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


1952 – Cary’s only fire engine fails at a building fire just outside the town limits. A new pumper is ordered and the volunteer fire department begins a rebirth and period of expansion, with two new buildings, a pair of shop-built tankers, the addition of Civil Defense rescue services, and more. They hold their first annual fireman’s day in 1953, and soon begin planning for a consolidated central fire station building in 1956. Also during this time, during that decade, the population of the town doubles.

1954, Nov 1 – Cary FD incorporated as a private corporation, named Cary Rural Fire Department, Inc. Source: Secretary of State records.

1957, June 3 – County Commissioners approve creation of rural fire district for CRFD, which provides a monthly stipend of $100. Source: BoC minutes, 6/3/57.

1958, Nov 3 – County Commissioners approve changes to the CRFD rural fire district: (a.) redefined boundaries as the fire district had been enlarged, with increased personnel and equipment able to serve the larger area, (b.) renaming the fire district from “Cary Rural Fire District” to “Yrac Rural Fire District.” (Cary spelled backwards.) The district’s furthermost point is about three miles from the Cary fire station, thus it’s a “three-mile district.” Source: BoC minutes, 11/3/58. [ Note that YRAC is often spelled in all-caps in various citations. ]

1960, Jun 16 – Firefighter Vernon Lee Thompson, 28, is killed and Firefighter Willis Edward (Billy) Henderson, 32, is injured when their tractor-drawn tanker overturns near Meredith College.

Insurance Demanded

1960, Jul 7, circa – Raleigh Times, “Cary Firemen Demand Liability Insurance – Resign Or Be Insured Is Ultimatum”

At a Town Board meeting about three weeks after Thompson’s death, liability insurance for firemen members is discussed. Town commissioner and FD member Tom Griffis presents a written statement from the fire department requesting endorsement of a policy that provide coverage for firemen answering calls within a 2.5 mile radius of the fire station, except in cases of mutual aid into the county, and other special cases as determined by the Fire Chief.

Mayor Pro Tem James Hogarth moves that another meeting be held between the fire officers and the full Town Board before any policies are adopted. The board agrees and a special meeting is set for  July 13. About thirty minutes later, Assistant Fire Chief Crumpler interrupts Mayor Waldo Rood and presents an insurance policy that department members want “put into force.” The Mayor gives the letter to Commissioner Ed Wiles, for study by the “insurance committee.” He tells the firemen that the matter will be discussed on July 13. The firemen leave the meeting, “apparently satisfied.”

About an hour later, the eleven firemen return and handed the Mayor a request that the matter be discussed now, or they will resign effective immediately. Said Crumper, “We don’t want our request handed to a committee and delayed. We want action now.” The Mayor later says that the Board “felt undue pressure was being applied.”

After “about two hours of heated discussion,” the firemen agree to remain on duty until Monday, when Fire Chief J. C. Griffis returned from vacation. Also, a special meeting between a fire department committee and the Town Board will be called as soon as could be arranged, and the Town Board will also select an insurance policy and “get it into effect immediately.”

The department had 24 members at that time, twenty-three of which were volunteer. One was a paid employee. [ Jack Morris, who was paid $2,900 a year for “night duty. ]

Recommendations From Mayor

In a two-page written statement dated July 13, 1960, Mayor Rood expressed his thoughts and feelings about the issues facing the town and fire department.

He notes that several department members had told him that the “publicity of the happenings” at the last meeting of the Town Board “did not express the true feelings of the fire department.” He adds, “words were spoken in haste and when the story of the meeting was told in the newspapers and on the radio, it did not convey to the public” what the department “wanted to put across.” And, he agrees with their request that more insurance is needed “to protect themselves and their families.” Thus, he recommends:

First, that the Town Board “take insurance to cover the members” of the department while on duty. “This to be in addition to Workman’s Compensation.”

