Wake County Fire Departments

General History


Contents

  • Part I - Research from 2004
  • Part II - More history

See also Wake County Fire Service Governance (PDF).

Part I - Research From 2004

pre-history

1819, first fire company organized in Raleigh.

1852, volunteer Raleigh Fire Department formed.

1900-1929

1909-1912, Wendell Fire Department formed.

1912, career Raleigh Fire Department formed.

1920-1949

1921, Wake Forest Fire Department formed.

1921, Zebulon Fire Department formed.

1922, Cary Fire Department formed.

1925, Fuquay-Varina Fire Department formed.

1927, Apex Fire Department formed

1942, Wake Forest Fire Department #2 formed.

1950-1959

1952, Garner Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Garner Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on August 15, 1952.

1953, Raleigh Fire Department adds rescue squad, the two-piece Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad. First rescue squad in the county.

1953, Zebulon Rural Fire Department formed. Incorporated at Zebulon Rural Fire Department Inc. on February 2, 1953. First rural department created as an adjunct to an existing municipal department.

1954, Knightdale Fire Department formed in August 1954. Incorporated as Knightdale Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on October 27, 1954.

1954, Cary Fire Department incorporated as Cary Rural Fire Department, Inc. (November 11, 1954)

1954, Wake County hires first paid, full-time Civil Defense Director, Colonel David Hardee.

1955, Wake County Fireman's Association organized. The incorporators are Robert B. Heather, H. C. Sears Jr., H. M. Jackson, Willis Winston, Win Donat, C. S. Schaub, and J. B. Keeter. (November 24, 1955)

1955, Morrisville Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Morrisville Rural Fire Company, Inc. as June 8, 1955.

1956, rural fire department program created, administered by county office of Civil Defense.

1956, Wake Forest Rural Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Wake Forest Rural Fire Department, Inc. on April 24, 1956.

1956, Six Forks Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Six Forks Road Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on June 5, 1956. First non-municipally affiliated private department.

1956, Wake-New Hope Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Wake New Hope Fire Department, Inc. on September 11, 1956.

1957, Western Boulevard Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Western Boulevard Rural Fire Department, Inc. on January 28, 1957.

1957, Wendell Rural Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Wendell Rural Fire Company on March 4, 1957.

1958, county-wide, two-way radio network installed for rural fire departments. Call taking and dispatching is provided by Raleigh Fire Department.

1958, Rolesville Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Rolesville Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 3, 1958.

1958, Stony Hill Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Stony Hill Rural Fire Department Inc. on June 12, 1958.

1960-1969

1960, Swift Creek Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Swift Creek Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 7, 1960.

1960, Western Boulevard Fire Department disbands, after city annexes most of its service district on April 1, 1960. Members re-organize as Fairground FD.

1960, Rural Fire Districts Board created as a special committee by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

1961, Cary Fire Department splits into two separate departments: Cary FD (run by town) and Cary Rural FD (private organization). Cary Rural FD soon changes its name to Yrac Fire Department.

1961, Fairgrounds Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Fairgrounds Rural Fire Department, Inc. on February 24, 1961.

1961, Bay Leaf Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Bayleaf Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on August 4, 1961.

1962, Six Forks FD moves their fire station farther north on Six Forks Road, after the city annexes part of their fire district.

1963, Fairview Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Fairview Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 27, 1963.

1963, Wake County Fire Chiefs Council created.

1964, Durham Highway Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Durham Highway Fire Protection Association, Inc. on May 1, 1964.

1970-1979

1970, Falls Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on July 7, 1970

1971, Holly Springs Rural Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Holly Springs Rural Fire Department, Inc. on July 21, 1971.

1972, Fuquay-Varina FD merges with rural department.

1972, County and city fire department dispatching transferred to new Raleigh/Wake County Emergency Communications Center. The telephone number 829-1911 is designated as county-wide emergency number, in anticipation of later 911 availability. Town of Cary also creates own ECC, with separate call-taking and dispatching from "Raleigh Central."

1974, Six Forks FD relocates to Lynn Road, after the city again annexes part of their fire district.

1976, Six Forks FD organizes Six Forks Rescue Squad. Only rescue squad in the county not affiliated with a municipality.

1977, Hopkins Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Hopkins Rural Fire Department, Inc. on March 10, 1977

1980-1989

1980, First Responder program implement city-wide in Raleigh.

