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+ 3 - 3 | § Shaving Heads and Kissing Lips / Morning Reading - October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Raleigh. Reporting from the road, and after six days spent in northern California. Pictures coming of fire museums in Monterey, Salinas, and San Francisco. Some apparatus shots as well, including a stop at the Golden Gate city's fireboat station. Plus the three-alarm fire pictures already posted and blogged about. Back tonight. Still kept an eye on local news, and caught these two stories being shared on Facebook:

+ 3 - 2 | § Bumper Barrier

Reporting from the road. Saw this siren attachment on an engine in Monterey, CA. Protects the siren from things that go bump, and expensive dents caused therein. The problem can also be solved with recessed bumper mounts, seen in the second photo from Berekley, CA. Who uses bumper inset sirens in our area or region?

+ 3 - 4 | § Behind the Tape - San Francisco

Reporting from the road. Caught this "worker" while visiting San Francisco on Monday. Three alarms in the 1400 block of Valencia Street. Arrived about forty minutes after dispatch. Police lines were everywhere, as well as orders to "please stay on the sidewalk and out of the street, sir." Such enforcement was relaxed (a bit) after the fire had been controlled, but not before Yours Truly had circled several blocks. And, alas, took a counter-clockwise route, and didn't find the best vantage point (parking lot almost across the street) until the very end.

What's a visiting fire photographer to do, if he can't get inside the fire lines? Why, do what every other non-official photog is doing. Stand and shoot, or find a better vantage point. Here's a map showing my approximate path. The dots indicated shooting locations. There were cameras everywhere, of course. Mostly phones and point-and-shoots. Plus a number of "real" cameras, in the hands of what looked like journalists and fire buffs. Click to enlarge:


See the photos, which are posted to Flickr but linked from my photo site. They're aftermath photos, and often shot into the sun. Thus the crazy colors and shadows. They're also great examples of "outside the tape" photography. And validate the value of "inside the tape" shots, and the role of official photographers. Still, was able to get some good ones, both near and far. See below. Google for incident details from news reports.

Greatly enjoyed both visiting the scene, and the experience of getting there. Rushing to a fire in Raleigh is a comparable piece of cake.




+ 3 - 2 | § Raleigh Firefighter Application Process Closes on October 30

This is the last week that the Raleigh Fire Department is accepting applications for Firefighter. The application period closes on Wednesday, October 30, at 4:00 p.m. EST.

The recruitment web site has complete details on the process, beginning with the application packet itself. From there, you can attend optional orientation days at the Keeter Training Center on October 31 through November 2.

This year, the written aptitude test will be administered first, on December 3 at the Raleigh Convention Center. (Took mine at the Raleigh Civic Center, back in the day.) Physical agility tests will be subsequently administered, on December 4 through December 7.

The city is hiring for Recruit Academy 39. The twenty-seven week training program is planned to start in March.

+ 4 - 1 | § Civility, Psychology, Online Comments and The New Yorker

You may have noticed that the News & Observer (along with all McClatchy news sites) recently changed their reader comments to a Facebook-based interface. The change was made to promote greater civility, as this story of theirs stated. Their prior technology didn't require readers to use their real names. And without such accountability, the comments sections of stories too often became "pits of mudslinging and abuse" that scared off those "who want a rational conversation."

Of course, it certainly also attracted others who sought to read and/or participate in such pits. The open incivility of online forums has its own exciting appeal. But you have to have a thick skin, or be willing to grow one. It's like Thunderdome, to paraphrase an exasperated George Costaznza from a classic episode of Seinfeld. There are no rules, relatively speaking.

Anyway, the changes have been made at our local paper's web site. And to echo one reader's recent comment (don't remember to which story), the now Facebook-based comments of N&O stories are better all around. More civil and more comprehensible. Better language, e.g. grammar and spelling. There's something magical about simple accountability, isn't there?

Did the News & Observer moderate its old-style comments? Believe so, but only post-posting. That is, your comment appeared at the time it was posted, but was subject to removal as needed. Versus, say, the WRAL site, where comments are only approved during business hours and on weekdays. That last requirement remains most curious. You'd think the draw for site visitors--and advertiser revenue--outside of those parameters would compel them to hire at least one weekend person to approve comments. But maybe the numbers don't add up.

WRAL doesn't use Facebook for comments, by the way, nor requires readers to use real names. So there's a bit of apples to oranges in there.

