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Richard Errol Cla… (Wilmington's New …): The area i grew up in Western NY didnt have ariel…
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Hi (Seven School Chil…): I remember the 1949 one. My Grandmother died Wedn…
Legeros (Rekindle Society …): April 4, 2009, was indeed on a Saturday.
Fred E Handsel (Rekindle Society …): Mike is the date for this not Saturday April 6th …
jasmine torres (This Afternoon's …): I am sure that they all knew upon entering that a…
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stuart george (Seven Killed in A…): My family ate lunch at a downtown cafeteria that …
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Legeros (Historic Millbroo…): Dan, Some readers responded via private mail, t…
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CJH (Back to Beacon La…): Beacon Lake (and most of the surrounding land) be…
+ 16 - 8 | § Old Charlotte Engine For Sale

This Seagrave 70th Anniversary Series pumper is sitting in 5100 block of Tryon Road. It's an ex-Charlotte engine, lettered for C.F.D. Engine 2 and bearing a plaque naming city officials dated 1962. No other information known. Click to enlarge:

+ 13 - 11 | § Big Truck + Small Child

How to enlarge the size of your apparatus? Add one small child, and the truck will grow in size before your eyes:

+ 13 - 12 | § The Jambulance

Seen at today's Falls Fire Department Public Safety Day. Side lettering says "Performance DJ - The Jambulance." Can't touch this.

+ 20 - 7 | § Summer Reading?

Great photo illustration on the cover of this week's New York Times Sunday Book Review. What's everyone reading these days, for class or leisure? On the blogger's bedside table is the classic Fire Engines, Firefighters by Paul C. Ditzel (for research), A Sea of Words, Third Edition: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian, and novelist Michael Chabon's collections of essays Maps and Legends.

+ 12 - 11 | § Raleigh Firefighters Rescue Two Elderly People

WRAL is reporting on this morning's fire in the center unit of a condo at 8000 Brown Bark Place. Engine 16 first on scene with fire through the roof of a wood-frame, one-story, four-unit townhouse building with approximately 4,500 square-feet. Crews rescued two elderly subjects, one minutes before a ceiling collapse, and both transported and reported in stable condition. Alarm time around 3:30 a.m. C shift companies and units included E16, E18, E15, E4, L16, R14, B4, B1, C5, C20, C10, EMS 123, EMS 5, EMS D1, EMS T1. Good job, guys and gals.

+ 18 - 9 | § Wendell's New Rescue photographed by Lee. Delivered Thursday, a 2008 Spartan Metro Star/Hackney rescue truck. Lettering and equipment installation pending. Should be in service at Station 1 within a week or two. Old Truck 11 going to Castalia Fire Department in Nash County. Click to enlarge:

+ 15 - 10 | § Downtown High-Rises Pose Challenges for Firefighters

WRAL broadcast this story about the Raleigh Fire Department's new high-rise procedure, which they report will be adopted in July. They'll be training this summer in some of the vacant dorms at NC State, the segment notes.

+ 14 - 12 | § Diesel Prices Straining Emergency Responders' Budgets

NBC 17 broadcast this story about the rising cost of fuel and its impact on fire and EMS budgets. The segment features Bay Leaf Fire and Six Forks EMS.

+ 16 - 15 | § Fire Commission Special Meeting, Wednesday, June 4

The Fire Commission has scheduled a special-called meeting for Wednesday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m., at the Wake EMS Training Facility, located in the lower level of the Commons Building at 4011 Carya Drive. The purpose of the work session is for the Fire Commission to receive and consider feedback from the Budget Committee on the County Manager's recommended FY09 fire tax budget. Note the earlier time than regular WCFC meetings.

