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+ 9 - 8 | § Lives and Times of Raleigh's Fire Chiefs

For your mid-week enjoyment, some bits and pieces and places and dates about those who served as chiefs of the Raleigh Fire Department. From recent research for the Centennial History Book.

# Name Served Notes Photograph
1 Sherwood Battle Brockwell 1912-1914 Born October 12, 1885, in Raleigh.
Joined first volunteer fire company as special member at age 16 in 1902.
Appointed June 7, 1912.
First chief of fully-paid fire department.
Resigned by August 1, 1914, to become deputy insurance commissioner and first state Fire Marshal.
Died June 2, 1953, in Raleigh, age 67.
Buried June 3, 1953, in Raleigh.
2 Charles David Farmer 1914-1919 Born November 13, 1883, in Raleigh.
Joined first volunteer fire company in 1904.
Hired by December 31, 1912.
First Assistant Chief of career fire department.
Appointed August 1, 1914.
Resigned July 31, 1919, to organize equipment division of state highway division.
Portrait from later career as first Major of North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Died April 1, 1949, in Raleigh, age 65.
Buried April 2, 1949, in Raleigh.
3 Hubert H. Horton 1919-1923 Born 1895.
Hired by December 31, 1912.
Original member of career fire department.
Appointed Acting Chief August 1, 1919.
Appointed Chief  October 1, 1921.
Succeeded June 1, 1923.
Died July 18, 1950, in Raleigh, age 55.
4 Lewis Fleming Hicks 1923-1926 Born May 29, 1888, in Granville County.
Hired June 16, 1913.
Military leave from 1917 to 1922.
Worked for state Highway Commission from 1922 to 1923.
Appointed June 1, 1923.
Died August 21, 1926, in Raleigh, age 38. Died off-duty of heart ailment.
Buried August 22, 1926, in Raleigh.
5 William Ernest "Ernest" Holland 1926-1939 Born June 13, 1890, in Wake County.
Hired February 14, 1913.
Appointed September 1, 1926.
Succeeded May 4 or May 11, 1939.
Also President of North Carolina Fireman's Association in 1936.
Died May 17, 1963, in Raleigh, age 72.
Buried May 20, 1963, in Raleigh.
6 Ellis D. King 1939-1941 Born March 27, 1890, in Wake County.
Hired November 1, 1921.
Appointed May 4 or May 11, 1939.
Succeeded July 14, 1941.
Died June 18, 1948, in Raleigh, age 58.
Buried June 20, 1948, in Raleigh.
7 William Ralph "Ralph" Butts 1941-1947 Born May 5, 1906, in Wake County.
Hired December 20, 1926.
Appointed July 14, 1941.
Resigned June 20, 1947.
Was partner in Apex Funeral Home for forty years. Also founder and first president of Apex Shrine Club.
Died August 4, 1966, in Apex, age 60.
Buried August 6, 1966, in Raleigh.
8 Alvin Brown Lloyd 1947-1955 Born 1892 in Granville County.
Hired July 16, 1919.
Appointed Acting Chief after June 20, 1947.
Appointed Chief April 1, 1950.
Died February 25, 1955, in Raleigh, age 63. Died off-duty of heart ailment.
Buried February 27, 1955, in Raleigh.
9 John Boswell "Jack" Keeter 1955-1973 Born February 17, 1907, in Rutherford County.
Hired July 1, 1931.
Appointed February 25, 1955.
Retired June 1, 1973.
Also President of North Carolina Firefighters Association in 1944 and 1945 (and other years?). President of North Carolina State Fireman's Association in 1958. Also Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilman after retirement.
Died December 2, 1978, in Raleigh, age 71.
Buried December 4, 1978.
10 Clarence Rudolph Puryear 1973-1974 Born February 9, 1919, in Virginia.
Hired February 15, 1941.
Military leave, 1942 to 1946.
Appointed June 1, 1973.
Died November 10, 1974, in Raleigh, age 55. Died off-duty of heart attack.
Buried November 12, 1974, in Raleigh.
11 Rufus Edwin Keith 1974-1982 Born April 5, 1930, in Franklin County.
Hired July 16, 1951.
Appointed December 12, 1974.
Retired November 30, 1982.
Died August 2, 1990, in Wake Forest, age 60.
12 Thomas T. Kuster 1983-1986 Born October 30, 1936.
Appointed February 1, 1983.
Resigned January 2, 1986.
First Fire Chief hired outside of department (Fire Protection Administrator, Jefferson County, NY).
Retired Fire Chief of Louisville, KY - Served 20 years in department.
Resigned to become Public Health and Safety Director in Louisville .
Died September 6, 2006, age 70.
13 Sherman A. Pickard 1986-1995

Appointed March 3, 1986.
Retired July 1, 1995.
Second Fire Chief hired outside of department (Director of Service, League of Municipalities).
Started career in Burlington Fire Department, left as Director of Training
Director of fire and rescue service training for NCDOI, for eleven years.
Director of Service, LoM, nineteen years.

14 Jonny B. Sandy 1995-1999 Hired December 28, 1964 .
Military leave from 1966 to 1968.
Asst. Chief of Operations from 1991 to 1995.
Appointed July 1, 1995.
Retired July 1, 1999.
15 Earl F. Fowler 1999-2005 Hired December 8, 1971.
Asst. Chief and Fire Marshal from 1990 to 1999.
Appointed August 2, 1999.
Retired December 31, 2005.
16 John T. McGrath 2006-present Appointed February 1, 2006.
Third Fire Chief hired outside of department (Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Fire Department).
Thirty-two year veteran of Philadelphia FD.

 Photo Credits: Brockwell, Keeter - Courtesy North Carolina State Archives; King, Butts, Hicks, Keith- News & Observer photograph; Lloyd, Kuster - Courtesy Raleigh Fire Department; Fowler, McGrath - Lee Wilson Photograph

+ 9 - 4 | § External Flash + Flash Exposure Compensation

Question heard from time to time: how to take better fire scene photos in low light or no light? Here's an example using (a.) DSLR with high ISO setting (2500), (b.) external flash versus the lower-powered internal flash, and (c.) flash exposure compensation used. What's that last one? On your camera, you can raise or lower the power of the flash. Both internal and external. Dial it up or dial it down. The first photo shows a mere -1/3 compensation. The second shows a +2.  Observe the drastic difference. For documentation or investigation, be careful with too much flash. You might saturate and thus obscure burn patterns or other evidence of evidence. Both shots are from last night's apartment (or were they townhomes?) fire on Forest Lawn Court. See more photos. Readers, what tips would you offer in these areas? Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 5 | § Video: Task Force 8 Departs For Maryland

North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force 8 members departed early this evening from the Keeter Training Center, deployed to  Frederick, Maryland, to assist with water rescue operations. They're one of the many areas being impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The eight members represent Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill fire departments, and Wake County EMS. Here's a short video showing the team heading out. That's Car 72 and USAR 801. The footage is, okay, a little tame, but dig that crane shot at the end!  

