Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – September 15, 2022

The Wake County Fire Commission held their regular meeting on Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Wake County Emergency Services Education Center, 221 S. Rogers Lane, Raleigh, NC 27610. 

The agenda and meeting documents are below.  

View Meeting Documents

Recording

Listen to the audio recording, as linked from this page.

Notes

Go here.

Agenda

  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll call of membership 
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Approval of June 2, 2022 Regular Meeting Minutes
  • Public Comments:
  • Regular Agenda
    • ARPA Recruitment Project Update
    • Updates to the Staffing & Compensation Guidelines
    • Standing Meeting Date for Fire Commission
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report – Budget Analyst Aaron Brown
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Administrative
      • Apparatus
      • Budget
      • Communications
      • Equipment
      • Facility
      • Health & Wellness
      • Training
      • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Report
      • Update on Northern Wake Community Meeting
      • New Hope/Raleigh Update
      • Western Wake Update
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment – Next Meeting – November 10, 2022
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Raleigh Wake Scanner Moves to Slack

Raleigh Wake Scanner on Twitter/Facebook changed platforms on May 1, 2022. They moved their posted traffic and incident alerts to Slack channel(s)–generated from their monitoring of scanner radios–and adopted a supporter model with a nominal fee to cover operational expenses.

Slack can be used on any browser on any computer. There’s also a Windows desktop application and Slack mobile apps. Users can be logged into both at once. Slack offers real time push notifications on any device that’s channel-based: users can select which content they want instant alerts for, rather than watching their screens waiting for someone to post.

Two Types of Service

Raleigh Wake Scanner on Slack offers two types of services:

  • Supporter only, for $1 per month, which has access to a range of Slack channels that include such topics as fire incident alerts, traffic incident alerts, major incident alerts and discussion, scanner radio discussion, and weather alerts. They have corresponding discussion channels as well.
     
  • Listener/Contributor, free, but with a requirement that they contribute as an active scanner listener for the benefit of everyone including Supporters. This also provides round the clock coverage as best as possible. They have access to the same Slack channels as Supporter only, plus additional “private” channels for discussion among listener-contributors, including private ops channels for discussion during specific ongoing incidents or events.

    (The benefits of listener/contributors are obvious: members who like to listen, but are away from their radio, will be part of a group that alerts each other. This provides that instant ability for those members to “tune in” on their own radio as events are unfolding.)

How to Join

To become a Supporter, submit a payment at https://square.link/u/UyibeeRY and you will be redirected to a Slack account creation page. Please note that NO MEDIA is allowed.

To participate as a Listener/Contributor, contact raleighwakescanner@gmail.com

And if you already use Slack for work or other workspaces, once your email address is added to their system, you’ll add the Raleigh-Wake Scanner workplace (https://raleigh-wakescanner.slack.com) to your existing Slack. 

Note: Please report any technical issues at the above links to raleighwakescanner@gmail.com.

General Notes

  • Incident postings to alert channels must be confirmed by radio traffic.
  • Traffic incident postings to alert channels are often confirmed with traffic map data. 
  • Listener/contributor participation expectations? That they post something every once in a while (or more), to public or private channels, when they hear something significant related to incidents/postings.
  • These services are intended for non-commercial use. Thus, no media are allowed as supporters or listener/contributors.

More Screen Shots

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Raleigh Rescue Squad Member Drowns, 1959

This is a blog version of a Facebook posting from February 2021.

On Thursday, April 23, 1959, Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad volunteer member and Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert L. Battle, 45, drowned in the Cape Fear River in Chatham County. He was serving as a squad member and assisting with a search for a missing boater, after Isaac Barker, 33, of Fuquay Springs, disappeared after his fishing boat overturned the day before, about two miles above Buckhorn Dam. 

A Wildlife Commission plane spotted the overturned boat about five miles below the dam. From the shore, searchers spotted a lifejacket in the back of the boat. Battle swam out to investigate and with a rope around his waist. The rope wasn’t long enough to allow to reach the boat, so he instructed those on shore to let the rope go. As noted in the next day’s News & Observer, Battle “became exhausted” on the swim back to shore and “tied himself to a willow tree in the river.” He was “apparently was too tired to hold his head out of the water” and subsequently drowned.

