Ten Year History Update

This posting is a work in progress. Last updated February 19, 2022.

On December 31, 2012, the City of Raleigh Fire Department ended its 100th year of service as a career organization. It was staffed with 575 authorized positions and a budget of $50,483,534. They operated twenty-seven fire stations with twenty-eight engines, eight ladders, three rescues, and four Battalion Chiefs. The department was comprised of the Office of the Fire Chief, the Office of the Fire Marshal, the Operations Division, the Services Division, and the Training Division. They served a population of 416,468 people in an area of 144.39 square miles.

For the occasion of their centennial year, special events and activities were held through the year. A chicken and rice luncheon for retirees was held at the training center in April. An all-day celebration was held in downtown Raleigh in June. Thousands of people attended the event, which opened with a fire engine parade down Fayetteville Street. The parade was followed by an apparatus muster and a firefighter competition. An old-fashioned fireman’s ball was held in November at the Raleigh Convention Center.  

Other special activities during the year included the operational restoration of the 1905 steam engine. Special centennial stickers were added to all fire apparatus, and centennial merchandise, including challenge coins and t-shirts, was sold as fundraisers. And a centennial history book was created, with a written history collecting and expanding upon the histories written for the 1984 and 2002 commemorative books.

The following timeline continues the history of the Raleigh Fire department, from 2013 through 2022.

2013

Milestones

  • January 31, 2013 – Academy 38 starts with 27 members.
  • February 5, 2013 – Fifth battalion created, Battalion 5 at Station 9.
  • February 5, 2013 – New companies activated, five-person Rescue 1 at Station 21, and Squad 14 and Squad 15. The prior Rescue 2 and Rescue 3, two-person units, were deactivated on January 31.
  • February 2013 – New haz-mat support unit activated, SR 1 at Station 2, spill control unit.
  • February 2013 – Aide position created for platoon Division Chiefs, reassigned from the decided driver of the mobile air unit. The latter is now cross-staffed by the engine company. 
  • February 27, 2013 – Battalion 1 moved from Station 19 to Station 15.
  • April 10, 2013 – SR 2 at Station 8 renamed Haz-Mat 3
  • April 2013 – Centennial history book published.
  • March 6, 2013 – Mobile ambulance simulation lab placed in service, using old 2000 Freightliner/American LaFrance rescue unit.
  • May-June, 2013 – New tractor delivered for NC Haz-Mat RRT unit, 2014 Freightliner. 
  • June 1, 2013 – First Latino lieutenant promoted, P. F. Arevelo.
  • August 1, 2013 – New fireground procedures implemented.
  • August 9, 2013 – Recruit Academy 39 graduates with 26 members.
  • December 31, 2013 – Also during the year:
      • Division Chief position added at Training, upgrading a Battalion Chief position.
      • Field communications unit (mobile command post) retired, summer.
      • Handheld radios replaced with newer models.
      • New vehicles for Battalions 2, 3, 4, Chevy Tahoes, spring.
  • FY12 accomplishment, completed revisions to the fire prevention and protection city code, which included an increase in the fire inspection and permit fees with several construction and operational permits added.
  • FY12 accomplishment, partnership with Public Utilities to locate, obtain GPS and identifying info, and test every hydrant in city.

Incidents

  • April 27, 2013 – Two alarms at 1501 Graduate Lane. Apartments.
  • May 8, 2013 – Two alarms at 427 Woodburn Drive. Commercial.
  • May 21, 2013 – Two alarms at 3216 Calumet Drive. Apartments.
  • May 31, 2013 – Two alarms at 910 Tryon Hill Road. Commercial.
  • June 7, 2013 – Tropical Storm Andrew causes record-breaking rainfall and subsequent flooding.
  • August 24, 2013 – Two alarms at 5024 Manor Valley Court.