In the world of fire blogs, both anonymous commenting and moderated comments are the norm. But there are some exceptions, notably at Backstep Firefighter.

As their comment policy notes, they require either a real name or a real department. Captain Anonymous doesn't ride here, they once posted. By posting a name or a department, they wrote, "It’s one of the best ways we can all learn from each other in this increasingly technological age." They also added, it "shows your true grit."

On this blog, anonymous comments have a long and curious history.

For the first few years, remarks were a wild west of sorts. Outright personal attacks were removed. Pure vulgarity didn't pass muster, either. No approval was needed, though. Comments were posted when they were posted. Then Mr. Blogger would endure any heartburn as needed, as particular conversations--often around what someone/some department did/didn't do on the fireground--became more pointed or heated. He'd delete particular remarks as needed, and maybe attempt editorial guidance.

Comments on this blog became moderated in [ can't find even the rough date, let's say a couple years ago ].

This was a great move for Legeros, who saw a marked reduction in "blogger's heartburn." This was also a win for fans of civility and rational discourse, though, to be fair, things were pretty good on the blog by that time. The days of the occasional, er, flame wars were long gone.

What was lost? Well, a couple things.

The total number of reader comments, across all postings, commenced a reduction. There was less conversation and less participation and, presumably, less readership of the blog. This might've been a "good riddance" for those who stayed behind, and who are comfortable using their real name and/or coloring within more civil lines of conversation. But even "rough and tumble" interactions can be useful, and provide valuable learning lessons. That's proven in the fire service every day. 

The New Yorker this week addressed this topic, in a superb posting by Maria Konnikova titled The Psychology of Blog Comments.

Their context was an announcement from Popular Science several weeks ago, that the magazine's web site was banishing user comments. No more conversation, period.  (The decision makes me think of a great comment recently said by someone, to the effect of "you can afford to spend all your time creating great content, or curating great conversation, but not both.")

What's the best choice, then? Facebook comments? Anonymous comments? Approved comments? No comments?

Well, the aforementioned New Yorker looks at these things, and through citations of assorted research results. Here are some (simply sketched) notes on their conclusions:

What's my conclusion to their conclusions? Well, it certainly makes (and thus has made) for a nifty blog posting by some fire blogger in Raleigh, N.C. 

Read the New Yorker story, it's pretty good.

+ 4 - 5 | § Rocky Mount's New Rescue

Recently placed in service in Rocky Mount in this 2013 E-One heavy rescue. See a couple more photos, including a view of the cascade system that's aboard. Click to enlarge:


+ 4 - 1 | § Notes From Last Night's State Fair Accident

Five people were transported to WakeMed after an accident at the North Carolina State Fair. They were injured around 9:17 p.m. on a ride called the Vortex, located in what's described as the "old Midway section" behind the Expo Center. And/or, the "lower Midway." Sundry notes from various media reports and other sources are below. See a few photos from Robert Willett and the News & Observer, of the ride being investigator after the accident.

+ 4 - 1 | § Notes From Last Night's State Fair Accident

Five people were transported to WakeMed after an accident at the North Carolina State Fair. They were injured around 9:17 p.m. on a ride called the Vortex, located in what's described as the "old Midway section" behind the Expo Center. And/or, the "lower Midway." Sundry notes from various media reports and other sources are below. See a few photos from Robert Willett and the News & Observer, of the ride being investigator after the accident.

+ 5 - 0 | § Now Featuring Twitter

Look on the right side of this page. See that widget in the right column? That's displaying the latest "tweets" from my Twitter account. e.g., @legeros. Effective yesterday, the range of my tweeting has expanded. I've started posting links to other sites, and other content that's caught my interest. Previously, my tweeting was nearly exclusively cross-posting from this blog and my photo site. How does the widget work? Simple, it displays my most recent tweets. You'll have to refresh the page to refresh the widget, however. How often will you be tweeting? Watch for tweets first-thing each day, and maybe in the evening. Weekends and holidays and vacations might be more, might be less. We'll see. Making this up as we go along. What is a tweet? That's a text message that's limited to 140 characters. It's sent and received via Twitter, a social media service. Tweets are public and can be viewed by anyone on the planet. They can't be edited, but they can be deleted. They can also include links to pictures. Why are you tweeting? That one's easy. To more quickly and more easily share things, but without resorting to a blog posting. Where can you read tweets? There are all sorts of applications for receiving tweets, as well as the Twitter web site itself. Are you secretly a public information officer? Nope, nor do I play one on television.