Deputy Battle had been a “night jailer” for about four years, noted the newspaper. He had previously served as a Raleigh police officer. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery on April 25, 1959, and was survived by two brothers.

Later Lawsuit

In August 1960, a Wake County Superior Court judge ordered that a $5,000 life insurance benefit for Battle be paid. The payment had been withheld by the insurance company for over a year, because the beneficiary couldn’t be found in the files of the rescue squad.

Raleigh Fire Chief Jack Keeter testified that “sometime after the squad was formed a few years ago,” the organization took out a blanket policy with Glen Falls Insurance Company. All squad members were issued certificates that included instructions to list their beneficiaries. 

Said Keeter, he couldn’t determine if Battle had “turned the certificate back in” or it was lost due to the “‘poor bookkeeping system’.”

Judge Henry A. McKinnon ruled that Battle’s brother Lee, whom with Robert “had made his home,” was the beneficiary of the policy. His brother was also the sole beneficiary of Battle’s estate. See below story.

About Raleigh Rescue

The Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad was created in 1953 as a private organization that operated in partnership with the Raleigh Fire Department. The charter members included Fire Chief Jack Keeter. 

It was based out Central Fire Station and operated two vehicles: a smaller panel van and boat trailer, and a larger Civil Defense rescue truck. The squad was comprised of volunteer members, including Raleigh firemen. In 1954, they were assigned a full-time fire department driver. 

Their early calls included these call types, summarized for a News & Observer story on January 31, 1956. In 1955, the squad answered:

  • 52 – Stand by for fire, “at places where crowds congregate”, include 20 false calls
  • 14 – School visits, for demonstrations
  • 14 – “Give aid to sick and helpless”
  • 9 – Body recoveries from water. (Three of whom survived.)
  • 6 – Heart attack “cases”
  • 2 – Rescue demonstration requests

The volunteer members waned in later years and by the late 1960s/early 1970s, the rescue unit was later exclusively operated by the fire department. Read more history in this earlier blog post.


Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad in October 1955. Courtesy Raleigh Fire Museum

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Volunteer Program Ends at Apex Fire Department

This spring, an era ended in Apex. On May 15, 2022, a twenty-year agreement expired between the Town of Apex and the Apex Volunteer Fire Department Rural Services, Inc. (today named Apex Volunteer Firefighters Organization Inc.) and the municipal Apex Fire Department ended its volunteer program.

New Beginning

The agreement was established after town officials in February 2002 approved consolidation of the newer municipal AFD and the private AVFD, which was organized in 1952. (Though the original AFD dates to 1927.)

Effect May 15, 2002, the town absorbed all volunteer assets and assumed all debts. The town also agreed to keep the volunteer department’s downtown station open for at least ten years. The ten-year agreement was renewed in 2012, but was not renewed for 2022.

Read the 2002 agreement (PDF).

Growth and Change

Over the last twenty years, the Apex Fire Department has grown by leaps and bounds. First and foremost, it transformed from a primarily volunteer organization to a nearly entirely career department. New stations were opened on Hunter Street (2002), East Williams Street (2009), and Kelly Road (2018). And a sixth station is under construction on Wimberly Road.

They’ve added apparatus and additional fire companies and today have fully-staffed: four engines, two ladders, and one rescue company.

End of an Era

With the expiration of the 2002 agreement, insurance coverage and workers compensation for volunteer members ceased to be provided by the town. As a result, AFD suspended the duty-crew program. There were seven volunteer members on the roster, three who were still active on duty crews, and four older members who still participated in training. 

In 2019, town council received information on the future of Station 1, including options for renovating or rebuilding. See prior blog posting

Since the original agreement in 2002, the volunteer members who originated the contract all since retired. Future plans for the volunteer organization include working to help preserve the history of the department. One idea they’ve discussed is creating a museum space to honor the legacy of its volunteer members and their decades of service. 

Shown in bottom photo, left to right, are former volunteer members Sue-Lynn Hinson (retired 2015), Dwayne Vaughn (member since 1965!), Charlie Orlowski, Billy Gilbert, John Hellmann, Ed Jollie, and Matt Runyan. They gathered this week for a dinner meeting.

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Visual History of Wilmington Fire Department

New history chart. Wilmington Fire Department from 1905 to present. Version 1.0. 

