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+ 4 - 5 | § Download the Program Book for Next Week's Fire Expo

Now available on their web site is the program book for the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo. The location is the Raleigh Convention Center. The PDF file is 10MB in size. Download the program book, or click to download:

+ 5 - 6 | § Needless Radio Filler?

Seen on Twitter:

What would you add?

+ 8 - 5 | § More Trucks

Here are a few more trucks as seen last week, during a 1,400-mile road trip from Raleigh to Salisbury (MD) to Cape May (NJ) to Camden to Philly to Baltimore to Frederick (MD) to DC and back home. Might have to start calling this the Legeros Travel Blog. Happens every summer, for a couple weeks. Readers should be used to it. Top to bottom are a brush truck from Suffolk (VA), a pair of rigs from Frederick, a smaller DCFD wrecker, and a USCP wrecker. See more police vehicles. Click to enlarge:

+ 3 - 5 | § Vehicle Versus Building on Poole Road

That's Engine 12 and EMS 7 on the scene on Poole Road at Rawls Drive. Northwest corner, where the pictured automobile struck the pictured apartment building this afternoon. Photos forthcoming on the Legeros photo site. They'll include some shots of police officers in action. Been trying to include law officers in my shots, more and more these days. Since I'm already there, and they're compelling subjects as well.

+ 2 - 3 | § Three Guys and a Bunch of FOOLS in Baltimore

This photo's from Thursday night, at the Central Maryland FOOLS Brotherhood Bash in Little Italy. Left to right is Iron Firemen blogger Willie Wines, Legeros Fire Blog blogger Mike Legeros, and Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz. The photo bomb is by Dave Statter, who certainly qualifies as a fool in this shot. (Though he'd be hard pressed to beat the Hawaiian Shirt Guy for overall antics.) Great seeing everyone. The picture was made by Stanley Jaworski. See his entire series on Flickr.

Stanley Jaworski photo

+ 4 - 5 | § Really Big Tow

Happened upon the DCFD shop yesterday, during my last day of vacation. This really big wrecker was sitting on the street. Perhaps one of our readers can advise make and model. Click to enlarge these mobile phone photos:

+ 3 - 3 | § Surviving the Streets of Camden

Reporting from the road. Photo by Phil Cohen, during lat week's afternoon exploration of historic and former firehouses of Camden, New Jersey. He and Lee Ryan, both Camden Fire Department historians, were the tour guides. See prior posting. Will ask Phil about his post-processing process. He's cleverly disguised my trademark tropical attire as a regular t-shirt. Give me a few more days to get the photos posted. Been busy vacationing. And a second trip is queued in a couple days. Going to the Twin Cities, for a family reunion in Minneapolis and historic firehouse explorations in St. Paul. More later. Click to enlarge:

+ 2 - 3 | § Raleigh-Wake County Emergency Communications Center Training Academy Receives Recertification

Press release. The Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center has received recertification of its Training Academy from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International. Of the more than 6,100 9-1-1 centers throughout the United States, only 45 have qualified for this honor. "The APCO Project 33 Agency Training Program Certification is a formal mechanism for public safety agencies to certify their training programs as meeting APCO American National Standards (ANS)," according to APCO. “Building and implementing a successful agency training program requires many resources and a good deal of dedication. Submitting for certification demonstrates the agency's commitment to training and to meeting national standards. Receiving certification for a training program is a major accomplishment for the agency, its staff and the community it serves." The certification covers both the three-month-long formalized classroom training required for all new recruits as well as continuing education programs for veteran employees.

+ 4 - 1 | § Wide Views From The Fire Expo

Reporting from the road. Here are three mobile phone panoramic images from Friday at the Fire Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center (top two) and the Brotherhood Bash in Little Italy on Thursday night. Click to enlarge:

+ 3 - 5 | § Your Morning Fire Video - Henderson, NV

July 30
Update. This video is no longer available. See the Statter911 story for speculation on the reasons.

July 27
Reporting from the road. This YouTube clip posted by Jim Moore caught my eye, as found and surfaced on Statter911. Pre-arrival and early arrival footage of a house fire in Henderson, Nevada. The arriving engine catches its own water supply, and two lines are opened on a fully-involved garage space. The clip is notable for the audio portion as it well-captures the incedental reactions and emotions of neighbors (and the property owner?) to the situation. (There's also commentary from one person, about how long everything's taking. He references a two-minute phone call to their 911 center, in particular.)

+ 2 - 5 | § More Historic Philly Firehouses

Reporting from the road. Shot a few more historic and former Philadelphia firehouses on Thursday. These'll be added to my Flickr photo set, and replace the "other sources" images on in my master listing. That was last year's Baltimore trip project, shooting most of those buildings over two nights and three days. Left to right, top to bottom, and in absolutely no order, are old Ladder 2 on Race Street; old vollie company on Kensington Street; old vollie company on Marlborough Street; Engine 52 on Van Kirk Street; Engine 63 on Oak Lane Avenue; Engine 35 on Ridge Avenue; old Insurance Patrol on Bridge Street; old Engine 14 on Frankford Avenue; old Engine 7 on Church Street; and Engine 62 on Bustleton Avenue. Search the blog, using the widget to the right, on Philadelphia (spell it correctly) for related posts from last year and earlier.