+ 5 - 2 | § Bay Leaf's Hand-Built Horn and Siren Control

The Bay Leaf Fire Department dedicated their new Station 1 yesterday. The ribbon-cutting was conducted in conjunction with an open house. Photographer Lee Wilson was present and has posted many good photos from the day. See also this set of photos since construction started. The department's placed some historical items on display, such as this hand-built horn and siren control. The belt-device device sounded a repeating series of horn blasts to alert volunteer firefighters. And (or maybe later), triggered a siren that performed the same function. (At least, that's my inference from looking at the photo. Hopefully our readers will tell more.) See larger photo. Next question, what interesting signaling controls have been used in other local fire departments?

Lee Wilson photo

+ 3 - 2 | § Wake County Fire Station Locations in 1993

In this still-active prior posting, we've been imagining and discussing the locations of Wake County fire stations twenty years hence. For some historical perspective, let's go backward in time. Here's that same map overlaid with fire station locations twenty years prior. (Yes, a better background map would also show the municipal limits at the time. Couldn't find one.) Think back to those days. Gasoline costs $1.16. Average new car costs $12,750. Bill Clinton is President. Ty Warner USA launches these things called Beanie Babies. How far ahead were those folks thinking, with regard to Wake County's fire service? Did they imagine such growth and expanded fire service needs? View the map (PDF). (What, you're confused? Too many maps from different decades? Here's a map showing current fire station locations.)

+ 7 - 3 | § Best/Worst Halloween Display Ever?

Let's turn to the national news, for a holiday story. The pictures tell everything with this one, from Mustang, OK. Here's the original story from the Oklahoma City Oklahoman. Here's one of many (Daily Mail) national and global stories that have since resulted. Let's look to the Law Officer Magazine Facebook page for reactions from the law enforcement community. Here's their posting. That page is a great place to learn about the issues faced by the law enforcement community, and personal perspectives therein. No Facebook login/account required to read!

+ 4 - 1 | § Salem's Old Steamer on Display

Reporting from the road. Pay a visit to the Old Salem Visitor's Center (exceptionally nice building) in Winston-Salem and you'll see this beauty on display, a 1905 American LaFrance steam engine, fourth-size. Serial number 512. This was the second steamer operated by the Salem Fire Department. The first was an 1886 Button, fifth-size. Both were still on the roster (with the Button as reserve unit) when the town's of Winston and Salem merged. (The Winston Fire Department had three steam engines.) Read more about North Carolina's steam fire engines. Real photos forthcoming.

+ 4 - 3 | § UPDATED: New Hanover County Fire Captain Dies During Training

October 19
A memorial service for Captain Heath will be conducted today, Saturday, in Wilmington. The service starts at 1:00 p.m. at the Port City Community Church at 250 Vision Drive. Apparatus planning on attending should arrive by 11:30 a.m. After the service, Capt. Heath will be transported to Concord, NC. The route will pass Raleigh. Numerous fire departments along the route are planning to position apparatus at overpasses. 

Captain Heath will be buried tomorrow, Sunday. The service starts at 3:00 p.m. at First Assembly Church, 150 Warren C. Coleman, Concord. All honor guard members and apparatus attending are to be at the church by 1:30 p.m. 

See this story for contact numbers, as well as travel maps. The route past Raleigh includes a fuel stop in Mebane.

October 14
From this story, New Hanover County Fire Department Captain David A. Heath died of an apparent heart attack during a training exercise today. He collapsed shortly after 4:00 p.m. His colleagues immediately performed CPR, applied a defibrillator, and instituted advance life support measures. Heath was 48 years old, and a ten-year veteran of the department. He was assigned to the Professional Development Division, and assigned to Station 17.

Prior to his tenure in New Hanover County, Heath was a career member of the Morrisville Fire Department. He held the rank of the Lieutenant and Engineer. He also worked as a firefighter for the City of Wilson, and was a member of the Raleigh Fire Department from January 8, 1996, to March 11, 1999. He also volunteered with Durham Highway and Six Forks fire departments.

See also similar stories from the Star-News and WWAY-TV, both of which are based on the press release from New Hanover County.  