Second, regarding the “report of the committee,” he doesn’t believe they “could have worked out a report that” was fair to the town. Why? Because (a.) “no man can serve two masters”, (b.) the town has grown to a point that it needs its own fire department “under the direction and control of the town”, (c.) if there are too many people in the chain of approval for out-of-town responses [believe that’s what he was saying], the firemen will likely arrive at the fire too late, or “most of our trained firemen will be out of town for some time, leaving our town with a sufficient number of firemen to man the equipment left in town.”

Thus, he believes that “any [fire] department that the Town of Cary helps support should direct its full attention to the town.” He notes that in the past eight year, the town has contributed an average of about $8,000 per year to the fire department. And the county has given $1,200 per year, “which is only a fraction of the cost of the services to the rural area and which the people in town also pay taxes to support.”

He writes that the last time he “checked the records,” more than two-thirds of calls “by our fire department” were made in the rural area, and the town was “paying over 85 percent of the costs.” And when the fire department was out on those rural calls, he felt that “there were not enough trained men in town to operate our big pumper truck.” “The people in the town deserve a better break for their tax dollars.”

Though the town has had good fire chiefs in the past, it needs a full-time fire chief, one who is “well trained and properly paid.” He thus recommends an ordinance creating a volunteer department with no less than twenty men, and a “paid director.” The membership should be approved by the Town Board, and the fire department not respond out of the town “except for mutual assistance to other towns.” Also, that their firemen not be members of other departments.

For budgetary concerns, he recommends the full-time fire chief’s position be combined with that of the Police Chief, and they “one man that is well trained in both fields.” He also recommends, after talking to the Fire Chief and on recommendation of the Public Safety Commissioner, that the town buy a new pumper truck.

Source: CFD records.

Difficulties Between The Two

1960, Jul 22 – Raleigh Times, “Two Cary Groups to Meet to Discuss Difficulties – On Fire Department Issue.”

Mayor Rood has confirmed that a meeting will be held between town committees, the fire department, and the Fire Rating Bureau, “in an attempt to iron out the difficulties between the two Cary [FD] organizations.” The meeting will be held in Raleigh.

Also at the board’s regular Thursday meeting, the Mayor addressed discrepancies between his figures and the fire chief’s figures, relating to financing and fire calls. The Mayor had cited $8,000 as the estimated annual expenses for operating the fire department, which he based the auditor’s records. [ Had the Mayor requested an audit of CRFD finances? Don’t know. ] The Mayor had also stated that about two-thirds of the calls answered by CRFD have been to the rural area. This was derived by “consulting the last fire call report given him by the firemen.”

The fire department, however, said that most of the estimated $8,000 per year “would be necessary to maintain any department,” and even if the proposed split is approved. The Fire Chief said he believes that the county has paid “almost as much as the town” into their operational budget, which may be shared between the town and rural areas. The Mayor, however, “had maintained that 85 per cent of the costs were made by [paid for] by the town.”

The fire department also disputed the Mayor’s percentage of calls in versus out of town. They said their records over several years showed only 40 percent of their calls were to the rural area.  

Separate Departments to be Established

1960, Aug 1 – Fire Committee Progress Report #1

The committee, which has six meetings, holds a meeting with three agenda items: (a.) organization, (b.) operations, (c.) division of property. They recommend an organizational structure consisting of a volunteer fire chief who reports to the Safety Commissioner, who reports to the Town Board, who report to the Mayor.

Both the town and rural departments will have an Asst. Chief, each overseeing a Captain, each overseeing a Lieutenant. All positions are volunteer, except for two paid Engineer positions for the town department.

The town department will operate a pumper company with 16 volunteers and the rural department will operate a tanker company with 16 volunteers, plus a rescue company with six volunteers. Each department will also have a secretary.

1960, Aug 1, circa – Raleigh Times, “Separate Cary Fire Department to be Established.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Hogarth says that the “chief of the fire rating bureau” will recommend that the town establish its own fire department. The Town Council and members of the department have “recently tangled over liability insurance” for the firemen. In the wake of that discussion, Mayor Rood has suggested that the town establish its own FD. The town then went to the fire rating bureau, for information on how to “hold down the town’s fire insurance rates.” Said the Mayor Pro-Tem, “we’re not going to jump into this overnight.” The Mayor has appointed a special committee to study the problem and make a recommendation. The new department will be funded solely by the town, and the existing CRFD will serve residents outside the town.