+ 3 - 4 | § Raleigh Fire Department Recognizes Promotions

In a ceremony at the City Council Chambers on Monday night, the Raleigh Fire Department honored seventeen recently promoted members. They recognized the achievements of individuals who obtained appointment or promotion through a competitive process. The ceremony opened with a presentation of colors by the Raleigh Fire Department Honor Guard and remarks by Fire Chief John McGrath.

Recognized were Asst. Chief Kendall T. Hocutt; Division Chiefs Robin R. Johnson and Barry D. Spain; Battalion Chiefs Kevin L. Coppage and Stephen R. Page; Captains Mark F. Kelling, Jeffrey L. Massey, Ralph R. Ripper, William M. Stanfield, Adam R. Stanley, Jason G. Whitford; Lieutenants Philip F. Arevalo, Kenneth G. Gilson, Keith D. Moses, Jay D. Rauer, and Ryan C. Stagner; Fiscal and Administrative Officer Adam S. Perry.

Also recognized were two members of the Raleigh Fire Department who recently retired: Battalion Chief Franklin G. McLaurin and Finance Officer Mark Scaringelli. Following the ceremony, a reception was held around the corner at Station 1. The procession of promoted members and their family and friends from City Hall was led by a Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums piper. More photos from Mike Legeros are coming later this week. Congratulations to everyone.

+ 2 - 3 | § See You in Baltimore

Leaving today for points north. Planned route to the Baltimore Fire Expo is by way of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Philly. Hoping to see the sights of Ocean City (MD) and Atlantic City, and some historic former firehouses of Camden (!) and those yet photographed in Philadelphia. We'll see how the plans pan out. Watch for Hawaiian Shirt Guy on the show floor starting either late Thursday or first thing Friday.

+ 2 - 2 | § Five Triangle Newspapers Closing, August 1

Reports this News & Observer story from last week, these newspapers owned by Civitas Media near Charlotte are ceasing operation on August 1:

Notes the story that these five communities will continue to have newspaper coverage from the Garner-Cleveland Record and the Southwest Wake News, which are published by the News & Observer.

+ 3 - 1 | § Way Down East House Fire

This photo by Dylan Ray was posted in this Carteret News-Times story yesterday. That's a major house fire way down east in the community of Straits. The address was 945 Crow Hill Road, which Google says is a Beaufort (!) street address. The two-story house was four-years old. The fire was reported about 2:00 p.m. and required a tanker shuttle, due to the lack of hydrants in the area. Looks like at least one aerial stream was operated. Morehead City's mobile ambulance bus also responded, as both firefighters and bystanders required medical attention due to heat-related problems. (Yesterday's heat index at that time was about 94 degrees, says one site found via Google.) Responding fire departments (and approximate road distances) were Otway (4.9), Harkers Island (4.8), Marshallberg (6.0), South River-Merrimon (24.5), Davis (16), North River (11.2), Beaufort (14.4), and Morehead City (20.7, from Station 2, where the MAB is housed).

Dylan Ray/News-Times photo

+ 3 - 3 | § Mystery... Wheel

Can you place this perspective? Bonus points for direction facing and how close to the ground the camera was placed. 

+ 4 - 2 | § Raleigh Police Memorial Design Approved

This Midtown Raleigh News story recaps this week's news that the City Council on Tuesday approved the design for a Raleigh Police Memorial at City Hall. The memorial will be located on the Hargett Street side of the building, with its west side to the right of the building's entrance. It will feature twenty-one granite columns from which a sixty-four foot narrow water table extends. Past its end will stand a single column bearing the engraved names of the eight police officers who been killed on duty since 1922. The memorial is designed by architect Thomas Sayre. The project is still being funded, with about $150,000 still needed. The Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation's next fundraiser is the annual Five-O Memorial Bike Ride in August. See this web page for more renderings.


Raleigh Police Department Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

Detective Tom G. Crabtree September 1, 1922 Shot and killed after being confronted by a intoxicated individual, while en route to a join a surveillance operation. Age 36. Tour of nine years.
Patrolman Robert E. Sparks March 8, 1968 Killed in a motorcycle accident on Ridge Road while pursuing a speeding motorist. Age 27. Tour of one year, three months.
Patrolman James G. Lee December 5, 1968 Killed along with Officer Allen in an automobile accident when their patrol car was struck by another vehicle. Age 23. Tour of four years.
Patrolman James W. Allen December 5, 1968 Killed along with Officer Lee in an automobile accident when their patrol car was struck by another vehicle. Age 24. Tour of two years.
Patrolman Delma D. Adams February 3, 1980 Shot and killed while making arrest of intoxicated driver, after the suspect produced a handgun after being placed in the rear of the patrol car. Age 33. Tour of 13 years.
Police Officer Denise Holden August 4, 1995 Killed in an automobile accident at Hillsborough and Morgan streets, when her patrol car left the roadway while responding to an officer needs assistance call. Age 24. Tour of seven months.
Detective Paul A. Hale July 11, 1997 Shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a murder suspect at Ligon Middle School. Age 35. Tour of seven years.
Master Officer Charles R. Paul III
September 10, 2002 Killed in a motorcycle accident on Interstate 440 while attempting to initiate pursuit of a speeding vehicle. Age 30. Tour of seven years, six months.


