Raleigh Run Numbers 2019

Here are totals for Raleigh Fire Departments unit runs and total calls last year. See prior years, from 1993 to 2019, in this PDF document.

Total Calls – 44,661
Total Runs – 64,753

Runs by Unit

E1 – 1,849
E2 – 2,248
E3 – 2,604
E4 – 1,404
E5 – 1,358
E6 – 1,198
Squad 7 – 2,472
E8 – 2,233
E9 – 2,234
E10 – 1,902
E11 – 2,159
E12 – 2,517
E13 – 1,681
Squad 14 – 1,875
E15 – 2,706
E16 – 1,998
E17 – 1,369
E18 – 1,202
E19 – 2,793
E20 – 1,709
E21 – 1,950
E22 – 1,463
E23 – 858
E24 – 1,012
E25 – 920
E26 – 1,105
E27 – 845
E28 – 1,021
E29 – 311
L1 – 1,066
L2 – 1,904
L3 – 1,158
L4 – 2,409
L5 – 514
L6 – 386
L7 – 1,123
L8 – 1,696
L9 – 462
Rescue 1 – 1,165
Battalion 1 – 502
Battalion 2 – 598
Battalion 3 – 544
Battalion 4 – 409
Battalion 5 – 854
Car 20 – 147  (Division Chief)
Car 401 – 10 (Investigators)
Car 402 – 260
Air 1 – 81
Air 2 – 73
Haz-Mat 1 – 64
Haz-Mat 2 – 61
Haz-Mat 3 – 72
Haz-Mat 4 – 30
Haz-Mat 5 – 62
Mini Pumper 1 – 18
Mini Pumper 2 – 12
Mini Pumper 3 – 19
USAR 801 – 13 (Swift Water / Technical Rescue)

Busiest Engines

2,793 – E19
2,706 – E15
2,604 – E3
2,517 – E12
2,472 – Squad 7
2,248 – E2
2,234 – E9
2,233 – E8
2,159 – E11
1,998 – E16

Busiest Ladders

2,409 – L4
1,904 – L2
1,696 – L8
1,158 – L3
1,123 – L7

Busiest Battalion Chief

Battalion 5 – 854

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Five-Hour Search For Downed Plane at Raleigh-Durham Airport, 1978

Found these plane crash photos from 1978 by Jim Thornton in the Herald-Sun photo collection at Wilson Library at UNC. Here’s the story behind them. 

On Monday night, February 13, 1978, a twin-engine Aero Commander 600 approaching Raleigh-Durham Airport disappeared from radar at 8:00 p.m. Six souls were aboard. The plane apparently struck a tree and crashed about two-and-a-half miles southwest of Runway 5-23. And though it crashed just a few hundred yards south of Interstate 40, it took rescuers almost five hours to find the two survivors.

The aircraft crashed at 8:02 p.m., reported the NTSB, and into a “swampy area” south of the airport. Upon impact, it also began transmitting an automatic distress signal.

Alerted to the possible plane crash, the airport fire department responded and with their new full-time personnel. RDU CFR had recently hired thirteen new people to provide full-time staffing during the hours that commercial flights were arriving and departing. This was a significant upgrade of the airport’s crash-fire-rescue capabilities, and ended improvements started in summer of 1976, after unfavorable news stories began asking uncomfortable questions about the airport’s emergency response capabilities.

Prior to the department’s overhaul, RDU firefighters also had other airport support duties, notably performing refueling operations for private airplanes. There were questions of adequacy of training, staffing, and equipment. Among the improvements in late 1977 and early 1978 included a new ARFF crash truck, a new quick-response unit with a dry chemical skid system, and new communications and radio equipment. The chief of department was Terry Edmundson, former Fire Chief of Cary.

Read more about RDU CFR history at www.legeros.com/ralwake/rdu/timeline.shtml. See historical photos from that era at www.flickr.com/p…/raleighfiremuseum/albums/72157691054681296

Hundreds of Searchers

Back to the night of February 13. Mutual aid to the incident was extensive, with what one newspaper called “virtually every volunteer [responder] and emergency unit in the area.” That included Morrisville FD, Parkwood FD, Cary FD, Yrac FD, Durham Highway FD, Cary Rescue, Parkwood Rescue, Wake County EMS, Durham EMS, the State Highway Patrol, Wake County SO, Durham County SO, and the Civil Air Patrol.

