1964, Durham Highway Fire Protection Association
Inc. organized after numerous fires in the area, and that the closest
three fire departments--Six Forks, Bay Leaf, and
Fairgrounds--are nearly five
miles away. Some 50 residents attend a meeting at Pleasant Grove
Methodist Church, to organize the department, reports the Raleigh
Times on May 2. First officers are:
- Worth Kerr, President
- William C. Webb, Vice President
- Mrs. Thomas H. Kelley, Secretary
- Rev. Ben H. Williams III, Treasurer
- Ben Runkle Publicity Chairman
- Luke Wilkins, Director
- Joe Sandling Director
- Jack McDowell, Director
- Junius Dillard, Director. (April-May, 1964)fdws,
1964, incorporated on May 1, 1964. sos
1964, Thomas Kelly is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until
1965, tax-supported fire district approved. fdws
1965, fire station lot
obtained at 6802 Davis Circle. Tom Bailey, President of Central Mack
Sales, deeds a small lot located behind the Amoco service station,
and with one stipulation. The deed is returned to Bailey when
the lot is no longer used for fire protection. fdws
1965, first apparatus ordered: 1965 Chevrolet/Darley
pumper, 500/500. Designated Unit 1. Carried 300 feet 1-inch hose,
300 feet 1 1/2-inch hose, 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose, two ladders,
and two 20 gallon fire extinguishers. Financed by borrowing money on fire
station lot. The truck arrives early and as money for the
payment has not arrived, several firefighters sign their own names
as a guarantee on the loan. fdws, oh
1965, second apparatus
Army surplus "deuce and a half" that's converted to a
pumper-tanker, 150/1500. Equipped with front-mounted pump, carried
150 feet 1-inch hose.
Designated Unit 2. Volunteers prepare the truck for a paint job,
and a water tank is manufactured for the truck. It costs $300.fdws
1965, first open house held. All residents and
businesses are invited. Ed Linear, Insurance Commissioner, also
attends. He states "the Department of Insurance assisted in
the organization and writing of the by-laws, and provided training
for the firefighters." (March 21, 1965) fdws
1965, circa, bulletin distributed:
To: ALL RESIDENCES AND BUSINESSES WITHIN FOUR MILES
DISTANCE OF VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT BUILDING TO BE LOCATED
IN VICINITY OF CENTRAL MACK BUILDING ON HIGHWAY 70
- The Fire Department is a non-profit, non-stock
corporation and has no paid personnel and the primary
source of financial support is through donations by the
citizens of the community.
- To date an order has been placed for a fire
truck (pumper) and radio equipment with a delivery
schedule of early February, 1965, anticipated.
- Land for the building has been acquired and it is
anticipated actual construction
of the building
should begin within sixty days.
- A house to-house, business-to-business campaign for
funds is being conducted
now and it is felt that each
and every tome and business should make a contribution
regardless of the amount. All donations are tax exempt
(deductible) both state and federal.
- Donation collectors are assigned collection areas
and will contact you at your home or business for your
donation. If it is inconvenient for you to give your
donation to the collector assigned to your area, please
forward the donation to Durham Highway Fire Protection
Association, Inc., Route 8, Box 312, Raleigh, N.C., or
phone the secretary, Mrs. Thomas Kelley at 787-1199,
and, she will make arrangements to have your donation
picked up. A receipt will be given to you when a
donation is made with a duplicate of the receipt
remaining with the collector to be kept on permanent
- The following is a list of donation collectors
and areas assigned. Please feel free to phone for
ASSIGNED AREA - COLLECTOR - TELEPHONE
Glen Forest - Ben Runkle -787-0265
- William C. Webb - 787-2929
Oak Park - Joe Sandling
Pleasant Grove Area - Floyd Bailey -
Durham Highway - Thomas Kelley - 787-1199
Pinecrest Drive & Leesville Road - Bob Barker - 787-2511
Leesville - Junius Dillard - 787-2130
Area - Jack McDowell - 787-3861
Ebenezer Church Road
(North of Hwy. 70) Eugene Allen - 787-2608
- Myers Braxton - 787-3003
Sandy Village - Thomas
Kelly - 787-1199
Wildwood - Ferebeetown - Luke
Wilkins - 787-1098
- We are in the process of recruiting volunteer
firemen. We bad a good representation at a recent
four-day school held by the Wake County Firemen's
Association. Anyone interested in becoming a
fireman should contact Thomas Kelley, Telephone
- Definite boundaries as established by the N.C.