+ 6 - 7 | § Mystery Road

Or is it an alley? Or is it a driveway? Hint: it's paved.


+ 7 - 4 | § Live Web Cams From Outer Banks

Here's a web cam from Kill Devil Hills, showing current conditions from Hurricane Sandy, which is however many of hundreds of miles offshore. There are probably a bunch of these web cams. Google for others. What's neat is this one is that it includes a still shot taken during normal weather. Click Next Webcam to continue to Virginia.

And here's a web cam from Corolla:

+ 1 - 6 | § Oxygen Masks For Pets?

Question from a reader, who recently read about firefighters in Arlington, TX, reviving a dog at a structure fire. He learned that AFD carries three sizes of pet oxygen masks on each Battalion Chief vehicle and ladder truck. This provides the masks at each working fire in the city. Question, are such masks carried by fire departments in Raleigh and Wake County? How about in the general Triangle and Central Piedmont area? Readers, please respond and regardless if you are cat or dog people. Share stories as desired as well. Thanks for your question, James.

+ 4 - 3 | § Charlotte Assistant Chief Dies of Heart Attack, 1955

Found in my files, while researching the histories of Raleigh fire chiefs. Charlotte Fire Department Assistant Chief James M. "Mack" Munday, who died March 8, 1955. From the April 1955 issue of Hose & Nozzle. Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 9 | § Staging For Sandy - New Jersey EMSTF

Found on their Facebook page, here's a neat photo of medical emergency buses staged somewhere in New Jersey. They're part of the state's EMS Task Force. They'll be available to assist EMS agencies and healthcare facilities with evacuations and transportation needs as needed. (See other news sites about this storm thing.) Each can carry 30 patients on legs, 20 on wheels, or a hybrid of both. (We have one of these in Wake County, operated by EMS. And several in the state, in various cities/counties. And they're used both locally and collectively, if/when a "big one" comes along. See this prior posting.)

+ 2 - 4 | § Dash Cam: House Fire in Durham

As featured on Statter911, here's a three-minute clip of Thursday's house fire at 1217 Lincoln Street as shot by Squad 1. Arriving companies quickly knocked the fire down. The "C" shift companies: E1, E4, E3, L3, L2, S1, B1, B3, MS1, SO1.

+ 4 - 3 | § Video of Second Annual Charlotte Memorial Stair Climb

Found in this FireCritic posting, here's a recently posted video of the second annual Charlotte Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday, October 13. It was held at the Duke Energy Center Building in Uptown Charlotte. The event honored the 418 firefighters, police officers, and medics that died on September 11, 2001. Planned were a total of 700 climbers, including 343 firefighters, 60 law officers, and 10 EMS personnel. They climbed a total of 110 floors, equal to the number of the height of each Twin Tower. Here's a News 14 story and a photo gallery from the Charlotte Observer. Here's the event's Facebook page and their official photos on Flickr.

+ 2 - 2 | § Seasonal Decorations

Engine 14 and Rescue 3 have decorated their station on Lake Boone Trail. Who else has seasonal displays around here? Send photos and maybe we'll post. And raise your hand if you get trick or treaters on Halloween. Click to enlarge:

+ 5 - 6 | § Using Your Tablet as a Photo Light Source

Neat article from Digital Photography Review (itself a great go-to site) about usnig your tablet computer as a photo light source. Notably featured is the iPad app Softbox Pro.

+ 8 - 3 | § High Point's New Ladder

Found on the Pierce Flickr site. See larger versions.

+ 5 - 4 | § Unusual New Deliveries From Pierce

Found these while clicking through the Pierce Flickr site. Monster pumper-tanker for BP Exploration Operation in Iraq. Scary snozzle on a rescue pumper for Eagan, MN. And a pair of FBI vehicles, one black, one blue. Wonder what they're used for?

+ 4 - 2 | § Honkin' on Bobo

Funny fire department name as seen on eBay, in a photo of a women's auxiliary cookbook. (Recalls this posting from 2010.) Funny posting title, taken from the Aerosmith album of the same name. Collection of blues covers.

+ 4 - 3 | § Caption This Photo

Here's one from the archives. Bonus question, when and where was the picture taken? First correct answer gets a free subscription to this blog. Offer not valid in all states of mind.

+ 6 - 6 | § Two Times Two Plus One School Bus Accidents Today

Five (!) school buses collided today in two separate accidents in western and central North Carolina. The first collision occurred at 9:55 a.m. in Marshall in Madison County. A chain-reaction accident involving three county activity buses and a pick-up truck happened on U.S. 25-70 near the Madison campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical College.

One of the buses left the roadway, traveled down a hill (!), and crashed into the side of the school building (!!). Forty-eight middle-school students and one adult were injured. They were transported to two hospitals. Read the Citizen Times story. Anyone have a run down on the run card for that one!?

The second accident occurred in Youngsville just after 3:00 p.m. Two buses transporting elementary school students crashed at the intersection of Bert Winston and Hicks roads. The head-on collision injured both drivers and ten (or more) students. Read the WRAL story. Or the WTVD story, which cites fifteen patients transported to Franklin Regional Hospital and WakeMed North.

(Brings to mind the activity bus accident in Cary on Highway 64 on December 10, 2010. Three buses with about 133 occupants. Thirty-six patients transported with minor injuries. Four fire companies, fifteen ambulances, four EMS supervisors, and more. See photos from that incident by Mike Legeros.)

WLOS photo

WRAL photo

+ 2 - 4 | § Wednesday Morning

All readers be advised, we have nothing to report at this time. You can clear from this posting. That includes EMS.

+ 6 - 5 | § Centennial History Book Pricing, Ordering Deadlines

In the latest issue of the Raleigh Fire Department newsletter (see prior posting), pricing and ordering deadlines were announced for the Raleigh Fire Department Centennial History Book. Here's the skinny:

This is a limited edition, folks. There won't be any copies available in bookstores. The thing is available exclusively through pre-ordering. Here's where to order your copy, if you haven't already. (Orders have been taken for months now.) Visit You'll see both a PDF flyer, and a link to online ordering. 

What's the book about, what's inside? Visit for some of that. Sample photos, sneak peeks at content. Updates on the project's progress. Hardcover book and a big one, 9 by 12 inches. Two-hundred and sixty pages. Text and photos and personnel and portraits of every retiree since the beginning (!). Don't miss out.

