And what isn't one? That's a question that I’ve been pondering lately. And again today, after a conversation started by Dave Statter on his Statter911 Facebook page. (It's about a news headline about word choice therein.) I’ve been hesitant to voice this question, as we’re talking about death, after all. We’re talking about the brothers and sisters who are no longer with us. And each is its own tragedy.
Each one's passing has impacted so many lives at the personal and professional level, and regardless of circumstance or situation. And yet it’s the situation that compels the question. Is "fallen" as a synonym for "died" or for something more specific?
There are three choices. Depending on your perspective, a fallen firefighter is one who:
- Is an active or retired/former member, and died on- or off-duty.
- Is an active member, and died on- or off-duty.
- Is an active member, and died on-duty.*
Three distinctly different definitions. Which is the "right" one? That’s something I won't attempt to answer. But I recognize the definition can vary, depending upon the person or people or groups people. At a minimum, the lay person probably has a far looser definition than a member of the fire service.
Equally challenging is defining the proper response to those three categories above. Should each be memorialized with a degree of ceremony? Should they instead escalate, with a "duty death" as the most ceremonious? Good questions.
Now, did you catch my asterisk? Even the words "died on duty" are tricky, because they don’t necessarily equate to "died in the line of duty." Bill Carey wrote an excellent blog post about the difference between "on duty" and "in the line of duty" last year. See his posting.
Differences between the above categories are also crucial in the awarding of survivor benefits. Every firefighter should understand their death benefits, and the circumstances that impact the awarding or reject of them. The same concept applies to memorial inclusions. Fallen firefighter organizations have their own criteria determine inclusion or exclusion on local, state, and national memorials.
How do you define "fallen?" How should you define "fallen?" And for our meta-thinkers, how appropriate (or inappropriate) is this discussion? I look forward to your comments.Photos of North River Fire Department
While at the beach this past weekend, we paid a visit to the North River-Laurel Road Fire Department in CartereT County. Recall that their station burned on June 22. The fire started in the apparatus bay and destroyed all their equipment, including three trucks. Within days, they received a donated 1985 Kenworth/FMC pumper/tanker from Central Fire Department in Davidson County. The truck is currently parked under a shelter at a dredging firm on Merrimon Road and is located about a half-mile from the station. Here's a News-Times story about the donated pumper from July 27. A community benefit was held on August 9 to raise money for the department. Over $1,800 was raised. See photos on this Facebook page. As for the building and the truck, see more photos of those.
Next question is the obvious historical one. How many fire station fires have destroyed equipment or buildings in our state, in prior years and decades? Hasn't happened in Wake County.
Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter - Special Facilities Edition
What's happening with Raleigh fire station construction and other fire
department facilities? Read this special edition of the Raleigh Fire Department newsletter, which features features on Station 29, the new Station 12, the expansion of Station 11, the plans for Station 14, Station 6, and Station 6, and a couple other projects. Plus general information on how the city of Raleigh plans for and executes construction of
engine houses. The digital issue has been posted to www.raleighfirenews.org.
The newsletter is a quarterly publication for personnel, retirees, and citizens.
And us buffs, man!
Read the issue (PDF).
Haven't visited the Charlotte FD Trucks web site lately? It's been redesigned and has a new address, www.charlottefdtrucks.com. The site's also added numerous archive photos, such as those shown below.
Top to bottom, left to right is Engine 7 as a 1943 American LaFrance, a 1942 Dodge/American former Morris Field crash truck, a 1940 White searchlight truck (alt. year 1938), Engine 5 as a 1966 Seagrave and the only one that was yellow, Squad 1 with a Ford Econline van, and Truck 7 (also the original Rescue 1?), a 1970s Ford F700 with a utility body. Notes the site, it was staffed by Squad 1, and responded on second alarm fires and pin jobs. Here's a prior post about Squad 1.
Charlotte Fleet Listing - 2000s and 2010s
Articles in this series:
1999-2002 ALF/GS | 2000s-2010s
Here's the fourth part of our Charlotte project, compiling a historical fleet list of all fire apparatus. This is based on research by reader Micah Bodford, plus other inputs that we're able to locate. Reader input is appreciated!
- Part I - 1910s to 1970s
- Part II - 1980s and 1990s
- Part IIa - 1999-2002 ALF/GS
- Part III - 2000s and 2010s (see below)
- Part IV - Airport apparatus (coming soon)
Charlotte Fire Department fleet information – 2000s and 2010s
- 2000, 2001 ALF/General Safety – See prior posting
- USAR apparatus, listed at bottom.