+ 16 - 11 | § Plane Crash on I-85

Speaking of uncommon sights, imagine the surprised drivers on Interstate 85 in Durham County this evening. This 1947 Piper crashed on the shoulder about 7 p.m. near Red Mill Road. One injury, airlifted to UNC. The aircraft was reportedly attempting a landing at the nearby Lake Ridge Aero Park, when it clipped a tree and crashed. WRAL has the story, and this and other photos:

+ 14 - 12 | § Transformer Fire

Here's an uncommon sight, CFR 3 on Aviation Parkway for a transformer fire at the corner of National Guard Drive. Lights out all around the airport, and probably tied to the shopping center street lights that blinked out at Brier Creek some twenty minutes earlier.

+ 11 - 13 | § Separated at Birth?

A blogger with bed head equals a character from a Rankin/Bass 1974 children's television special? Both pictures are pretty scary. Credit a colleague for claiming the resemblance. Hey, it's Friday. Everybody sing: I'm Mister Green Christmas, I'm Mister Sun. I'm Mister Heat Blister, I'm Mister Hundred and One. They call me Heat Miser, What ever I touch, Starts to melt in my clutch. I'm too much. Play the Big Voodoo Daddy version.

+ 15 - 10 | § Closing Western Wake Station 2

This is a thread for station closure questions and comments, regarding the pending planned closure of Western Wake Station 2 on July 1. Let's keep the history comments on the other thread, and the modern comments on this thread.

+ 17 - 11 | § Yrac Remembered, The Stations

Rented garage behind Cricket's Service Station at corner Cedar and Ward streets, 1961 to 1968. Then dedicated station at 325 E. Durham Road, built 1966 on land donated by E. M. Sutton.

+ 13 - 16 | § Yrac Remembered, The Rigs

Left to right, 1952 Reo tanker, 1962 Chevrolet/ALF pumper, 1975 Ford/Bean pumper, 1969 Chevy tanker, 1979 Chevy/Atlas tanker, 1970 Chevy/Darley brush truck, and the Simon-Duplex/Grumman pumper-tankers of 1985, 1989, and 1991.

yrac-1962-chevy2.jpg (22286 bytes) yrac-1962-chevy2.jpg (22286 bytes) yrac-1975-ford.jpg (21153 bytes) yrac-1969-chevy.jpg (29789 bytes)
yrac-1979-chevy.jpg (27780 bytes) yrac-1971-chevy.jpg (23666 bytes) yrac-simon1.jpg (38738 bytes)
yrac-simon2.jpg (31432 bytes) yrac-simon3.jpg (33286 bytes)

+ 10 - 13 | § Yrac Remembered

The pending planned closing of Western Wake Station 2 on July 1 (egad) is also an opportunity to remember the Yrac Fire Department, which originally constructed and occupied the facility from 1966 to 1998. They then merged with Fairgrounds Fire Department, which itself was a reborn version of the Western Boulevard Fire Department, which disbanded after city annexations. Let's begin our Yrac tribute with an open thread for personal memories. Post 'em if you got 'em. I'll add historical bits as we go.

+ 12 - 14 | § Civil Air Patrol

Today's News & Observer has a nice article about our local Civil Air Patrol squadron. The United States Air Force Auxiliary started a week before we entered into World War II, in December 1941. It became the official civilian auxiliary of the USAF in 1948. There are about 100 volunteers in Raleigh's squadron, the article notes. During the summer, CAP pilots watch Falls Lake, Jordan Lake, and Lake Wheeler, for distressed boaters each weekend. They also perform most of Wake County's search and rescue missions. The article provides a pair of links, to the CAP site and the CAP history site. Good stuff, and good memories of three decades prior, as a teen cadet in the Minnesota Wing. Meetings, study guides, standing at attention, and at least one overnight search and rescue drill in the winter wilderness. It was cold.

+ 9 - 10 | § Wrong Way Crashes

This morning's triple fatality motor-vehicle accident on the Beltline is reported as caused by a wrong-way driver. That is, wrong-way and allegedly intoxicated driver. Here's an interesting article from the Federal Highway Administration on wrong-way crashes and what Washington State has tested as preventive measures. There's also an interesting sidebar on interchange designs. Photo from the News & Observer.