+ 4 - 1 | § Video of Clayton Car Fire

From Jason Thompson of Single-vehicle motor-vehicle accident yesterday. His five-minute video starts as the arriving Clayton engine is stretching their line.

+ 2 - 4 | § Fully Involved Tractor Cab on Interstate 40

Seen yesterday morning during rush hour. Interstate 40 near the Durham Freeway. Photos from stories from WRAL and WTVD. How did we ever get by before mobile phones and the Internet? Bets on response? Durham and Parkwood, correct? Maybe three engines and a tanker, before it was all done?

Kevin Prescott/WRAL photo

James Westberry/WTVD photo

+ 9 - 3 | § Special Police Vehicles

Following this thread from this morning, there's a Flickr gallery of special police and law enforcement vehicles as photographed by Mike Legeros over the years and decades. Most are local or from a couple places around North Carolina. Few are from the District of Columbia. View the photos.

+ 3 - 7 | § State Bureau of Investigation Bomb Response Unit

.auto-style1 { text-align: left; } Noticed this photo in this Eastern Wake News story about a meth lab discovered in Zebulon. Same shows a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad vehicle. Google finds more information this unit, notably in this NC DOJ web page and WSAV story from May. There are three bomb response units (and six robots) spread across the state. They're located in Asheville (west), Greenville (east), and Raleigh (central).They're there to help local agencies, both those with their own bomb squads and those that don't have such resources. There are twelve technicians including two full-time agencies that staff the SBI Bomb Squad. They train monthly and respond to about 100 calls per year. The truck below was built by Mickey Engineered Vehicles and is the subject of this case study on their site.

Zebulon Police Department photo

Back in January 2009, we blogged about a pair of interesting SBI special units seen in town for that year's inaugural ball, including this older bomb response unit. Wonder if it's still on the roster, or was replaced by the above truck? (Or moved out of town, to replace other units?) Click to enlarge:

That could be a fun posting, compiling photos of the various specialty law enforcement vehicles around our state. We've covered a number of them as seen in Raleigh, in these postings:

Wow, there are enough photos there to warrant a Flickr set. Memo to self: compile and upload to my Flickr site.

+ 2 - 4 | § You Might Be a Firefighter If...'ve practiced on a cone course. That's one of the city's original closed-cab pumpers, a 1990 Pierce Lance that's now a reserve rig. The cone course is a temporary one at the training center.

+ 1 - 2 | § Construction Photo of Bay Leaf Station 1

Here's the latest construction photo of Bay Leaf Station 1, courtesy of Lee Wilson. The facility is being reconstructed at 11713 Six Forks Road. Look at that nice new apron! At last report, it'll be operational around October 1 and with a grand opening in October. The fire department is currently using a two-bay temporary station on the site, as well as storing their apparatus equipment at other stations. Here are some previous postings from April 2013, February 2013, and September 2012See more photos.

Lee Wilson photo

+ 1 - 3 | § Wake County Fire Commission Meeting - Thursday, July 18

The next meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission is Thursday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. The location is the Wake County EMS Training Facility, in the lower level of the Wake County Commons Building, 4011 Carya Drive.



+ 2 - 2 | § National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Remembrance Books

Researching fallen firefighter information can be a challenge, particular with regard to biographical data. My primary sources over the years have included news reports, firefighter death reports, fallen firefighter foundation information, and death certificates. (See my web pages aboutr same, including a database of North Carolina fallen firefighters.) One more source worth adding to the list are the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Remembrance Books. These are created by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation as part of their memorial weekend each October. That's the official national tribute to all firefighters that died in the line of duty during the previous year.

Though the memorial has honored fallen firefighters since 1981, the remembrance books available online begin in 2000. Paragraph-length biographies were listed for each fallen firefighter. The book was 20 pages long. Beginning in 2001, small portraits were added. The books were 20 to 40 pages in length, with the exception of the 2002 edition. It was 78 pages in length and included the 343 firefighters killed on  September 11, 2001. Beginning in 2003, the books featured full-color pages. Beginning in 2006, a full-page entry was featured for each fallen firefighter. They included larger portraits and longer biographies. This also expanded their length to 125 to 145 pages.

Here's the archive site. The files are PDF format. Their sizes range from 4MB to 31MB.