1960, Aug 6 – Raleigh Times, “Cary Group Seeking Joint Fire Departments.”

The first report of a town-appointed committee, created to “solve the problems of the Cary Fire Department,” has recommended the creation of “two cooperating departments, one town and one rural.” Both to be run by a single “volunteer coordinating officer” who will report to the “safety commissioner, the board of commissioners, and the mayor.”

The Town Board receives the report on August 4 and votes unanimously in its favor. They also instruct the committee to “continue its study” and “work out further details” of the “new operation.”

The proposed new departments will have separate members and separate financing, but both be under the supervision of a single fire chief. Mayor Rood adds the suggestion that they request that the county Board of Commissioners call an election, to provide a tax for the rural district, so the rural members won’t have to “work like dogs to raise money to finance their operations.”

The committee’s recommendations differ from the earlier proposal by Mayor Rood in at least “two major ways.” The Mayor had asked for (a.) employment of a paid fire chief, who would also serve as town fire chief, and (b.) for a complete split in operation, with only a town-operated FD overseen by the fire chief. He also wanted current firemen to have the opportunity to choose which department to work with. The firemen raised objections to the plan, most notably “the idea of having to work under a paid chief.”  

Volunteers with Objections

1960, August [?] – Raleigh Times [?], “Volunteer Group Feels It Has Grown With the Town”

Both the current and former fire chief agree that Cary will need “a fire department of its own sometime in the future.” But it should be a gradual thing, not the “definite split that is proposed now.” They note that the town has doubled in size in the past ten years—current population is 3,400—and they feel that the fire department has “grown right along with the needs.”

Their volunteer members are mostly those who “grew up before the growth spurt” and in a time when “nobody paid any attention to the town limit sign.” And even now, they feel that the municipal limits shouldn’t have anything to do with ‘their right to protect friends and neighbors just outside town.”

This partly explains why some are reluctant to join a “town department which would forbid them going outside town limits to fight fires.” Their louder objection is being asked as volunteers to work under a “a paid chief” who is operating in a “dual capacity.” Said one, “Volunteers should not be ordered when and how they are to spend the time they’re willing to give.”

The two chiefs feel that the firemen might feel better if a Cary native could be hired, like Assistant Chief Lee Matthews of the Raleigh Fire Department, and who has “assisted the Cary department in many unofficial ways.” But they agree that “it will be impossible to find a man trained in both police and fire work at a salary Cary could afford to pay.” [ This appears to have been demonstrated by the turnover of paid fire chiefs, during the first years of the position. ]

They give specific citations about their disagreement with the Mayor’s figures on monies and proportions of calls in versus out of town. They notably note that the “big pumper owned by the town” has never been taken out of town except by direction of the Town Board. And when that has happened, the firemen are in “constant contact with the fire station and the county reporting system through their radio system.” They say that they’ve “never lost a Cary building” since the CRFD was organized in the early 1950s.

The two chiefs also question how fire department property will be split. They say of the major items, the town FD would get the 1953 Seagrave and the 1931/1954 Chevy/Pirsch, as well as the “county radio system” and “several thousand feet of hose.” The rural FD would get three trucks, including the shop-built rescue truck and a shop-built tanker. [ What was the third truck? Possibly the wrecked tractor-drawn tanker, and whose trailer was likely salvageable. ]

New Department(s) Start

1960, Sep 10 – Raleigh Times, “Controversy Over Cary Fire Dept. Is Nearing End.”

The Town Board has announced that a newly organized Cary Fire Department will begin operating effective September 15. They have appointed officers of the two new departments, and a “voluntary chief” to direct the activities of both. Pete Murdoch, former chief of CRFD, has been appointed as Cary Fire Chief. Leading the town FD is Asst. Chief Paul Matthews, and leading the rural FD is Asst. Chief Willie Crumpler. The twenty-four members of the old CRFD have been divided equally between the two sections. But the Town Board has been told that “more men are needed to build up both departments.”

