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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