+ 4 - 3 | § Ten Most Dangerous Intersections in Raleigh

From WTVD, here's a short story about a list published by the city of the dangerous intersections in Raleigh. That's based on property damage, severity of injuries or fatalities, and frequency. And they've compared the list to last year, and the state's ranking of those intersections. And that's about it. Drive safely. See the list (PDF).

The ten most dangerous intersections in Raleigh are:

  1. Poole/New Hope
  2. I-440/Poole
  3. Glenwood/Lumley
  4. Duraleigh/Pleasant Valley
  5. Wade/Edwards Mill
  6. Wilmington/Tryon
  7. Glenwood/Wade
  8. I-540/Capital
  9. I-40/Saunders
  10. Glenwood/Hillsborough

+ 4 - 4 | § UPDATED: Wake County Fire Station Locations in 2033

October 18
Map updated, with Apex expansion. See comment.

October 16
Map updated, with projection of Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville fire station locations, based on reader comments.

October 11
A new day is poised to dawn in Wake County with the hiring of a new Director of Fire Services as the pending hiring of a new County Manager. What changes might be wrought (over time) as tjey evaluate the needs of the county fire protection infrastructure? Let's presume they continue in the direction started by the current administration, which has advocated mergers and consolidations as a strategy for cost-effectiveness. With our trusty maps and picture-making tools, let's take a speculative leap to fifteen or twenty years hence. Imagine what Wake County's fire service infrastructure look like, at least with regard to fire station facilities. Here's Mike's map (PDF) or click the small map to view the big map. Thoughts and notes are below.



+ 3 - 3 | § Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter, Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 edition of the Raleigh Fire Department newsletter has been posted to This quarter's contents include New Fireground Procedures; Two Alarms on Manor Valley Court; Services Updates; IT Updates; Staff Changes; Promotions; Firefighters, Troopers Honored; Capt. Scott White Honored; Training Updates; Meet the New Firefighters; Photo Gallery; Fire Safety for College Campuses; Memorial Stair Climbers; Thirty-Five Years of Service. The newsletter is a quarterly publication for personnel, retirees, and citizens. The editor is Historian Mike Legeros. Many thanks to Mrs. Legeros for proofreading and fact-checking, and other folks who helped with story content and review. Read the new issue (PDF).

+ 2 - 1 | § Dash Cam Drive By of Extrication Scene

Submitted by a reader, here's a dash cam video of a driver passing an extrication scene at Hammond Road and Rush Street yesterday. Units at the scene included E2 (?), L4, R1, EMS 16, EMS 18, EMS 1, EMS 62, and D1. The video isn't embedded, so click to view. The YouTube user is NC DashVids. Thanks Chad!

+ 2 - 3 | § From The Washington Post: Cold Air. Then Heat. Then Terror

You may have already heard about this (, Firefighter Close Calls, etc.), but yesterday's Washington Post published a superb story by J. Freedom du Lac about Kevin O'Toole and Ethan Sorrell. They're the firefighters from Bladenburg, MD, who were badly injured in February 2012, in a house fire in Riverdale Heights. (See prior posting about the incident, which injured five other firefighters.) The Post story recaps the incident (and with a seven-part diagram of what happened), the treatments endured by O'Toole and Sorrell, and their status and conditions today.

O'Toole, who suffered the worst injuries from the intentionally-set fire, has undergone thirteen operations. Mostly recently, they've been reconstructing his hands. He's living in Long Island and still recovering, and is still hoping for a career in the fire service. He's 22 years-old. Sorrell, a native from our state, survived inhalation burns, and first- and second-degree burns around his head, arms, chest, and back. He was released from the burn center after four days, but soon returned to be by O'Toole's side for the rest of his stay. He moved back to his parents home in Buis Creek, and was hired as a career firefighter by the Fuquay-Varina Fire Department here in Wake County. 

When off-duty, Sorrell works part-time in construction and landscape. He also tries to take volunteer shifts both at Buies Creek Fire Department and back at Bladensburg. There's a plaque at the firehouse inscribed with his and O'Toole's names. The date and details of the fire are also listed. Mounted above the plaque are the flat-headed axe and Halligan bar that O'Toole carried through the burning house. As the story notes, the plaque reads "These irons serve as a constant reminder that anything can happen without notice" [and] "every incident is the call of your career until proven otherwise."

