Raleigh Fire Department History

Film Footage



This color film footage documents Raleigh Fire Department training activities around 1950. Also included is footage of Station 1 on South Salisbury Street and of a dormitory fire at Saint Augustine's College on November 26, 1950. Drill locations include the front and east sides of Memorial Auditorium, Station 2 behind Memorial Auditorium, and Dorothea Dix Hospital.

Featured apparatus includes a 1922 American LaFrance service ladder, a 1926 American LaFrance pumper, a 1936 American LaFrance pumper, a 1939/1916 American LaFrance aerial ladder, a 1948 Ford auxiliary truck, and a 1950 FWD pumper.

Note that personnel play for the camera at times, notably during an aerial ladder climbing exercise and while sliding down the poles at Station 1.

About The Footage

In the late 1990s, retired Captain J. Roy Moody obtained a reel of 16mm film originally used by the training department. He had the footage transferred to VHS videotape. The film speed was slightly increased, music was added as a soundtrack, and copies were distributed among retirees. The tape was also shown at one of the retiree Christmas parties. The running time of the VHS transfer is 29 minutes.

In November 2006, former firefighter Mike Legeros had the film footage transferred to digital media. The film was played at the correct speed and left silent. Select scenes were color corrected and several seconds of damaged or empty footage were trimmed. The running time of the digital transfer is 32 minutes.

In May 2015, the Raleigh Fire Museum posted a near-complete copy of the video footage on its YouTube channel. The final scene, showing the Fire Chief and a couple other people in a group pose, is missing. (Due to problems converting the final segment of digital video.)


The digital transfer and DVD authoring were performed by AV Geeks, a film and video service in Raleigh.


The original cost of this project was funded by Mike Legeros with contributions from firefighters and friends of the fire department.




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Copyright 2022 by Michael J. Legeros