Department of Insurance are in the possession of Worth
Kerry, telephone 787-2437, and Thomas Kelley, telephone
787-1199. If there are questions concerning
boundaries, a complete description will be furnished
- The original officers and Board of Directors, which
were voted upon by the interested citizens of the
community during the formulation of the department, are
President - Worth Kerr - 787-2437
Vice-President - William C. Webb - 787-2929
- Mrs. Thomas H. Kelley - 787-1199
Treasurer - Rev.
Ben H. Wilson III - 787-2014
Publicity Chairman - Ben
Runkle - 787-0265
Junius Dillard -
Jack McDowell - 787- 3861
Luke Wilkins -
Joe Sandling - 787-3752
Committee Chairman - Bob L. Barker - 787-2511
Membership Committee Chairman - Myers Braxton - 787-3033
- The Officers and Directors were selected purposely
to give a good cross-sectional representation of the
area involved. It is hoped that all citizens will become
acquainted with at least one of this group in order that
any suggestions or criticism can be brought to attention
during one of the monthly Board meetings. This group of
officers will remain in office until the next annual
meeting that is scheduled for the first Friday in May,
1965, at 8:00 at a place to be announced at a later
date, at which time a new slate of officers will be
voted on by the citizens of the area that have helped
support the department with their donations.
- We have the nucleus of an excellent performing
department with the appointment for one year to Thomas
Kelley as acting Fire Chief with Floyd Bailey acting as
Assistant Fire Chief.
- Even though the Fire Insurance Bureau authorizes us
to cover a four mile area, we will answer fire calls
beyond this area and will welcome financial support and
assistance from the surrounding area as well as the area
that has been authorized.
- We expect a great deal of success with the
department since we are in a fastly expanding area and
the department can be no more successful than the
support that is received from its citizens. We humbly
request your full cooperation.
1967, circa - Summary of department to State Department of
- 1965 pumper, 500/500
- Tanker, 300/1500
- 1700-watt generator
- 450 feet 1-inch hose
- 300 feet 1 1/2-inch hose
- 500 feet 2 1/2-inch hose
- One fog/combination nozzle
- Two self-contained breathing apparatus
- 14 helmets
- 14 turnout coats
- Radio and siren for alerting.
- Three mobile radios
- One base radio
- Five "monitor receivers"
- Tax district with $0.10 rate.
- $125 per month from county.
- 28 calls last year
- Two building fires
- 24 woods/grass fires
- Two automobile fires
- $50,000 total fire loss.
- Leading cause of fire was "unknown."
- Hose tested July 1966 at 150 pounds
- Pumper tested "according to state regulations"
- Fourteen men average response to fires last year.
- Seven average response during daylight hours.
- Fire Prevention:
- Pamphlets and bulletins posted ins tores and homes.
- Fire Chief:
- Served three years.
- Selected by Board of Directors.
- Thomas H. Kelly
- $8,331.28 last year
- $36,012.00 total county funds expended for fire
- Durham Highway
Route 8, Box 312
Raleigh, NC 27606
1969, Apparatus delivery:
1969 GMC/Darley/Williams tanker, 350/1500 and with no quick dump. Unit 2, the old Army tanker, is retired, and later
disposed to newly formed Falls FD.
1972, home of Raleigh
developer Willie York on Pleasant Valley Drive near Highway 54 damaged by
fire. Blaze breaks out about 2:30 p.m. in downstairs
family room of palatial structure and spreads to adjoining
bedroom. Amount of damage is not known. Structure was
slated to be remodeled as a clubhouse for proposed apartment
complex to be developed in nearby area. (Saturday
before March 5, 1972) no05mar72
1972, Robert "Bob" Morgan is appointed Fire Chief.
Serves until 1976.
1976, Floyd Bailey is appointed
Fire Chief. Serves until 1978.
circa - Apparatus deliveries:
- 1976 Chevy/Bean pumper, 750/750, Unit 4.
- 1976 Chevy HD/Alexander elliptical tanker, 1600 gallons.
1976, Station 1 renovated. Modified with an "open addition" to
accommodate the new tanker.
1978, Mike Boyce is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 1979.
1978, Station 2 completed at 8312
Pine Crest Road. From DHFD web site: With building space
being limited at the Davis Drive location, a survey of the fire
district was performed to look for land to build an additional
station. A site which provided good growth potential and location
was found on Pinecrest Road. Vernon Jones, Chairman of the Building
Committee, was appointed to oversee the building project. The new
[three-bay, two-deep] station was completed and accepted in 1978,
[and] this new station
was designated Station Two. Station 1 continued to operate, and
housed a pumper and a tanker. Station 2 also housed a pumper
(Unit 3) and
a tanker (Unit 4). fdws
Note: County tax records say building built in 1977.