Compiled by Micah Bodford
Last updated August 17, 2014
Help update!READ MORE Holly Spring's New Aerialscope
The Holly Springs Fire Department has purchased a new aerial platform, a 2001 Spartan Gladiator/Baker Aerialscope with a 2000 GPM pump and a 95-foot boom. No water tank. Purchased from Fire Line Equipment, see the specs. Originally served Lewisburg, PA. Has about 10,000 miles on it. Received last week. Will soon be painted.
The town's prior platform was placed out of service on Tuesday, a 1999 American LaFrance Eagle mid-mount that was purchased in 2007 from Pattonville Fire District in Pattonville, MO. The new truck is the first Aerialscope in Wake County since Raleigh's 1977 Mack/Baker was sold some years ago. Where else are 'scopes operating in our state? Eastside FD near Asheboro has a Mack/Baker. Boone FD (Avery) and Newell FD (Mecklenburg) no longer have theirs. Any other's still in service?
Holly Springs is also getting a new rescue/pumper. Maybe readers can help with details there. (What other new apparatus is being delivered around Wake County. Three International/Rosenbauer tankers are almost here for Fairview, Swift Creek, and Wake New Hope. Those will be the first Rosenbauer rigs in the county. New rescue trucks as well--built by Rescue One?--for a couple county departments.) See more photos from Lee.
Lee Wilson photo
There was a tiller accident in California on Saturday. Vallejo Fire Department
Truck 21 overturned while responding to a call. The apparatus struck a
sport-utility vehicle, trapping the driver. He airlifted after a
thirty-minute extrication. Seven people were
injured including the four firefighters aboard. All suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Firegeezer reported this morning that three of the four firefighters have
been released from the hospital. The "tillerman" remains in serious
Chris Riley/Vallejo Times-Herald photo
The incident recalls the tiller accident in Raleigh. On July 10, 2009, Ladder 4 overturned while responding to a call. It was a single-vehicle accident that injured four firefighters, with three transported, and two with serious injuries. Here's a look back:
Here’s the safety video that subsequently produced by the Raleigh Fire
Department and the Seattle Fire Department.
Read blog posting about same from April 2011:
For your weekend historical enjoyment, here's a summary of Marine Corps Air Station Edenton fire department during World War II. The source is a six-page historical document on the subject, recently declassified and shared by military firefighting historian Ted Heinbuch. See his work at Fire Trucks at War, as well as the Facebook group of the same name. He provided a pair of images and information about the cited Chrysler and Seagrave apparatus.
Currently called Northeast Regional Airport, the site was originally constructed during World War II. The site included a seaplane base on the Albemarle Sound. See this Wikipedia page for a brief history. Here are some photos of the airport today, shot by myself last year. There are a couple of original buildings still standing, notably the main building. Note the three-bay garage, which could've housed the crash trucks. The tower was removed decades earlier, however.
As noted on David W. Brooks' excellent
Airfields Database web
site (source for the below maps), MCAS Edenton was one of forty-one (!)
military airfields operating in North Carolina during World War II. Click to enlarge:
During construction of the base, a temporary firehouse was provided to house
fire equipment. The base was allocated a Chrysler "fire engine" with a 500 GPM
pump for that purpose. The Chrysler was a trailer pump equipped with 500 GPM
pump, two 15-foot sections of hard suction hose, and 200 feet of 2 1/2-inch
Ted Heinbuch collection
By the time of its delivery, two more fire trucks had arrived. They were purchased through the Bureau of Aeronautics. One of the trucks was assigned to the "fire prevention program of the contractor." The contractor was also authorized to employ a Fire Marshal, to execute a fire prevention program.
The Fire Marshal saw the installation of "barrels, fire extinguishers, and other fire prevention appliances." There were no "regular firemen," however. The temporary fire department instead relied on the guards. The contractor was instructed to train all guards in "fire fighting procedures" and how to operate the extinguishers and "fire fighting apparatus on the truck." In the event of an emergency, they would be "mustered to the fire house" or to the scene of a fire.READ MORE Apex's New Brush Truck
Lee Wilson this week photographed Apex's new brush truck, a military surplus conversion that's been placed in service at Station 2. The truck was obtained last year from the North Carolina Forest Service. Probably or certainly through their Federal Excess Personnel Property Loan Program. Working on getting specs and details. The truck's also awaiting a light bar, which will be added on the cab. More and more these 6x6 conversions have been appearing in the area. Wake New Hope Fire Department has one. Heard that Chapel Hill's obtained one. Where else in the Triangle are they appearing? See more photos from Lee.
