Charlotte Rescue and First Aid Squad – Annual Report, 1953

From page 51 of the previously posted Charlotte Fire Department annual report of calendar year 1953, here’s a neat summary of the rescue squad organization’s activities, members, and assets. Their equipment included three iron lungs!

The Charlotte Rescue and First Aid Squad was a private corporation that was chartered in July 1947. They were one of the oldest in the state, preceded only by Winston-Salem Rescue Squad, chartered in February 1947. 

What’s the later history of the organization? Good question! Maybe readers can help.

Click to enlarge:



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Charlotte Fire Department Annual Reports – 1937, 1953

For your Sunday reading, annual reports of the Charlotte Fire Department for the calendar years 1937 and 1953.

Lots of interesting information and great hand-drawn graphics. The 1953 report also includes hand-drawn pictures of each front-line apparatus!

Scanned from bound copies at Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina, during a recent visit.

Read the reports: 1937 (PDF, 9MB) | 1953 (PDF, 7MB)


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Chapel Hill Fire Station 2 – History of the Original

Chapel Hill’s new Fire Station 2 was dedicated on Saturday. The two-story, 11,246 square-foot engine house was opened in May. See photos.

It’s the ten-years-in-the-making result of a public and private partnership between the town, the county, and a private developer. 

Built on the site of the original 1959 fire station on Hamilton Road, it houses an engine and ladder company, along with a county EMS unit. 

Here’s a look back at the original building’s history. It’s pulled from recent research by Mike Legeros, who’s been diving deep this spring (and summer) into Chapel Hill’s fire history.

2018-07-15-chfdPhoto credits, left to right, top to bottom: Roland Giduz/UNC Collection, Chapel Hill Fire Department, Lee Wilson, Mike Legeros

Pre-History – 1950 to 1956

1950 – Glen Lennox Apartments open, a planned residential community on the east side of town, with 314 units. It’s were located outside the corporate limits and is protected by a community-created (or developer-provided?) volunteer fire department. Source: Legeros blog.

1952 – Glen Lennox shopping center opens, the first for the town and believed to be the second in the state. Source: Glen Lennox history

1953, April 11 – New pumper delivered to town, 1953 American LaFrance 700 Series, 750/110. The $16,180 apparatus is bought with joint funds from the town and the University. It’s later the original Engine 2, when Station 2 opens in 1959.

Continue reading ‘Chapel Hill Fire Station 2 – History of the Original’ »

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Map of Wake County Fire Districts

Here’s a Wake County GIS map of the current county fire districts (plus RDU). That is, all fire insurance districts that are funded by the county fire tax, and protected by contract arrangements with private and municipal fire departments.

Annotated by Mr. Blogger, with larger icons for fire stations, and gray icons added for those handful of “new” stations coming in 2018 and 2019. e.g., Cary 9, Raleigh 6, 12, 14.

With a single color for all current stations, for an “equalized” effect. Did not include further-out future planned stations. Holler with errors and will correct.

View as super-sized PDF.

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The Only Constant is Change

Next week, the Wake County Fire Commission receives presentation from Wake County Fire Services, with a concept for adding a new Garner fire station near Ten Ten Road and Highway 401. Such a facility could provide service to the areas currently served by Fairview Station 2. Whoa.

On June 30, Apex EMS ceased operation. Wake County EMS took over their district, absorbed their assets, and hired some/all of their employees. On July 1, Durham County Fire-Rescue ceased operation. Their assets and personnel and a pair of facilities were consolidated with the city of Durham Fire Department. Whoa.

Big changes, both conceived (Garner/Fairview) and realized (Apex, Durham).

Was thinking about this this week. Change and its consistency in life. Choose your adage and they all, invariably, say something like “this too will change.”

Fire and EMS agencies invariably face changes to their service demands. Populations ebb and flow. Developers develop. Infrastructure expands and contracts. < See Raleigh Fire Station 22, soon closing and relocating to a temporary facility, in response to a rail corridor and right-of-way requirements.

