Not a Fire Chief’s Car From Dunn

This is a blog version of this Facebook posting

A friend found this one: Hemmings offering for a 1917 Simplex Touring Car that the seller notes was delivered as a fire chief’s car for Dunn, NC. 

That’s probably wrong. If you search the SPAAMFAA Peckham ALF registry, you’ll get this hit, which was a combination hose/chemical car. And probably interpreted by the seller as meaning this vehicle.

1551 – DUNN – NC – 40 COMB/JR. – 85758 – 6/16/1917 – ALF

Reasonable mistake. But for this fire historian, it fails the contextual consideration. Would a town the size of Dunn in the 1910s have purchased new ANY motor car for its fire chief? Probably not.

Submitted for your consideration.

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Chapel Hill’s New Rescue

This is a blog version of this Facebook posting. Go there for reader comments.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department placed Squad 61 in service on Wednesday, April 17. It’s the department’s first rescue truck, and their first red rig in over 25 years. (Their apparatus has been Carolina Blue since 1996, with one exception, a white 2002 HME/4-Guys pumper bought used in 2010)

Squad 61 is a 2001 Spartan/Marion heavy rescue, ex-Old Mystic FD in Groton, CT. Has a walk-in body, accessed via side door on the officer’s side. Equipped with full extrication and technical rescue tools. Housed at Station 4 on Weaver Dairy Road Extension. Was delivered in January.

Though it’s their first rescue truck, it’s not their first “Squad.” That designation was first-used in 2001, when a 2000 International/KME rescue pumper was placed in service at Station 3 as Squad 33.

Squad 33 was renamed Engine 33 in 2010. Source for historical info:

Pics courtesy of CHFD, which posted them in this announcement on FB:

Courtesy Chapel Hill Fire Department

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Two Alarms on Primland Lane

Two alarms were struck on Sunday, March 24, at 5109 Primland Lane, a couple streets off Rogers Lane on the far east side of Raleigh.

Engine 12 was dispatched about 5:40 p.m. to an outside fire, and found a grass fire that had spread to the rear of a two-story, single-family dwelling. Heavy fire had extended into the attic, while wind was also pushing both the grass fire and structure fire toward exposures on three sides of the fire building. 

A second alarm was requested by the Engine 12 officer, due to the rapidly spreading fire. It was dispatched about 5:54 p.m. They were directed to Heather Ridge Lane, a street behind the fire, and where a second structure was reported on fire. No second structure fire was found.

Three additional engines were also dispatched about 5:58 p.m. They remained in staged, and were soon returned to service.

Attacking the Fire

Crews on Engine 12 hand-laid to a hydrant on Primland, and began an exterior attack on both the grass fire and the structure fire. Second-arriving Engine 21 took another line into the rear of the structure, for fire attack and search, along with Ladder 8. 

Interior crews were advancing a line into the structure, but were evacuated after their hose burst and due to heavy fire conditions in the attic. All personnel with ordered out of the structure, and operations changed to defensive mode. 

Ladder 8 (on Primland) and Ladder 4 (on Thistlegate Trail) deployed aerial streams, and a pair of ground monitors were used, along with the hand hose lines. Engine 2, dispatched on the second alarm, see below, supplied Ladder 4, which is not equipped with a pump. Engine 2 used a hydrant at the corner of Thistlegate and Primland.

Crews from the companies on Heather Ridge Lane connected to a third hydrant, and assisted with fire attack from a hill behind and above Primland Lane. 

Once aerial operations were started, the fire was quickly contained. It was marked under control at 6:19 p.m. Most of the additional fire companies were quickly returned to service.

The cause of the fire was determined as accidental. No injuries were reported. 

Run Card

Units on scene included: 

  • Outside fire (~5:40): E12
  • Working fire (~5:43): E21, E26, E11, L8, L4, R1, B2, B1, C20, C401, A2
  • Second alarm (~5:54): E10, E2, Sq7, L7, L1
  • Also dispatched (~5:58): E3, E19, E13
  • Medical: EMS 7, EMS 62, EMS 36, EMS 5, E3, D4, M92, T1. 

See photos from Legeros.


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Relocating Fire Station 14 – March Updates

This is an ongoing blog posting about the relocating of Fire Station 14. 

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

March 23, 2019
Added link above to official project site. What’s happening at the construction site? Site work is finishing. Should see construction starting soon. 

Continue reading ‘Relocating Fire Station 14 – March Updates’ »

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First Aid for the Injured – Firemen’s Conference Talk, 1914

At the annual convention of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association in August 1914, State Fire Marshal Sherwood Brockwell gave a presentation on first aid. Here’s a transcription, as printed in the published proceedings…

Mr. Brockwell was called upon to give an address and a demonstration to the Convention on first aid to the injured. He explained what he was about to attempt to do by first preparing a table for his demonstrations and bringing out a small jar of articles required by everyone in first aid to the injured.

“When I went up to Dr. Rankin’s office he showed me first the [jar of items for] Red Cross first aid to injured […]. They make these and send them out to the different departments for exactly what they cost and the freight, which is about $5.50. This jar contains everything necessary in the use of first aid, bandages, etc.”