Lee Wilson photo
At the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in Raleigh last month, Jeff Hammerstein and Mike Legeros presented a ninety-minute workshop on social media, traditional media, and emergency services. It was titled The World is Watching Your Department - Who Will Tell Your Story, You or Them? There's was a two-part talk, opening with Chief Hammerstein. He's the Community Outreach Chief and Public Information Officer for Wake County EMS.
He had a four main points. First, acknowledging that news reporters and social media photographers make many responders upset. Second, acknowledging the reasons why these people and their behaviors upset behaviors. Third, convincing the audience (some forty attendees) that "we've had it wrong the whole time." Fourth and last, demonstrating how to turn any exposure into a powerful resource.
One such resource for Wake County EMS is public safety blogger (and more) Mike Legeros. He took the floor, and also expanded on four main points. First, he introduced himself, what he does for public safety, and his motives therein. Second, he talked about his fire and incident photography. Third, he talked about his "information sharing" via social media tools and technologies. Fourth, he wrapped with some lessons learned on the whole thing.
Digital versions of their slides have been posted to www.legeros.com/slides. Here's the direct link to the PDF document (5.8MB). Or see photos from their talk. Quite a few "caption this" opportunities there!
Raleigh Fire History in Poster Form
The Raleigh Fire Museum is open on Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That's the regular second-Saturday-of-the-month opening. Added this week is a new poster listing the major milestone's and notable events in the history of the city and its fire department. Here's an digital version (PDF), linked from my Raleigh Fire Department history page. The poster was created using Microsoft Word, with the page size set (a.) as large as possible but (b). with proportions matching 20 by 30 inches. Saved as PDF, it was scaled to the latter size by the printer. Replaced a simpler version that listed the history of the career department, which started in 1912. Or click to enlarge:
Amcel Propulsion Company Fire Brigade, 1965
Here’s a vintage newspaper clipping from the Asheville Citizen Times dated April 22, 1965. That’s the Amcel Propulsion Company Fire Brigade, which was organized in 1960 with a “nucleus of day shift maintenance.” The plant was located in Swannanoa and manufactured rocket fuel. The brigade’s duties consisted of “fire fighting, rendering first aid, and personnel rescue work.” By the time of the article, they had thirty-five members from several departments in the plant and from all three shifts.
The Fire Chief was Everette
Swafford. There were three assistant chiefs, one on each shift. They operated a
1942 International/American LaFrance 500/150, painted green (!), which
originally served Scottdale, PA. From the John Peckham American LaFrance, database, the
registration number was B-1403 and the truck was shipped August 14, 1942.
Click to enlarge:
The plant was located on ten acres on Old Bee Tree Road in Swannanona. Industrial operations, including explosives manufacturing, began in 1952. The site appears to have been owned by Amcel Propulsion from 1959 to 1965. It was later owned/operated by Chemtronics. Waste disposal practices saw the site placed on the EPA's National Priorities List in 1983, because of contaminated ground water and soil. Manufacturing activities at the site ended in 1994. Read more EPA information about the site. Here's a Bing Bird's Eye view of the property today:
How many fire brigades have protected industrial properties around our state, you ask? They’re have been a ton and some dating from decades earlier. Past 'n' present include Beacon (Buncombe), Drexel (Burke), Cannon Mills (Cabarrus), Clairant (Gaston), Corning (New Hanover), CP&L Harris Plant (Wake), Collins & Aikman (Person), Corriher Mill (Rowan), Champion (Haywood), Cross Cotton Mills (McDowell), DSM (Pitt), Duke Energy McGuire Plant (Mecklenburg), DuPont (Cumberland), Enka (Buncombe), Fieldcrest-Cannon, later Pillowtex-Cannon (Cabarraus), Goodyear (Cumberland), GE (New Hanover), GSK (Wake), IBM (Durham), International Paper (Columbus), Kapstone Paper (Halifax), Linn Mill (Rowan), Michelen (Stanly), North Carolina Finishing Company (Rowan), PCS (Beaufort), Progress Energy Brunswick Plant (Brunswick), Rowan Mills (Rowan), Spencer Shops (Rowan), and Weyerhaeuser (Craven, Surry).