1979, Jimmy Thompson is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until
1979, circa, Apparatus
deliveries - Housing boom occurs in the fire district, and additional
apparatus is needed to cover the growth. Three state surplus
vehicles are acquired:
- 1971 Chevy step van, converted into a squad by department
members, Unit 5.
- 1966 Dodge Power Wagon, converted into a brush truck, Unit
- 1967 Dodge fuel truck, converted into a tanker, Unit 7.
1978-1979, circa - Two tankers are upgraded:
- 1968 Chevrolet tanker. Upgraded in 1978 with a Slagle/Atlas
pumper-tanker body, 1500 gallons.
- 1969 GMC 6500/Williams tanker, 350/1500 and with no quick
dump. Upgraded in 1979 with Slagle/Atlas body, 300/1200,
By early 1980s, most of the department's apparatus is inadequate
for the commercial growth in the district. A large combination
pumper/tanker is purchased.
1981, Apparatus delivery:
1981 Mack/Darley pumper/tanker, 1500/1800/60. The triple-axle tanker
is one of the largest in the county, and equipped with a 60 gallon
ARFF foam system. It's housed as Tanker 8 at Station 2. Central Mack
Sales is notified of the purchase approval on July 24, 1980. The
purchase price is $107,246. It's
delivered in 1981.
1981, ARFF foam capability added. Since DHFD is the closest
mutual aid fire department to the airport, and on the run card for
all calls, ARFF capability is added with the delivery of the new
tanker. The truck is spec'ed for this purpose, and extra ARFF foam
concentrate is kept at the station, enough to refill the tank, and
with some to spare.oh
1983, Eddie Morton is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 1984.
1984, Jimmy Thompson is again appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 1985.
1984 - Apparatus delivery:
1984 Mack MC pumper, 1500/750, #1138C. As the 1965 Chevy/Darley pumper could
no longer meet the fire flow requirements of the fire district, a
new Mack pumper is purchased as Engine 1. The truck is a stock unit.
Delivered March 1984.fdr
1985, Nick Slobodzian is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until
1985, December. Roster of members:
- Clyde Arvin
- Steve Bibb
- David Blackburn
- Terri Blackburn
- Sam Boggs
- Mike Boyce
- Barry Cross
- W.E. Davis
- Dave DeLong
- Mike Dillard
- Gail Ferebee
- Rickey Ferebee
- Bobby Goodwin
- Brian Goodwin
- Ernest Goodwin
- John Green
- Buddy Harris
- Sonny Hester
- Steve Hulbert
- Bruce Jarvah
- Steve Jones
- Vernon Jones
- Jim Keller
- Neill McDowell
- Eddie Morton
- Bill Muster
- John Muster
- Zeb Overton
- Randy Prevette
- William Ragsdale
- Donald Scarboro
- Larry Scarboro
- Nick Slobodzian
- Ray Starling
- Jimmy Thompson
- Keith Woodby
1986, Vernon Jones is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 1993.
1987, first paid staff added, due to the department upgrading its service delivery due
to district residents. Two full-time employees were hired, and
worked Monday through Friday. The first was Captain Zeb Overton. The
second person was hired shortly thereafter.oh
1987, circa - Apparatus deliveries:
- 1987 Ford/E-One light-duty rescue. Truck 9.
- 1987 Ford brush truck.
1987 or later, Apparatus notes:
The 1965 Chevy/Darley, 1966 Dodge brush truck,
1967 Dodge tanker, and 1971 Chevy squad are sold in subsequent
1980s, late, Explosive growth was happening both in Raleigh and
the Durham Highway fire district. The need for a third station was
identified. For several years, a committee looked for property to
accommodate a fire station.
1987, Land purchased on Norwood Road for new fire station.
For years, committee looks for land
with no success. One day, sign is spotted being placed on property
on Norwood Road. This leads to purchase of lot. fdws
1988, Station 1 on Davis Drive suffers
minor damage after tornado. (November
1989, Existing building demolished on
Norwood Road fire station site.
1991, circa - Apparatus delivery:
Cyclone pumper/tanker, 1500/1000.fdws
1991, Lot purchased beside Station
2. One acre. Parcel is combined with second lot, to create
larger site for fire station.
1992, circa, Station #1 on Davis Circle
The property was given to the
department by Tom Bailey with Central Carolina Mack. There was a
stipulation that if the property was ever not being used as a fire
station, it would revert back to the prior owner.
In the early 1990s, they were
approached by Central Carolina Mack, asking about being released
from their land agreement, as they were seeking to relocate to a
bigger facility, in lieu of rebuilding on Davis Circle. The Board of
Directors honored this request, since their new fire station was
under construction on Norwood Road.
By this time, the city limits had moved farther west, and a city
fire station had been opened years earlier on Pleasant Valley Road.