+ 5 - 5 | § More Civil Defense Rescue Units

Being in photo-research mode this week for the centennial history book makes these kinds of posting really easy to knock out. Let's look around and see what other blue-and-white (or just white) emergency equipment we can find in our state's past. And for those interested in North Carolina Civil Defense history, visit this great blog by Frank Blazich. See also prior postings about Raleigh and Cary rigs.

Garner Fire Department

Greenville Fire Department, originally/earlier painted all white (more, see comments)


Clayton Rescue Squad (more)

Johnston County (more)

Lee County (more)

+ 5 - 3 | § Old Station 8 - Five Years Later

Photographed this weekend for the Raleigh Fire Department Centennial History Book, and compared with the same shot of five years ago. That was for the 95th anniversary commemorative book. Located at 1008 Method Road, the former residence served as a fire station from 1960 to 1963.

+ 4 - 4 | § Cary's Civil Defense Rescue Truck

ow many other blue and white Civil Defense rescue rigs were operated around Raleigh and Wake County and surrounding counties? The volunteer Cary Fire Department operated this rescue truck beginning in the mid-1950s, which they built from a military mobile machine shop in 1955. It carried $8,000 worth of equipment including 5,000-watt portable generator, 2,500-watt generator, two-way radio, $600 resuscitator, block and tackle, ropes, a portable oxygen acetylene cutting torch, in all "196 different pieces of equipment, all new." At the time, it was purportedly the only Civil Defense rescue truck operated by a volunteer fire department in the state. Photos from the archives of the Cary Fire Department. Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 2 | § Inside Station 6, 1949

For your Sunday morning enjoyment, here's a look inside Station 6 in the year it opened, 1949. What are some of the things that you notice? Click once or twice to enlarge:

North Carolina State Archives photo

+ 4 - 2 | § Tin Helmets - Iron Men by Bob Bartosz

Holiday gift alert. How about Tin Helmts - Iron Men by Bob Bartosz for your favorite firefighter or fire buff? The limited-edition hardcover is a treasure trove of Philadelphia fireground photos from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The page count is 216, the photos are black and white. Those were days of the multi-hour, multi-alarm fires, and Bartosz with a film camera and a few rolls of film. Nothing like the all-color, shoot-as-many-as-you-like digital days of today.


You'll also see vintage and unusual Philly rigs, such as their 125-foot articulating platform and the famous giant deluge SS 99. Plus plenty of marine units. Now what's the connection to North Carolina, you ask? That one's easy. After fifty years of fire photography-- including as official city and county fire photog in Camden, New Jersey-- Bartosz and wife relocated to our neck of the woods. They live in Nash County.

Bob's still has copies of available of his book. They're only $28.95, including shipping. Here's more information about the book, including contact information. Above is a video, showing a quick page-through of the thing. Grab a copy. You'll love it.

+ 6 - 5 | § UPDATED: Raleigh's Civil Defense Rescue Truck Found... and Lost

October 20
We have learned to our regret that this truck was indeed headed to TT&E scrap metal on Garner Road. The old rescue rig sat for a spell on site, and was then recycled. Thanks to the readers who inquired and investigated. On the up side, these trucks were utilized nationally. There's an opportunity, perhaps, for someone to find one and relocate the thing to Raleigh. (Now there's a project!) Don't believe any others were used in North Carolina. For that matter, don't know how many were produced period. Might've been a modest number. Below are a couple more photos that Robby found. They're certainly good additions to our Raleigh Fire Department historical archives.

October 18
Reader Robby Delius caught on camera last year what looks like Raleigh's original heavy rescue, a 1954 Reo Civil Defense rescue truck (see posting from two years ago) that's shown below in a vintage photo. He snapped these shots on October 8, 2011, on Wilmington Street between the Beltline and Tryon Road. Here's more information and photos about the rig. Sure looks like a match. Would there be another such truck stored locally? And, more importantly, where the heck is this thing now!?! Surely someone knows someone who knows something. Even if they're name isn't Shirley... Thanks Robby! Click the color photos to enlarge:

News & Observer photo


Robby Delius photos

+ 6 - 3 | § Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter - Fall 2012

The fall 2012 edition of the Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter has been posted to to the web site This issue's includes information about special operations changes, the history book, a fire investigation task force, new respiratory protection and atmospheric monitoring policies, and three upcoming events. Plus the usual recap of recent promotions, appointments, and retirements. Edited by department historian Mike Legeros, the Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter is a quarterly publication for personnel, retirees, and citizens. Read the issue, or click to access:

+ 4 - 0 | § A Most Colorful Patch

Speaking of Gastonia, check out the fire department's current (?) patch, as seen for sale on eBay. Now that's a colorful emblem, and with numerous nifty elements. (Found for sale because Mr. Blogger checks eBay every day or two for the keywords "NC fire".) What are some of your favorite "cornucopia" patches?

+ 5 - 3 | § Smokin' Steak House in Gastonia

Here's your morning hot shot, one of four posted in the posting of a Charlotte Observer story about a Tuesday morning restaurant fire in Gastonia. The Longhorn Steakhouse on Cox Road was reported afire after 4:30 a.m. Flames and smoke were showing on arrival. One firefighter suffered a minor injury. Read and see more. See also this story from the Gaston Gazette and the story from the Charlotte Observer. Both have short slideshows of images.

Gaston FD/ photo

+ 2 - 3 | § Fire Horns of Rowan County

As photographed this week at the Rowan Museum in Salisbury, as part of their newly opened exhibit "Where's the Fire?", here are three vintage fire alarm horns. Top is a horn from the Faith Fire Department. Middle is a horn from the Salisbury Fire Department. Bottom is a horn-as-amplifier from the Bostian Heights Fire Department. There were four on the top of their fire station, amplifying an air raid siren in four directions. See more photos from the museum. Or read a recent story about the exhibit.


Regarding Salisbury's fire alarm system, Sanborn Maps tell these historical details:  By February 1902, the fire alarm was a bell at the town hall. By November 1913, a Gamewell fire alarm system with 16 alarm boxes had been installed, along with a bell at the fire station. By February 1922, there were 23 alarm boxes. By January 1931, there were 49 alarm boxes, and a bell in a tower at Station 1. By March 1950, there were 50 alarm boxes and an electric horn on the roof of Station 1. Here's a list of fire alarm signals as displayed at the museum. From the font face, guessing this is circa 1960s? And check out such signals as 555 for "National Guard mobilization" and 666 for "Disaster, call Red Cross." Wonder if they were ever used!? Click once or twice to enlarge:

+ 5 - 1 | § Black Mountain Fire Department Museum

This nifty little museum is located in Black Mountain, just outside Asheville. It occupies the last bay of the fire station at 106 Montreat Road. These photos are from October 2007, and have been added to my Flickr collection of fire museum photos. (They were gathering dust in a digital folder.) We peeked through the windows this week and the museum appears about the same as depicted below. See more photos.