But how many of those had apparatus??
Transcript of the story:READ MORE Colorful Ambulances of Orange County
As photographed by Lee Wilson this week. He's been attending live burns conducted by the Chapel Hill Fire Department. See those photos which include more pictures of these colorful rigs. Plus plenty of those Carolina blue fire trucks. Top to bottom, that's Orange County EMS, Carolina Air Care, and South Orange Rescue Squad.
Lee Wilson photos
From this Wake Forest News story, here's aerial footage of an MVA with injuries on Capital Boulevard on Monday. This is their first aerial footage of an accident, they note. Mostly a test, to see how things look from the air.
Okay gang, thoughts? We've see "drone" footage slowly and steadily
increasing at the national level. With at least one operator filming
locally, what are people's opinions about such technologies used around
here? Both for news (or buff) reporting, or assisting (or used by)
Here's something interesting, geospatial data on North Carolina fire stations. This page of GIS data contains a zip file, which contains seven files that apparently work with GIS software. For the rest of us shmoes, the .dbf file can be opened in Excel. That's the largest of the files, 3.8 MB in size. Open Excel, open the file, and you'll see a spreadsheet with 1,947 fire station addresses!
But be cautious in your interpretation therein. For example, there four fire stations listed for the city of Zebulon. They are ZFD, Hopkins FD, and two Cornith-Holder stations in Johnston County.
By city, the ten highest counts of fire station addresses:
- Charlotte - 51
- Raleigh - 36
- Greensboro - 34
- Winston-Salem - 27
- Durham - 25
- Fayetteville - 25
- Salisbury - 20
- New Bern - 19
- Asheville - 18
By county, the five highest counts:
- Wake - 75
- Guilford - 69
- Mecklenburg - 60
- Forsyth - 44
- Buncombe, Craven, Cumberland, Rowan - 41 each.
Don't want to mess with spreadsheets and data files? Tool over to FDmaps.com, the place to see maps and view information about North Carolina fire stations. You won't be disappointed.
Found for sale on eBay, this 35mm color slide of a 1957 Howe pumper in Elizabeth City. Who made that chassis? Looks a little Pirsch or Oren-y. Search the blog for more ECFD history. Click to enlarge:
Let's play with some data, working with names listed on the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters memorial. See prior posting for that list. See my database, which expands that information to include county, cause of death, and more.
By year, highest count:
- 2008, 2006 - 11 each
- 2012 - 10
- 2007 - 9
- 2003 - 8
- 1973, 1982, 1989, 2013 - 7 each
By department, highest count:
- Charlotte - 12
- NC Forestry - 11
- Winston-Salem - 7
- Wilmington - 7
- Asheville, National Spinning Company, NC Air National Guard, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Shelby - 4 each
By county, highest count:
- Mecklenburg - 17
- Forsyth - 13
- Wake - 11
- Cumberland - 10
- New Hanover 9
By cause death you ask?
That one's going to be tricky. In my database, I've assigned categories of cause of death, where known. This is based on narrative information that I've collected and/or the certificate of death. The labels are totally subjective and not even entirely consistent. Let me include all of them, and let readers slice and dice the data as desired. Some could be combined, others perhaps re-labeled. Though it seems pretty clear that cardiac and MVA are the historically top causes of death.
Career versus volunteer?
Where known, out of 252 out of the 258:
- Career - 107 (42%)
- Volunteer - 146 (58%)
- Earliest year of a recorded fatality? 1902.
- Oldest known age? 76
- Youngest age? 18
- Number of Fire Chiefs? 21 (at least)
- Number of women? Six
- Number of African-Americans? Seven1
1Racial data of mine is presently limited to "white" and "black." And for only 221 of the 258 names. This could be better researched, to be sure. Thinking some American Indian heritage is in there, for starters.Names on the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Who's listed on the North Carolina Fallen Firefighter's Memorial at Nash Square? There are 258 names by my count, and listed below. That is, those are names, dates, and department names from my database. The versions that appear on the memorial are a bit a different. There are no nicknames, and middle names are usually abbreviated. There may be some variation in department spelling. The notations of "year added" are also mine. Let me know if I've made any mistakes.
The memorial was dedicated in May 2006. Each year an annual ceremony is held at the memorial, and new names are added. The additions are both legacy fatalities that have been since documented, and line of duty deaths from the prior calendar year.