2014

Milestones

  • February 2014 – Construction starts on Station 29.
  • February 2014 – New deliveries: two rescue-pumpers, one pumper, one rear-mount platform, all Pierce Arrow XT.
  • March 24, 2014 – Recruit Academy 39 starts with 34 members.
  • July 1-2, 2014 – New SCBA placed in service on all apparatus and units.
  • September 25, 2014 – Recruit Academy 39 graduates with 30 members.
  • October 27, 2014 – Recruit Academy 40 starts with 38 members.
  • October 24, 2014 – Land acquired for new Station 14 on Harden Road.  
  • December 31, 2014 – Also during the year:
    • New PPE purchased, including new Cairns helmets.
    • New Priority Fire Inspection Program started.
    • SCBA refilling stations added at the five battalion HQ stations, summer and fall.
    • FY14 accomplishment, two Deputy Fire Marshal positions added, effective/after July 1, 2013.
    • FY14 accomplishment, researched, selected and purchased new nozzles for initial attack lines to increase the volume of water without replacing current hose.
    • FY14 accomplishment, formed the Capital Area Fire Investigations Task Force to coordinate city, county, state and federal resources to ensure consistent, in-depth fire investigations.

Incidents

  • February 12, 2014 – Weekday snow and ice event paralyzes city.
  • November 20, 2014 – Two alarms at 725 Royal Anne Lane. Apartments.

2015

Milestones

  • January 16, 2015 – SOC units moved, plus air truck relocated from Station 5 to Station 8.
  • April 2015 – New Pierce air truck delivered.
  • April 2015 – Second mobile air unit placed in service.
  • May 14, 2015 – Recruit Academy 40 graduates with 36 members.
  • June 9, 2015 – Station 29 opens at 12117 Leesville Road.
  • June 9, 2015 – Ninth ladder company placed in service, Ladder 9.
  • June 23, 2015 – Station 29 dedicated at 12117 Leesville Road.
  • October 2015 – New pumper and new tiller delivered, for Engine 29 and Ladder 9, respectively.
  • November 21, 2015 – Second triennial Raleigh Firefighter’s Ball.
  • December 31, 2015 – Also during the year:
    • Apartment inspection program was started.
    • First electric-powered hydraulic extrication tools, spring and summer.
    • Five-year strategic plan was published.
    • FY15 accomplishment, 28 positions added in Operation, including 15 positions for new Station 29, effective on/after July 1, 2014.

Incidents

  • January 2, 2015 – Two alarms at 1914 Generation Drive. Apartments.
  • March 23, 2015 – Scaffolding collapse at construction site on Fayetteville Street. Three killed.
  • April 10, 2015 – Two alarms at 4732 Courtney Lane. Apartments.
  • June 3, 2015 – Two alarms at 2525 Sanderford Road. Church.
  • August 22, 2015 – Two alarms at 1426 Quarter Point. Apartments.
  • September 19, 2015 – Two alarms at 8310 Hempshire Place. Duplex.
  • October 2, 2015 – Task Force 8 activated after Hurricane Joaquin.
  • November 6, 2015 – Two alarms at 5020 Atlantic Avenue. Commercial.

2016

Milestones

  • January 25, 2016 – Recruit Academy 41 starts with 38 members.
  • April 2016 – Station 5 closes for renovations. 
  • August 1, 2016 – Raleigh receives ISO 1 rating for first time.
  • May 2016 – Fire and Life Safety Division expanded, with second Deputy Fire Marshal added.
  • June 2016 – Advocacy group Raleigh Firefighters United organized.
  • August 18, 2016 – Recruit Academy 41 graduates with 37 members.
  • August 26, 2016 – City receives official notification of SAFER grant award, to fund ten firefighter positions for two years.
  • September 15, 2016 – Land acquired for new fire station at 1514 Ronald Drive.
  • September ?, 2016 – Construction starts on new Station 12 on Bus Way.
  • November 10, 2016 – Station 5 reopens after renovations. First with folding doors since the 1940s.
  • November 30, 2016 – Station 2 closes in preparation for renovations, engine relocates to temporary facility at old city radio shop on Wilmington Street.
  • December 31, 2016 – Also during the year:
    • Sprinkler system was installed at Station 15, funded by a federal grant.
    • Hydrant color changes start citywide, from red to yellow, summer.
    • Fleet Services adds eight more vehicle lifts, spring-summer
    • Behavior health initiative started.
    • Division Chief position added at Services, upgrading a Battalion Chief position.
    • FY16 accomplishment, two Deputy Fire Marshal positions added, effective/after July 1, 2015.