But fire stations and EMS stations are more than just monopoly pieces, easily relocated on a larger gameboard. They embody the legacies of those who served before. And those who created the very agencies. Fairview, Apex, Durham County’s predecessors of Bethesda and Parkwood, they each have decades of sweat equity and community participation.

Plus, things like facility locations and response districts are behemoths of a sort. They aren’t easily budged from their present position. Some is the human investment and how the participants think and react to change. Another piece is the more practical one. You have plan, budget, build, and staff a new facility. You have to research a new response district, and build the necessary stakeholder support. Plus the legal/ISO requirements. Etcetera.

Change is hard, and it takes work.

Was thinking about this. Something something something inspirational goes here. There are good folks and good intentions behind all such initiatives. Even if the roads get rocky to get there, or the end results don’t entirely match expectations.

Historical Perspective

Examples of big changes in fire/rescue/EMS around the Triangle, going back years or decades. Excludes most station openings, except where they involved a relocation:

  • 2018 – Raleigh FD relocates Station 12.
  • 2018 – Durham County Fire-Rescue consolidated with Durham (City) Fire Department
  • 2018 – Apex EMS (municipal) disbanded. 
  • 2017 – Bay Leaf FD and Stony Hill FD consolidate and form Northern Wake FD.
  • 2015 – Cary FD relocates Station 2.
  • 2015 – Durham County EMS takes over operations for remaining Durham County FD EMS providers. (Parkwood.)
  • 2015 – Parkwood FD ceases operation. 
  • 2013 – Bethesda FD ceases operation, Durham County FD created, takes over.
  • 2012 – Falls FD merges with Wake Forest FD.
  • 2011 – Six Forks EMS disbanded.
  • 2010 – Apex EMS merges with town.
  • 2010 – Garner Rescue & EMS ends both rescue and EMS operations. 
  • 2010 – Holly Springs FD ends EMS service.
  • 2008 – Orange County Rescue removed from 911 system. Later disbands.
  • 2008 – Western Wake Station 2 closed, new county-contracted Cary Suburban fire district created.
  • 2004 – Orange County Rescue and South Orange Rescue “un-merge”. 
  • 2007 – Wake County-contracted haz-mat team / Wendell FD haz-mat ceases operation. 
  • 2007 – Rolesville EMS merges with Eastern Wake EMS
  • 2007 – Wake County EMS adds rehab services, takes over role from Wake County Fire Services, which had had a major incident response unit that provided such functions
  • 2005 – Wendell EMS and Knightdale EMS consolidate, form Eastern Wake EMS.
  • 2006 – Holly Springs PS splits into HSFD and HSPD.
  • 2004 – NC RRT 4 moves from Parkwood FD to Raleigh FD.
  • 2003 – Knightdale (rural) FD renamed/re-created as Eastern Wake FD.
  • 2003 – Orange County takes over EMS services in county.
  • 2002 – Apex Rural FD merges with town. 
  • 2002 – Six Forks FD merges with Bay Leaf FD. 
  • 2001 – Town of Knightdale creates new FD. 
  • 2001 – Fuquay-Varina Area Rescue Squad disbands
  • 2000 – Zebulon Rural FD merges with town.
  • 1999 – Orange County Rescue and South Orange Rescue merge. 
  • 1998 – Wake Forest EMS disbands
  • 1998 – Fairgrounds FD and Yrac FD consolidate and form Western Wake FD.
  • 1997 – Holly Springs Rural FD merges with town.
  • 1997 – NC RRT 4 activated at Parkwood FD.
  • 1994 – Morrisville Rural FD merges with town. 
  • 1993 – Raleigh FD relocates Station 4.
  • 1992 – Northern Wake EMS ceases operation
  • Etc.
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Two Alarms on Settle In Lane

Two alarms were struck at 2925 Settle In Lane on Thursday morning, in northeast Raleigh. Dispatched 10:08 a.m. for city companies plus Wake Forest Engine 5 as auto-aid.

Wake Forest Engine 5 and B1 were first-arriving at a two-story multi-family residential building, with 1,648 square-feet in unit, and six units in building. Built 2007. Heavy fire showing from the roof and the rear. 