+ 5 - 5 | § Apparatus Seen in Western North Carolina

Reporting from the road. Here are a few trucks seen on the western side of the state. Top to bottom: Morganton Public Safety's Sutphen aerial platform, Saluda's new E-One pumper/tanker, and a nice-looking Seagrave pumper-tanker in downtown Brevard. Click to enlarge:

+ 6 - 4 | § Another Vintage Crash Truck... From Dallas

Our local (and soon to be retiring) airport fire chief, Jimmy Thompson, shares these images of a monster crash truck he photographed at Love Field in Dallas in 1998. Since Mr. Blogger's on vacation, it'll be a couple days before we can cite some make and model information. That information is sitting inside some books. Unless, of course, our interpid readers add the backstory ahead of time. Meanwhile, big hand for Chief Thompson, who retires October 31 after thirty-five years leading the Raleigh-Durham International Airport fire department Click to enlarge

Jimmy Thompson photos

+ 4 - 2 | § Rockingham County Firefighter Stabbed to Death Saturday via their Facebook page shares this WGHP-TV story out of Rockingham County, where Stoneville Fire Department firefighter Mark Chandler, 23, was stabbed to death early Saturday morning. He and a friend were stabbed at about 3:30 a.m., after a fight started at a birthday party hosted by Chandler for his fiance. He was transported to Morehead Hospital, and pronounced dead. His friend Cody Collins, also stabbed, was transported and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The incident remains under investigaiton, with one person behind bars and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and voluntary manslaughter.

+ 8 - 2 | § Vintage images of Atlanta airport fire department

Found for sale on eBay, for your Sunday enjoyment, here are four vintage images of the Atlanta airport fire department. The apparatus looks as shot in the 1960s or 1970s, or maybe even early 1980s? The station photo looks like the 1980s. (How big was the airport fire department at that time? Two stations? Three?) That's a lot of Oshkosh, with four of the civilian version of the Air Force's great P-16 P-15.  Once listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's most powerful fire engine. (Previously held by the FDNY super pumper, when it was operational.) Photographer unknown, search eBay for "Atlanta airport fire." Would love to see more images and learn more of their history. Any resources out there? Commemorative books ever produced? Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 1 | § History Talk at Raleigh Fire Museum Tomorrow

Don't miss Mike's magnificent words 'n' pictures history of the Raleigh Fire Department, starting at noon on Saturday, October 13. The location for the hour-long talk is the Raleigh Fire Museum, 105 Keeter Center Drive, Raleigh. The museum is also open that day, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Come and learn about the history of firefighting in the Capitol City, from before the volunteer era through the modern career department.

Parking and restrooms are available. Admission is free. The museum is open on the second Saturday of each month, and is  Learn more about the museum, and the group that operates it, at Please note antique Raleigh fire apparatus are stored elsewhere. Read this prior posting for those details. See you tomorrow.

PS, want a preview of the presentation slides? Here you go (PDF), read ahead as desired

+ 4 - 4 | § Glib Comments on Facebook

Pop-quiz about social media. What should you think—and what action might you perform—if you saw comments such as these posted to Facebook? Either directly as a Facebook friend, or via forwarded text or screen capture?

Wear a couple different hats while you’re answering. React as (a.) yourself, regular responder, (b.) your supervisor or chief officer, (c.) member of a body of elected officials who govern your organization, (d.) news reporter or news editor, and (e.) local citizen.

I could’ve slapped that patient we had today.

Another day protecting the idiots.

The patient is lucky I was in a good mood today.

Another crack house, should’ve let it burn.

(Fake entries above, duh.)

This quiz too easy? Guilty of leading the witnesses, your honor? Perhaps. The inspiration for this topic—and possible discussion—is this Fire Law posting about the termination of a Texas flight medic that was upheld. Let's thus ponder the possible consequences of glib comments on Facebook.

Recall the original rules of e-mail etiquette. Don't send anything you wouldn't want broadcast on the evening news, written on a sign in your front yard, or shown or told to friends, family, priest, magistrate, etc. Those were and remain sound rules.

But then came social media and texting and Facebook. And remarks sent as text messages, or posted as Facebook comments, have invariably involved less formality and less forethought. 

We toss them off, and easily because the audience is usually limited. It's just one other person who's texting with you, or it's a restricted group of Facebook friends. (Perhaps many hundreds of such friends, mind you.) But here's the problem. Whatever you wrote thus appears on a screen, and that screen can be captured and shown to other people that you weren't thinking about.

Commence paranoia? Maybe, or just a measure of healthy caution. The long tradition of blunt speaking (and black humor) at fire/EMS station doesn’t necessarily translate to the virtual day room. (Just as such verbal comments are kept out of view of, say, visiting citizens. Friends and family get a stronger ear full.)

Facebook in particular is problematic on a couple fronts. First, your identity is not concealed. This is a good thing in keeping conversations out of the toxic zone, but a liability for acute cases of “foot in mouth” diseases. (Been there, apologized for that and too many times to count.) Second, your Facebook identity is probably a combination of peers, friends, and family. You might be the rare person who is only talking to absolutely like-minded souls. Betting otherwise, however.

What’s the solution? Maybe that’s one self-evident. Be aware of your conversational surroundings and adjust your behaviors accordingly.

What say you?

Postscript #1: Public versus private employees. The aforementioned FireLaw posting is about a private employer. What about public employees and protected speech therein? Good question, but consider this: the person might keep their job, but at the cost of how much undue attention for all parties involved?

Postscript #2: Glib comments on blogs. Who wants to tackle that one?!

+ 2 - 3 | § Rocky Mount and Nash County Firefighters - Hometown Heroes

From a reader, the Rocky Mount Telegram has posted a gallery of a couple hundred photos of Rocky Mount and Nash County firefighters to commemorate Fire Prevention Week. The photos by Bob Bartosz, the legendary Camden, NJ, fire photographer who relocated to eastern North Carolina in 2010. He was an official photographer for both Camden city and Camden County fire departments for six (!) decades. That man has shot some fires, including plenty over the river in Philly as well. He's currently the official photog for the Rocky Mount Fire Department. View the gallery. Thanks, Scott!

+ 2 - 5 | § Ambulance Crashes Into Gas Tanker, but NOT While Transporting Meth Lab Explosion Patient

NBC17 reports that they incorrectly reported that the ambulance in the patient was burned in a math leb explosion. Indeed, the headline was too strange to be true.

That stranger-than-fiction headline comes from Selma yesterday afternoon, where an ambulance collided with an empty gas tanker at Buffalo Road and White Oak Street. The medical unit was transporting a burn patient to a waiting medical helicopter. Presumably the patient was transported via secondary unit. News reports are a little scarce. WTVD reports that six people suffered minor injuries. No other incident information or any images located via Google.