Read the Washington Post story

Ricky Carioti/Washington Post photo

Washington Post graphic

+ 4 - 3 | § Parkwood Ambulance > Durham Police Unit

Seen in downtown Durham last night, here's the Selective Enforcement Unit's unit. We're told that this is a former Parkwood ambulance. Maybe readers can advise make and model. See prior posting about Durham special police vehicles, as well as this Flickr gallery of mine of such trucks.

+ 1 - 3 | § Lots of Pipes

Still working my way through my photos from the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend last weekend. Just posted the photos from the memorial service, which was held at the PNC Arena of Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MA. They shot with a pair of Canon "L" lens, 18-55mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4. The telephoto shots turned out pretty good, all things considered. The predominant setting was Aperture-Priority AE with 1/250 shutter and 5.0 aperture. Next time will take (and rent) an f/2.8 lens, to see what happens. See those and other photos at Still more coming, seven more sets and about 500 shots.

+ 4 - 2 | § Winston-Salem Fire Police, The First Four Months, 1958

In the March 1958 issue of Hose & Nozzle magazine, Winston-Salem Fire Department Asst. Chief Harold Gibson provided a report on the first four months of city's new partially integrated fire-police program. We've blogged about this before, with a six-month report on the program from 1958. Here's the precursor to that report, provided at the four-month mark.

Report Details

Since September 1957, personnel at Station 8 have been assigned both fire and police duties. To help the firemen cope with the technical aspects of both vocations, a twelve-week training program was conducted by the city's fire and police chiefs, along with each department's training supervisors. A total of 7,127 man-hours of training was conducted from April 15 to December 31.

Equipment in service at Station 8 consists of a new Mack pumper, equipped with a 1,000 GPM pump, and a Chevrolet station wagon. The latter is used to conduct around-the-clock patrols and is equipped with fire and police radios, small tools, and hand fire suppression equipment.

Six firemen consist of a Captain, Lieutenant, two Sergeants, and two Drivers. Eight fire-police Patrolmen and one rotating Police Officer completes company. One Fire-Policeman rotates at the police department.

The company officers and firemen draw regular firemen's pay, while the fire-policemen are paid $30 more per month than regualar firemen. All of the fire-policemen volunteered for their assignment.

The firemen and fire-policemen work together as a single unit. When a fire call is received in the Station 8 territory, the engine and fire car are dispatched separately. If the car is patrolling, its personnel join the engine upon arrival, and work together as one fire company. The company can also be transferred to other parts of the city, for multiple alarm fires or to fill-in at other fire stations.

Thirty-seven alarms were answered during the four-month period. The unit (firemen and fire-policemen) also performed their share of additional activities. They completed 445 fire prevention inspections, and 277 fire hydrant checks during the four-month period.

Police Patrol

During the four-month period, 5,032 man-hours were spent by the eight fire-policemen patrolling an assigned area of four and three-quarter square miles. Two men rode together in the fire car. They performed such regular police duties as catching speeders, checking licenses, citing parking violations, noting street lights out, checking building permits, and performing away-from-home checks.

In the event the fire-policemen are making an arrest and a fire call is transmitted over the radio, the fire call comes first. The fire-policemen also assisted with fire prevention. During the four months, they located nine fires that were extinguished before serious damage occurred.

Technical Details

From September 1957 to February 1958, the Fire-Police Patrol is being conducted on an experimental basis. It will be evaluated upon completion of the six-month period. Decisions will be made at that time to continue, expand, or discontinue the program.

Fire Company 8 responds to fires on first alarms within a six and three-quarter square mile territory. The fire-police patrol patrols an area of four and three-quarter square-miles. They remain in this territory unless responding to a fire with the rest of the company. Their territory includes residences of medium and high value, a college, a hospital, places of public assembly, suburban trading areas, and a few small industries.


+ 4 - 2 | § Cary Fire Chief to Shave for Shane

From Capital Area FOOLS President and Cary firefighter Craig McDowell comes this update on the Shave for Shane fundraiser (see prior posting):

Cary Fire Department Fire Chief Allan Cain has agreed to Shave For Shane! He has agreed to do this if we are able to raise $2,500 by 0800 hours on Thursday, October 17.

Donations can be made at Shane's SquareUp page.

Reminder also of our Shave for Shane event this Saturday, October 12, from 1300 to 1800 hours, at The Corner Tavern and Grill in Cary at 1301 NW Maynard Road.