+ 2 - 2 | § Morning Reading - July 14, 2013

Good morning Raleigh. Gearing up for summer travel here at Blog Central. Will be in Baltimore in two weeks for the Fire Expo. Look for Hawaiian Shirt Guy on the exhibit floor maybe Thursday, definitely on Friday, and probably on Saturday. Will be lurking around the Firegeezer/Statter911 booth, among others. Still computing my travel routes. Can't decide if a Raleigh > Ocean City > Atlantic City > Camden/Philly > Baltimore road trip is desired. Or maybe getting there by way of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with Rob Zombie in Bristow, VA, that Wednesday. Or even some historical firehouse finding, say Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA. What to do, what to do.

+ 2 - 1 | § Last Night's Railroad Incident

Last night about 8:40 p.m., the engineer of an inbound Amtrak train reported that they struck a person alongside the tracks at the Beryl Road crossing, just south Hillsborough Street.  The incident was dispatched at the intersection of Royal and Hillsborough streets, which is just north of the Royal Street crossing. Fire, police, and EMS units responded to the Beryl Road crossing, the Royal Street crossing, and the Gorman Street bridge.

As the stopped train was located just east of Gorman Street, most units relocated to the bridge. Command was established by Car 20 and a number of units staged at that location. Rescue 1 for lights and Battalion 5 relocated to the Royal Street crossing. Squad 14 for lights relocated to the Beryl Road crossing. Crews began searching on foot, proceeding west from Gorman Street and east from Blue Ridge Road. They utilized hand lights and thermal imaging cameras.

A purse and belongings were found just east of the Beryl Road crossing. Crews concentrated searching in that area, including utilizing the lights of an outbound CSX freight train that had been stopped. No patient was found. Dispatched about 8:40 p.m., units began clearing about ninety minutes later. The patient, an adult female who was also the subject of a Silver Alert, was later located. She admitted that she was nearly struck by the train. Units on scene included E8, L7, Sq14, R1, B3, B5, C20, EMS 16, EMS 13, EMS 8, EMS 3, M94, D1, D5, Logistics 1. See more photos by Mike Legeros. Related news stories on WRAL and WTVD.

+ 1 - 3 | § You Might Be a Firefighter If... drink your water with sooty hands. That one might look good as a motivational poster. Memo to sellf: work on that. From this week's house fire on Idlewild Avenue. See those photos.

+ 3 - 2 | § Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter, Summer 2013

For your Friday enjoyment, here's the Summer 2013 edition of the Raleigh Fire Department newsletter has been posted to This quarter's issue contents includes Morgan McLamb Passes Away; Two Alarms on Calumet Drive; Changing the Culture on Emergency Vehicle Driving; Asst. Chief Peter Brock Retires; Station 29 Update; Budget Adopted; Five Compete in Ironman Triathlon; Helicopter Rescue on Haw River; Promotions and Retirements; Divisional News; Photos. The newsletter is a quarterly publication for personnel, retirees, and citizens. The editor is Historian Mike Legeros. The proofreader and fact-checker is his wife Julie Legeros (little known fact). Read the new issue (PDF).

+ 3 - 2 | § Does the American Fire Service Culture Need Gene Therapy?

Found this via a posting from FireLaw, a recently posted YouTube video of a presentation by Dr. Burt Clark, a full-time faculty member at the National Fire Academy and former career firefighter in the District of Columbia. The thirty-two minute video is predominately an exploration of fire service culture, and as it relates to deaths and injuries of firefighters. There's a short segment where Dr. Clark offers his solutions, his recommended therapy.

Hoping we'll get reactions here, and maybe some discussion. Really enjoyed his articulation of the problem, though I'd like to see an equally expanded/fleshed out version of his proposed solution. And perhaps consideration of other factors/solutions. Though that might double the length of the video. Maybe I will drop him a line some time.

Secondly, his presentation has me thinking about the movie Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit, which I watched again this weekend. (Exceptional movie and must-viewing. Buy your DVD today.) That's the American fire service culture in the raw (and in concentration), and depicts a number of behaviors and factors that are potential troublesome as defined by Dr. Clark. (Though it's perhaps heresy to say anything untoward toward that movie, toward Detroit, or toward severe urban situations?)

Looking forward to reader responses all around. Watch the video...

