Forsyth County Fire Department History

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

Before 1951

  • Smith Reynolds Airport receives new Army Air Force fire and crash truck, to be stationed permanently at the airport, and overseen by Fire Chief Sharon Aungst of the First Army Air Force Servicing Department. It’s equipment with Foamite, carbon dioxide, and carbon tetracholoride extinguishers, plus 300 feet of hose to be used with water. It’s also equipped with “various kinds of knives and axes” to access a crashed plane, as well as a “special kind of hook” used to “turn a burning plane” so flames “will not sweep toward” a trapped pilot. Source: WSJ, 3/9/43.

1951

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.
    • Bought by county from federal government surplus. Repairs complete on truck by August 19, and it was being painted. Training started on that date for volunteers from city, county, Mineral Springs FD, and Piedmont Airlines. They would be trained in the use of the equipment by Asst. Fire Chief Carl Vaughn and Staff Sgt. Dwight Shelby from Seymour-Johnson AFB at Goldsboro.  
    • 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; WSJ, 8/19/65
  • 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.
    • Bids annouced in June 1974 for unit with “1500 gallon” capacity. Source: WSJ, 6/11/74
    • Delivered in 1975. Source: WSJ, 2/10/76.
  • 1975 – Unit 109 receives 1975 White/Saulsbury, 250/200, heavy rescue.
    • Purchase approved by county in late 1974, equipped with “specialized equipment not carried by the volunteer fire departments.” Source: WSJ, 1/28/75.
    • Delivered in 1975. Source: WSJ, 2/10/76. 
    • Had a 671 Detroit, five-speed, straight-tooth transmission, with a 250 GPM PTO pump and 200 gallon booster tank. Staffed with minimum of two county firefighters each day, with room in back for more. Dispatched to all structure fires and vehicle collisions with subjects pinned.

      Carried rescue tools, salvage equipment, air packs and spare bottles, basic medical supplies. Plus hose and appliances. Other equipment included an A-frame for hoisting, which attached to the front, and a Probeye, an early version of the TIC.

      And two Jet Axes, remember those? Shaped explosive charge designed to blow a hole in a concrete block wall for ventilation. Source: Oral histories.
  • 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.

Sources

Photo Credits

  • Hose & Nozzle Magazine
  • Andrew Messer
  • Keith Shepherd
  • Tad Byrum
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