DHFD once covered such neighborhoods as Oak Park, Deblyn Park, and
Brookhaven, all the way to Crabtree Valley Mall. The city limits
originally stopped just inside the Beltline.
As the city limits moved west, the response from the Davis Circle
fire station was diminished. The station remained in operation,
however, as there were a few volunteer firefighters who lived in
that area, and responded to calls with apparatus from Station 1. At
the time it was closed, the primary reason was the request from
Mack, to sell their property and relocate.
After being closed, the building was
moved in two pieces to the Ready Mix Concrete Plant on Westgate
Road. It was stored on site for a couple years, and used for fire
department storage, and then moved behind the Norwood Road fire
station. The building was again used for storage, maintenance, and
housing fitness equipment.oh
1992, Station #3 completed
at 11905 Norwood Road. It's soon renamed Station #1.
1992, Staffing increased shortly after the Norwood Road fire
station is opened. Full-time staff is increased from two to six.
They worked Monday through Friday, with three at Station 1
(Norwood Road) and three at Station 2 (Pinecrest Drive.) Weekends
and evenings are covered by volunteer duty crews.oh
1992, circa, First responder service level increased to EMT, and,
years later, to EMT-D.oh
1992-93, Old Davis Drive fire
station structure moved behind Station #1
on Norwood Road. closed shortly after opening of Station #3.
It was previously stored at the Ready Mix Concrete Plant on
Westgate Road. oh
1993 - Nick Slobodzian is again appointed Fire Chief. Serves
1995 - Robert Andrews is appointed Fire Chief.
Serves until 2001.
Kenworth Company on Interstate 85 in Durham County burns. The
truck dealership and service center brings numerous fire
departments, including Bahama, Redwood, Parkwood, Durham Highway,
and Stony Hill. Bahama firefighters make national news due a close
call. Explosion blows crews out of a service bay, and Asst. Chief
Len Needham emerges covered in flames. He suffered a badly burned
ear. Damages exceeded $1 million. (November 16, 1995)mjl-blog
1995-96, circa, Extrication equipment added. Larger spreader,
O-cutter, a Maverick combination tool, three sizes of rams, and a
set of air bags are added onto Truck 9.oh
1996, Paragon Technologies at 6117
Westgate Road burns. The commercial structure fire at a
metal fabrication business is dispatched at 10:19 p.m. The fire
apparently starts in some pallets piled up, inside the building.
It burns for several hours, causing extensive damage. The building
was unoccupied. Some firefighters received minor burns. (March 14,
apparatus delivery: 1997 Pierce
Dash pumper-tanker, 1500/1000. (June 1997)fdws
1997, Staffing changed to 24/7 shifts. Department implements
three shifts, like their neighbors in Raleigh and the airport.
They are the first combination fire department in the county to
make this change. Instead of six personnel during day hours, they
have three personnel at all times. To boost staffing levels,
part-time employees are also hired. Two per day are employed
Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteer duty crews
provide additional staffing at night and on weekends.
1999, apparatus delivery: 1999
Pierce Lance heavy rescue. The truck is designed in response to
the plans for Interstate 540, and the city not planning to serve
(annex?) the new roadway. The department determines that a larger
rescue truck is needed. It was delivered in October 1999. Several
months are spent setting up equipment, and it was placed in service
in 2000.fdws, oh
2000, Raleigh Fire Department places Station 23 in service at
Station 2 on February 15, 2000. City leases the facility from DHFD.
2001 - Philip Griffin is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until
2002 - Mike Cooper is appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 2009.
2005, Station 2 expanded with additional sleeping and living
areas for Raleigh firefighters. City funds the construction, which
adds space for a second company. From 2006 to 2009, a ladder company
is housed at Station 23. It later houses a Battalion Chief and a
mini-pumper. DHFD continues to house a pumper-tanker and a tanker at
2008, Staffing changed. Part-time daytime employees reduced from
two to one, due to budget cuts and lack of funding.oh
2009, Nick Slobodzian is again appointed Fire Chief. Serves until 2010.
2010, Jim Freely is appointed Fire Chief.
2012-13, Staffing changed. Part-time daytime employee hours
reduced from 12 to 9 per day, due to budget.oh
- 2000 Ford brush truck. Squad 4.
- 2005 Pierce Contender pumper.
- 2006 Ford F-550 brush truck.
- 2007 Pierce Contender pumper.
See Wake County Fire Chiefs
County apparatus register (pdf).
Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.
- cfd Cary Fire Department records
- dah NC Department of Archives and
- fdr Fire department records
- fdws Fire Department Web site
- oh Oral history
- rt Raleigh Times
- sos NC Department of the Secretary
- wcfa Wake County Firemen's
Last updated: January 2, 2017
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