Need reader inputs, to double-check dates for station openings. Also seeking the dates/years that second and third aerial company were added, along with the heavy rescue company, and battalion chiefs. 

View the chart: JPG | PDF

See more history charts at legeros.com/history/charts

See more Wilmington FD history at legeros.com/history/wilmington

 

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Wilmington Add Three Squad Companies

On Monday, July 4, 2022, the Wilmington (NC) Fire Department activated three new squad companies, at Headquarters on Market street, Station 3 on Cinema Drive, and Station 8 on Eastwood Road. Each operates a 2022 Ford F-350/Knapheide utility truck, and is staffed with an officer and a Master Firefighter.

The squad concept is part of a new deployment model. By using quick-response vehicles (QRVs) for EMS calls, there will be less wear and tear on the larger apparatus. They’ll respond the same EMS call types as the engines, as well as service calls such as lift assists. 

The squads will also eventually be used in the WFD response program, and will also help meet a department objective of increased community interaction. 

WWAY3 video still

Equipment

Each squad is equipped with hand tools including forcible entry tools and battery-operated saws, a full inventory of emergency medical equipment, fire extinguishers, thermal imaging camera, portable power generator, and water rescue equipment.

They have tow hitches and can assist with boat/water operations, and pulling boat trailers. They also have a heavy-duty winch, which can be used for such things as quickly clearing storm debris from roadways, to assist with emergency vehicle access.

Also of note, squad is a prior unit designation in Wilmington, used in earlier decades by the units that preceded the rescue companies.

Two Engines Deactivated

Also on July 4, Engine 4 at Headquarters and Engine 8 were deactivated. Their personnel were shifted to the squad, and the remainder to the truck company, allowing four- or five-person staffing on the truck, instead of three people. 

The engines were moved to the reserve fleet, and displaced the city’s two oldest reserve engines, which will be retired. This will lower the overall age of the reserve fleet. 

More Information

See this Facebook posting from WFD for more information.

See this news story from WWAY3.

Google for other news reports.

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Facts and Figures about North Carolina Fallen Firefighters

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Random data play. Facts and figures about the 333 names on the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial, from research by Legeros.

Contents

– Career vs. Volunteer vs. Part-Time
– Causes
– Counties with Highest Counts
– Departments with Highest Counts
– Counts of Additions by Year
– Bits and Pieces
– More Charts

Career vs. Volunteer vs. Part-Time Continue reading ‘Facts and Figures about North Carolina Fallen Firefighters’ »

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Early Hand Engine Deliveries in North Carolina

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Research alert. New findings about 1840s and 1850s hand engines in Edenton, Greenville, Greensboro (posted earlier), and Raleigh. The clippings (3 of 4) are from “Baltimore Builders of Fire Apparatus, 1823-1964” by the Fire Museum of Maryland, second edition, researched and written by Stephen Heaver, and published in 2012. It’s available on their web site.

Edenton, NC – Received a William Simpson suction engine around April 1846. Had a 5 1/2-inch cylinder, a 10-inch stroke, and threw a stream 177 feet. Source: Baltimore Sun, April 21, 1846.

Greensboro, NC – Received a William Simpson suction engine named General Greene in July 1849. Had a 5 1/2-inch cylinder, rode on springs, and was painted blue with wheels of purple, blue, gold, and white. Threw a stream 170 feet. See prior posting on Facebook

Greenville, NC – General Green Fire Company received a William Simpson suction engine in/around July 1849. Had a 5 1/2-inch diameter chamber, rode on springs, and was painted a deep blue with wheels of purple, gold, and white. Threw a stream 170 feet. Source: Baltimore Sun, July 2, 1849.

Raleigh, NC – Was shipped a John Rodgers & Sons suction engine in/around March 1853, plus a hose carriage. Had 7-inch cylinders. From Legeros research, two new engines were received in Raleigh that year, named the Excelsior and the Rescue. The fire companies then took their names from those engines. Presumably both were built by Simpson. Source from Legeros 1850s timeline

Continue reading ‘Early Hand Engine Deliveries in North Carolina’ »

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How Many Battalion Chiefs Have Served Raleigh

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Random Raleigh history. How many battalion chiefs have served the department, since the position was created (as District Chief) in 1971? By my count, the total is 92. < And expands to 93 this month, with the promotion of D. M. Ali. 