Incidents

  • January 8, 2016 – Two alarms at 3812 Western Boulevard. Commercial.
  • April 9, 2016 – Two alarms at 5034 Edwards Mill Road. Multi-residential.
  • May 28, 2016 – Two alarms at 2420 Pumpkin Ridge Way. Duplex.
  • July 16, 2016 – Flooding strikes city.
  • June 29, 2016 – Station 7 damaged after sport-utility vehicle crashes through bay doors, after a vehicle collision on Raleigh Boulevard.
  • August 20, 2016 – Major multi-patient incident at Crabtree Valley Mall, after reported shooting near food court. No gunshot victims, but numerous patients evaluated and treated for other injuries and conditions.
  • October 4-19, 2016 – Task Force 8, Regional Response Team 4, and HART resources deployed for Hurricane Matthew.
  • October 8-9, 2016 – Hurricane Matthew causes flooding in Raleigh.
  • November 2016 – Raleigh firefighters respond to western North Carolina, to assist with the Party Rock wildfire.
  • December 27, 2016 – Two alarms at 1505 Blount Street.

2017

Timeline

  • February 20, 2017 – Recruit Academy 42 starts with 40 members.
  • May-June, 2017 – Two new Pierce Enforcer, 1500/500/20, pumpers delivered, for Engine 10 and 17.
  • August 2017 – Station 6 closed and demolished, in preparation for rebuilding a new station on the same site.
  • August 31, 2017 – Task Force 8 deployed to Texas after Hurricane Harvey.
  • September 2, 2017 – Platoon Fire Marshal (Car 420) removed from service. The program is discontinued, and an on-call Deputy Fire Marshal is added to the daily staffing sheet for operational needs.
  • September 2, 2017 – Fire Investigators reorganized. Full-time platoon investigators, one per platoon, are discontinued. One full-time investigator is added, working day duty. Two part-time investigators are added, per platoon, and assigned to Engine 1.
  • September 20, 2021 – New tiller delivered, new Ladder 4.
  • September 27, 2017 – Recruit Academy 42 graduates with 36 members.
  • October 23, 2017 – Station 2 reopens after renovations.  
  • November 1, 2017 – New annual hiring process begins, with applications accepted during the month of November.
  • December 31, 2017 – Also during the year:
    • Multi-year program started for installing PPE extractor machines at fire stations.
    • FY17 accomplishment, Deputy Fire Marshal position added, effective on/after July 1, 2016
    • FY17 accomplishment, Senior Staff Support Specialist position created, effective on/after July 1, 2016.

Incidents

  • March 16, 2017 – Five alarms in downtown Raleigh, at the Metropolitan apartments under construction. Largest fire in the city in at least 100 years.  
  • May 26, 2017 – Two alarms at 9511 Prince George Lane. Multi-residential.
  • June 15, 2017 – Two alarms at 4830 Parkville Drive. Multi-residential.

