Knightdale’s New Ladder

Factory photo of Knightdale’s new and sharp-looking ladder. 2021 Pierce Enforcer Ascendant, 1500/500/107-foot. Third for the town[1], following a 1973 Ford/Pierce Telesqurt acquired in 2002, and a 1997 Pierce Quantum rear-mount added in 2009. Photo source

[1] Two other aerials served the Knightdale Volunteer FD, back in its day, a 1991 E-One rear-mount 75-foot quint, and a 1975 Mack/Maxim/Hamerly mid-mount added in 1999. The Knightdale Volunteer FD became Eastern Wake FD in 2003, which merged with the town in 2020. Read those histories

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How Often Did Raleigh Rescue Transport Patients?

February 2021
Updated posting with call totals for 1955, call data for 1975 and 1976, and other information.

September 3, 2016
The Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad was created in 1953. It was comprised of civilian volunteers and fire department drivers, and they operated equipment that was housed at the downtown fire station. (Their gear was initially funded by city, county, and private donations. They also subsequently received a monthly stipend from the county.) The squad responded in both the city and the county, but was not intended to compete with local ambulance services. They served primarily as a technical rescue unit, and also transporting patients when ambulances were not available in the city.

The volunteer component diminished over the early years (they primarily assisted with body recovery efforts in local lakes and rivers), and the rescue squad was soon operated exclusively by fire department members. A second rescue was added in 1975. After Wake County EMS was organized in 1976, “Raleigh rescue” served as their back-up, transporting patients when no county ambulance was available.

They also functioned as a private ambulance service, transporting firefighters in circumstances that included injuries at fires, injuries on duty, transfers between home and hospital, and even transporting family members.

How frequently were patients transported? As a sampling of official records finds (see below), they transported a few times a month in 1960 (one rescue), as many as 30 times a month by 1975 (two rescues), about the same amount in 1980, down to some ten a month in 1990 (two rescues), and just a couple times a year around 2001 (two rescues).

They stopped transporting patients around 2001. The reasons included that the department was no longer required to maintain that capability as part of their EMT-D requirement, and likely the very low call volume.

Still looking for more data and more oral histories. Will update as found.  

Credits, left to right, top to bottom: News & Observer, City of Raleigh, City of Raleigh, Jeff Harkey, Lee Wilson

The Data Continue reading ‘How Often Did Raleigh Rescue Transport Patients?’ »

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Relocating Fire Station 22 – February Update

This is an ongoing blog posting about the relocating of Fire Station 22. 

See Legeros updates below. See also ongoing Legeros photos. And here’s the official project site from the city.


  • 2/22/20 – Site clearing started
  • 12/23/20 – Construction bid awarded  
  • 9/16/20 – Construction bids started 
  • 6/25/19 – June Update
  • 4/23/19 – Revised Design Drawings / Demolition Fone
  • 3/23/19 – Demolition Starting
  • 2/15/19 – Temporary Quarters Occupied 
  • 10/22/18 – Temporary Quarters Being Installed
  • 12/1/17 – Design Services Selected
  • 8/14/17 – City Council to Approve Project

February 22, 2020
On February 3, the builder began mobilizing on the site. Land clearing was observed as having started by February 16, and possibly starting the day before. 

Tim Blasidell photo

December 23, 2020
On December 1, city council awarded a construction bid to Monteith Construction, Inc. The bid amount was $6,880,000. The two-story, 15,800 square-foot structure will be erected on a two-acre site, already owned by the city, at 10050 Durant Road. The parcel was previously planned for use as a park. 

The project was first presented to City Council on August 15, 2017. On September 5 of that year, they approved the project budget, and the reprogramming of 1.3 acres of property for project use. On August 18, 2020, they approved the reprogramming of an additional 0.698 acres of city-owned property at 10050 Durant Road. 

The RFQ for a professional Construction Manager at Risk was issued on August 21, 2018. Qualifications were received on September 28 of that year. The city entered into a master CMAR contract with Monteith in April 2020, including a pre-construction services scope in the amount of $39,000.