Chief Murdoch is “responsible” to the Town Board. Personnel and equipment “belonging the town” are available at all times to the town. Members of the respective town and rural departments will answer calls “only in their own department except for mutual aid” and, even then, town members and equipment can only leave the town limits “at the direction of the town board.”

Two paid firemen are to be hired by the town, so that “at least one well-trained fireman be on duty in town at all times.” No other paid personnel will be used. Pending is the division of property. Some of the equipment used by the old CRFD is owned jointly by the town and rural departments. Both are “expected to fall short of necessary equipment when properly divided.”  

1961, Apr 20 – Town Board adopts Ordinance #70, “Organization of the Cary Fire Department.” The action creates a single administrative fire department, with “two separate operations for fire protection” and one of which serves the Yrac Fire District. Source: BoC minutes, 5/1/61, 7/5/61.

[ What was the specific language of the ordinance, and how did it differ from the Town Board actions in September 1960? TBD. The current town ordinances as available on the web, and sections relating to the fire department, seemingly date to 1976 at the earliest.  ]

Rural Funding Interrupted

1961, May 1 – County Commissioners ordered all rural fire funding to CRVFD be terminated, after reading a letter from the town, informing them of Ordinance #70, and which noted “this department is strictly a town of Cary Fire Department and no other fire departments will be connected with Town of Cary.” Source: BoC minutes, 5/1/61.

1961, Jun 19 – County Commissioners receive a letter and resolution from the Town of Cary, regarding the “consolidation of services by the Cary Rural Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Cary Fire Department.” No action is taken by the board. Source: BoC minutes, 6/19/61.

1961, Jul 5 – County Commissioners hear from Col. John Thorne of county Civil Defense, Cary Mayor William Justice, and Cary Town Commissioner and fireman Tom Griffis. They request that the $100 monthly appropriation resume to CRFD, and continue until October 31, 1961, or until such time as the Cary FD can contract with the county for this protection, via a “vote of the people in the district for a special levy of taxes.” 

The County Attorney cites a law regarding a county contracting with a municipal department, and how authorization of levying a special tax for fire protection requires a petition to the county by the residents of that district. The Mayor is shown the section of law, so that the Cary FD may “circulate and present a petition” to County Commissioners requesting the levy of a special tax, for the Yrac rural fire district.

County Commissioners also request that the Wake County Fire Districts Commission “submit a written report after investigation and study as to the operational status of the Cary Rural Fire Department, Inc.” and make written recommendation regarding if the $100 per month stipend should be continued or discontinued. Source: BoC minutes, 7/5/61

Rural Funding Restored

1961, Jul 12 – The Wake County Rural Fire Districts Board [alternate name] holds a meeting and its agenda includes “findings and recommendations as to the status of the Cary Rural Fire Department, Inc. and recommended boundary changes of the [Yrac district].” They recommend that the $100 monthly maintenance fee be reinstated, and those payments that were withheld since May 1, 1961, be paid in full. They also designate new boundaries for the district, needed as related to the creation of two new fire departments, Fairgrounds and Swift Creek, and potential overlapping service areas. The text description of the new boundaries:

Beginning at the junction of N. C. Highway #54 and Trinity Circle and going thence for about one half mile in a southerly direction on the west side of Trinity Circle to U. s. Highway #1; thence in an easterly direction about one half mile on both sides on U. s. #1 to Bashford Road; thence in a south-easterly direction on both sides of Bashford Road to the City limits of Raleigh; thence in a southerly direction following Swift Creek Fire Department boundary and Raleigh City limits to the junction of Buck Jones Road with the Cary-Macedonia Road; thence in a south-westerly direct ion along the new bypass U. s. #1 for about 2.3 miles to an overpass bridge on Kildare Road; thence northwesterly for about 2.5 miles to a service station. (Formerly Hoods Service Station) on U. s. #1 about 2.8 miles southwesterly of the Cary Fire Station; thence northwest for about two miles to a bridge of the Cary-Green Hope Road, which said road bridge is about two miles from the old Apex-Cary Road; thence in a northeasterly direction for about 1.7 miles to N. a. Highway #54 about .8 mile northwest of the junction of said Highway #54 with the Evans Road; thence continuing in a northeasterly direction for about 3 miles to the junction of Reedy Creek Road and Umstead State Park; thence in a southerly direction about two miles to the point of beginning.