2018

Milestones

  • January 6, 2018 – Fifth haz-mat station added, Engine 18 activated as haz-mat company, Haz-Mat 5 and foam trailer moved from Station 2 to Station 18.
  • February 2018 – Two new Ford/Knapheide/UPF/Foam Pro mini-pumpers delivered.
  • April 12, 2018 – Land acquired for new Fire Station 3 at 1000 Rock Quarry Road.
  • April 30, 2018 – Recruit Academy 43 starts with 30 members.
  • August 27, 2018 – New Station 12 opened at 807 Bus Way.
  • August 27, 2018 – Ladder 8 moved from Station 26 to Station 12, and Car 20 moved from Station 8 to Station 12.
  • August 2, 2018 – Two new Pierce Enforcer, 1500/500, pumpers delivered, for Engine 6 and 28.
  • October 3, 2018 – New Rescue 1 placed in service, 2018 Pierce Arrow XT, new custom heavy rescue, first walk-in rescue since the 1950s.
  • October 10, 2018 – New Ladder 4 placed in service, new 2018 Pierce Arrow XT tiller.
  • October 5, 2018 – Station 12 address changed to 4306 Poole Road.
  • October 12, 2018 – Ladder 8 changed to 2017 tiller, Ladder 9 changed to 2010 tiller.
  • October 8, 2018 – Rescue 1 moved from Station 15 and Station 16.
  • October 27, 2018 – Units relocated: two ladders, two haz-mat units, and one battalion chief. Personnel on haz-mat units also shifted.
  • December 5, 2018 – Recruit Academy 43 graduates with 27 members.
  • December 5, 2018 – Station 11 closed for renovations.  

Incidents

  • March 8, 2018 – Two alarms on Dansey Drive. Apartments.
  • July 5, 2018 – Two alarms at 2925 Settle In Lane. Townhomes. 
  • October 26, 2018 – Three alarms at 509 Glenwood Avenue at Glenwood Towers.
  • October 28, 2018 – Two alarms at 4906 Brook Knoll Place. Townhomes.

2019

Milestones

  • January 16, 2019 – New Station 12 at 4306 Poole Road dedicated.
  • February 5, 2019 – Station 22 on Durant Road closed and Engine 22 and Ladder 5 relocated to temporary quarters, at the Falls of Neuse Road water plant and Station 25, respectively.
  • March-April, 2019 – Old Station 22 on Durant Road demolished.
  • April 1, 2019 – First Latino Captain promoted, A. O. Gutierrez.
  • April 1, 2019 – First Black female lieutenant promoted, K. O. Webb.
  • April 29, 2019 – Recruit Academy 44 starts with 19 members.
  • August 29, 2019 – Asst. Chief W. Keith Tessener dies in the line of duty of occupational cancer. 
  • June 2019 – Three new Pierce Enforcer, 1500/500, pumpers delivered for Engine 15, 18, 27.
  • October 31, 2019 – Fire Chief John McGrath retires.
  • November _, 2019 – Interim Chief of Department hired, retired Raleigh Assistant Chief Brad Harvey (2017), who formerly served as interim Fire Chief in Carrboro.  
  • December 5, 2019 – Recruit Academy 44 graduates with 19 members.
  • December 17, 2019 – Station 11 reopens after renovations and bay expansion. 
  • December 31, 2019 – Also during the year:
    • New trailer for NC Task Force 8, for USAR 3, and first curtain-side trailer.
    • Partnership with Budget and Management Services to conduct personnel study with external consultant, to analyze long-range staffing resources.

Incidents

  • February 13, 2019 – Two alarms at 1723 Crossroads Arbor Way. Apartments.
  • March 7, 2019 – Two alarms at 3121 Aileen Drive. Apartments.
  • March 24, 2019 – Two alarms at 5109 Primland Lane. Single-family dwelling.
  • April 10, 2019 – NC Task Force 8 and NC Haz-Mat RRT 4 respond to downtown Durham, to assist after gas explosion and structural collapse.
  • April 10, 2019 – Two alarms at 6131 Falls of Neuse Road. Commercial.
  • April 23, 2019 – Two alarms at 4715 N. New Hope Road. Apartments.
  • August 2, 2019 – Two alarms at 2721 E. Millbrook Road. Church.  
  • October 20, 2019 – Light plane crashes in Umstead Park near airport. Numerous Raleigh units respond along with airport and county units, for overnight search that resumes the following morning.
  • November 8, 2019 – Two alarms at ____ Sanderson Drive. Single-family dwelling.