1 – H. Y. Altman
2 – C. J. Atkins
3 – R. C. Atkinson
4 – G. R. Bagwell
5 – E. H. Beasley
6 – D. C. Blackwood
7 – D. W. Boyette
8 – G. R. Bridges
9 – P. J. Brock
10 – K. S. Capps
11 – L. V. Choplin
12 – W. H. Clifton
13 – K. L. Coppage
14 – S. J. Corker
15 – R. D. Davis
16 – D. L. Deyo
17 – J. A. Ennis
18 – J. P. Fanning
19 – E. F. Fowler
20 – L. T. Frazier
21 – D. B. Gardner
22 – W. P. Gaster
23 – W. T. Gautier
24 – C. K. Gibbons
25 – W. N. Glover
26 – W. B. Hamilton
27 – E. D. Harris
28 – J. L. Harrison
29 – B. R. Harvey
30 – M. T. Hayes
31 – F. C. Hicks
32 – F. C. Hobson
33 – K. T. Hocutt
34 – R. T. Hodge
35 – T. W. House
36 – J. H. Hunnicutt
37 – L. P. Johnson
38 – P. D. Johnson
39 – R. R. Johnson
40 – R. E. Keith
41 – C. E. Kelley
42 – R. K. Lane
43 – A. E. Lynn
44 – W. R. Mabrey
45 – P. B. Marks
46 – D. C. Marshall
47 – E. M. Martin
48 – C. T. May
49 – F. G. McLaurin
50 – R. L. Mitchell
51 – R. D. Mizell
52 – J. T. Owens
53 – J. G. Pace
54 – S. R. Page
55 – J. R. Patterson
56 – D. L. Perry
57 – D. A. Peruso
58 – P. G. Pickard
59 – J. D. Poole
60 – A. C. Rich
61 – S. A. Richards
62 – J. W. Robertson
63 – J. B. Sandy
64 – B. L. Sherrill
65 – R. M. Siebel
66 – C. E. Smith
67 – L. W. Smith
68 – B. D. Spain
69 – G. G. Spain
70 – L. Stanford
71 – A. G. Stell
72 – T. A. Styons
73 – W. R. Styons
74 – D. M. Sykes
75 – S. J. Talton
76 – W. K. Tessinear
77 – I. S. Toms
78 – N. W. Walker
79 – A. R. Wall
80 – L. A. Walters
81 – H. F. Warner
82 – J. E. Warren
83 – J. A. Weathersby
84 – S. S. White
85 – D. P. Whitley
86 – R. M. Whittington
87 – J. K. Wilder
88 – D. H. Williams
89 – C. W. Wilson
90 – J. A. Wilson
91 – L. B. Woodall
92 – P. C. Woodlief

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Durations Between Raleigh Fire Station Closures

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Random Raleigh history. What are the shortest and longest durations of station closures, between the time that an active engine house was closed and its permanent replacement (either same site or new site) was opened?

Believe there are just six such instances, Stations 1, 2, 5, 6 (twice), 22. The rest were same-day moves from old station to new station, as records have shown.

Shortest was Station 5 and two months between the closure of the 1926 engine house and its replacement opening in 1961, and on the same site. (The new building was built beside the old one.)

Longest was Station 1 and twelve years between the original engine house closure and the opening of its newly constructed replacement. (For temporary quarters, Station 1 operated out of old Station 2 on South Salisbury Street.)

Dates

Station 1
W. Morgan Street – Aug 12, 1941 – Closed
S. Dawson Street – Oct 5, 1953 – Opened

Station 2
Fayetteville Street – Circa Mar 1914 – Closed
S. Salisbury Street – Circa Sep 1914 – Opened

Station 5
Oberlin Road – Jul 24, 1961 – Closed
Oberlin Road – Sep 26, 1961 – Opened

Station 6
Fairview Road – May 1948 – Closed
Fairview Road – Jun 25, 1949 – Opened

Station 6 again
Fairview Road – May 29, 2017 – Closed
Fairview Road – Mar 29, 2021 – Opened

Station 22
Durant Road – Feb 5, 2019 – Closed
Durant Road – June 2022 – Opening soon

Source

https://www.legeros.com/ralwake/raleigh/stations/

 

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