10/09/06 132 W, 1 I - + 10 - 17 State Fair Fire Protection

The State Fair Fire Brigade is, alas, no more. Western Wake Fire Rescue has been contracted to solely provide 24/7 coverage that started yesterday (Sunday) and is running through the 22nd. Four personnel are on duty until the 13th, after which the numbers increase to 12 during the day and 6 at night.


Apparatus are Engine 196, Tanker 198, Brush 299, and two golf carts designated Car 19 and Car 29. They will be dispatched as "State Fair Fire." They're also based in the same place as last year, beside the Village of Yesterday as well as Gate 11 (tanker only). They'll be handling all inspections, EMS, fire, rescue, and haz-mat needs. Basically, they're operating a third station for about two weeks. And they can eat Fair food at every meal.

I actually thought that the Fairgrounds FD had been deactivated several years ago. To raise a question though, why wouldn’t RFD engine 14 be given that responsibility, or why not have the city provide protection for the event?
toofarfromhome - 10/09/06 - 21:58

Fairgrounds FD and YRAC FD’s merged into the department known now as Western Wake Fire Rescue, the NC State Fairgrounds (along with some of the surounding area) lie within their fire district, not within the City of Raleigh, so they actually have an obligation to provide protection as they do the other 350 days of the year. Firefighters from their own department as well as surrounding departments will be used to staff the trucks at the fair. They will continue to operate their other two stations as normal during the fair. To address as to why E-14 doesn’t cover it, simple it’s not in their district and it requires more than a 3-4 man engine company. And to boot E-8 is actually closer.
CFP 7021 - 10/09/06 - 22:08

In 1957, a volunteer fire department was organized to protect the unincorporated areas of Raleigh around Western Boulevard and Hillsboro Street. The department was named Western Boulevard Fire Department. After most of its territory was annxed by the city in 1960, its members reorganized as the Fairground Fire Department. The station was relocated to a state-owned (?) site on Blue Ridge Road, across from the State Police complex. In 1998, the Fairgrounds (now plural) Fire Department and the Yrac Fire Department merged and formed the Western Wake Fire Department.

Fires during the time of the State Fair were answered both by the above departments and, if large enough, by the Raleigh Fire Department. In the late 1960s, a dedicated fire brigade was established during the time of the State Fair. It consisted of off-duty firefighters from Raleigh, among other individuals. Their first apparatus was a pumper borrowed from Garner. In more recent decades, they used apparatus loaned by regional dealers. Or apparatus slated for sale by a department. Such one of the Six Forks Mack pumper-tankers that was for sale at the time.
Legeros - 10/09/06 - 22:09

...and though the fairgrounds is already covered by WWFD, the State Fair sees an obvious value in paying for additional on-site personnel and equipment. They get a faster response, and higher level of protection and safety.
Legeros - 10/09/06 - 22:15

I anticipate gaining 10 pounds during my couple of days that I am working. Man, those miniature donuts are dangerous!!!! Any chance we can move a treadmill and some weights out there?
Silver - 10/09/06 - 22:23

Just to clarify…Western Wake has always staffed the fair with manpower and apparatus. This is the first year that they are the sole providers as the fire brigade was disbanded.
CFP743 - 10/11/06 - 08:23

or at least since 1998…
CFP 7021 - 10/11/06 - 13:32

But before that…wasn’t Fairgrounds FD staffing the fair?
CFP743 - 10/11/06 - 20:04

no, it was covered by the fire brigade, Fairgrounds FD was only called onto the grounds if the incident exceeded the brigade’s capacity.
CFP 7021 - 10/11/06 - 22:26

Okay…learn something new everyday. So what does everyone think…is this a good move?
CFP743 - 10/12/06 - 19:01

There is no move. For decades, the State Fair has hosted (and contracted, at least in recent years/decades and maybe all along) supplemental fire protection. This year, the contract was awarded to a single group (WWFD) instead of two groups (WWFD and the State Fair Fire Brigade).
Legeros - 10/12/06 - 19:39

So… who exactly did Fairgrounds protect?
toofarfromhome - 10/12/06 - 20:41

The Fairgrounds FD protected unincorporated areas due west of Raleigh, from the city limits west to the Yrac fire district in Cary.
Legeros - 10/12/06 - 20:52

It’s one of those things that drive the name of the local fire department/company- geography. For example, the old Six Forks VFD was actually started as the Six Forks Road VFD. Another note, the SF VFD was never actually located at Six Forks- an intersection on Six Forks Rd where Six Forks, Strickland, and alas, my fading memory fails me as to the rest… Durham Highway VFD was originally located along what was then the Durham Highway (now Glenwood Avenue), but now is located far from the actual ‘Durham Highway’.
DJ - 10/12/06 - 23:12

...but the Six Forks Road FD was located on Six Forks Road for the first couple decades.
Legeros - 10/13/06 - 05:22

True, and Durham Highway was located on US70 West for years as well. And it was true to its name up until the 70s. But they are not now. Six Forks EMS/Rescue has never been actually located at the intersection that bore the name Six Forks. Swift Creek VFD has never been all that close to the actual Swift Creek, although it does run through their district. I guess Swift Creek sounded better than ‘Macedonia’, which was the name of the area where Tryon Rd split into Holly Springs Rd and Apex-Macedonia Rd, and Cary-Macedonia Rd came to. The names of some of the country’s EMS/fire/rescue units has always interested me. The one that comes to mind is Frog Level VFD and Frog Level Rescue in Virginia.
DJ - 10/13/06 - 13:37

the term Six Forks derived from the intersection that provided “six different directions” e.g. Six Forks Rd north and south(1&2), Strickland Rd. east and west (3&4), [old]Lead Mine Rd. (5), and Bailywick Rd (6).
pal - 10/15/06 - 12:57

The old fire tower was located just north of the intersection on Six Forks Road. It was relocated to its present location on Howard Road.
Legeros - 10/15/06 - 13:04

Thanks pal. always wondered how Six Forks got it’s name.
and Mike is correct. EMS Station 3 was originally a Fire Station
for Six Forks Fire Dept., if my memory seves me correctly.
Jon C - 10/17/06 - 21:41


...and before that, SFFD was located another mile south on Six Forks Road:

Legeros - 10/17/06 - 21:46

here is a website that talks about the history of some of Raleigh’s roads. I’ve lived here all my life and reading this site really makes me say, “Oh yeah, I remember that.”. kinda cool.

pal - 10/18/06 - 08:23

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