1981, Air compressor moved from Fire Marshall's office to EMS Station #1. (January-February 1981) wcfar

1981, Air compressor moved from EMS Station #1 to Raleigh Fire Station #11. Procedure for refilling: call Central and have them contact fire station when units are approximately ten minutes out. Fire Chiefs are also encouraged to carry air bottles upright and secured when under pressure. (January-February, 1981) wcfar

1982, First Responder program implemented in the county, first at Fairview FD. (March 1982)

1982, Wake Forest Fire Department #2 merges with WFFD.

1983, Wake Forest municipal FD merges with rural department. Rural department changes name to Wake Forest FD.

1985, Wake County Fire Training Center completed on land adjoining the nuclear power plant in New Hill.

1986, First full-time Fire Marshal position created.

1987, Classrooms added at training center. (July-August, 1987) wcfar

1987, Frst aerial apparatus added outside the city, for Zebulon FD.

1988, Incident Command System adopted. (Summer 1988) wcfar

1988, County fire training program started.

1988, Training tower completed at training center. (August 1988) wcfar

1988, Fire Marshall's Office begins conducting unannounced inspections throughout County, except in Raleigh, Cary, and Morrisville. (Fall 1988) wcfar

1989, Arson Response Team placed in service. (September 1, 1989) wcfar

1989, First annual Firefighter Competition Field Day held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at training center. (October 28, 1989) wcfar

1980's, Wendell municipal fire department merges with rural department.

1990-1999

1992, circa, Durham Highway closes Davis Drive fire station.

1992, Fire departments adopt new fireground sector protocols. (January-February 1992) wcfar

1993, EMT-D program begins in Raleigh. Soon implemented in county departments.

1994, Study commissioned by the County Board of Commissioners finds unequal fire service, due to a number of factors including the autonomous structure of volunteer departments and the layout of fire districts. Recommendations include the establishment of a county fire advisory board, the taxing of the entire county as a single fire district, improvements in the mutual-aid system, and having fire departments take over the role of rescue, particularly vehicular extrication. (October 1994) glf20oct94

1995, Morrisville Rural Fire Department merges with town, effective January 1, 1995.

1995, Holly Springs municipal fire department created, as part of a public safety department. Begins service on April 1, 1995.

1997, Holly Springs Rural FD merges with town. (August-September 1997)

1998, Western Wake Fire Department formed as merger of Fairgrounds and Yrac fire departments. Incorporated as Western Wake Fire Rescue, Inc. on June 18, 1988.

1998, Holly Springs Fire Department begins EMS service. Only fire-based EMS service in county. (April 1, 1998)

1998, Wake County Fire Commission created as advisory board to county commissioners. First meeting is November 24, 1988.

1999, Fuquay-Varina Rural FD merges with town, creates municipal department.

1999, Fire department tax districts consolidated into single countywide district, effective July 1, 1999.

1999, First responder service becomes a requirement for all county fire departments, effective July 1, 1999.

2000-present

2002, county ownership of new fire department facilities begins, with opening of Fuquay-Varina Fire Station 3.

2000, Zebulon Rural FD merges into town.

2002, Knightdale municipal fire department formed, as part of a public safety deaprtment. Begins service on July 1, 2002.

2002, Six Forks FD merges with Bay Leaf FD (July 1, 2002)

2002, Apex Rural FD merges into town. (Circa February 2002)

2003, Study commissioned by the County Board of Commissioner recommends changes to fire service including countywide specifications, procurement, deployment, and maintenance of apparatus; relocating, constructing, and closing fire stations, and developing a "seamless system."

2005, County ownership of fire apparatus begins, along with bulk purchasing and county specs for trucks.

2008, Wake County Fire Academy program created.

2008, Western Wake Fire Station 1 closed. First and only closure initiated by county. Other stations are identified for possible closure, but process is subsequently suspended. (July 1, 2008.)

2012, Falls FD merges with Wake Forest FD. (March 25, 2012)


More History

Legeros Fire Blog Archives postings:


Fire Chiefs

See Wake County Fire Chiefs (pdf).

Vehicles

See Wake County apparatus register (pdf).

Photos

Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.

Sources

  • cfd Cary Fire Department records
  • dah NC Department of Archives and History
  • fdr Fire department records
  • no News and Observer
  • oh Oral history
  • rt Raleigh Times
  • sos NC Department of the Secretary of State
  • wcbh Wake County Bicentennial Town history
  • wcfa Wake County Firemen's Association records

Last updated: December 31, 2016


Home

Search Mike Legeros

Spot an error on this page? Please let me know, just click my name below...

Copyright 2019 by Michael J. Legeros