+ 2 - 2 | § Alexander County Firefighter Killed in Vehicle Accident

Bethlehem Community Fire Rescue Firefighter Caleb Benfield, 18, died Wednesday evening from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident earlier in the day. He was returning to the fire station from home, where had lunch after a morning performing fire prevention activities. He was driving his motorcycle on Highway 127 when he lost control of his vehicle about 150 yards from the fire station. The accident occurred just after 1:00 p.m. He was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center, and airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center. He died that night, following surgery. A visitation is planned at Tri-City Baptist Church in Conovor on Sunday. Firefighters will led a procession to the burial in Wilkes County. Benfield joined the department in 2001 as a junior member. He had participated in his first fire just a few weeks ago. More details:, Hickory Daily Record, WCNC-TV, WSCO-TV.

+ 2 - 5 | § World's Fastest Pram

What the hell is a pram? Appears to be a baby stroller with a different name as spoken in a different accent. Kids, don't try this at home. Found at Weird Universe.

+ 2 - 5 | § World's Fastest Pram

What the hell is a pram? Appears to be a baby stroller with a different name as spoken in a different accent. Kids, don't try this at home. Found at Weird Universe.

+ 4 - 3 | § Equipment of the Raleigh Rescue Squad, 1956

Here's a neat newspaper clipping showing and labeling the equipment of the Raleigh Rescue Squad as displayed behind Station 1 in 1956. Did they really carry everything in that little 1954 GMC panel van? Probably not, as the squad also had a 1954 Reo Civil Defense heavy rescue truck. Both were stored at Station 1. There was a single rescue officer assigned to Rescue 1. They drove the desired unit, and pulled an additional person from the Station 1 personnel as needed.

The wooden boats-- fourteen feet long-- took four to six people to deploy. And if they were needed in a remote area, as many as ten people to carry. The boats were used primarily for body recovery, and both in the city and county. (And even outside the county, for mutual aid.) The squad added diving equipment by 1962. There's at least one photo of squad members diving to help recover a submerged vehicle. Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 3 | § House Fire in Cary on Christmas Morning - View From The Neighbor's Yard

Found via random Google searching, here's a four-minute video of a house fire on Castalia Drive in Cary, on December 25, 2011. Shows second-due and later units arriving, supply and hose lines being stretched, and such.  Plus one inflatable Santa that occasionally obscures the view. There are 75 days until Christmas 2012.

+ 4 - 3 | § House Fire in Cary on Christmas Morning - View From The Neighbor's Yard

Found via random Google searching, here's a four-minute video of a house fire on Castalia Drive in Cary, on December 25, 2011. Shows second-due and later units arriving, supply and hose lines being stretched, and such.  Plus one inflatable Santa that occasionally obscures the view. There are 75 days until Christmas 2012.

+ 4 - 2 | § Raleigh Fire Museum Open, Plus History Talk, Saturday, October 13

The Raleigh Fire Museum is open this Saturday, October 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Historian Mike Legeros will also give an an hour-long presentation at noon on the history of the Raleigh Fire Department. He'll talk about the history of firefighting in the Capitol City, from before the volunteer era through the modern career department.

The museum is located in a classroom trailer at the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive. Parking and restrooms are available. Admission is free. The museum is open on the second Saturday of each month, and is  Learn more about the museum, and the group that operates it, at    


Please note antique Raleigh fire apparatus are stored elsewhere. The museum's 1961 American LaFrance pumper is located at Fire Station 9 at 4465 Six Forks Road. The city's collection of antique fire apparatus is housed at at Fire Station 28 at 3500 Forestville Road. The collection includes a 1905 steamer, a 1926 American LaFrance pumper, a 1950 Mack pumper, and a 1982 Mack pumper. Visitors are welcome at both locations.

+ 4 - 0 | § Raleigh Fire Department College Fair, October 10-11

The Raleigh Fire Department is hosting a college fair on Wednesday, October 11, and Thursday, October 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Keeter Training Center, 105 Keeter Center Drive, Raleigh. Representatives from several schools will have information available about their schools and various certificate and degree programs. For city employees, a representative from the tuition reimbursement program will be present. The colleges attending are:

+ 4 - 4 | § Smithfield Opens Second Fire Station

That is, a temporary Station 2. The Market Street bridge at the Neuse River on the west side side of downtown, so the Smithfield Fire Department has relocated Engine 2 and Engine 3 to a temporary location on Highway 70 Business West to cover that side of town. Don't know (yet) the exact street address. And how about that industrial-looking apparatus building! Former tobacco warehouse? See more photos from Lee Wilson.



Lee Wilson photos

+ 6 - 3 | § Bright Blue Hearse For Sale

Saw this 1983 Cadillac turning into Crabtree on Saturday. Found the thing parked near the food court. Looks like a sweet ride, though some may object to the choice of window curtains. Good luck on your purchase, and just advise the amount of my finder's fee.

+ 4 - 7 | § Bail Bonds Response Unit

Seen in south Raleigh this afternoon, and apparently out of service, here's a mobile service to rival Raleigh's food trucks, mobile locksmiths, and windshield repairmen. Do you suppose it cruises certain neighborhoods and/or plays music when looking for business?! Click to enlarge:

+ 4 - 3 | § Sunday Open Houses at Raleigh Fire Stations

As noted yesterday, all city fire stations will be open for open houses on Sunday. They're planning for public visits and tours from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Here's a web page with station photos and addresses. Here's my unofficial station page, with equipment listed. But which station(s) should you visit? Here's Mike's suggested itinerary...

Begin - Station 9
Let's start just outside the Beltline, at 4465 Six Forks Road. Right beside North Hills shopping center. Easy to find, though parking's a bit limited. See Engine 9, one of the city's newer engines. And see Old Engine 1, an open-cab 1961 American LaFrance pumper that was recently returned to the city by the Raleigh Fire Museum. It won't be there long, however,  as a Battalion Chief's being added to the station in January or so. (More on that news later.)

Next - Station 1
Head downtown to the big house at 220 S. Dawson Street. There are two engines and ladder there, plus the fire investigation unit. Big, ol', early 1950s central fire station. Has a pole. Has the tiller truck, a 2010 Pierce tractor-drawn aerial ladder. They don't have a large apron, however, the ladder truck will probably stay parked inside. It's still fun to see, even if it's indoors. Station 1 is the third-oldest active station in the city, after Station 6 and Station 3. The old alarm house out back is even older, erected in 1942.