See superb aerial and ground footage from FocusMedia, posted to Vimeo. The videographer lives across the street. Google for news coverage.

Engine 5 laid their own supply line, and was assisted by the first-arriving Raleigh company, Engine 22, arriving less than a minute behind the Wake Forest engine. Raleigh crews assisted Wake Forest crews stretching the first attack line, to the rear of the building, for an exterior attack on the flames that were extending from the deck to the attic, and across two townhome units.

2018-07-06-rfd2FocusMedia image, screen capture from footage

Another crew entered unit 2927 and took a line inside, and into the attic for fire attack. Wake Forest Battalion 1 was command and requested two additional engines about 10:17 a.m., and then a second alarm about 10:22 a..m. When Raleigh Battalion 1 arrived, he assumed command.

Other companies performed primary and secondary searches for occupants, and checked for extension. Controlled at 10:35 a.m., though companies remained on scene for a few hours, performing salvage and overhaul, along with air monitoring and ventilation in all of the building units.

2018-07-06-rfd3FocusMedia image, screen capture from footage

Due to the high heat, heavy rotation of personnel was performed, along with two sets of relief companies requested, each with two engines and one ladder.

Four people displaced. No injuries to occupants. Two firefighters were injured with heat exhaustion and minor neck burns. Caused determined as accidental, likely started on deck.

Also longer-ish response times for the Raleigh units, as the building is located on the east side of the Falls River subdivision, and just about as far-removed from the main roads as possible. Lots of twisty streets, etc.

2018-07-06-rfdWTVD photo

Run card:

  • 10:08 – E22, E15, E28, E4, L1, L2, R1, B1, B4, WFFD E5, EMS 36, EMS 31, D9, M93
  • 10:18~ – EMS T1
  • 10:19~ – E18, E27
  • 10:21~ – A2, C20, C402. Note: B5 also on dispatch, though that’s an automatic notification, so they can handle move-up. No response.
  • 10:24~ – E23, E9, E16, L9, L6, A1
  • 10:38~ – EMS 33

Plus relief companies. Data from @WakeDispatch on Twitter.

Engine 25 wasn’t on the initial dispatches. They had responded to a service call at 9:55 a.m. Believe they responded to the scene subsequently.

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Visual History of Raleigh-Durham Airport Fire Department

For your holiday enjoyment, here’s another Legeros History Chart. 

Raleigh-Durham International Airport fire department. AKA, RDU CFR.

View as JPG | View as PDF  | See more charts

Here’s the landing page. And only one typo spotted so far. The 1979 quick-response truck was a Chevy, not a Ford. Will be updated.


Here’s the chart in paper form.

Sometimes Mr. Blogger designs on paper. 


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Chapel Hill’s First Fire Company – A Chronological Quandary

The Chapel Hill Fire Department was established in 1896. Everybody knows that, right? Says so on their emblem. But what happens when historical records suggest, perhaps, something different? Let’s a look.

Our story begins with a “visiting professor.” Enter local fire historian and CHFD friend Mike Legeros.

Starting in late spring, he commenced a deep dive into Chapel Hill fire history. He connected with the department historian (and his retired predecessor) and began an exploration, an expansion, a review, an audit, of their written history.

That is, everything about their past in find-able written form.  

Town Minutes Excerpts

In the CHFD archives was a typed copy of town minutes, excerpted from 1896 to 1922. (Which you can read here.) They’d been transcribed by someone, some years or decades prior. And they’re some of the oldest municipal records about the department. Click to enlarge:


The first part of the first page reads:

BOOK I – Page 630 – March 2, 1896

A petition of certain citizens proposed to operate a Fire Company if equipped by the Town was read & laid on the table. The project was looked on with favour but the municipal year was near its end with no funds, so it was thought not necessary to agitate the matter.

BOOK II – Page 76 – September 23, 1901

Board authorized the Finance Committee to purchase for the town a hook & ladder outfit for fire protection – the same to cost not exceeding $200.00. Town also authorized to provide a suitable place for housing it and the 2 reels of hose to be supplied by the University & a part of the fire protection outfit for joint use of Town & University.