As was the airport’s standard operating procedure, they notified the Civil Air Patrol, which launched a search plane. However, the search plane couldn’t fly low enough to pinpoint the crash site. Also, the search plane’s automatic distress beacon inadvertently began transmitting, and caused confusion.

The Coast Guard was contacted and sent a helicopter from Elizabeth City. It located the crash site from the downed craft’s homing beacon around 11:50 p.m. [ Let’s guess 60 to 80 minutes flying time from Elizabeth City to Morrisville. ]

By the time the helicopter had located the crash site, some 300 searchers were participating, including private citizens who joined after hearing about the crash on their CB radio. But the searchers had been hampered by fog and swampy, wooden terrain. Reported one account, the terrain was wet and icy, and rescuers walked in water ranging from knee to waist high.
Once the helicopter located the wreckage, a command post for all search parties was established “on the highway.” [ Was that on the Interstate 40? Or on Airport Road or Sorrell’s Grove Road? ]

Wreckage Found

About an hour later, members of the search party spotted the plane. It was found about 12:50 a.m. There were two survivors, adult males, one of whom was found wandering several hundred yards from the crash site either ten minutes before or after, depending upon the news report.

He was admitted to Wake Memorial Hospital for severe frostbite on both legs and multiple abrasions and cuts. He had apparently been thrown from the plane as it fell.

The other survivor was found pinned inside the airplane, which reportedly crashed upside down at full-power. He was treatment for multiple abrasions and a cervical fracture. The other four adult males aboard died of massive injuries, reported the assistant state medical examiner.

News accounts noted that at least $20,000 was found in the wreckage, along with about two pounds of marijuana, and a “small quantity of powdery substance.” The six men aboard were most (or maybe all?) in their twenties. The plane was travelling from Bedford, MA, to Monroe, NC.

Disaster Plan Needs Update

Three weeks later, the News & Observer published some after-action accounts of the incident. The rescue crews had used the airport’s “forty-page disaster plan” for the incident. However, as the newspaper noted, the document contained “scant references to searching for a downed plane.” Instead, it “merely suggested calling for search planes from Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard, or military.”

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority passed a resolution the prior week, calling for a search plan to be written and coordinated with the disaster plans of Wake County Civil Preparedness office. However, the county plan also didn’t include preparations for downed planes [outside of the airport]. Noted Director Russell Capps, they were considering adding that to their plan.

Why didn’t the airport’s disaster plan include instructions for searching off-property? Because the FAA required that disaster plans be limited to incidents on airport property. The limits were imposed because the FAA recognized that some airports disagree with adjoining communities, over who takes charge when a plane crashes near the boundaries of an airport.

And there were other issues cited by the newspaper. When any plane fails to land, the control tower notifies Civil Air Patrol, which “sends off” a search plane. But because CAP isn’t requested by RDU-CFR, the two groups don’t coordinate. Radio interoperability was also an issue, with RDU-CFR unable to talk to sheriff’s departments participating in the search and could only communicate indirectly with search planes via the control tower.

And then what happened? To be determined. This is where our story ends for today.

Jim Thorton photos, February 15, 1978. From Box 1_04_55, in the folder Aircraft Accidents, in the Durham Herald Company Newspaper Photograph Collection #P0105, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sources include:

Durham Sun, February 14, 1978
Durham Sun, February 16, 1978
News & Observer, February 14, 1978
News & Observer, February 15, 1978
News & Observer, February 16, 1978
News & Observer, March 6, 1978.