+ 3 - 4 | § Raleigh Fire Museum Open This Saturday, July 13

The Raleigh Fire Museum is open for its regular second-Saturday opening this weekend, on Saturday, July 13. The museum is located in a modular classroom at the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive. Admission is free. Parking and restrooms are available. Here's a two-minute video tour. Learn more about the museum, and the non-profit organization that operates it, at

Please note that antique fire engines are located elsewhere. Both the museum's 1961 American LaFrance pumper and the city's collection of antique fire apparatus is housed at at Fire Station 28 at 3500 Forestville Road. The collection includes a 1905 steamer, a 1926 American LaFrance pumper, a 1950 Mack pumper, and a 1982 Mack pumper. Visitors are welcome. Or schedule a tour at
Swing by and say howdy. You'll see a familiar face or two. We have copies of the centennial history book for reading as well, if you haven't seen that gorgeous volume yet. Click to enlarge:

+ 2 - 1 | § Deploying For Privacy

Here's a screen capture from this WRAL story on Monday night, about a six-year old drowning victim in Raleigh. The responders deployed a sheet to prevent cameras from capturing images of the victim being loaded into the ambulance. Its a simple, effective, and professional method of providing privacy on scene. Works equally well using canvas traps, or even repositioned vehicles to shield sight lines. Public photography is absolutely legal, and this approach negates the need (or, if you prefer, the temptation) to confront camera operators.

+ 3 - 4 | § Wake County Fire Departments with Facebook Pages

Facebook page are an exceptionally easy way for fire departments to have a web presence, and one that's easily updated with text and photo postings. How many fire departments in Wake County have Facebook pages? Below is the list. Perhaps readers who are involved in the operation of these pages will talk about their experiences, and challenges/benefits of using Facebook:

Plus such related pages as

+ 2 - 1 | § Raleigh's Old Aerialscope in Action (Again)

Our friends in Barnwell, SC, share this photo of Raleigh's old Aerialscope in action at Memorial Day house fire. The 1977 Mack/Baker aerial platform is shown getting in position for an aerial attack. The truck, named Tower 101, was purchased in 2007. They've shared updates and photos over the years. Read this People Sential story about the fire. Click to enlarge:

+ 2 - 2 | § Holly Springs Hiring Firefighters

The town of Holly Springs is hiring firefighters. Here's the description: Position will respond to fire and rescue emergencies, perform fire suppression and medical support as first responders to emergency situations, and perform station and equipment maintenance and upkeep.  Work involves considerable knowledge of firefighting equipment, modern firefighting principles and practices as well as considerable physical exertion.  Position requires graduation from high school or equivalent supplemented by 6 months to 2 years of firefighting experience.  Position requires the ability to perform heavy work exerting up to 100 pounds of force.  Applicants must possess Fire Fighter I and II certifications, EMT certification and a valid NC Driver's License.  Normal hiring range $35,480 - 37,000 based on relevant work experience. See this web site. Good luck!

+ 3 - 0 | § Two Alarms on Mayfair Street in Durham

Eighteen apartments were destroyed and two (or maybe six) others were damaged at 3525 Mayfair Street in Durham early this afternoon. The two-alarm fire was reported around 12:40 p.m. More than three dozen people were displaced from the Royal Oaks Apartments. Here's the run card. First alarm: E6, E4, E16, E11, L6, L12, Sq1, B1, B2, MS1, Safety 1; Second alarm: E2, E3, E10, E9, E12, L3, Sq7, B3, FD5, FD20, FD1, FD6, FD3. Plus fire watch companies through the evening: E15, E13, E8, E5, E1, E14, E7, L2. Readers can add incident details. Looked like a long supply line with relay pumping, from at least one hydrant, from the aerial footage. There was a single aerial operating on the A/D corner. Due to limited access and trees, they could only deploy a single ladder. 

Here's some media from WRAL, including a news story, a photo gallery, and aerial footage. And here's some media from WTVD, including a news story with video and a photo gallery. Here's an NBC17 story with video. The Durham Fire Department Facebook page has also posted a couple photos from veteran photographer Julian Harrison. See larger versions on his web site. Alas, Mr. Blogger learned of the blaze just a little too late into the lunch hour to respond. Maybe next time. 


Julian Harrison photos

+ 5 - 3 | § Carolina Beach in 1925 - Map and Notations

Ongoing updates to my history of Carolina Beach fire station locations. Latest is this annotated map from 1925, showing the probably location (and perhaps relative size) of the City Hall and original fire station. Click to enlarge:

For extra credit, I have overlaid the map with a modern aerial view, to compare things. As it happens, the City Hall building was indeed where the present Britts Donuts (and some other buildings) are today. Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 4 | § San Francisco Air Crash - Links and Information

Here are some links to stuff related to yesterday's crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport:

News, Photos, Videos

Radio Traffic

Airport Information

Fire Department Information

Fire Department - Airport Division

Airport Apparatus Photos

Response Notes

Airport Map

+ 2 - 3 | § UPDATED: Wake Forest Fire Engine > Carolina Beach, 1936

July 6
And a photograph. This is from the New Hanover County Public Library Digital Archives, from the Louis T. Moore Collection. He took this photograph between 1921 and 1940, the year of the great fire. The structure on the right is City Hall (as the sign notes), and the fire station is the small building on the right. As for the apparatus, is that the old Wake Forest fire truck? Good question. View an interactive version of the image. Or click to enlarge:

July 5
Found in a newspaper article today, the first fire truck owned by the town of Wake Forest ended up in Carolina Beach in 1936. The June 26, 1936, edition of the Star notes that the Carolina Beach Fire Department--which was undergoing a reorganization--now possessed "500 feet of hose and a LaFrance chemical and hose truck" that was "formerly used by the town of Wake Forest." The town also had a new water system, which provided "every cottage [with] hydrant protection."