+ 10 - 13 | § Vintage Advertisement #2

Speaking of great old ads, here's a gem from 1969. It appeared in local newspapers. Click to enlarge:

+ 10 - 17 | § Welcome to Raleigh

On June 1, 1969, the city of Raleigh annexed the Brentwood subdivision, as well as an industrial district along Highway 1. The action added some 3,000 residents to the city population. The residents received one free month of municipal services, with property taxes due in 30 days. Their $1 car tags-- remember those?-- were required on the day of annexation, however. Police officers and firefighters personally delivered brochures to each household, explaining city services and citizen obligations. Ah, simpler times.

+ 12 - 13 | § Feuerwehr in Action

Your random YouTube video of the day, a volunteer fire department in Germany. The footage shows pager notification through fire attack and victim rescue.

+ 18 - 7 | § Ferrara for Archer Lodge

Lee has posted photos of Archer Lodge's new Engine 2, a 2008 Ferrara Inferno rescue pumper, 1500/750/30. Don't see many made by Ferrara around here. Bahama has one in Durham County. From the Ferrara web site, it looks like custom pumpers have been recently delivered to E.M. Holt, Efland, Elroy, Queheel, Tobermory, Valmead, and Wilson's Mills fire departments. Ferrara aerials as well in Fayetteville, Mount Olive, and Sumter. Click to enlarge:

+ 15 - 12 | § Vintage Advertisement

Bought this on eBay, an advertisement from Fire Engineering magazine from 1920. For future use in a book of historical fire photos from around N.C. Someday. Click to enlarge:

+ 13 - 17 | § Sniper Kills Three at North Hills Mall

Looking through a stack of clippings from the Seventies finds the account of May 29, 1972, Memorial Day weekend, when a sniper killed three and wounded eight others (one critical, three serious) before turning his rifle on himself. The shooting started about 12:05 p.m., and lasted from four to six minutes. The gunman stood in the parking lot, in front of Ronson's and beside the mall entrance. U.S. Sen. B. Everett Jordon was also at the mall, making a "handshaking visit," and had gone inside just prior to the shooting. His presence was unrelated to the shooter's motive. One car crashed into a couple others, as the window was shot out, though the driver uninjured. The extent of the response to the incident isn't noted, beyond that 8 of 10 city detectives were working on the case. And that the fire department was summoned to clean the scene. The 22-year-old young man purchased his 10-shot, semi-automatic .22 rifle at Thorne's Hardware Store on South Street at 10:30 a.m. that morning.

+ 15 - 9 | § Event Photography

With the second set of pictures from yesterday's EMS ceremony uploading, this photographer is officially out of control. Over 300 pics are posted. So who's going to look at all those? Maybe the folks that were honored, or those who wanted to attend but couldn't. Some 170 were shot in the auditorium, and reflects a best attempt to capturing everyone on camera. Probably missed a couple folks. Learned some good lessons. Tripod with remote release is perfect. Then add a second camera body, for close-ups and such. Wish I'd had one. No fancy settings to speak of, beyond Program Shift at 1600 ISO. Saved as RAW, and the exposure scaled back on just about all of them. Good practice, and a large had by all. Watch for Lee's shots later.

+ 10 - 16 | § Falls FD Public Safety Day, May 31

Falls Fire Department is hosting a Public Safety Day on Saturday, May 31, at Wakefield High School, 2200 Wakefield Pines Drive, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

+ 13 - 8 | § Raleigh Announces Budget

The proposed FY09 budget for the city of Raleigh was announced today. Read the budget docs. Highlights include construction of Station 29 in northwest Raleigh, a new ladder company with 15 positions, a new pumper, more mobile data terminals (MDTs), and more back-up generators for fire stations. Station 29, to be located in northwest Raleigh, will serve Brier Creek and surrounding areas, house an engine and ladder, and be staffed by 30 people. The MDTs are for front-line apparatus and will provide real-time building and inspection data to personnel.

