD member Vernon Thompson killed when the 1954 shop-built tractor-drawn tanker overturns.
  • 1960, Jul – Three weeks after the accident, CRFD members request, then demand liability insurance from town. In one heated meeting, some threaten to resign.
  • 1960, Aug – Insurance issue raises questions and considerations of governance. After meetings and committees, the Mayor recommends (a.) providing insurance and (b.) creating a town-run FD, with full-time fire chief.
  • 1960, Aug – Special committee on matter issues report with recommendation to, instead, create town-run CFD but with volunteer fire chief, and separate town and rural sections.
  • 1960, Sep – Town Board approves committee recommendations, new organization takes effect September 15.
  • 1961, May – County funding to rural department interrupted, due to administrative issues. Soon resumed.
  • 1961, Jul – County approves Yrac Rural Fire District changes, adjusting for new Fairgrounds and Swift Creek FD districts.
  • 1961, Sep – Something changes, and Cary’s rural fire protection is in jeopardy. And/or, town wants to begin charging rural residents for the service.
  • 1961, Sep – Rural citizens meet and approve forming their own fire department.
  • 1961, Nov – Yrac Rural FD Inc. created, using the assets of Cary Rural FD Inc., which was then the rural-serving section of the Cary FD.
  • 1961, Dec – YRFD approves giving all assets and monies to town, except for one Ford F3 truck, unequipped, and a 1956 shop-built International tanker plus equipment, and $1,500 of their funds, kept for themselves.
  • 1961, Dec – YRFD begins operation on December 1, from a rented building on Cedar Street.
  • 1962, Jan – YRFD starts membership drive for funding. However, over the years, they need a better source of revenue. They then pursue a tax levy. 
  • 1962, May – New pumper delivered, 1961 Chevy/American LaFrance. 
  • 1962, May – Tenth annual Cary Fireman’s Day now sponsored by YRFD instead of CFD. This becomes a permanent change. 
  • 1962, Oct – Second tanker added.
  • 1964, Dec – Resides vote in special election and approve creating a fire tax district, to properly fund YRFD. Department has three trucks, 24 volunteers, and an HQ in a rented building on Cedar Street. 
  • And everybody lived happily ever after.

Long Version

Pre-History Continue reading ‘The (Complete) History of the Cary/Yrac Split’ »

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