Next - Station 3
Speaking of same, cruise about a mile east to 13 S. East Street. That's another two-story station, and also with fire poles. They've got a mini-pumper there, the only newer one on the roster. It's a 2005 Ford/Reading/Slagle that's pretty neat. Really low profile. Great for parking decks, or generally cruising in style. The station itself is also a compact affair.

Next - Station 27
Now let's head north, far north and east. Take Raleigh Boulevard out of town. Headed to Station 27, one of the city's newest at 5916 Buffalo Road. Nifty contrast in station design, space, and such, compared to Station 3 and even Station 1. See one of the city's two haz-mat units. (Station 2 houses the other.) The apron's nice and long, and the bay's are big and airy. Good viewing and even if the haz-mat truck's kept inside during your visit.

Next - Station 19
Continue from "rural eastern Raleigh" to "suburban Mini City," to 4209 Spring Forest Road. See Rescue 1, one of the three rescue units, and the truck itself, one of the newer ones. The 2007 Pierce is chock full of interesting stuff, including chocks. There's a boat trailer (with boats) there, so you can learn about the department's water rescue capabilities. They'll also tell about the rescue changes planned for early next year. (Again, more on that later.)

Next - Station 28
Let's go see the antiques. Drive way out to the northeastern edge of the city, to 3500 Forestville Road. That's where the department's antique apparatus is stored: 1905 steamer, 1926 pumper, 1950 pumper, 1982 pumper, and 1953 rescue boats and trailer. (Plus the 2004 American LaFrance engine.) Doesn't get much cooler than that. It's a bit of a haul, however. Plan accordingly, if you're actually attempting this itinerary. It's easy to lose track of time, when communing with Big Red Trucks. 

End - Station 22
Our final destination is 9350 Durant Road. Newer fire station, with a giant apron, and plenty of room to park the trucks and enjoy them outside. There's a 2009 Pierce aerial platform at the station, a monster of a ladder truck. Plus an engine. Plus a haz-mat decontamination trailer and towing unit. So you'll get some special unit action. And it's close a mall and other things on the north side, so you can continue your Sunday fun elsewhere.

Here's the map. Let's hear what variations or alternate destinations that readers suggest...

+ 3 - 3 | § Fire Prevention Week in Raleigh

In preparation for Fire Prevention Week, which starts on Sunday, October 7, the Raleigh Fire Department today announced the following public events. This year’s theme is "Have Two Ways Out" and focuses on educating the public on always having two ways to exit a building in case of emergency, and regardless if it's a house, apartment, office, store, or other type of building.

Fire Prevention Week is celebrated across the country during the week of October 9. That's the date of the Great Chicago Fire on October 9, 1871, that killed 300 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed 17,000 structures.  In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first national Fire Prevention Day proclamation. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first national Fire Prevention Week.

The Raleigh Fire Department’s flagship event for the week is the public fire education display at Crabtree Valley Mall on October 11, 12, and 13. The complete list of events is below:

Sunday, October 7

Fire station open house and tours from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.. All Raleigh fire stations will be open to the public. Residents are encouraged to stop by their neighborhood fire station and speak with firefighters about fire safety.

Tuesday, October 9

Thursday, October 11

Friday, October 12:

Saturday, October 13

+ 2 - 4 | § Two Alarms Today on Chapel Hill Road

Billowing black smoke in west Raleigh was visible for miles after an indoor asphalt vat (are there outdoor ones?) caught fire at a construction company at 6115 Chapel Hill Road. Engine 8 was first on scene at a one-story metal warehouse building with 40,640 square-feet. Built in 1954. Heavy, heavy smoke showing. Engine 8 laid a dry supply line from the northeast corner of Chapel Hill and Edwards Mill roads. Fire found contained in vat inside structure. WTVD posted this among their aerial photos. See also WRAL.

WTVD photo

Second hydrant was sought, with one found close to the building that was dry. Third hydrant sought on Chapel Hill Road. Crews meanwhile had brought a couple lines into the building, along with a portable monitor. Foam was applied. Ladder 7 was deployed, for potential master stream use. The fire was extinguisher prior to the second line being laid (I think). Dispatched 3:40 p.m. Second alarm requested soon after Engine 8 arrived and performed size-up. Controlled 4:14 p.m. Caused determined as accidental ignition during maintenance of gas burner. Units on scene included E8, E14, E5, E20, L7, L3, R2, B3, A1, C20, C40, EMS 4, EMS 35, D5 (first alarm), E16, E6, E1, L4, R3, B3, C2, C5, C72, EMS 11, D4, M94, T1. Photographer Mike Legeros was home for the afternoon, napping. He passed Engine 16 as they were leaving for the second alarm. Top photo taken at 4:04 p.m. More later.



+ 5 - 1 | § National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend

This weekend is the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, which will culminate on Sunday, October 7, with the 31st National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. Eighty firefighters who died in 2011 and five who died in prior years will be honored. (See this year's Roll of Honor in PDF format.)

Bronze plaques bearing their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial located on the academy's campus. More than 3,600 firefighters are listed on the plaques, which surround the memorial, which was established in 1981. (For firefighters before 1981, an expansion is planned in conjunction with their Project Roll Call. See below for a recap of Wake County.)

For more information about the memorial and the weekend, start with this news release. It'll get you oriented. For live viewing of the weekend's events, visit this web site. For social media sharing resources, notably icons and wall paper, see this web page. For the big blast of memorial weekend information, visit the


Remembering those who gave their lives in Wake County, eight firefighters from five departments from five departments have died in the line of duty since 1956. They ranged in ranks from Firefighter to Asst. Chief, and from causes ranging from motor-vehicle accidents to heart attacks. They were young and old, they were volunteer and career. Learn more about them.

Herman S. Jones
Raleigh Fire Department
January 22, 2008
      Norwood C. Massengill
Fairgrounds Fire Department
February 10, 1971
Larry W. Fanning
Garner Fire Department
August 2, 2006
    Paul. A. Mimms
Raleigh Fire Department
April 20, 1965
Todd A. Blanchard
Eastern Wake Fire Department
July 14, 2005
    Vernon L. Thompson
Cary Fire Department
June 16, 1960
Patrick J. Daughtery
Garner Fire Department
April 7, 1993
      Vernon J. Smith
Raleigh Fire Department
March 10, 1956

+ 4 - 3 | § Volunteers Wanted for NCFFF at State Fair

The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation is looking for volunteers to assist with their booth at the North Carolina State Fair. This is a big fundraiser for the foundation, and helps them with their budget through the year. The booth is also a great way to meet and greet other firefighters from around the state, as they visit the State Fair. The dates for the fair is October 11 through October 21. To offer your assistance, please visit this sign-up site. Thanks for your help and support.