There's also an Interactive pump simulator planned, which will save an estimated 7 million gallons of water during an average training course; continuation of capital leadership training program for department personnel; and support of firefighter promotional process. Though vendor costs are rising, the budget notes, RFD is moving toward a two-year promotion list, which will lessen the frequency of the process.

Other budget items include uniform purchases deferred over past years, furnishing for remodeled administration and prevention offices, and facility and ground maintenance at the training center. For both fire and police personnel, starting salaries will increase by 5%, and then 3% increase after the academy. And there’s major capital funding for the Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center.

+ 18 - 9 | § Wake County Announces Budget

The Wake County budget for Fiscal Year 2009 has been announced. Read the budget doc. On the fire front, there's funding for up to 28 new full-time firefighter positions for rural fire stations. Plus nearly $4 million budgeted for construction costs of facilities. This is presumably allocated for rebuilding Bay Leaf Station 1, though that project is not named in the budget doc. The East Garner station appears budgeted for FY11.

On the EMS front, the first year of the Advance Practice Paramedic (APP) proposal will deploy seven new APP units based out of Wake Forest, Wendell, and Fuquay-Varina/Holly Springs. (Staffing additional ambulances with a single paramedic assisted by an emergency medical technician.) Also, three new peak-load units will be deployed at Cary, Six Forks, and Eastern Wake.

There's also a big honkin' law enforcement training center to be built on city property on Battle Bridge Road in southeastern Wake County. The 36,844 square-foot (!) building will house administrative, classroom, and fitness space.

There's also a neat map showing future EMS facilities through FY15. Four are co-located facilities, says the document: Fuquay-Varina, Southeast Wake, Knightdale South, and Wendell Falls. Click to enlarge:

+ 6 - 11 | § MOVED - Tillers in North Carolina

This topic has been updated in 2019 and moved to a new blog posting.

+ 14 - 10 | § USAR 801

Here's USAR 801 with its recently delivered boat trailer. There are four of these trucks, one per Task Force 8 member department (Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh). Each is identically equipped with water rescue equipment. The custom-built trailers will carry two inflatable boats, spare motors, generators, and lights. The trailer's third level can carry a third boat, or be used for storage. It can also be used as an observation deck. Click to enlarge:

+ 14 - 8 | § Ladder 1

With his body wedged low against the smokehouse, and with a parking sign still in the frame, a 17-85mm lens was just wide enough for this decent shot. Click to enlarge:

+ 13 - 10 | § Apex Emergency Readiness Expo on Saturday, 5/17

Event notice. Apex Emergency Readiness Expo on Saturday, May 17. Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Location: Fire Station 3 at 736 Hunter Street.

+ 17 - 7 | § Cary's Proposed Budget

The town of Cary has released their proposed budget for FY2009. For capital expenditures for the fire department, they include a replacement pumper, a "rescue equipment transport system," the remaining cost of a rear driveway for Station 5, and construction of Station 8 in the O'Kelly Chapel Road area. The pumper for Station 8 will be purchased in FY10.

+ 16 - 7 | § ECC Awards "I Knew What To Do Award"

Today the City of Raleigh and the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Department honors 11-year-old Kayley Lancaster for an emergency call she placed to the Raleigh-Wake County 9-1-1 Center to report that her mother had been injured in a fall. City officials will be in attendance for a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at West Lake Middle School to present Kayley with the “I Knew What To Do Award.” This award was created to raise awareness about how children should be taught to give information and take instructions from 9-1-1 operators. Read the entire press release.

+ 12 - 10 | § One Sweet Ride

Seen Monday in Morrisville, a locally-owned 1948 American LaFrance 700 Series. There are also pics on the ALF Owners Network site, include a shot of the Pennsylvania rig's original yellow color. You can imagine my double take while driving. Click to enlarge:

+ 15 - 9 | § Charleston Report

Copies of the the City of Charleston Post Incident Assessment and Enhancement Review Team Phase II Report are circulating, and can be found at,, and, among other sites. The report numbers 272 pages and includes time lines, transcripts, unit summaries, and profiles of the fallen firefighters. There's commentary over at, and even trivia from Dave Statter, regarding the FFH blogger and the report.