The truck is presumably (but not certainly) a Westcott/American LaFrance chemical and hose truck that the Wake Forest Fire Department placed in service in the mid-1920s. As my WFFD notes note, it was old Westcott automobile that was converted by firefighters.1 The top was cut off, a hose bed added, a basket for the American LaFrance chemical tanks, and "provisions" made for carrying ladders. In 1935, the town purchased a 1935 Chevrolet/Barton pumper. After that point, they likely sold their earlier or earliest fire engine.2

Based on my recent Carolina Beach Fire Department research, the town purchased a 1944 American LaFrance pumper some years later. Believe that's the truck shown in this picture. What happened to the former Wake Forest rig? Nothing found as of yet.

1Westcott producted automobiles between 1909 and 1925, so the model year was no later than a 1925. See this Wikipedia page.
2Did the town have more than one fire engine by 1935? And/or might they have replaced the chassis of the Wescott, last confirmed in a 1926 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map? Don't know, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibilities.

+ 2 - 3 | § UPDATED: Wake Forest Fire Engine > Carolina Beach, 1936

July 6
And a photograph. This is from the New Hanover County Public Library Digital Archives, from the Louis T. Moore Collection. He took this photograph between 1921 and 1940, the year of the great fire. The structure on the right is City Hall (as the sign notes), and the fire station is the small building on the right. As for the apparatus, is that the old Wake Forest fire truck? Good question. View an interactive version of the image. Or click to enlarge:

July 5
Found in a newspaper article today, the first fire truck owned by the town of Wake Forest ended up in Carolina Beach in 1936. The June 26, 1936, edition of the Star notes that the Carolina Beach Fire Department--which was undergoing a reorganization--now possessed "500 feet of hose and a LaFrance chemical and hose truck" that was "formerly used by the town of Wake Forest." The town also had a new water system, which provided "every cottage [with] hydrant protection."

The truck is presumably (but not certainly) a Westcott/American LaFrance chemical and hose truck that the Wake Forest Fire Department placed in service in the mid-1920s. As my WFFD notes note, it was old Westcott automobile that was converted by firefighters.1 The top was cut off, a hose bed added, a basket for the American LaFrance chemical tanks, and "provisions" made for carrying ladders. In 1935, the town purchased a 1935 Chevrolet/Barton pumper. After that point, they likely sold their earlier or earliest fire engine.2

Based on my recent Carolina Beach Fire Department research, the town purchased a 1944 American LaFrance pumper some years later. Believe that's the truck shown in this picture. What happened to the former Wake Forest rig? Nothing found as of yet.

1Westcott producted automobiles between 1909 and 1925, so the model year was no later than a 1925. See this Wikipedia page.
2Did the town have more than one fire engine by 1935? And/or might they have replaced the chassis of the Wescott, last confirmed in a 1926 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map? Don't know, but it's certainly not outside the realm of possibilities.

+ 3 - 2 | § This Week's River Rescues

Four river rescues and counting this week on the swollen Tar Haw and Neuse rivers in Chatham and Wake counties, respectively. They're swollen with higher water levels and greater amounts of debris due to the strong storms and heavy rainfall of recent weeks. Here's what we've learned about each:

Friday afternoon, July 5 - Haw River at/near Highway 64
Overturned kayaker, who relocated to a rock among the rushing waters. He was rescued by three rescuers using an inflatable boat. Agencies on scene included Chatham County responders and the Apex FD. That's the crew of Apex Engine 1 in the photo below.

WRAL photo

Friday afternoon, July 5 - Neuse River behind 2819 Treasures Lane
Four people on an inner tube, being pulled by a fifth person in a kayak. The tube became trapped in trees and overturned just south of the Falls Lake dam. Five people needing rescue, three in the water and two in a tree over the water. Rescued by Wake Forest Engine 5 crew and Wake County EMS Medic 93 using throw ropes. Dispatch assignment was E22, E25 (as USAR 801), L5, Squad 15, R1, B5, B1, C20, and Wake Forest E5. Plus EMS _, D_, M93. Dispatched about 2:14 p.m.