Monteith held an initial public bid opening on October 15, 2020, for multiple bid packages for first-tier subcontractors for construction of the project. As some of the bid packages did not have sufficient bids (three required) to open, they were re-advertised for bid and publicly opened on October 29, 2020.

September 16, 2020
What’s happening with the relocation of Raleigh Station 22? The city has opening the process for construction bids, starting today. Closes October 15. The one- and two-story, three-bay building is planned for 10050 Durant Road. Below are drawings from Davis Kane Architects, shared back in the spring. See floor and site plans at

Continue reading ‘Relocating Fire Station 22 – February Update’ »

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Raleigh Rescue Early History

Notes on the early history of the Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad. This is a placeholder posting which will be updated and expanded over time. Related: How Often Did Raleigh Rescue Transport Patients?

See expanded version of this history and other information at

1947 – First proposal for a Raleigh rescue squad.  

1952 [?] – Creation of a Raleigh rescue squad started. 

1953 – Rescue squad organized, with volunteer members, with boats and a trailer and other equipment, funding for vehicles requested, and soon assisting with searches for drowning victims. They are based out of Station 1.

1954 – June – Panel van received by this time. Assigned a full-time fire department driver.

1954 – June 13 – Fire department answered a heart attack call on West Whitaker Mill Road at 7:45 a.m. on June 13, 1954. This is likely the first recorded call for the rescue squad.  

1954 – By July 16, 1954, Rescue 1 has been placed in service at Station 1 with a 1954 GMC panel van. 

1955 – November 3 – Civil Defense heavy-rescue truck delivered.  

1959 – August 23 – Rescue squad volunteer member Robert L. Battle, 45, drowns in the Cape Fear River, while assisting with a search for a missing boater, who was missing after his fishing boat overturned the day before, about two miles above the Buckhorn Dam. Battle was a Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy of four years, and previous a city police officer. 

1962 – May 23 – News story includes this organizational information. Squad is comprised of “some 25 to 30 volunteers, led by Raleigh firemen Harold Jones and Ralph Hailey,” and who “serve only on the Rescue Squad, each heading a 12-hour shift.” Twelve other squad members are firemen who “serve on the Rescue Squad in their off-duty hours. Other members of the squad are railroad dispatchers, bus drivers, insurance men, store clerks…” The squad answers “a hundred or more calls a year.” 

1962 – May 23 – By this time, squad equipment includes two complete scuba diving sets.

1966 – August 18 – Chevy C360 panel van purchased as new Rescue 1. Source: Legeros apparatus register. 

1974 – July 1 – By this time, two rescue units are in service, with additional allocated positions.  

1974 – October __ – Rescue 1 receives 1975 Chevy Silverado/Murphy ambulance. Purchase partially funded with matching federal Civil Defense funds. Source: Legeros apparatus register.

1974 – October 28 – Rescue 9 placed in service with 1974 Chevy Silverado/Murphy ambulance. Same notes as above.

1975 – April – Two rescue boats and trailers received as donations.

1975 – July – Two new outboard motors received as donations.

1976 – April-May – City Council adopts plan for ambulance service jointly funded by the city and the county. Includes use of both city rescue squads. Plan is abandoned and county forms own EMS service.

1976 – July 28 – Rescue 1 moved to Station 3.

1978 – July 24 – Rescue 3 moved to Station 12 and Rescue 9 moved to Station 14.

1982 – February 1 – Rescue 12 moved to Station 7, Rescue 14 moved to Station 6. 

1985 – March 6 – Rescue units plan to take over assist invalid calls [from which agency?]. 