+ 9 - 11 | § Charlotte Parking Deck Collapse

WSOC-TV has photos and footage of yesterday's parking deck collapse in Charlotte. Second such collapse in six months. No injuries.

+ 11 - 11 | § The Battle For Falls Lake

Came across this at the local history library. The Battle For Falls Lake by Janet Steddum. With 168 pages and 39 b/w historical photos. It's available for reading at Olivia Raney Local History Library. Or you can purchase a print or electronic copy online, through Raleigh-based From the Wikipedia entry: Falls Lake is a 12,500-acre artificial lake located in Durham, Wake, and Granville counties, formed by the confluence of the Eno, Little, and Flat rivers, and in turn the source for the Neuse River. Construction of the dam that holds the lake was completed in 1981.

+ 13 - 14 | § The Slammer

You've seen them in convenience stores for a few weeks now. Color cover page with mug shots and a bold logo with handcuffs. Reeks of tabloid and thus will probably make a mint. What's inside? The May 9 - May 16 issue of the Wake County edition includes mostly mug shots: Recent Arrests, Domestic Violence, Principal''s Office (arrested students), DWIs (plus Featured Impaired Driver), Mature Menaces, Sex Crimes, Wanted (with color commentary), Slammer Salon (hair don'ts), Smiles & Tears, Call a Doctor! (featuring bruises), and Sex Offenders (with street addresses!). The center spread (in pink!) features Mother Murderers and Murdering Motherings. There's also other crime stories, weird news, adoptable pets, and... restaurant health ratings. Ads include mortgage companies, debt services, and bail bondsmen. Of course. The editors take great pains to remind that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The fine print notes that their purpose and intent includes informing the public, assisting in deterring crime, fostering public involvement, and to "satisfy the natural curiosity of readers." They also have a web site.

+ 16 - 11 | § Fire Commission Meeting Highlights

Some highlights from Thursday’s meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission. Corrections and clarifications are welcome.

The Long Range Business Plan will be presented to the County Commissioners on Tuesday, May 12. An accompanying PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Fire Commission and includes background on the Business Plan document, an overview of fire growth and its impact on firefighter safety, findings and recommendations for staffing and facilities, and the Fire Commission’s privatization of all elements of the business plan.

The Budget Committee presented the FY09 Fire Tax Budget Recommendation. For apparatus, it includes 5 engines or pumper/tankers, 3 service/rescue trucks, 6 small vehicles, and 5 tankers. For facilities, it includes both land acquisitions for East Garner Station and Wendell Falls Station, and a replacement station for Bay Leaf. READ MORE

+ 12 - 13 | § Quarantine After Tornado in Guilford County

The Greensboro News-Record reports that a commercial and industrial area in Guilford County has been quarantined, while search and rescue teams, inspections and engineering crews assess and evaluate each building. The area is around US 421, I-40, NC 68, and Sandy Ridge Road. They define quarantine as meaning no traffic or employees are allowed in that area.

+ 16 - 11 | § Rolesville EMS Merges with Eastern Wake EMS

Though this is probably old news for most responders, Rolesville EMS merges with Eastern Wake EMS effect July 1. There's some doc on this change in the agenda of the May 5 meeting of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. The particular agenda items are Public Hearing on the Amended Emergency Medical Transportation Service Franchise for Eastern Wake EMS, Inc. (Second Reading) and Eastern Wake EMS, Inc. Emergency Medical Service Agreement Amendments. Minutes from both should be posted in a couple weeks.

+ 22 - 10 | § Ice Cream!

Seen at a shopping center in Cary. Unknown number of flavors, or if they're guaranteed to satisfy. Click to enlarge:

+ 16 - 8 | § Everybody Loves a Tiller

Exchange with citizen on Maywood Avenue last night, after training exercise. "Excuse me, that fire truck that just drove off, the tractor-trailer truck?" "You mean the ladder truck?" "Yes, what is the role of the person in the back?" "The rear driver? He steers the rear wheels. Helps the ladder truck around tight corners." "Wow. Cool."