May 12, 1902 – P.96

First Fire Chief: John O’Daniel elected. Also Fire Commission: W. S. Roberson, A.A. Kluttz & W. W. Pickard.

May 30, 1902 – P. 103

A fire limit established in view of the fact that no wooden buildings be erected except with approval of the Board of Aldermen.


Continue reading ‘Chapel Hill’s First Fire Company – A Chronological Quandary’ »

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Durham City/County Fire Merger – DFD Expanded, In Service!

July 1, 2018
Durham Fire Department, Expanded, In Service!

Cool things happened at 7:00 a.m. today. The city of Durham Fire Department activated two new stations (Page Road, Seaton Road), and a mess of new units and companies. Some are housed at temporary quarters, as Station 17 on Leesville Road is still a couple weeks away from opening.

Notable new companies and units:

  • Engines 17 (at Sta 8, temp), 18 (Seaton Road), 19 (Old Page Road)
  • Ladder 17 (at Sta 13, temp)
  • Quint 19
  • Battalion 4 (at Sta 9, temp)
  • Division Chief (at Sta 1)
  • Tankers 8, 11, 17 (at Sta 4, temp), 18, 19

But wait Batman, you say you heard some of these unit numbers before today? That’s correct. Durham County Fire-Rescue switched to the city numbering at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26. To help work out CAD issues, etc.

About the tankers, they’re each staffed with a dedicated driver. No floating! These tenders aren’t chicken (see what I did there?) and will be dispatched for vehicle fires on the interstate, large vehicle fires, into rural areas as needed, and even into the city, for areas with weaker water systems.

Congrats to DFD and an exciting expansion.

June 26, 2018
The consolidation is official! Continue reading ‘Durham City/County Fire Merger – DFD Expanded, In Service!’ »

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What’s Happening with the Rebuilding of Raleigh Fire Station 6?

This is an ongoing blog posting about the rebuilding of Fire Station 6.


  • 6/30/18 – Delays Nearly Done
  • 12/28/17 – Site Preparation
  • 08/12/17 – Now Gone
  • 08/02/17 – Demolition started
  • 07/17/17 – Demolition starting soon
  • 05/30/17 – Now closed
  • 05/27/17 – Moving day is nigh!
  • 04/20/17 – Construction bid awarded, other updates
  • 03/11/16 – Comparing current and future station
  • 03/10/16 – 3D renderings
  • 03/04/16 – Another public meeting scheduled
  • 10/07/15 – Public meeting recap
  • 10/07/15 – Historical correction 

June 30, 2018

Delays Nearly Done 

Structural work will begin in July (yea!), with footers and foundation, import fill, and existing retaining wall demolition. Look for the first layer of parking lot asphalt laid soon. That will serve as a material lay down area.

Site work is nearly finished, with water and sewer connections completed in the right of way (Oberlin Road). This was done some weeks ago, and required closing of the road for a number of days. Click to enlarge:

Alas, a couple of project delays have presented, since the demolition was completed in early August 2017.

As part of site preparation, two underground fuel tanks were removed. Soil contamination was discovered and halted the project for several weeks, while the contaminated soil was removed and further testing conducted. 

In November, a precast concrete sand filter assembly was installed, under where the parking lot will be located. It will help with storm water run-off. Scroll down to see a picture, or check out Mike’s photo album.

Additional site delays were subsequently encountered as a change of work was negotiated to address unsuitable solids (soil compaction issues), as well as negotiating a right of entry with the residential neighbor. That’s for performing work on or in close proximity to the property line.

Station 6 is now targeted for completion in the fall of 2019. The 1949 engine house was shuttered at 10:29 a.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017. Engine 6 relocated to nearby Station 5 and continues to share their quarters. After they return to their new quarters, they’ll share their digs with the planned Ladder 10.

December 28, 2017

Site Preparation

Continue reading ‘What’s Happening with the Rebuilding of Raleigh Fire Station 6?’ »

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