2020

  • March 2020 – Worldwide pandemic declared. COVID has varied and long-ranging impacts on the department.
  • April 1, 2020 – 1988 Pierce snorkel is retired. 
  • May 11, 2020 – Training annex opens at Station 26, in space used in earlier years as back-up 911 facility.
  • May-June 2020 – Two new Pierce Enforcer, 1500/500, pumpers delivered for Engine 24 and 25.
  • July 6, 2020 – Recruit Academy 45 starts with 30 members.
  • September 8, 2020 – First Black Chief of Department. Herbert Griffin appointed as new Chief of Department. Fourth Fire Chief hired from outside the city, from Houston.
  • December 31, 2020 – Also during the year:
    • Mobile sprinkler training lab developed by Office of Fire Marshal.

Incidents

  • January 15, 2020 – Trench rescue at 4209 Corners Parkway, with Raleigh and Durham fire departments.
  • January 2020 – NC Haz-Mat RRT4 responds to Statesville, to assist with ammonia release at industrial facility.
  • April 4, 2020 – Two alarms at 6200 St. Regis Circle. Apartments.
  • May-June, 2020 – Civil unrest in downtown and areas of the city, involving protests, rioting, looting, and intentional fires, starting May 30 and continuing for several days.
  • June 13, 2020 – Two alarms at 10705 Suntree Court. Single-family dwelling.
  • July 4, 2020 – Two alarms at 3134 Winding Waters Way. Townhomes.
  • August 5, 2020 – Engine 21 struck on scene of vehicle fire and totaled. No injuries to personnel.
  • September 19, 2020 – Two alarms at 8917 Midway West Road. Commercial / truck repair.
  • October 16, 2020 – Two alarms at 2206 Stonehenge Drive. Single-family dwelling.
  • December 29, 2020 – Two alarms at 833 Navaho Drive. Apartments.

2021

Milestones

  • January 1, 2021 – Divisions renamed. Services to Logistics, Training to Professional Development, and Safety Office to Health and Safety Compliance Office.
  • January 13, 2021 – Recruit Academy 45 graduates with 27 members.
  • January 25, 2021 – Completion of ladder companies renumbered from sequential to station numbers. Started on December 9.
  • February 1, 2021 – Ray Enoch hired as Asst. Chief of Professional Development, and first assistant chief hired from outside in department history.
  • February 22, 2021 – More units renumbered from sequential to station numbers: rescue, haz-mat, mini-pumper, and ATV. Also, Car 20 renamed to Division Chief 1, and Car 402 renamed to Investigator 1.
  • March 29, 2021 – New (rebuilt) Station 6 opens at 2601 Fairview Road.
  • April 26, 2021 – Recruit Academy 46 (short) and 47 (long) start, with 16 and 22 members, respectively.
  • April-May, 2021 – Construction starts on new Station 22 on Durant Road.
  • July 6, 2021 – Recruit Academy 46 graduates with 16 members.
  • July 7, 2021 – New Station 14 opened at 3510 Harden Road. 
  • July 17, 2021 – Shift Safety Officer placed in service at Station 14, one per platoon. 
  • September 11, 2021 – New PIO, Recruiter, Diversity/Inclusion Officer position appointed.
  • September 13, 2021 – Three 2021 Pierce Enforcer pumpers, 1500/500, delivered, for Engine 5, 21, 23.
  • October 2021 – City and county change to new P25 radio system.
  • November 16, 2021 – Recruit Academy 47 graduates with 20 members.
  • November 17, 2021 – New high-water rescue vehicle placed in service, 2021 Acela/General. 
  • December 31, 2021 – Also during the year:
    • Ballistic vests and helmets purchased, fifteen sets. Another ten sets are added, as a donation from the 200 Club of Wake County. 
    • Bus retired, 1995 Prevost at training center.
    • One Deputy Fire Marshal position added, effective July 1.
    • USAR 801 receives new chassis, 2021 Ford F-550. Body is remounted.

Incidents

  • March 22, 2021 – Two alarms at 2110 Thesis Circle. Apartments.  

2022

  • January 2022 – Asst. Chief Danny Poole becomes the longest-serving member of the department, with 43.4 years at the end of the month, and surpassing Asst. Chief James Burnette, who retired in 1971 with 43.3 years.
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