Source: BoC minutes, 7/20/61

1961, Jul 20 – County commissioners adopt above recommendations, to restore funding and redefine district boundaries. Source: BoC minutes, 7/20/61

Separation From Town

On September 7, 1961, a letter is distributed to all households and businesses with CRFD memberships that reads:

“Dear Member, it appears that the Cary Rural Fire Dept. will cease to operate in about 30 days. If you are interested in saving this dept. please attend a meeting at the Cary Town Hall on Sep. 13, at 8:00 p.m. At this meeting we will try to explain what steps can be taken to save it.” Signed, J. C. Murdock, Chief.

On September 13, a meeting is held for rural residents “in the interest of continued rural fire protection.” A committee is appointed to make a report and recommendations. On October 13, the committee meets and agrees that (a.) a rural fire department be created, separate from the Cary FD, (b.) CFRD be commended for their rural service for the past years, (c.) to thank the Town Council and Mayor for their help, and (d.) that they request that Cary FD / CRFD continue to provide rural protection, until the new department is operating, around January 1.

On November 9, the steering committee presents their recommendations at a public meeting to some 100 rural residents. The meeting is held at the Cary Senior High School. The rural residents approve the proposal to form their own fire department, rather than “pay the Cary Fire Department $6,300 for fire protection,” reported the November 10 issue of the News & Observer. 

Though not cited in the news story, the amount presumably reflects per-household fees that the town was planning to impose, as a means of funding the rural department operated as part of the Cary Fire Department.

The new fire department expects to operate for “considerably less” once they have been operating for three to five years. The rural residents had taken issue with the fact that, in prior years, they had previously received fire protection for free, via the “volunteer firemen working with the Cary municipal department.” Source: YRFD records; N&O, 11/10/61.

Letter to Residents

On November 20, 1961, a letter is distributed to the “patrons of the Yrac fire district.” It notes that the “citizens of the rural area surrounding the city of Cary” had met “in an open meeting” and they voted to “operate and support” a “separate rural volunteer fire department” for the rural areas surrounding the town.

The department will be named “Yrac Rural Fire Department, Inc.” and financed by volunteer contributions. The business affairs of the corporation will be handled by a Board of Directors. The initial board will be comprised of the steering committee that was appointed to set up the new department. They’ve rented a building to house the equipment, and started a campaign to raise money for equipment.

The letter includes a “pledge card”, and recommends an initial average contribution of $25 per family. If that amount is made by each family in the district, noted the letter, another truck can be added to the present department. Also, all contributions are tax deductible. Please mail checks to P.O. Box 274, Cary.

The First Year

1961, November – Cary’s rural fire department moves to a separate location, into a rented garage behind Cricket’s Service Station at the corner of Cedar and Ward streets. This leaves the town department operating from Station 1 on Chatham Street and Station 2 on nearby Cedar Street. Source: YRFD records

1961, Dec 1 – YRFD begins operating as the new department, though comprised of members and some assets of the old CRFD. They have a single piece of apparatus, the 1956 shop-built International tanker that was previously part of the CRFD fleet. The full inventory of equipment, reported at a meeting on November 22, includes:

  • One Ford F-8 truck, unequipped
  • One International tanker, 1500 gallons, with 350 GPM pump, 600-feet of hose (various sizes), two nozzles, one five-pound CO2 extinguisher, four “knapsack tanks”, one roof ladder, one extension ladder, four helmets, two coats, and other small equipment.