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Meet Raleigh’s New Firefighters – January 2021

Meet Raleigh’s new (probationary) firefighters, who graduated on January 13, 2021, from Recruit Academy 45.  The twenty-seven week academy started in April 2020. Their training included a number of modifications due to COVID conditions, including condensing the program from 32 to 27 weeks. The graduation was also held outdoors, for the first-time in decades and maybe ever. At the event, an empty chair was present for instructor Lt. Herman Ellis, who died off-duty in a motor-vehicle accident on January 3. See photos of the graduation

The Graduates

James W. Bullock III
Tyler N. Bunce
Camden T. Duchesneau
Dillon R. Eckert
Stephen B. Garner
Corey A. Joe
Matthew J. Knight
Dylan M. Lawrence
Alexandra D. Lee
Robert E. Lugo
William A. Margolin
Christian Mejia
Lucila M. Vargas
Nicholas J. Mullin
Michael D. Owens
Bryan J. Parker
David D. Power
Derick Rodriguez
Courtney S. Rosenkranz
Justin C. Ruffin
Noah S. Scalish
Dylan P. Short
Troy R. Swanzey
Joseph B. Tindal
Anna F. Wellborn
Andrew C. T. Williford
Elijah J. York

Photo courtesy Raleigh Fire Department

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – Thursday, January 21, 2021

January 23
This meeting is a must-listen for anyone interested in the nuts ‘n’ bolts of the county fire service, as members received the long-cooking recommendations for a county-wide standard of fire service response, for all departments serving unincorporated areas, e.g. all except Raleigh and RDU.

Was two years in the making by the commission’s Administrative Subcommittee, as a Long Range Planning initiative. And fully data-driven, to arrive at objectives for response performance for structure fires, EMS calls, technical rescue, and haz-mat. The fire commission members received the report, the recommendations, and will smoke things over until the next meeting(s), for discussion and decision.

Also at the meeting, two other inputs were presented. First, the results of the community engagement survey. Total 1,384 responses from those living in those unincorporated areas. Second, a neat study from NCSU that presents ideas for optimized fire station locations for protecting those unincorporated areas, and notably looking forward ten years. (The study was received as “another tool in the toolbox” as needed for the commission to use in any long-range planning.)

One important note, noted in the meeting, the NCSU study has some points to be tweaked, to reflect such recent developments as Wendell Station 3 now operating and the merger of Eastern Wake with Knightdale.

Listen to the audio file on the county site.

Read the studies and accompanying materials here, which we’ve organized with pre-pended labels:

January 19
The Wake County Fire Commission will hold a virtual version of its regular scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021. 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

View Meeting Documents


  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
  • Items of Business
    • Annual Election of Chair and Vice Chair – Director Alford
    • Adoption of Minutes for November 19, 2020 Meeting
    • Approval of Agenda
  • Public Comments:
    • Comments emailed in from the public, as directed on the public advertisement on the County Meeting Calendar prior to noon on January 21, 2021. Any comments received will be emailed to the Fire Commission prior to the meeting. Depending on the number of comments received, the comments may be read by Director Alford at this time.
  • Regular Agenda
    • Introduction of County Commissioner Representatives on Fire Commission
    • FY20 Fund Balance Presentation – John Stephenson
    • ITRE/ORED Study – Darrell Alford
    • Community Engagement Survey – Darrell Alford
    • Administrative Committee Long Range Plan Presentation – Tim Herman
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report – Michael Gammon
    • Standing Committee Updates
      Health & Wellness
      Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Report
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment – Next Meeting – March 18, 2021
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Raleigh Run Numbers – 2020

Here are the numbers for the Raleigh Fire Department in 2020, unit runs and total calls. See prior years, from 1993 forward, in this PDF document.