“When you get ready to work on your patient you can turn it right over, emptying it out, and you have a glass vessel that will hold your water; then you have a small bucket to mix your medicine; you have a pair of scissors, a glass and a dropper, bandages and a bottle.”

“The first suggestions are when there is not a doctor at hand. The first thing to do, of course, is to send for a doctor, as he is always necessary, but while you are waiting for a doctor to arrive, apply these first aids to the injured, because a man has only about three gallons of blood, and then, besides, he might be suffering great pain, and when he does get to the hospital he will be in better condition.”

“The first thing liable to happen to a fireman, fighting a fire, is that he is liable to be overcome by smoke, what is called smoke intoxication. You know there are two kinds. First, lead him quickly out into the open air, tear open his clothing. For the smoke that has gone into his stomach you must make him vomit-vichy and milk, hot water and mustard, or if these things cannot be obtained, run you finger down his throat, for you must make him vomit.”

“Then, you are liable to find an unconscious man in a building. The first thing is to get him out. I will show you how to take him out of a second sto1’y building. The first thing you do is to turn him over on his face. Lay him out in this way, then get him in a standing position and get him on your shoulder; take and pull him over your shoulder (this way) and grab him here. Now, he is not heavy. I can run with him, and I have both hands and feet free. You can carry a man weighing two hundred and twenty pounds down a ladder in that way.”

“When you get him to the ground, you want to try to start him to breathing. Will say here that every progressive city in the United States should have a pulmotor. They cost about one hundred and ninety dollars, and it is the greatest instrument in the world for artificial respiration. It has the same effect on a one-day old baby’s lungs as it would on Jack Johnson’s. But until you get a pulmotor, you want to know how to get along without it.”

“Now, the first method is done by taking the patient, laying him flat on his back with shoulders raised; then open his mouth and get out any false teeth, chewing gum or tobacco, and take his tongue and pull it out. If you have nothing else, take your scarfpin and stick his tongue to his lip to hold it out. Any kind of a pin will do if you haven’t a scarf pin. Then straddle his body and take his arms and press some of the poison out of his lungs. Bring his hands out and put behind him for every breath he makes. By doing  that when you press here you cause the lungs to throw off the poisonous smoke, and that gives the lungs a chance to inhale some good, fresh air. You do that about twelve or fifteen times a minute, and don’t you ever let up.”

“The other method is still easier. If you have two men handy, you bring his arms up over his head and press back. If you only have one man, turn the patient over, letting his head go to one side; pull his mouth open and his head will have a tendency to come out. Then you put the palms of your hands in the loins of his back, which is at the base of his lungs. Gyrate your hands once for each time you breathe, or from twelve to fifteen times a minute.”

“When you go into a building and find an unconscious person lying there, you want to find out the first thing if he has any broken bones, for if you pick him up and shake him about you will do him more harm than good, if he has any broken bones. The first thing is to ask him if he is hurt, and if he is conscious he will tell you. If he is unconscious look him over, and if you come to the conclusion that he has had a fall, look for any fractures. Now, if you run across a hump on his body that shows that the bone is broken and the ends are shattered. Now, if you pick that man up, bending his leg about like that, then that broken bone is liable to puncture a blood vessel, so, except in a case of a big fire, bind him up before you move him.”

“You want to make a stretcher for him right quick. The best thing to do is to take a horse blanket and a pike pole. If you haven’t a pike pole tear a paling from the nearest fence. If you have a pike pole, straighten out your horse blanket, put it around the pike pole, reach up into the wall and tear out some nails, run your nails through this, about six, or in an emergency four will do. Remember this when you are going to use that stretches–you can handle that stretcher better than you can a man’s body. Now, we have him ready to carry out. In case you want to raise his head, get a shingle.”

“In case you have all motor driven apparatus and have thrown your horse blankets away, you would call your firemen in. They all wear rubber coats. Button up your coats, put two down and run your pike polls through them; then turn them over on the flat side, away from the clasps. The men who made the stretcher would remove their coats, of course.”

“When you get your patient out, and you want to splint him is where your first bandage would come it. You put your splint on the break, and if you haven’t any bandage pull your shoestrings out of your shoes. You don’t have to make a finished job because the doctor will do that later.”

“If a man has a broken arm, then you ·have him tied up so he won’t sling his arm around while you are taking him out on the stretcher.”

“If he has his arm and if he has his leg both broken, pull off the nearest fence paling, take it and take the rope from your fire wagon and tie him up good to that splint. You have him braced above the fracture on both places. In case you cannot get a picket or anything of that kind, tie his legs together.”