+ 5 - 12 | § Category I Ambulance Inspection Checklist, 1991

Here's a blast from rescue's past, a state inspection sheet for a Category I ambulance from September 25, 1991. (Guess that's EMT-capable category?) Raleigh's Rescue 6 was inspected by NC OEMS. Obviously, these were just the state-mandated items aboard, and not a complete inventory of the unit's equipment. (That would be a neat document to add, if I can find a copy of a vintage checklist.) Rescue 6 was still operating a 1974 Chevy/Murphy ambulance at the time, and would be replaced in a few months by a 1991 Chevy/Frontline ambulance-body rescue truck. Read those histories. Click to view the PDF document:

+ 3 - 4 | § Reader Mail - October 2012

The gas bag opens the mail bag. These have come through the mails and via Facebook. All answer and advice dispensed free of charge. No warranty, however!

Q: Someone the other day asked me why Dalmatians are used in fire stations. Can you answer this question?
A: Here's a web page with an answer: The short version I've always heard is: (a.) horses used to pull fire engines, (b.) dogs lived at the fire stations (c.) and were helpful with the horses and (d.) Dalmatians ended being the best breed for being around horses. Let me know if it matches what's written on that web page.


Q: Mike, have you heard that Mt. Airy has a museum displaying the history of their city fire department? I just heard of it today, and hear they have their first engine, a 1916 American LaFrance, a 1926 American LaFrance, and a 1946 American LaFrance. And a bunch of vintage firefighting equipment.
A: I have heard of the Mt. Airy museum, but haven't (yet) visited. I blogged about it a few years ago, in this posting. Couple readers sent a couple pics.


Q: I am in the market for my first DLSR camera, and need some help. I'm currently looking at some Nikon bodies, but the choices are overwhelming. The main thing that I am looking to photograph are fires, like yourself. I'm also interested in cameras with HD video capabilities. Do you have any tips or recommendations?

A: Yes, no, and maybe. Here's standard response to camera questions, an earlier blog posting. Alas, the posting's outdated, and my equipment's since upgraded. Still Canon, but newer bodies. Nothing equipped with video... yet. Any current DLSR should be fine for fire photography, at least from Canon and Nikon (which Lee uses). Even shooting at night should be okay, with the higher ISO sensitivities these days. How's that for a concise non-answer?


Q: I am an amateur photographer, but am expected to be a professional photographer when documenting fire scenes. I'm challenged at scenes with low light. Not those scenes that are full dark, but neither are during daylight. Such as first thing in the morning, or right after sunset. My choice of camera and flash settings-- mostly Auto, Auto, and more Auto-- result in an image that's overlit with flash, but still very dark. I've learned to leave the flash turned off, but then the camera switches modes and takes another picture with a longer shutter time. Those look a bit better, but that can't be the best way to take a picture, can it?

A: Try this for starters. 

  1. Turn your camera's program mode to P. 
  2. You are now in manual control of your ISO, or exposure sensitivity.
  3. For late-day light, raise the ISO to 800, 1250, 1600, 3200, etc. Try progressively higher settings.
  4. Keep flash off.
  5. Hold camera VERY steady. Press it against your face, with arm cocked. That will help with any longer shutter times.
  6. That's lesson #1.
  7. See also these slides with some tips.

Lesson #2 involves playing with your flash exposure compensation. You can raise or lower the power of your flash, to over- or under-saturate a shot with lighting.

Lesson #3 involves buying or trying an external flash, repeating the exposure compensation, but also trying to "bounce" the light, but rotating or angling the flash in the direction of a wall, or ceiling. Adding a diffuser to the flash is a good thing to try, as well.

Lesson #4, the final lesson for today. Experiment with existing light. There are seriously powerful lights on those big red trucks. Deploy scene lights or portable lights. You'll be amazed at how much better the shots will be.

Lesson #5, bonus. Take five or ten times as many photos as you normally do. Just shoot like crazy. You'll get better, faster.


Q: Do you have a copy of any guidelines or standard operating procedures for fire photography?

A: Here's the closest thing that I have at present, slides with some tips for firefighters from a few years ago. Plus my slides from this summer, which don't even answer your question. How's that for minimally helpful?


Q: Do you do weddings, and how much do you charge?

A: Negative, I am not a wedding photographer. But thanks for thinking of me.


Q: Can you send me a print of a picture that you took of me, and how much do you charge?

A: Negative, I don't do prints. But I will happily send you a high-resolution version, and you can have the thing printed for yourself. Never any charge.


Q: Can we use your photo(s) on our fire department or rescue squad or EMS web site?

A: Yes, yes, of course.


Q: Bet you make some good money taking all these photos!

A: You wouldn't believe the number of zeros in my salary...

+ 5 - 3 | § Fire Engine Explodes, Burns Beaufort City Hall, 1966

Here's a story we hadn't heard before. On August 5, 1966, the Beaufort town hall and fire station was gutted after a 1928 1927 American LaFrance pumper exploded. The fire started at 8:30 a.m. when Fireman Elmund Rhue, one of the department's two full-time drivers, was starting the trucks for their morning warmup. He reached for the throttle of the LaFrance and "it went off like a dynamite explosion" reported the News & Observer.

"Fire was all over" and he grabbed a CO2 fire extinguisher. He thought he had it controlled, then "everything went black and the next thing I knew I was outside." He was pulled from by the blaze by Tom Bennett, who also tried to control the fire. Rhue, burned on his feet, ran back into the burning station to sound the station alarm-- signal 34-- and start removing the other trucks.

Beaufort firefighter responded, along with Morehead City, Newport, and Fort Macon Coast Guard fire departments. They battled the blaze until about 11:00 a.m.  The 90-year-old building was gutted, with damage estimated at about $250,000. Two fire trucks were also scorched. It was the second fire in the history of the 1870 building. The town hall was originally a public school and located on the court house square.

It burned in 1927, heavily damaged by a fire that killed a prisoner in the jail. Since that time, the police department had been located in separate quarters. Town officials said most of their records were intact, if soggy. Morehead City loaned Beaufort the use of a similar fire engine, until theirs could be replaced. The town's fire alarm system was also destroyed. The lack of strong coastal winds, noted the news story, prevented worse damage. (And this explains why there's no historic fire station building in Beaufort in present day!)

See subsequent posting about Beaufort fire station locations. Click to enlarge:

+ 7 - 2 | § Police Dispatcher, Not Fire Dispatcher, 1960

Here's a historical image that will be excluded from the Raleigh Fire Department Centennial History Book, that's currently in production. Thought this pictured a fire department dispatcher in the watch room of Station 1. Instead, it's Officer Charles Schweikert at the police department switchboard. (And which explained why the consoles weren't matching other images of fire department dispatchers. Now need to check and see if it appears anywhere as fire department historical image.)