See the names below the "jump." And see this subsequent posting, with some data play.READ MORE Carolina Brotherhood Rides From Raleigh on Tuesday
The Carolina Brotherhood departs on Tuesday for their annual memorial bicycle ride. This year they're leaving from Raleigh, from Station 1 on Dawson Street, and across from the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial at Nash Square. They'll depart at 8:00 a.m. The firefighter and police officers will be riding to honor ten responders from North and South Carolina who died in the line of duty last year:
- Tony Baker, Firefighter - Mountain View Volunteer FD, NC
- Robert Bingaman, Senior Police Officer - Asheville PD, NC
- Jeffery Fields, Assistant Fire Chief - Youngsville Volunteer FD, NC
- David Heath, Captain - New Hanover County Fire Rescue, NC
- Scott Morrison, Fire Chief - Knotts Island Volunteer FD, NC
- Jon Schondelmayer, Firefighter - Swift Creek Rural FD. NC
- Joseph Antwine, Deputy Sheriff - Florence County SO, SC
- Michael Broz, Firefighter - Dorchester County FD, SC
- Tim Causey, Deputy Sheriff - Horry County SO, SC
- Rodney Hardee, Assistant Fire Chief - Loris FD, SC.
This year, they're riding to Charleston. The five-day trip will cover some 500 miles. They've planned overnight stops in Fayetteville, Wilmington, Loris (SC), and Lake City (SC).
On Monday night, there's a send-off at Crank Arm Brewing Company at 319 W. Davie Street in Raleigh. Starts at 6:00 p.m. Riders from Asheville, Charlotte, Charleston, Columbia, Raleigh, and Wilmington will be present. Wake & District Pipes & Drums will perform at 7:00 p.m.
They'll have t-shirts for sale. Plus ten percent of all sales at the brewery will be donated to the Carolina Brotherhood. Learn more on this Facebook event page.Charlotte Fleet Listing - 1999-2002 ALF/GS Engines
Articles in this series: 1910s-1970s | 1980s-1990s | 1999-2002 ALF/GS | 2000s-2010s
Charlotte Fire Department Fleet Listing
1999-2002 American LaFrance/General Safety Engines
Last updated: August 18, 2014
Here's a look at our "worksheet" that we're using, trying to assign model years and unit numbers to Charlotte's 1999, 2000, and 2001 American LaFrance/General Safety Engines. There's probably a shop record that has the definitive information, but what fun we're having trying to piece it together ourselves!
- 1999 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E10, later RE81
- 1999 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E14, later E40, later RE83 (current)
- 1999 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E15, later RE87
- 1999 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E18, later RE82 (current)
- 1999 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E27, later RE80, later E101 (current), public education tool
Note: Listed as 1998 models on CFD web site in 2001.
- 2000 ALF/GS - 2000/500/30 - E1, later RE84 (current)
- 2000 ALF/GS - 2000/500/30 - E4, later RE85 (current)
- 2000 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E16, later RE87 (current).
- 2000 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E29, later E38, later RE80, later RE88 (current) - G64225 - #2137
- 2000 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E64, later E42, later RE88 (current).
- 2000 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E30, later RE80 (current)
- 2000 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E33 - H35288 - # 2170
- 2001 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E6, later RE82 - H89037
- 2001 ALF/GS - 1500/500/30 - E13 - H89036 - # 2202
- 2001 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E19, later RE86
- 2001 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E25
- 2001 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E28 - H89038 - # 2206 SOLD to DeWitt, AR - Note serial numbers not sequential, matches 2001 sequences
- 2002 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E34, later E90 - The Pink Lady - J64591 - #2242
- 2002 ALF/GS - 1500/750/30 - E35 - J64592 - # 2243
Other serial numbers to assign:
- A61865 - 750 gallon engine
- G64226 - 2000 GPM engine
Articles in this series: 1910s-1970s | 1980s-1990s | 1999-2002 ALF/GS | 2000s-2010s
Here's the second part of our Charlotte project, compiling a historical fleet list of all fire apparatus. This is based on research by reader Micah Bodford, plus other inputs that we're able to locate. Such as active or retired CFD members who have been super-helpful. Reader input is appreciated!
- Part I - 1910s to 1970s
- Part II - 1980s and 1990s (see below)
- Part III - 2000s and 2010s (coming soon)
- Part IV - Airport apparatus (coming soon)
The DataREAD MORE