1819, first fire company organized in Raleigh.
1852, volunteer Raleigh Fire Department formed.
1909-1912, Wendell Fire Department formed.
1912, career Raleigh Fire Department formed.
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.
1952, Garner Fire Department formed.
Incorporated as Garner Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. on August
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,
1956, rural fire department program created, administered
by county office of Civil Defense.
1956, Wake Forest Rural
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.
Wake-New Hope Fire Department formed.
Incorporated as Wake New Hope Fire Department, Inc. on September
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
1958, county-wide, two-way radio network installed for rural fire
departments. Call taking and dispatching is provided by Raleigh Fire
1958, Rolesville Fire Department formed.
Incorporated as Rolesville Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 3,
1958, Stony Hill Fire Department formed.
Incorporated as Stony Hill Rural Fire Department Inc. on June 12,
1960, Swift Creek Fire Department formed.
Incorporated as Swift Creek Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 7,
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
1962, Six Forks FD moves their fire station farther north on
Six Forks Road, after the city annexes part of their fire
1963, Fairview Fire Department formed. Incorporated as Fairview Rural Fire Department, Inc. on June 27,
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, 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
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
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
1988, Incident Command System adopted. (Summer
1988, County fire training program started.
1988, Training tower completed at training center. (August
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
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
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,
1997, Holly Springs Rural FD merges with town.
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
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.
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)
Legeros Fire Blog Archives postings:
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
- no News and Observer
- oh Oral history
- rt Raleigh Times
- sos NC Department of the Secretary
- wcbh Wake County Bicentennial Town
- wcfa Wake County Firemen's
Last updated: December 31, 2016
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Copyright 2019 by Michael J. Legeros