Total Calls – 42,144
Total Runs – 62,725
E1 – 1,393
E2 – 2,084
E3 – 2,403
E4 – 1,245
E5 – 1,003
E6 – 991
Sq7 – 2,697
E8 – 1,918
E9 – 1,761
E10 – 1,866
E11 – 2,691
E12 – 2,499
E13 – 1,374
Sq14 – 1,688
E15 – 2,273
E16 – 2,035
E17 – 1,396
E18 – 1,180
E19 – 2,490
E20 – 1,765
E21 – 1,856
E22 – 1,476
E23 – 869
E24 – 952
E25 – 812
E26 – 1,243
E27 – 865
E28 – 1,124
E29 – 333

L1 – 1,162
L2  – 2,406
L3 – 1,273 (now L14, starting Dec 2020)
L4 – 2,142
L5 – 583
L6 – 425 (now L23, starting Dec 2020)
L7 – 1,113
L8 – 1,599
L9 – 501
R1 – 1,207

B1 – 565
B2 – 668
B3 – 640
B4 – 398
B5 – 911

Car 20 – 135 (platoon division chief)
Car 402 – 203 (investigator)

Air 1 – 62
Air 2 – 95
HM1 – 53
HM2 – 34
HM3 – 53
HM4 – 22
HM5 – 47
MP1 – 22
MP2 – 9
MP3 – 15

USAR 801 – 35

Busiest Engines

2,697 – Sq7
2,691 – E11
2,499 – E12
2,490 – E19
2,403 – E3
2,273 – E15
2,084 – E2
2,035 – E16
1,918 – E8
1,866 – E10

Busiest Ladders

2,406 – L2
2,142 – L4
1,599 – L8

Busiest Battalion Chief

911 – B5

Busiest Rescue


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Two Alarms on Navaho Drive

Two alarms were struck on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 833 Navaho Drive. Dispatched 4:39 a.m. as vehicle fire for Engine 11. Upgraded with structure fire response for E9, E15, E16, S14, L2, L1, B1 added.

Ladder 2 was first-arriving with fire showing in the rear of a two-story apartment building, garden-style, apartment building with eleven units and 11,770. Built 1968. Fire was extending from a burning pick-up truck to the outside of the building, and in the area of a gas meter.

Initial fire companies worked on searching the impacted units, and evacuating the entire resident. Due to limited access and a long supply lines from hydrants, Engine 9 supplied lines for the initial fire attack, with Engine 11 nurse feeding, until the water supply was established. 

A second alarm was requested, which added E12, E21, E19, L8, B4, B3.  Plus working fire units C20, C402, and Air 1. Plus a box alarm for EMS, for displaced persons.

Engine 9, Engine 11, and Ladder 2 remained on scene, due to a natural gas leak that continued to burn, after the building fire was extinguished. 

Mike Legeros photos


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Charlotte Fire Department Rescue History

Photo credits, left to right, top to bottom: Shane Nantz, Andrew Messer Collection, Andrew Messer, Mike Legeros, Wikipedia Commons, SVI Trucks.


Research notes on the history Charlotte FD rescue services (and squad companies), based on a Facebook posting from December 2020.

1949 to 1979

  • 1949 – Charlotte Life Saving Crew organized. [ More history goes here. Did they have technical rescue services from the get-go? If not, what year were those added? And when did they cease providing those services inside the city? ]
  • 1952 – City Council rejects Fire Chief’s request for appropriation for a “trained, equipped, life-saving squad.” Source: Charlotte Observer, Apr 18, 1958.   
  • 1958 – CFD chief’s cars are equipped with resuscitators, but are not authorized to operate outside the city. Source: Charlotte Observer, Apr 18, 1958.
  • 1959 – City Council awards bid on Jun 29, 1959, for fully-equipped Civil Defense rescue truck for CFD. Named Rescue 1, housed at Sta 1. 
  • 1974, circa – Civil Defense rescue truck moved from Sta 1 to Sta 9.
  • 1974 – Engine 20 disbanded and reorganized as Squad 1 at Sta 1. Was a manpower unit (flying squad) with three FFs and an Officer. Later increased to five members per day. First apparatus is GMC passenger van, ex-Training, that was originally red and painted yellow. Later was a Ford Econoline passenger van which started yellow, and was later painted red and white.
  • Squad 1 answered all working fires, multi-alarm fires, pin jobs, and rescue calls, plus all fire alarms in the downtown “high value” district. For pin jobs and rescue calls, the response was Squad 1 + Truck 7, below.
  • Original plan was to test one squad company, and if it work, have one in each District/Battalion. That never happened as the loss of Engine 61 and Engine 63 led to four-person staffing on ladders, instead. Source: CFD web history, OH.
  • 1974, circa – 1974 Ford/____ rescue truck, medium-duty/utility body delivered. Named Truck 7 at Station 1, and assigned a dedicated Engineer. Carried rescue tools and a cascade system. Later renamed Rescue 1. Source: OH.
  • 1974, circa – Rescue 1 at Sta 1 displaced by Truck 7, and moved to Sta 9. Source: OH.
  • 1976 – “Squad truck” described as a “special firefighter squad to fight fires anywhere in the city.” Source: Charlotte Observer, [need date].
  • 1977 – Civil Defense rescue truck still at Station 9. Source: OH.