+ 16 - 10 | § Hopkins New Rescue

Lee has posted photos and details of Hopkins' new rescue truck, a 2008 Spartan MetroStar/Hackney. Delivered April 28, placed in service May 5. Equipped with light tower, cascade system, extrication tools, ground ladders, etc. He also photographed Rolesville's new brush truck, a 2008 Ford/Seagrave.

+ 20 - 7 | § Clayton's New Engine

Our friends to the south and east received this 2008 Pierce Enforcer on Monday. The mid-mount engine (1500/1000) will be placed in service at Station 2 in some weeks. Lee took this and other photos:

+ 14 - 7 | § Are They Really Reading Your Web Pages?

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen's newest Alertbox presents this startling but probably not surprising fact: users have time to read at most 28% of the words on a web site during an average visit. More realistically, he notes, they'll read 20% of the text on the average page. Another key point is that the percentage INCREASES as the amount of text on the page DECREASES. No duh, right? On pages with 111 words or less, for example, users read half the information.Read the whole thing. And how do you computer how many words are on your web page? Copy and paste into Microsoft Word, and choose Tools > Word Count. This blog posting numbers 122 words.

+ 19 - 7 | § Oldest Continually Operating Fire Company

The February-March edition of the Extra Alarmer, a buff’s publication from the Twin Cities, features an article on the oldest, continually operating fire company serving the city of Minneapolis. Reading same promptly compelled a question about Raleigh: what is the oldest, continually operating fire company serving our city?

Let’s go back to the end of 1912. Five volunteer fire companies stopped, and two fully-paid fire companies started. Hose Company 1 operated the equipment and occupied the facilities of the Capital Hose Company, organized and continuously operating since 1887. READ MORE

+ 17 - 10 | § Photo of Raleigh's Old Fire Bell

What does the 1870 bell look like? Here's a photo from Matt Robbins, the grad student who uncovered the thing and who is the champion for relocating the bell to the bell tower. Click to enlarge:

+ 12 - 13 | § Update on Raleigh's Old Fire Bell

What's happening with Raleigh's old fire bell, as discovered atop Withers Hall at NCSU? The original Technician article describing the find has been followed by a handful of updates:

Current status? The university is waiting for formal endorsement from the city.

+ 13 - 8 | § New County Apparatus

New brush trucks have arrived at Bay Leaf, Garner, and Rolesville. Should be about the same as last year's replacement orders, Ford chassis with Seagrave body. Also, the first Spartan/Hackney heavy rescue has arrived at Hopkins. Others departments receiving rescues include Wendell and Stony Hill. Hope to have photos soon.

+ 12 - 14 | § Deadly History

Here's a longer version of the AP story that appeared in Saturday's News & Observer, about a Civil War buff who was killed in February while attempting to disarm an old cannonball. More about cannons and their history.

+ 15 - 10 | § Tar Heel 578

This monster truck from the Tar Heel Fire Department appeared in today's fallen firefighters parade. This web page says its a 1992 E-One purchased in 2006 from the Goodwill Fire Company in Carlisle, PA. Equipment includes communications equipment, two light towers, and a cascade system. THFD remembers Lt. Ronald Phillip Allen, Jr., who died in the line of duty on September 22, 2006. Click to enlarge:

+ 13 - 13 | § Keeter Training Center Upgrades

Lee Wilson has posted photos of some upgrades in progress at the Keeter Training Center, including the finishing touches on smokehouse renovations, a ventilation building under construction, and a new mobile home for SCBA training. He also has pictures of a new forcible entry prop, and the future Haz-Mat 8, a 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty that's awaiting lettering and lighting.

+ 8 - 9 | § Wake County Fire Commission Meeting, Thursday, 5/8

The next Wake County Fire Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 8, at 7:00 PM, at the Wake EMS Training Facility, located in the lower level of the Wake County Commons Building at 4011 Carya Drive. Will post agenda ahead if made available.