Sherwood Brockwell, c. 1911

Courtesy of North Carolina State Archives

Raleigh's Board of Aldermen approved the creation of a fully-paid fire department on July 19, 1912. The first fire chief was Sherwood Brockwell, elected earlier on June 8, 1912. The former Rescue Company foreman traveled to New York, for three months of instruction with the New York City Fire Department. Chief Brockwell was the first southerner to attend the annual school, where he studied during the day and participated as a regular member of the fire department at night. Brockwell was assigned to one of New York's hose wagons.

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