WTVD photo

Friday morning, July 5 - Haw River near Highway 64
Boater who capsized his craft on Thursday night, about a half-mile downstream from Highway 64. Swift-water rescue attempted, but the swift water prevented rescuers from reaching the boater. North Chatham FD, Pittsboro FD, Apex FD, South Orange Rescue, and (later) Raleigh Fire Department among agencies on scene. Shortly before midnight, a North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team (HART) requested. The State Highway Patrol helicopter and two Raleigh Fire Department helicopter rescue technicians arrived on scene at 2:35 a.m. They located the survivor on a small island in the middle of the river. After rigging their equipment, the rescue was started, but aborted due to diminished visibility due to fog. The helicopter and its team returned after daybreak, and the rescue was completed just before 7:30 a.m. (They do short-haul rescue operations. They lift a rescuer a short distance to the victim, then lift the rescuer plus victim a short distance to awaiting medical units.) See this short video by Matthew Mauzy.
Thursday afternoon, July 4 - Haw River at/near Highway 64
Two people on inner tube went over a dam and fell eight feet. Adult male swam to safety. Adult female reached an island of rocks, and was rescued. Three rescue crews (agencies?) participated.

Notes About Apex
The Apex Fire Department responded to the three Haw River incidents. They have a mutual aid agreement with North Chatham FD and South Orange Rescue Squad for water rescue calls in those areas. Believe they send a six person crew and two boats on such calls. Their roster of equipment includes two small rescue trucks (Rescue 1 and Rescue 2), along with three Zodiak inflatable boats, two flat-bottomed Rescue One boats, and two rafts. (Think that's right.) They're housed at Station 1 and Station 2. Fun fact, Rescue 2 is Durham Highway's old Unit 9, a 1987 Ford/E-One light-duty rescue. See some pictures from Lee Wilson on this page (scroll toward the bottom).


+ 3 - 3 | § Morning Reading - July 6, 2013

Good morning Raleigh. Spent the day in Carolina Beach and Wilmington yesterday, researching more of the history of the beach town's fire department and fire stations location. Watch this thread as it evolves. Plus the neat news that Wake Forest's first fire truck later served at CBFD. Also more water rescues yesterday, on the Neuse and Tar rivers. Will compile those details and post at a later time.

+ 2 - 2 | § Mystery... Mailbox

Can you place this roadside attraction in Raleigh? Hint, it's in the 4000 block of somewhere.

+ 3 - 2 | § And The Flag Flies High

There's Old Glory in the top of frame, as photographed by Bob Bartosz at live fire training with the Nashville Fire Department on June 25. See more photos on their Facebook page. Have a great and safe Independence Day!

Bob Bartosz photo

+ 1 - 1 | § Would You Believe a World's Record Fire Truck Parade in Warrenton?

That's what the planners of the Thirtieth Annual Warren County Firemen's Day Parade are hoping for on Saturday, September 28, 2013. To help celebrate the event they're going to try to break the Guiness World Record for Most Fire Trucks in a Parade. The prior record of 159 was broken in Atoka, OK, on January 20, 2012. They had over 300 fire trucks from all over Oklahoma., and established a new world's record of 221 fire engines.1 What do you think, can we beat that between North Carolina and Virginia??

Note that for the purposes of the record, a fire engine is defined as a (1.) vehicle that is or has been in service with a fire brigade service and (2.) is capable of putting out fires. Support vehicles are not eligible. Bring out your rigs! Can be motorized, horse-pulled, or hand-pulled. After the parade, the annual firefighter competition will get underway at the Warren County Recreation Complex. Visit this Facebook event page for more details. Contact the Warrenton Fire Department if you can participate. See you there!

1How long is such a parade? Let's say average length of 28 feet. Multiplied by 221 gives over a mile of end-to-end apparatus! Total of 6,188 feet!

+ 4 - 3 | § Ferrells Fire Department's Ward LaFrance

Lee Wilson shares these photos from twenty years ago, of the Ferrells Fire Department in Nash County and their first fire engine, what he recorded as a 1945 Ward LaFrance that they obtained in/around 1974. (That's the year they incorporated, in November of that month.) They sold the truck shortly after the time of this 1993 photo. He recently found and photographed the truck off Highway 97, at an old barn in a field. We'll share those photos a bit later. Where did the truck come from, and serve during its first decades? We'll let Lee or other readers offer opinions. Next question, how many other mid-century Ward LaFrance fire trucks served in our state? Did any others?? Click to enlarge:

Lee Wilson photos

+ 4 - 3 | § Here Comes Video!

And just like that, videos of local emergency scenes are now appearing online. They're being posted to the YouTube channels of Jason Thompson (as JOCOFIRENEWS) and Mike Legeros (as myself). They're longer- and shorter-form clips, respectively. These guys are both new to video. Veteran responder Thompson has taken the plunge into photography and web reporting, via Legeros has started shooting DSLR-shot footage at incidents, after dabbling with camera phone clips for months.

What are the implications for the responder community, with this change? Let's talk through some "thinking points," in the form of questions answered by myself. Warning, your mileage may vary if you've already been there and done that!

Q: How is video different from still photography?
A: Beyond the obvious "moving pictures" versus "still pictures," there are a couple considerations to note. Video cameras record audio, so the sounds of the scene will be present in posted clips. Unless removed or otherwise edited, that is. Video footage is (presumably) harder to blur, in spots, for things like faces of victims. (Unlike the spot-blur that takes but a second on a still shot.) Video footage also requires obvious editing, if you want to "excise" something in a particular "take." And that "cut" can be obvious, and therefore contextually revealing. "Hey, something was cut! Let's start rumors about that!"