If you are unable to attend on Saturday and want to show your support by shaving your head, please consider making a $20.00 donation towards the cause. Do us a favor and send us a picture of your shaved head, or post it to our Shave for Shane Facebook page so we can share it with Shane.

For questions or further information, please contact:

Craig McDowell - CFD Engine 6 A

Ritch Moore - CFD Rescue 2 A

+ 5 - 1 | § Relocating Cary Station 2

Found on the web, here's a picture of Cary's planned Station 2 replacement. It'll be located at 601 E. Chatham Street, just up the road from the old Circus restaurant. The two-story, two-bay station will replace an older and considerably smaller facility at 875 SE Maynard Road. And which was once the location of the fire department-operated town sign shop, for your morning trivia. It currently houses Engine 2 and Rescue 2. Here's the project site for the new station. (Absolutely love the town of Cary's transparency with such projects, and public information posted therein.) Construction is planned for spring 2014, with completion in spring/summer 2015. Click to enlarge:

+ 6 - 4 | § New Wheels For District 1

Seen on scene last week and delivered about a month ago. That's District 1 as operated by Wake County EMS, and housed at the "Headquarters EMS Station" in downtown Raleigh. Nice lighting above the rear window!

+ 6 - 1 | § Mike Wright Named as New Director of Wake County Fire Services

Press release. Michael Wright has been selected as the Director of Wake County Fire Services. Wright will be responsible for the County's Fire Services Department and Fire Training Cente, including fire code enforcement, fire investigations, the Emergency Response and Hazardous Materials program, and the Suppression and Rescue Administration programs. He will also act as the liaison between contracting fire departments and the County and coordinate the County's work with the Wake County Fire Commission. Wright is scheduled to start in his new role Tuesday, November 12, 2013.

Wright currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Guilford County Department of Emergency Services. His primary responsibilities there include management of the Fire Services Division, which includes operations, training, inspections investigations, and the coordination of fire service delivery to 24 fire service districts. Mike has held this position since 2004. Prior to that, he served as Fire Chief for the Colfax Fire Department. He also has worked for the City of Greensboro Fire Department as a Firefighter, Firefighter II and Fire Equipment Operator.

Read entire press release.

+ 4 - 5 | § Fire Prevention Week in Raleigh

Fire Prevention Week 2013 is underway. This year’s theme is "Prevent Kitchen Fires." More house fires are started in the kitchen than anywhere else. Learn more from the NFPA. The Raleigh Fire Department will feature both public fire education and fire department recruitment displays at Crabtree Valley Mall during regular mall hours on October 10-12. All city of Raleigh fire stations will be open for visitors during Fire Prevention Week. The Raleigh Fire Museum will also be open on Saturday, October 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 10

Friday, October 11

Saturday, October 12

All Week

+ 1 - 4 | § Pepper Spray Day at Police Academy

These Howard County, MD, fire units were photographed on Friday at the county public safety center, where a police academy was underway. The day's activities included pepper spray training. Thus the presence of the Howard County Fire/Rescue mobile contamination unit. Decon 13 is a 2005 Pierce Enforcer/ACSI. Yours Truly was paying a photo visit, as the facility was serving as emergency lodging for staff and workers of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend. See more photos at Meanwhile, maybe some of our law officer readers will share their experiences on the subject of being "maced" as a part of training. Some of us, um, haven't had the privledge.

+ 3 - 2 | § Out of Service Until Sunday

For local response at least. See you in Emmitsburg.

+ 3 - 2 | § Need More Lights

Seen last weekend in Warrenton at the annual fireman's day activities (see my photos), Lake Gaston Fire Department's old Pirsch pumper. Presume the thing served elsewhere, and maybe somewhere to the north and east? Maybe our readers can tell more. Next question, what other departments would win awards around our state for "most lights and sirens?" And/or, how many have Roto-Rays?


+ 2 - 2 | § Vance County Fire Station Catches Fire

This Daily Dispatch story reports that Vance County Station 3 at 188 Bickett Street caught fire on Wednesday morning. Firefighters had departed their quarters about 8:00 a.m. for a tobacco barn blaze. At least two medical units there had also left the station, responding to unrelated medical emergencies. Left behind was a "pan breakfast with potatoes frying in grease." The Henderson Fire Department was called to the station shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Fire damaged some of the kitchen area, while smoke produced more extensive damage to the facility. Total estimate damages are upward of $50,000. The fire station will continue in operation, using a mobile command unit. One of the ambulances and its crew has been relocated to a city station downtown. They'll also be open for Fire Prevention Week. This year's theme is... prevent kitchen fires.