1980 to 1999

  • 1983 – Squad 1 manpower expands from four to five, when the Battalion Chiefs each lost their drivers that year. Source: OH.
  • 1987/88 – Squad 2 activated at Sta 12, with five personnel, also with a van, and also serving as a manpower unit. The Squad 1 response area was split with Squad 2, which covered south Charlotte. Source: OH.
  • 1989 – Two 1988 Pierce Lance rescues delivered, Squad 1 (Sta 1) and Squad 2 (Sta 12). At Station 1, the new rescue replaced both the old Squad 1 (van) and Truck 7/Rescue 1 (rescue truck). Staffing was increased from five to six. At Station 12, the new rescue replaced the van, and staffing was also increased from five to six. Source: OH.
  • 1989/90 – Squad 2 relocated from Sta 12 to Sta 10, after Ladder 10 was moved to Sta 13, after Sta 25 opened. This put both squads effectively downtown, with no south Charlotte coverage. Squad 1 was thus moved to Sta 14, and later to Sta 3. Source: OH.
  • 1993 – Squad 2 (at Sta 10) renamed Squad 10. Source: OH.
  • 1993-1994 – Squad 1 (at Sta 14) renamed Squad 14. Source: OH.
  • Mid/Late 1990s – Squad 14 moved to Sta 3 and renamed Squad 3.
  • 1998 – Two 1999 Spartan/Salisbury rescues delivered, Rescue 3, Rescue 10. Source: CFDT.
  • 1998 – Squad 3, Squad 10 renamed Rescue 3, Rescue 10, upon delivery of the new trucks. Source: CFDT.

2000 – present

  • 200_ – USAR apparatus added. [ Need year for USAR team activation, NC Task Force activation, etc. ]
  • 2010 – Two 2009 Spartan rescues delivered, Rescue 3, Rescue 10. Source: CFDT.
  • 2019 – Two 2018 Spartan/SVI rescues delivered, Rescue 3, Rescue 10. Source: CFDT.
  • 2020, Oct 10 – Rescue 3 deactivated, Rescue 11 activated. Source: CFDT.

More Information


  • CFDT –
  • OH – oral histories
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Cary Fire History Book

Here’s a new addition to our digital history library. PDF version of new Cary Fire Department history book. BIG file, be prepared. About 49MB. Created this fall as a limited-edition hardcover, 140 pages. No additional copies are available, alas. View or download at

Authored by Brian Oliver, with production and history help by Legeros. Superb compilation of Cary FD’s hundred-year history. Props to Lee Wilson in particular for his apparatus shots over the decades. They really helped record the truck history. < Plus a ton of other contributors. Too many to list. See acknowledgements in the front matter.

Production notes included as end sheet in the PDF file. (And where corrections will be tracked.) Digital version created using PNG scans of each page, with each PNG image reduced to 2200 pixels on long edge and resampled as 150 DPI. Resulting PDF file then converted to reduced-size version. Designed for web viewing. Results may vary if high-res printed.

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