“The next thing that is liable to happen is that a man might get a severe cut, say on his arm. Now, everybody has two kinds of blood vessels in his arm, one is a vein and the other is an artery. The vein conveys the blood to the heart and the artery conveys the blood from the heart. If the blood is pumping a bright red it is from an artery; if a dull red and flowing slowly, it is from a vein. The four main arteries of the body run down, the first inside your arm, about close to the seam of your shirt; on your leg· it runs down along the inside of your trousers. Now, that blood vessel carrying that blood does no other duty than your fire hose does. You know if your press your fire hose you stop the water. If you hold an artery that way you stop the blood pressure. You merely tie the artery up between the wound and the heart; if it is a vein, between the extremity and the wound. All you have to do is to mash that blood vessel. In this kit that I was showing you they have a special arrangement for stopping this blood. They strap this around here and pull down on it until it stops the bleeding. A belt will serve the same purpose. “

“Another thing, gentlemen, is a scalp wound, which makes a very ugly wound, and bleeds profusely. The way to do that is to compress your wound. Take a small piece of your bandage like this, roll it up to fit the wound, wash the wound out, and one of the best antiseptics is one teaspoonful of iodine to a tumblerful o. water. If you cannot get that, take some gasoline, which is also a good antiseptic, although not as good as iodine. Never use kerosene. Now, to stop the scalp wound, put the bandage down into the wound carry it around the skin and press it down into the wound, which will soon stop the wound from bleeding.”

“Another thing is a nail puncture. In this case, you should, by all means, send for a doctor at once. When he gets there he will take that nail hole and cut it four ways. When he gets to the bottom of that wound be will wash it out with iodine and water and will give you the treatment for tetanus, and keep it washed out in the meantime, and let nature take its course, healing from the wound outward. The old remedy for a nail puncture was to take turpentine and wash it. Don’t ever put turpentine on a nail hole, because turpentine is one of the best things in the world for healing up a surface wound, but that is not what you want in a nail hole but something to heal it from the inside out. “

“If you cannot get a doctor get some laudanum and fill the hole with it if not, fill it with iodine solution. The wound will try to close up, so the best thing to do is to take a syringe and fill it full and press it in the hole and flush it out. Then make a poultice and press down in it and that will absorb it.”

“If you will look over that book I have given you, you will find a handy remedy for almost anything that will happen to you firemen. Don’t ever give a wounded man alcohol. Alcohol calls out some of the energies of your nervous system, which will keep from overcoming the wound.”

Motion made to adjourn.

Plus one stock photo, to add some visual appeal. But it’s from a later era, artificial respiration demonstration in Raleigh in 1940. Courtesy North Carolina State Archives.

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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – March 21, 2019

Note: This blog posting was originally published with the incorrect month of April as the meeting date.

The next regular meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission is on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at the county emergency services training center,  220 S. Rogers Lane, Suite 160. See supporting documents in the agenda packet.

View agenda packet


  • Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Keith McGee
    • Invocation
    • Pledge of allegiance
    • Roll of Members Present
  • Items of Business
    • Adoption of Minutes for January 17, 2019 Regular Meeting
    • Adoption of the Work Session Minutes
    • 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 3 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
    • Fairview Request for Reimbursement on Fire Pump Repair
    • Western Wake Request for Reimbursement for Shower Tile Repair
    • Hopkins Fire Department Request to Reorganize Rank Structure with pay adjustments
    • Wake New Hope Fire Department Rescue Disposal and Administrative Vehicle Request
  • 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 – Special Called Fire Commission Meeting April 25, 2019

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Biltmore Fire Chief Dies During Asheville Flooding, 1916

Here’s an unusual bit of history from Western North Carolina. The great flood of July 16, 1916, killed the Fire Chief of Biltmore Village, J. C. Lipe. He drowned, along with three other members of his family, try to escape from their home.

His death was reported in this Raleigh News & Observer article about the state firemen’s convention, which was held two days after the disaster. The newspaper is quoting a statement from the Asheville Fire Department, which was read at the conference.

Biltmore Village Fire Department was organized in 1903 and operated until 1929. More history at

The Wilmington Morning Star also published these details about “Captain Lipe’s” drowning:

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Celebrating Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day in March 2019. Top montage created in 2019, bottom three created in 2017. Compiled from a decade-plus of fire photography by Legeros, of women in emergency services around Raleigh, Wake County, Durham, Chapel Hill, and more. 

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Vintage Photo of Charlotte Tanker

Would you believe a yellow tanker in Charlotte? This nifty picture was posted to the Fire & Rescue Apparatus 25 Years And Older group on Facebook. Photo by Dan Mack via Scott Mattson’s collection.

It’s a 1972 International/Etnyre, 500/1500. As the story goes, Charlotte added these tankers when the city began growing faster than planned in the mid-1970s. (Raleigh added a pair of tankers in 1960, for similar reasons.)

The tankers were based on a street-flusher design, and were apparently chosen for their ready-availability and affordability. The body was built by Etnyre, which still builds road flushers and other specialty vehicles. 

See the Charlotte FD Trucks site, for more information on fleet history:

More Old Photos

Reader Shawn Royall shared these vintage pictures, from Station 23 in East Charlotte, in this Legeros Fire Line posting on Facebook.

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Vintage Photo of Sunbury Pumper

This vintage picture was posted by Thomas Landen to the N.C. Old Photos and Things of Interest group on Facebook.

Late 1930s or maybe early 1940s American LaFrance 500 Series, ex-Melfa, VA, and the first truck for Sunbury Volunteer Fire Department, in Gates County. Bought in 1957 for $750.

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