Cary Fire Chief Changes in 1966 & 1967

Found a pair of Hose & Nozzle magazine issues from early 1967, that tell about the fire chief changes in Cary during the time. Editorial notes are interspersed:

March-April 1967:

Matthews Named Chief at Cary

Retired RALEIGH Fire Captain [wrong, was Asst. Chief, see below] Lee Matthews has been named acting chief of the Cary Fire Department.

Town manager L. L. Lane said Matthews, a Cary resident for many years, “took the job reluctantly be cause he really was enjoying retirement…but came to help us out of a jam and is doing a fine job of running things for us. He’s helping us get reorganized.”

Matthews is filling a vacancy created by the department of Chief J. W. Ward [who] resigned in mid-January after being on the job less than three months. Lane said it was a “regular resignation.” Ward succeeded Don Tripp, who resigned last October for “personal reasons.” Both Tripp and Ward have moved away from Cary.

Ed. notes:

R. Lee Matthews retired from Raleigh as an Assistant Fire Chief in 1963. He had thirty-seven years of service. He was appointed on January 21, 1967. He served for four months and twenty days. See notes below.

Don Tripp is a new name for Mr. Blogger. He’ll add to his list of Wake County fire chiefs past ‘n’ present (pdf).

May-June 1967:

Ayscue Named Cary Fire Chief

Frank Ayscue, 24, who served five years with the Henderson Fire Department, is Cary’s new fire chief.

Ayscue replaces Lee Matthews, retired officer of the Raleigh Fire Department, who had acted as interim chief since the resignation of Chief J. W. Ward.

Ed. notes:

Clarence Frank Ayscue was appointed on May 1, 1967, and served until July 15, 1968, when he was hired as a firefighter for the City of Raleigh. He retired from the department as a Senior Firefighter in 1989.

Cary’s first paid fire chief was Calvin Beck, who served from 1963 to 1966. He was followed by Don Tripp, as noted above, and then John W. Ward, who was appointed on October 15, 1966.

After Chief Ayscue, the department was led by John L. Dew (1968-69), Billy Henderson (1969-71), Terry Edmundson (1971-75), and then Ned Perry (1975-93), a former Raleigh Fire Captain. Here’s a prior blog post about the RFD/CFD command connection.

Following Chief Perry was Wayne House (1993-2002) and Allan Cain (2003-present). See also my outdated CFD historical timeline.

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  1. Pingback: Cary’s New Fire Chief… And Updated Cary/Raleigh Scorecard – Legeros Fire Blog

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