The picture is dated March 30, 1960, and appeared in a Raleigh Times story of the same date. Some 14,000 residents were about to be annexed into the city, and the article featured a few tips. Such as dialing Temple 3-1611 for service. That was the number of the city's central switchboard. For police, call TE 4-5261. In case of fire, dial TE-2-7733. And to reach the fire department for general information, call TE-2-7735. Click to enlarge:

Raleigh Times photo

+ 3 - 4 | § Keep Back or Drown

From a reader, funny statement seen on the back of a fire department tanker. From a "funny signs seen around the country" feature on a local news web site. Don't know the department. There's a McDonald's in their town, which should help narrow the choices. Might have to call the thing a tender, if they're more NIMS oriented in their apparatus phraseology. Nice big water level lights on the back. Thanks David!

+ 3 - 4 | § Keep Back or Drown

From a reader, funny statement seen on the back of a fire department tanker. From a "funny signs seen around the country" feature on a local news web site. Don't know the department. There's a McDonald's in their town, which should help narrow the choices. Might have to call the thing a tender, if they're more NIMS oriented in their apparatus phraseology. Nice big water level lights on the back. Thanks David!

+ 5 - 3 | § How to Become a Firefighter (in New York) - Then and Now

From a reader, here's an amusing posting from a credit union foundation out of New York City, comparing the requirements for becoming a firefighter in 1887 and in 2001. Excerpts are below. Thanks, David!

1887 - To become a fireman a person must be twenty-one years of age and of good moral character. He goes first to the secretary, and procures from him a blank, which he fills out, and get four reliable men to sign, certifying that they have known him never to have been indicted or convicted of any crime; that they have known him for a certain number of years. The candidate then returns it to the secretary. He is then sent before the Medical Board and examined as to his physical condition. He is measured, weighed, and the circumference of his chest taken.

2001 -  All applicants must pass written, physical fitness, medical, and psychological examinations. A thorough character, employment, and background investigation will be conducted including fingerprinting. [They must] be a resident of the City of New York or of Nassau, Westchester, Suffolk, Orange, Rockland or Putnam Counties. Candidates must be able to understand and be understood in English. [They] must be able to prove your identity and your right to obtain employment in the United States prior to employment with the City of New York. United States citizenship is required at the time of appointment.

+ 3 - 5 | § UPDATE #3: Upcoming Events

Drop a line, or add a comment to expand this list.

Saturday, October 6

  • Garner Fireman's Day
    Garner Fire Station 1
    9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Knightdale Fire Department Open House
    Knightdale Fire Station
    10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Morrisville Fire Safety Day
    Park West Village Target
    Bristol Creek Drive
    10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Pilot Fire Department BBQ (Franklin County)
    Pilot Fire Station
    8028 NC 39 Highway South, Zebulon
    6:00 a.m. (eek!) to 2:00 p.m. (or so)

Sunday, October 7

  • Raleigh Fire Department Open House
    All fire stations
    2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 9

  • Raleigh Fire Department Event at Chick-Fil-A
    Capital Crossing Shopping Center
    4621 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh
    5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 12

  • Raleigh Fire Department display at Crabtree Valley Mall

Saturday, October 13

  • Fuquay-Varina Fire Department Open House
  • Creedmoor Fireman's Day
  • Raleigh Fire Department display at Crabtree Valley Mall
  • Raleigh Fire Museum Open
    Includes history program at 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 14

  • Raleigh Fire Department display at Crabtree Valley Mall
Past events are below the fold.


+ 4 - 1 | § Pink Tools

Our friends at Wake New Hope Fire Department Station 1 on "C" shift share these photos of tools they painted pink, showing their support this month for cancer awareness. Neato. They didn't specify if their accompanying outer, inner, or under wear is also colored as such. We'll leave such ponderings to reader imagination...

+ 2 - 4 | § Old Station 4 > New Mattress Firm

Looks like Old Station 4 on Wake Forest Road is destined for demolition. A reader passes along this city planning development document (PDF), with shows a mattress firm planned for the location. Based on the site plan, it appears that a new, 4,395 square-foot building is planned. (Can't be a rebuild, can it?) The existing structure was occupied on April 12, 1963. The two-bay fire station cost $63,000 to build. Engine 4 was relocated from 505 Jefferson Street. The station also housed a tanker and a Battalion Chief (then called District Chief) during its years. It was relocated to 121 Northway Court in 1993. The building served as office space for the city, and was sold after closing on April 1, 1997. Read more history. Or see photos of the building. Thanks John!

+ 5 - 6 | § Be a Firefighter - Raleigh Fire Department Hiring Ends Friday

The City of Raleigh Fire Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Firefighter through Friday, October 5. Click to enlarge this striking recruitment poster:


+ 3 - 2 | § Another Accident on I-40

Then there's this photo as posted by News 14. That's a vehicle accident on Interstate 40 in Garner, or maybe that's Raleigh, at Jones Sausage Road. Guessing that's Engine 26 and Garner Rescue 1? Or maybe it's Garner all the way. Guessing our readers will correct this lazy blogger in two shakes of a lambs tail. Two people were transported. That said, driving on a highway is still statistically safer than, say, walking outdoors in a lightning storm.

News 14 photo

+ 6 - 1 | § Crashes and Car Fires on Interstate 40 Yesterday

There was a big ol' mess on the interstate yesterday in Durham, when a chain-reaction crash started two vehicle fires in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 near Barbee Road. The five-vehicle collision occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. Two of the five vehicles caught fire. Other motorists stopped to assist, including a guy in a van transporting... fire extinguishers. That was Mike Stewart, notes this WRAL story. He services the things, and started handing out extinguishers to others! He and others battled the flames until fire units arrived. Nobody was trapped in the vehicles, and several were transported to Duke with non-life threatening injuries. (Presumably the vehicle occupants versus the crowd-sourced firefighters...) See also this WTVD story, that posted traffic cam and aerial shots. Readers can post a run card and other details, if they have them. One is confirmed, FE1 (Fire Extinguisher 1).

WRAL photo

WTVD/DOT photos

+ 2 - 4 | § Wake & District Fall Fling - Saturday, November 3

Celebrate the seventh anniversary of Wake & District Public Safety Pipes and Drums in November at their annual fundraiser slash party. Their Fall Fling is Saturday, November 3, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight at the Downtown Raleigh Sheraton Hotel, 421 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh. The evening will feature the skirl of the pipes and drums along with the Inis Cairde Irish Dancers. (Google is your friend with regard to "skirl".  Hint, it isn't a varmint.) Tickets are only $10.00, plus $0.50 postage. Pint glasses will be sold at the event for $20 and will include free refills. Food items will be limited, however. Take your date to dinner before the party! (Will recommend restaurants for food.)  Buy your tickets. See you there.