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Trench Rescue at Brier Creek – January 15, 2020

These notes were originally posted on Facebook, after a trench rescue incident on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. See more photos from Mike Legeros in this SmugMug album



  • Dispatched 11:03 a.m. Gas station construction site at 4209 Corners Parkway, near intersection of Glenwood Avenue and TW Alexander Drive. Below grade earth collapse trapping four workers. 
  • One self-rescued and two were rescued by responders. The second worker was removed soon after air readings showed safe conditions for rescuer entry. The second worker was removed about 11:45 a.m.
  • The third worker–reportedly trapped up to his waist–required a longer operation, including assistance from a City of Raleigh Public Works vacuum truck that arrived about 12:10 p.m. The third worker was extricated about 12:35 p.m.
  • Two of the workers were transported to Duke University Hospital. Their conditions were reportedly non life-threatening.
  • Crews continued working at the scene into the afternoon, to locate the missing fourth worker. Though, as news stories noted, their pace was slower, as a precaution to protect the rescuers. The fourth worker was recovered, deceased, about 4:15 p.m.



  • Location was inside the Durham city limits, but just inside Wake County. [ Initial dispatch assignments go here. ]
  • Raleigh sent a full technical rescue assignment: Rescue 1, Squad 7 and 14, Engine 17, Ladder 3, USAR 801, Battalion 5. Plus special call for the two new trench rescue trailers. (In addition to the nearby closest engine and ladder, at Station 24.)
  • Durham’s technical rescue assignment consisted of [ goes here ]. And, of notable note, Raleigh Rescue 1 and Durham’s newly reactivated Rescue 1 were working side-by-side.
  • Fire command by Durham Battalion _. Rescue branch command by [ goes here ]. EMS command by Wake County EMS Chief 200, then Chief 102.
  • EMS resources responded from both Durham and Wake County, including major incident support units from both (MIRV 1 and Truck 1).



  • Units staged at various locations around the incident site, including the parking lot of Harris Teeter for medical and some unit staging.
  • News helicopters were overhead. See those stories for aerial footage and images.
  • Legeros arrived about 11:40 a.m. See his pictures in this album.

Run Card

Durham Fire

  • E3, E17, E9, E13, E4, E8
  • L12, L3, L17, L2
  • R1, Tactical 2 (technical rescue box truck)
  • Sq4
  • Bat 3, Bat 4
  • Haz-Mat 13, MS1 (air truck, support unit)
  • FD20 (Shift Training Officer), FD8 (Division Chief), FD3, FD2, FD1 (Fire Chief)

Durham County EMS

  • Medic 22
  • [Unit] 51 (Supervisor)
  • Chief 203, Chief 204
  • MIRV 1 (major incident support)

Durham Highway Fire

  • P161
  • R16
  • Car 16

Raleigh Fire

  • E24, E17
  • Sq7, Sq14
  • L6, L3
  • R1
  • Bat 5, Bat 4
  • Air 2
  • Safety Officer
  • Mini 3 + Collapse Rescue 1 (trailer)
  • USAR 801 + Collapse Rescue 2 (trailer)

Wake County EMS

  • EMS 10, 33, 39, 44, 49, 52 (Cary EMS)
  • DC 6 (Eastern Wake EMS)
  • Medic 96
  • Truck 1 (major incident support)
  • Chief 200 (Shift Commander)
  • Chief 102
  • MD20 (Deputy Medical Director)
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Fire School Program, 1955

For your Friday enjoyment, here’s a vintage program from the 27th Annual North Carolina Fire College and Pump School, held in May 1955 in Charlotte. The popular event was conducted by the then-named North Carolina State Firemen’s Association. It was held from 1929 to 2002 in various locations around the state.

View a PDF version of the program at www.legeros.com/blog/docs/1955-fire-school-program.pdf

Scanned from a physical copy from the Hose & Nozzle archives, courtesy of the Troy Fire Department. 

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – January 16, 2020

The next meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission will be held on Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., at the Wake County Emergency Services Training Center, which is located in a warehouse building at 220 South Rogers Lane, in Suite 160.  