By resolution of the department, all other tangible property and real property owned by CRFD are conveyed to the town of Cary. Plus all monies except for $1,500. The resolution also includes language to express “a feeling of gratitude for the excellent cooperation received from the officials” of the town during “the separation period of the two departments.”

In January 1962, they start a “membership model” for funding, which is listed in their first annual report, published after December 1, 1962:

$10.00 – Per house
$5.00 – Each additional house owned
$5.00 – Apartments
$3.00 – Mobile homes
Pro-rated – Businesses

Fire calls are free for members and $50.00 minimum for non-members. By December 1, 1962, they have 180 members. Their first annual report also says that the Fire Insurance Rating Bureau has approved a 9A classification for their district; the rent on the fire station is $50 per month, and the first year’s rent was paid by J. M. Maxwell, YRFD board member and operator of Maxwell Insecticide Company.

In their first year of operation, YRFD answers 29 calls. By their second year of operation, they have some twenty-three firefighters on the roster.

Source: YRFD records.

Now Named Yrac

1962, Jan – Cary Rural Fire Department changes name to Yrac Fire Department, at least in most places. The corporate name, however, isn’t changed until 1975. Source:  YRFD records, Secretary of State records.

1962, Jan 20 – Contract signed with American LaFrance for purchase of a Chevrolet 750 GPM “pump and hose car with 500 gallon tank.” Source: YRFD records.

1962, May – Pumper delivered, 1962 Chevy/ALF, 750/500. Cost $13,555.  Delivered before May 12. Source: YRFD records.

1962, May 12 – First annual meeting held at the Cary Senior High School, in the auditorium. Source: YRFD records.

1962, May – Tenth annual Cary Fireman’s Day is sponsored by YRFD, instead of CFD. This becomes a permanent change and presumably related to their fundraising needs.

1962, Jul 2 – County Commissions approve expansion of Yrac Rural Fire District, to a four-mile radius. Source: N&O, 7/3/62.

1962, Oct – Additional tanker added, 1,000 gallons. Placed in service on/around October 1. Source: YRFD records.

Special Election for Tax Levy

1964, Dec 12 – Special election held for residents of Yrac fire district, to approve an annual tax for fire protection not to exceed ten cents per $100 of property valuation. Registration is required to participate. All district residents 21 years of age or older, who own personal or real property, are eligible to vote. The registration deadline was November 28.

Notes a November 25 story in the Raleigh Times, if voters approve the tax, those “paying members” of YRFD will “actually pay less.” The new “tax method” will “help spread the burden of financing fire protection,” since only about half of eligible property owners in the district are participating in the YRFD “contribution system.”

The department has three trucks, twenty-for volunteers, and a headquarters in a rented building on Cedar Street. And they’ve just about “depleted [their] financial reserves,” and thus “must turn to a better method” for support. Source: BoC minutes 12/15/64, Raleigh Times, 11/25/64.

1964, Dec 15 – County commissioners affirm that the majority of residents in the Yrac fire district voted in favor of a tax levy for fire protection. There were 103 votes cast, with only one against. Source: BoC minutes, 12/15/64.

[ They also affirmed the results of special elections for Stony Hill and Rolesville fire districts. ]

1965, Jun 29 – County Commissioners approve a contract between county and YRFD, for country to collect ten cents per $100 of property on January 1, 1965, and for the county to hold and disburse those funds to YVFD, for the purpose of providing fire protection in that district, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Source: BoC minutes, 6/29/65

[ Note, this may be a contract renewal, with the first partial-year contract established around January 1, 1965. ]

Then What Happened?

1966, May – YRFD moves into new station at 325 E. Durham Road.

1975, Dec – Corporate name changed to Yrac Rural Fire Department, Inc.

1988, Jul – Merges with Fairgrounds FD to create Western Wake Fire-Rescue. The Yrac station becomes Western Wake Station 2.

2008 Jun – Western Wake Station 2 closed, after county discontinues funding for its operation. Cary FD contracted by county to provide protection.

2020, Jun – Old Station 2 sold to private owner.


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