Western Wake Fire Department


See also Western Wake County fire departments family tree - JPG | PDF


1961, Fairgrounds Fire Department formed. See timeline

1961, Yrac Fire Department formed. See timeline


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

1988, fire department begins operation on July 1, 1988.

1988, first Fire Chief is J. Darrin Holt.

1988, fire station locations:

  • Station 1 - 4021 District Drive - Former Fairgrounds fire station
  • Station 2 - 325 E. Durham Road - Former Yrace fire station.

1999 (?), apparatus deliveries:

  • 1999 HME SFO/EVI rescue/service truck. Placed in service as Truck 295
  • 1999 Ford F-250 extended-cab, 4x4 pick-up, utility/first responder. Placed in service as Truck 2.

2000 (?), apparatus deliveries:

  • 2000 Pierce Dash pumper-tanker, 1000/1500. Placed in service as Engine 191. Replaced 1981 Mack.
  • 2000 Ford/F-250 extended-cab, 4x4 pick-up, utility/first responder. Placed in service as Truck 1

2000, apparatus retirements: SS-19 and SS-20 (rehab units) removed from service by Wake County Public Safety, citing budget issues.

2001, fire insurance (ISO) rating reduced to 4 in both hydrant and non-hydrant areas. Prior rating is 6/9. First rural department in Wake County to achieve that rating.

2002, apparatus retirement: Engine 292, 1985 Simon-Duplex/Grumman, sold to Muddy Pond, TN.

2002, Fire Chief is Ron Gibbs. (September 9, 2002)

2004, county fire commission receives results of fire and EMS facilities and equipment study, that recommends closure of both Western Wake fire station, with fire protection contracted from neighboring departments. The study is not recommended to be shared with the county commissioners, but recommendations for fire station closures continue to be considered by the commission. Read more. (January 2004)

2004, county fire commission approves list of criteria, to evaluate fire stations for closure. Read more. (July 2004)

2005, apparatus deliveries:

  • 2005 Ford F-550/Knapheide/Emergency Apparatus Inc. brush truck, 250/300. Brush 299.
  • 2005 International 4400/KME elliptical tanker, 500/2000. Tanker 198. Replaces 1985 Ford/Grumman. Placed in service November 3, 2005.
  • 2005 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker, 1250/1000/30. Pumper 196. Replaces 1985 Kenworth/Grumman. Placed in service on December 7, 2005.

2007, county fire commissions accepts recommendation that funding be discontinued for Western Wake Station 2. Read more. (July 2007)

2007, apparatus delivery: Kawasaki Mule all-terrain vehicle, equipped with fire extinguishers and EMS bags. It's transported by trailer and will be used for both special events and off-road incidents, such as transporting patients out of Umstead State Park. (October 10, 2007)mjl-blog

2008, County Commissioners approve recommendation of Wake County Fire Commission to close Station 2 starting July 1, and with the Cary Fire Department starting contracted service of the newly created Cary Suburban Fire District. They vote to discontinue funding of the fire station. Read more. (June 16, 2008)mjl-blog

2008, Station 2 at 325 E. Durham Road closed. The fire station is no longer dispatched for responses to the former Yrac Fire District. The fire department retains ownership of the property, and continues using the building. (June 30, 2008)

2008, David Cates named Fire Chief. He succeeds Fire Chief Jim Bona, and was serving as interim Fire Chief. He was previous Assistant Fire Chief. (January 2008)mjl-blog

2009, Department celebrates over 50 collective years of fire protection in western Wake County, with a ceremony honoring past and present members of the Cary Rural, Fairgrounds, Yrac, Western Boulevard, and Western Wake Fire Departments. They also hold a "firematic" flea market. (November 21, 2009)mjl-blog


2010, Wake County Fire Commission votes to suspend fire station closure process. Western Wake's remaining fire station was one of a number being evaluated for closure. Read more. (January 2010)mjl-blog

2010, Old Station 2 sold to private owner, who uses the building for vehicle storage and repair. The 3,222 square-foot building is a one-story, cinderblock building on a 0.56 acre site. (June 25, 2010)wake-real-estate-records

2013, Garland Johnston named Fire Chief. He succeeds Fire Chief David Cates, who resigns after recently accepting the position of Fire Chief of Eastern Wake. Johnston is a Captain and has been a member of since the organization's creation on July 1, 1998, as a merger of Fairgrounds and Yrac fire departments. He joined the Fairgrounds FD in 1993, and ascended the ranks to the position of Captain at Western Wake. He's also a full-time member of Fuquay-Varina Fire Department, where he serves as Battalion Chief. He previously served as a member of the Holly Springs Fire Department. (November 11, 2013)mjl-blog

Fire Chiefs

See Wake County Fire Chiefs (pdf).


See Wake County apparatus register (pdf).


Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.

Last updated: January 4, 2017


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