Q: Don't forget to mention the difference for viewers, and for repurposing.
A: Correct! It's a very different user experience to click through a set of still shots versus watching a video clip. It's also a different process for sharing individual still shots, versus a linked (or saved) video clip. For repurposing, still shots are great for any format or medium that utilizes photographs. It's harder to "get a shot" from a video clip, because you have to (a.) find the moment in the video to capture and (b.) create a screen capture, from the video, which (c.) wasn't necessarily shot in a native still-shot format to begin with. So the quality might be a bit crappy.

Q: What tips do you have for editing? For taking individual clips (or "takes") and compiling them into a single clip for posting?
A: Still learning to walk, so my advice is minimal. Consider editing in a manner that most effectively (a.) tells the story of what happened and (b.) helps make the responders look as good as possible. For example, if you're shooting a house fire and an aerial stream is started, you might record footage of the stream first hitting the ground near the home's foundation, then rising along the side of the building, then striking the seat of the fire through the roof. Do you edit this one, and shorten the thing, so the segment starts when water's flowing into the roof? Great question. One reaction to the unedited sequence might be "damn, those guys can't even shoot straight." Another reaction to the same sequence might be "this is a good example of watching where you're aiming, and adjusting your aim as needed." Both of those reactions would be negated, of course, if the clip starts some seconds later.

Q: What's better, unedited footage showing everything, or just a representative sample of the high points?
A: Let's ask our readers on this one. The prior answer ponders those pros and cons. The answer probably depends on the viewer and their temperament.


+ 2 - 0 | § New Book - Raleigh Fire Department Newspaper Articles

Historian Mike Legeros (me!) has created a hardcover compilation of historical newspaper articles about the Raleigh Fire Department. Specifically, it's a compilation of of five e-books that reprint selected news articles from 1867 to 1913. Each can be viewed or downloaded free of charge. You can print 'em and bind 'em yourself, or take the plunge and purchase this bound copy. Printed by Lulu (in Raleigh!), it's an on-demand volume. There are no copies in hand, nor in stock. The book measures 8.25 by 10.75 inches, and has 628 black and white pages. Nearly exclusively entirely text. Maybe a couple dozen reprinted woodcuts or photos throughout. Exceptionally compelling reading! The price is $39.99, not including tax and shipping. Takes a couple weeks to be printed and delivered. Order your copy. Below is a video preview:

+ 3 - 2 | § Yesterday's House Fire in Holly Springs

Here's a twenty-second clip of yesterday evening's house fire on Tullich Way in Holly Springs. Holly Springs, Apex, Fairview, and Fuquay-Varina fire departments were on scene. Fire started by a water heater in the garage. Home was extensively damaged reports WRAL. 

WRAL photo

+ 5 - 1 | § Car Versus Gas Station in Clayton

Been a while since we've posted a vehicle-versus-building photo. This happened yesterday at 1225 Amelia Church Road in Clayton. Two people suffered minor injuries. One was injured when the car entered the store, and the second was injured (!) when the car backed out of the store. Read WRAL story.

WRAL photo

+ 4 - 4 | § Record Rainfall in Chapel Hill

That's right, a total of 5.12 inches of rain on Sunday, breaking the record of 4.8 inches set in 2008. County-wide, some 150 people were impacted by the heavy rain and resulting flooding. Forty people were rescued, including twenty-five residents from a mobile home park on South Greensboro Street in Carrboro. Residents were also evacuated from an apartment complex on Estes Drive near University Mall in Chapel Hill. That latter made for good listening via this live audio feed. That is, the Orange County Fire and EMS channel. Chatham County was also hit hard, with flooding and people rescued around Pittsboro. Haven't started looking for reader photos just yet, but a couple jump out from this WRAL story:


WRAL photos

+ 10 - 8 | § Deadliest Fires For Firefighters (Again)

July 1, 2013
In the wake of the terrible news of nineteen wildland firefighters killed in Arizona last night, let's revisit this posting for a historical perspective on the deadliest fires for firefighters in our nation's history. They've been added below, but the entire list warrants a review. Also found this NPFA web site, which we'll incorporate into the mix. Their numbers don't quite match in a couple places, so we'll check, compare, and revise as needed. Such as Devil's Broom and Texas City.

December 23, 2010
More from Chicago, where our thoughts and prayers continue. Stories about the December 1910 stock yard fire have repeatedly cited it one of the deadliest days for American firefighters. Curious about that citation, here's a bit of research done via Google. Below are greatest losses of firefighters in American history. Dates date to the 1850s. Wildfires are included, including a two-day inferno that took the lives of 78 firefighters in 1910. Sources are at the bottom, notably a list compiled by Hank Przybylowicz and as found by Google.