06/22/11 1058 W - + 3 - 1 Growing Cities and Shrinking Districts


How has municipal expansion in North Carolina impacted rural (or other small) fire departments in recent decades? We can perhaps draw some conclusions from my database of former fire departments. Below are same in or around the largest of the state's cities. Couple disclaimers. There might be some apples to oranges in the mix, such as South Fork in Winston-Salem  Were they impacted by the city coming south, or Clemmons coming north? Or neither?

This list also does not include industrial or institutional fire departments, such as Oteen Veteran's Hospital in Asheville, Camp Greene in Charlotte, and St  Augustine's School (!) in Raleigh. Also omitted is Kannapolis, which has its own unique history. Each municipality is also listed by population rank as found in this Wikipedia article.

Asheville (#11 in population in 2009)

Listed by Name Listed By End Date
  • Biltmore Village - 1910-1929 (assets to Asheville FD)
  • Biltmore Forest - 1923-1995
  • Kenilworth - 1920s-1930s
  • Haw Creek - 1962-2009 (merged with Asheville FD)
  • West Asheville - 1914-1917 (merged with Asheville FD)
  • West Asheville - 1917
  • Biltmore Village - 1929
  • Kenilworth - 1930s
  • Biltmore Forest - 1995
  • Haw Creek - 2009

Note: There are other examples around the state of early 20th Century municipal expansion and absorption of fire districts. The Chestnut Hill Fire Department outside Salisbury ceased operation in the early 1910s, and was perhaps merged with the Salisbury Fire Department.

Cary (#7)

Note: The town of Cary for a time had a municipal and rural department, which was the case throughout Wake County. Probably throughout the state. In many cases, those two departments end up merging and functioning as a single municipal fire department. In Cary's case, they remained splintered, and the rural department renamed itself Yrac.

Charlotte (#1)

Listed by Name Listed By End Date
  • Carmel - 1980-1994/95 (merged with Carolina FD)
  • Derita - 1950-1994/95 (continued as rescue squad until 1997)
  • Hickory Grove - 1953-1988 (renamed Robinson FD, still operating)
  • Moores Chapel - 1954-1984 (formed West Mecklenburg FD)
  • Mallard Creek - 1953-2011 (assets to Huntersville FD)
  • Newell - 1949-2011
  • Oakhurst - 1952-1974 (reorganized as Idlewild FD)
  • Pinoca - 1949-1994/95 (merged with West Mecklenburg FD)
  • Route No  10 - 1950s 
  • Sharon - 1959-c1980 (renamed Carmel FD)
  • Statesville Road - 1957-1989
  • Wilkinson Boulevard - 1943-1984 (formed West Mecklenburg FD)
  • Woodlawn - c1950-1974 (building to EMS)
  • Route No  10 - 1950s 
  • Oakhurst - 1974
  • Woodlawn - 1974
  • Sharon - c1980
  • Moores Chapel - 1984
  • Wilkinson Boulevard - 1984
  • Hickory Grove - 1988
  • Statesville Road - 1989
  • Carmel - 1994/95
  • Derita - 1994/95
  • Pinoca - 1994/95
  • Mallard Creek - 2011
  • Newell - 2011

Concord (#14)

Durham (#5)

Fayetteville (#6)

Listed by Name Listed By End Date
  • Bonnie Doone - 1956-1996 (merged with Fayetteville FD)
  • Cedar Creek - 1990s 
  • Lafayette Village - 1956-2004 (merged with Fayetteville FD)
  • Lake Rim - 1974-2004 (merged with Fayetteville FD)
  • Lake Upchurch - 1980-1988 (assets to Stoney Point FD)
  • Lakeview - 1964-1968 (renamed Manchester FD)
  • Manchester - 1963-1998 (merged with Spring Lake FD)
  • Raeford Road - 1956-1997
  • Yadkin Road - 1970s-1980s
  • Lakeview - 1968
  • Yadkin Road - 1980s
  • Lake Upchurch - 1988
  • Cedar Creek - 1990s 
  • Raeford Road - 1997
  • Bonnie Doone - 1996
  • Manchester - 1998
  • Lafayette Village - 2004
  • Lake Rim - 2004

Note: Yadkin Road as a fire department name has been debated.  Some records (and even old patches) suggest it was its own department  Others recall it was the station or district name of Bonnie Doone Station 2.

Gastonia (#13)

Greensboro (#3)

Listed by Name Listed By End Date
  • Battleground - 1954-2002 (merged with Summerfield FD)
  • Bessemer - 1940s-1950s
  • District 3 - 1970s 
  • District 5 - 1970s-1980s 
  • District 8 - 1970s-1980s 
  • District 14 - 1954-2005 (merged with Greensboro FD)
  • Guilford College - 1946-2001 (merged with Greensboro FD)
  • Bessemer - 1950s
  • District 3 - 1970s 
  • District 5 - 1980s 
  • District 8 - 1980s 
  • Guilford College - 2001
  • Battleground - 2002
  • District 14 - 2005

Note: There's scant information about District 3, District 5, and District 5 fire departments. We'll presume they were in/around Greensboro, at least for now.

Greenville (#10)

Hickory

High Point (#8)

Note: The 10-A Fire Department moved their station after annexation in 1961. Many of the departments listed in this list have moved their stations once, or twice, and maybe even three times in some cases.

Jacksonville (#12)

Raleigh (#2)

Note: The Raleigh Fire Department responded to the annexation that impacted the Western Boulevard Fire Department by moving an engine into the territory at 12:01 a.m. on the day the annexation became law. The operated in a rented house for the first couple of years.

Rocky Mount (#15)

Wilmington (#9)

Note: North Wilmington Fire Department meets the criteria of this list, meaning it was (a.) a former fire department that (b.) was located in or around one of the major cities in the state. In their particular case, they ceased operation due to the county cancelling their contract. That was the result of official issues, such as illegal dumping by the department on their property.

Winston-Salem (#4)

Listed by Name Listed By End Date
  • Forest Hill - 1953-c2008 (moved to Stokes County)
  • Mt  Tabor - 1952-c1995 (merged with Vienna FD)
  • Sedge Garden - 1949-1953 (reorganized as Triangle FD)
  • South Fork - 1951-1990 (merged with Clemmons FD)
  • Triangle - 1953-2004
  • Sedge Garden - 1953
  • South Fork - 1990
  • Mt  Tabor - c1995
  • Triangle - 2004
  • Forest Hill - c2008




Durham was operating the county engine and a county tanker into the 80s. I remember the engine was ENGINE 13 I believe. Don’t remember the tanker number. They ran out of the downtown station, I think.
DJ - 06/23/11 - 00:06

Durham ran the tanker into the 1990’s and who ever was assigned the mobile air truck was responsible for driving the tanker to no hydrant areas of the city. I remember it being at station 1 when the mobile air truck was an used bread truck.
charlie - 06/23/11 - 04:59

To add to the column on shrinking fire departments, the Gilead FD merged with Huntersville FD late last year and became Huntersville Station 2 (in the Charlotte area).
Benjy - 06/23/11 - 08:05

Yadkin Rd fire dept in cumberland county was a small statuion located right on a side road next to Fort Bragg off Yadkin Rd. They had two trucks, a GMC pumper and a GI tanker. Orville Crites was the chief. Bonnie Doone had a station on the bypass, white trucks. They had a RR spur that crossed right in front of that station and one would wonder how the tank cars full of fuel never derailed, as the track was in bad shape. Also ran aong Bragg blvd. What a cool time in history. The gang did a heck f a job with limited resources.
Tom Parson - 10/16/11 - 15:33



  
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