Agenda is below. View the 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 Campasano
    • Adoption of Minutes for November 21, 2019 Meeting
    • Approval of Agenda
  • Public Comments
    • Comments from the public will be taken at this time. Members of the public are invited to make comment to the Commission, with a maximum of three minutes per person. A signup sheet for those who wish to speak during the public comments section of the meeting is located at the entrance of the meeting room.
  • Regular Agenda
    • 2020 Census Presentation – Tim Maloney
  • Information Agenda
    • Fire Tax Financial Report
    • Standing Committee Updates
      • Administrative
      • Apparatus
      • Budget
      • Communications
      • Equipment
      • Facility
      • Training
      • Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Committee
    • Chair Report
    • Fire Services Report
  • Other Business
  • Adjournment – Next Meeting – March 19, 2020
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Audio Recording from Commuter Plane Crash Response in Morrisville, 1994

Here’s a surprise historical find, newly discovered audio recording of the 911 call, the dispatch, and the first 13 minutes of radio traffic, of fire units responding to the commuter plane crash in Morrisville on December 13, 1994. Listen to the recording at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwV4H5GVK_Y.

It was contributed by David Ferrell, a Morrisville Fire Captain and one of the first-arriving responders. American Eagle Flight #3379 crashed at 6:34 p.m. with twenty souls aboard. There were five survivors.

Have started updating my research materials, to incorporate the new information that the recording reveals. See those and more at legeros.com/history/stories/eagle-crashes/1994

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New Trailer for USAR 3

North Carolina Task Force 8 has received a new trailer for USAR 3. It’s their first first curtain-side trailer, which will allow access from both sides as well as the back. It’ll replace a box trailer that transports their Base of Operation (BoO) portable shelter system, which includes tents, showers, cots, generators and HVAC systems, etc. And it’ll be further modified with a rear attachment to carry their Moffett forklift.

Why the new trailer and new style of trailer? Two reasons. First, they’ll increase their storage space by about a third, because side-loading allows for more efficient placement of stored equipment. Second, stuff stored in the back will no longer block access to stuff stored in the front. Side-access allows selective retrieval of equipment.

Also, note that their name and logo has changed. The state teams are slowly rolling out a rebranding that subtracts the word “urban”. Though they are training as and defined by FEMA as USAR teams, their response areas (and response capabilities) cover urban, suburban, and rural areas.

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Renovations to Station 11 – December Update – Moving Day

This is an ongoing blog posting about the renovation of Fire Station 11. 

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


  • 12/17/19 – Moving Day
  • 11/24/19 – Nearly Finished
  • 9/27/19 – Doors Have Been Added
  • 6/25/19 – Interior Work Has Started
  • 5/29/19 – New Bays Nearly Complete
  • 3/23/19 – Construction Has Started
  • 12/7/18 – Rendering Added
  • 12/6/18 – Companies Moved
  • 10/12/18 – Site Plans, Floor Plans

December 17, 2019
Crews completed two days of moving today into their new old home. Station 11 was reactivated early this afternoon, with Engine 11 and Ladder 2 relocating from their temporary quarters at Station 7 and Station 15, respectively. Here are a some pictures:

November 24, 2019
Nearly finished. And a good-looking plaque seen through the windows…

September 27, 2019
Doors have been added! 

Continue reading ‘Renovations to Station 11 – December Update – Moving Day’ »

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Air Ambulance Crash in Oxford, 1949

This is a blog version of a pair of earlier Facebook postings on Legeros Fire Line.

Here’s a photo and a news clipping about an early air ambulance crash in our area. Converted Cessna five-seat plane crashed near Oxford on August 25, 1949. Three aboard, the pilot and two nurses. Two died at the scene and the third, one of the nurses, died at the hospital. The plane was returning from New York to Durham, after transporting a patient, and attempting an emergency landing at “Brent Meadows farm.” The plane crashed into a cornfield after striking a tree. It was operated by Piedmont Aviation Inc.

Was this the same Durham-based air ambulance service seen in this vintage Esso advertisement from 1947? To be determined. See earlier posting.

See also Mike’s master Google map of Raleigh-Durham area plane crashes.

Phone photo of film negative by Charles Cooper, P0105/1-01-13-141 in the Durham Herald Co. Newspaper Photograph Collection #P0105, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Statesville Daily Record, Friday, August 26, 1949.

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