And the lesson remains a good one, as articulated by Henderson Fire Chief Danny Wilkerson, "No one is immune to the danger of a kitchen fire." Glad that the damage wasn't worse. Go easy on the busting-of-chops.

Google Street View photo

+ 4 - 2 | § Forest Hill Fire Department - November 1957

From the December 1957 issue of Hose & Nozzle magazine comes this vintage graphic of the Forest Hill Fire Department outside Winston-Salem in Forysth County. The picture appears on the cover of their annual report, of which was reprinted in the magazine. View that document (PDF). The department's new fire station at 4619 N. Cherry Street is shown, along with three vehicles, including a home-built ladder truck (!). (We've seen some of those "short ladders" around the state. Beaufort Fire Department had one. See prior posting.) Also note the ambulance, which was an atypical piece of equipment for rural departments back in those days. (Well, was atypical in these parts, where funeral homes handled such duties. Does the statement hold water statewide? Will think on that.) Click to enlarge:

As for FHFD, they were organized in 1953 under the guidance of the Forest Hill Civic Club. They operated in Forsyth County until 2007, when they relocated to Stokes County. They ceased operations within a year. Their old station on Cherry Street is still standing, as Google Street View shows. If memory serves, it's presently owned by someone (or some organization) that owns a number of antique fire engines. Some years ago, when passing through there, said trucks were stored inside. Perhaps readers know more.

+ 1 - 3 | § Cary Firefighter Fundraiser: Shave For Shane

From Capital Area FOOLS President and Cary firefighter Craig McDowell comes word of a fundraiser for one of their town. Shane Austin (Cary Ladder Co. 1 B-Shift and Capital Area FOOLS charter member) has been diagnosed with cancer. He has two non-operable tumors in his brain, and has begun treatments to slow/stop the cancer. A fundraiser has been established to help Shane and his family with some of the expenses they are incurring. Below is a flyer for "Shave for Shane" on Saturday, October 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at  The Corner Tavern at 1301 NW Maynard Road in Cary.

Shaves will be a $20.00 donation, t-shirts are $20.00, and they'll have raffle tickets for sale at $5.00 each or five for $20.00. The grand prize is a black N6A leather fire helmet. They are also soliciting for additional raffle prizes. Any items donated will be greatly appreciated. For more information see the Shave for Shane Facebook page. For raffle tickets please see the contacts below. All proceeds will go directly to The Austin family.


Craig McDowell - CFD Engine 6 A

Ritch Moore - CFD Rescue 2 A

+ 4 - 5 | § Hose & Nozzle Stories of Fallen Firefighters, 1976 to 1978

These three stories appeared in Hose & Nozzle magazine between 1976 and 1978. Learn more about North Carolina fallen firefighters on my history pages, which includes a database, vital records, and other information. Learn more about Hose & Nozzle on a new project page of mine.

H&N - March/April 1976
Fireman Killed
Two injured

ASHEBORO, N.C. - West Side volunteer fireman Carlos Dale Dorsett was killed [on March 13, 1976] when the tanker truck he was driving to a fire overturned on Fuller's Mill Road, 14 mile west of Asheboro. Two other firemen, Paul Chaney and Barry Bunting, were injured and taken to Randolph Hospital where they were treated and released. West Side chief Bill Black said the tanker, along with two other fire vehicles were responding to a 1:55 p.m. fire call to old Fuller's Mill when the accident happened on a sharp curve.

Black said the tanker truck was trailing the other vehicles along the winding and hilly road when it went out of control. Patrolman B. F. Tesh of the Highway Patrol said the tanker truck loaded with water went out of control on the curve, with the right front wheels leaving the pavement, the truck careening back across the left side of the highway, as the driver attempted to steer it straight.

Large holes were gouged out of the pavement as the truck turned over and rolled against a high bank on the left of the road. Dorsett, 28, was dead on arrive at Randolph Hospital. Dorsett had been a volunteer fireman for about 18 months. West Side officials said no insurance was carried on the tanker, "because due to the money situation we could not have insurance on all equipment." Author Henry King.

Click to enlarge this image that appeared on the issu'es cover: