10/15/08 76 W, 1 I - + 40 - 15 Improvements at Station 7

Recent weeks have seen improvements at Station 7, including a white wooden fence out front, a small concrete pad in the rear, and painted front doors and flag pole as seen in this picture from Lee. See more pictures on his Flickr site. Earlier photos of the station work are also available. Station 7, located at 2100 Glascock Street, was built in 1959 and is the fourth oldest fire station in the city.

Lee Wilson photo

I think a thin red line looks good on your vehicle, but on a fire station? Not so much.
Citizen - 10/15/08 - 14:00

I guess its a good thing that station 7 isn’t your firehouse then. I am sure those guys and gals could care less what color your front door or shutters are.
Mike - 10/15/08 - 14:14

Good job bros and sisters at 7, way to add a lil’ character to your firehouse versus the plain ol’ “fire station brown” that’s used…
Silver - 10/15/08 - 15:23

i agree with silver – it’s an honour!!
cornerhydrant - 10/15/08 - 15:30

Great job guys and gals. As long as the brother and sisterhood approve its great to see the thin red line on the doors. Bravo Mike!!!!!!
Joe - 10/15/08 - 18:19

Until you are a brother or sister firefighter, regular citizens won’t understand the meaning of the thin red line displayed at your station. Looks great and a very good reminder.
car3550 - 10/15/08 - 18:27

for those that don’t know the meaning of the thin red line, please read: http://www.ncfff.org/Memorial/Redline/ta..
honour, pride and respect and gratefulness from those of us that are not in the fire service!!
cornerhydrant - 10/15/08 - 22:43

It looks ugly.
Jake - 10/16/08 - 18:52

GREAT job!!! i hope more stations follow this concept!!
nozzlehawg - 10/16/08 - 22:06

i too agree that it is a great tribute to all the wonderful guys/gals that are willing to sacrifice their lives for us everyday and would like to see it on more stations!!! – perhaps those that do not see this have not personally been in any fires and saved by the fd (twice)
cornerhydrant - 10/16/08 - 23:06

How do you guyd feel about the idea of painting company logos on doors and general station personalization? I personaly believe that it instills more “espirit de Corps”, you know, the whole “Pride and ownership” idea.
knightsofMalta - 10/19/08 - 13:47

I agree
Silver - 10/19/08 - 14:28

Me personally, I think it does lead to “pride and ownership”, which translates into things being taken better care of. There is no way to measure it, so a lot of folks will dismiss the notion, but if it is ‘yours’ (stations, trucks, equipment) you are more likely to take batter care of it. And if you have a company (or unit) logo, you do your job just a little bit better. People like for their ‘logos’ or ‘emblems’ to stand for something.
DJ (Web Site) - 10/19/08 - 17:01

well put DJ
Silver - 10/19/08 - 19:32

Having things personize, leads to better feeling, better feeling leads to better work and performance.
rnln (Email) - 10/19/08 - 20:38

It is a concept that I have seen in a few firehouses around the country, and even a very small handful of EMS stations. They seem to mostly be ‘up north’. For whatever reason, unit logos or personalization has failed to catch on around here. There is even very little personalization of helmets around these parts as well and it seems that it is almost discouraged, if not prohibited by local rules/regulations.

I don’t know…I said above that you couldn’t measure it, but maybe you can. If people have pride in their trucks and stations, maybe they take better care of them, and maintenance costs drop a little (or maybe a lot, who knows). Maybe you don’t stomp on the accelerator everytime you start off or drive the (urine) out of them all of the time. After all, who cares about a truck you may not have but for a few months (or weeks), or a station that you are nothing more than a transient occupant for a brief time.
DJ - 10/19/08 - 23:00

Here is a slightly different angle, working in Communications it might suprise you how many citizens call in and request help from their neighborhood station by requesting “the guys from Fort Apache” (Charlotte Station 5) or “Shamrock #15” (CFD Engine 15). Granted several of the stations have their personal logos painted on the front of their station or on their apparatus, but it seems as though the citizens even take part in feeling “personal ownership or pride” in their local station.

For example, this afternoon MEDIC was still on the line when Engine 15 arrived on scene and the caller stated (quoted directly from the tape), “Shamrock number 15, I ain’t seen no badder truck than that one, that’s the baddest truck I’ve ever seen. They’ve been here before so they know the routine.” I’ll give it to them, the large Shamrock on each side (on ladder rack) and the words “Shamrock Express” give it a personal touch for the citizens and something that is unique to their neighborhood. They know that when they see the “Shamrock number 15” that it is “THEIR” fire truck.
Luke - 10/20/08 - 01:47

Why are things sometimes seemingly different “up north” you ask? Here’s a perspective told to me. The nation’s first fire departments formed in the north east. When those departments made the transition to paid departments, the volunteer fire companies— those with many decades of service— often changed to social clubs. Thus, there persisted these dedicated groups of people interested in the fire service, which influenced the… raw collective of interest and participation in all aspects fire departments “up north.” Which translated into several generations of buffs and boosters and the like. That’s one explanation, at least told to me.
Legeros - 10/20/08 - 06:41

Demographics and age are another factor. There are many large and older departments “up north.” Thus they have decades and centuries for their large numbers of firefighters to tinker with the fire service experience, such as branding for companies, houses, etc. Coupled with the urban density “up north,” and things like branding might quickly spread among closely pack departments. Thus trends are born.
Legeros - 10/20/08 - 06:44

Im personally really VERY glad to see the Lucky Seven taking pride and ownership of their house. I hope others do the same.
KnightsofMalta - 10/20/08 - 09:06

I would agree that the branding of units started becasue of the reasons stated by Mike. But, The last time I did a whirlwind tour of FDNY I was intrigued by the names of the firehouses (La Casa Grande comes to mind) and the logos on the trucks, many times highlighting something that was in their first due area. And the pride that the members felt in their company helped provide creature comforts in the stations and other ‘necessities’ on the trucks (adding AM/FM/CD players, Roto-Rays, secondary and/or mechanical sirens, specialty tools, etc.).

At my old company in Maryland, Odenton VFC #28 (http://www.ovfc28.org/) we had a logo that was on our station, on all of our trucks (including the ambulance, brush truck, and even emblazoned under the tip of the ladder on TRUCK 28), and was on our uniforms (If you click on the link, scroll all of the way down, the emblem is on the left side of the page). Our motto was “Force of the Fourth”. But not only do the vollie companies have their logos, so do the paid stations.

Some of the smaller companies I have seen during my travels through the North East take their company name from the local high school mascot, or of a college mascot if the community is host to a college. There is not an EMS or fire unit based anywhere in Wake County (even the EMS PAU units) that does not have something, somewhere within their primary response area that could be representative of that unit and station.

The possibilities are endless-

RFD E5 and WC EMS8- NCSU theme (doesn’t E5 already have something on it now?)
FVFD and WC EMS9/14- Road Runner theme (FVFD already has that one)
WWFD and WC EMS4- Fairground or Dorton Arena theme
RDU CFR already has the Casper theme

Some of the others I can think of are E11/L11 (Brentwood’s Bravest), E9 (Eye of the Storm), E7/R7 (Lucky Seven), E3 (War Wagon), etc.

What could it hurt? And what could be gained?
DJ (Email) - 10/20/08 - 10:29

Going back to Luke’s comments. While in Charlotte for a class a few years ago, we were taken by station 5 and it was explained to us how they got their name. The neighborhood tagged the firehouse as Fort Apache after they put up a fence around the parking lot in the rear. The neighborhood people said that it looked like “Fort Apache” and it stuck.
Mike - 10/20/08 - 11:19

DJ, WWFD already has an NCSU wolf/firefighter logo that was designed by a Cardinal Gibbons HS student in support of us having Carter-Finley Stadium in the district. It is emblazoned on Engine 191’s high-side doors.

RFD E-5 has the Struttin’ Wolf on the back of the rig.

Wake Forest FD has some logo’s and sayings for their stations as well.

Cary FD Station 2 (E-2/R-2) has a “Deuces Wild” theme including a patch and logo, but it’s not on the rigs. Station 7 has a “Lucky 7” logo as well that adorns the kitchen tables and t-shirts

I think a lot of it around here is just simple ignorance of what company pride entails. Administrators are afraid of letting the guys/gals personalize the rigs as it doesn’t fall into what the municipalities have outlined their vehicles (city wide) are supposed to look like. They are afraid of anything out of the norm and how the public at large will perceive it. Amazingly to me in my years of doing this I have never had anybody say, “wow you guys look bad and unprofessional in a t-shirt and work pants”, I have had several to comment on neat or interesting things we have done to trucks or logos, etc. I guess it’s a fundamental difference in perception and fact. /rant
CFP 7021 - 10/20/08 - 19:05

Crew at 7 is being told to repaint the doors….so much for pride and dedication. Shev, I don’t get it either. If anything, I’ve seen more people throw up the Wolf symbol using their fingers, or give a thumbs up when we rode Truck 8 and had a Wolfpack flag on one side and a Hurricanes flag on the other.
Silver - 10/21/08 - 11:50

Really not surprising. Personalizing helmets is frowned on. Makes sense they frown on station personalization as well. The latter being even more visible than the first. Its all good though. Whether my doors are painted or not, when I come on shift, thats my truck, my tools, my crew and my neighborhood. They can have the doors. PTB-EGH.
KnightsofMalta - 10/21/08 - 16:56

Silver, any reason why they have to re-paint the doors?
DHFD - 10/23/08 - 11:24

One big one, and really the only one that matters; because the Chief said so….
Silver - 10/23/08 - 11:56

it really shoots morale down in the dirt…rfd sucks when it comes to giving their employees a pat on the back. but if you mess up, they are right on top of it…we have no individuality in this dept.
firemedic - 10/23/08 - 12:24

Firemedic, I think bad attitudes shoot the morale down in the dirt more than having to repaint a door. Perhaps going through the proper chain of command in the first place would have prevented such a dilemma. You have to look at the situation from a management or chief’s point of view. If they allow St 7 to paint the doors as they see fit, then another station will come along and have a different idea and so on. Before you know, you have a variety of mismatched doors on stations. You might as well let the firefighters decide what color the fire trucks should be while you are at it. Look at the rear apparatus decal process you have to go through now. It is in place for a reason, to keep the personalization to a standard and keep everyone on the same page.

If you want a pat on the back from RFD, get a promotion…it’s called a promotion ceremony which is just that, a pat on the back. If you want a pat on the back for doing what is expected on a daily basis, perhaps a change of occupation is in order.
wcff - 10/23/08 - 14:43

Ahhhhh….being promoted shouldn’t be the only way to get a pat on the back. Don’t care what you say…that’s some of that ol’ school garbage. It did kill the morale of the group at #7, I spoke to someone there. They built a fence and a concrete pad, but the doors weren’t nice? These are capital improvement projects, ones’ that the city should pay a contractor to come in and perform. The alternative would be to sit on their butt’s, let it look like crap, and wait on the city to come in and paint it. They saved the city money by doing these projects themselves; add to it their pride, heart, sweat and customization.

I heard of a plan they had to put up their own flag pole; a true flag pole incorporated into a fire hydrant that one of the brothers owns. Not a flag pole that is mounted on the front of the firehouse, and when at half mast the flag lays on the roof. What’s the initiative to do it now? I can see how their pride is squashed…
Silver - 10/23/08 - 16:06

Its compliance through fear of retribution. And personally, thats no way to build morale or ‘espirit de corps’. What it does accomplish is a force willing to do just enough to not get fired and constantly walk on eggshells, because of once again, compliance through fear of retribution. Negative reinforcement.
KnightsofMalta - 10/23/08 - 19:06

At a service that I have worked at before, the paramedics wanted to paint the station (it looked like crap). They offered to paint it themselves if the agnecy could provide materials. One of the spouses had already agreed to make curtains and they even had new blinds ready to be donated. They wanted to paint the day room and bedroom white, with a strip around the middle that matched the stripes on the ambulances. They were told that “we can’t have paramedics painting the station”.

I went by there not long ago and it still looks like crap. Same colors that are dirty with thumbtack holes all in them…

So who won out in that episode?
DJ - 10/23/08 - 20:33

WCFF! you must be in “higher ups” to have that point of view!! as far as promotions go, you have brothers and sisters out there that work their butts off sudying and preparing for a promotion test. when it comes to it, its all about who you know, whos spot you are taking and if they are your best friend and are the ones that made the test questions. all about the good ole’ boy system again!

as for chain of command…from my understanding it was followed as it should be and approved.

whats wrong with variety?? as long as it shows pride and has something to do with the community they are serving and within reason!!
firemedic - 10/24/08 - 06:44

Amen to the Good ol’boy comment.
Knightsofmalta - 10/24/08 - 07:36

Firemedic, first off the doors looked great in my opinion! But not everyone including the troops liked the idea, I asked. Second off your comment to wcff about the promotional test is way OFF!!!! The good old boys do not get you promoted at RFD. I am one of those brothers that studied my butt and got promoted my 4th time and it had nothing to with who I knew! As for the test questions none of our RFD people are involved in the test making because the CITY hires a outside agency to make the test. Our promotional test are fair to everyone that signs up, reads the material and practices on the practicals. I can give you examples of my scores that kept me out of the running and scores that got me promoted. Like I said first of the doors look great it honors our fallen brothers and sisters! But some people like the old coffee and brown look and they happen to be the chief’s in charge. I think the point that wcff was trying to make is that sometimes we may not like what the white hats want us to do, so if we want to change it get promoted and become that chief that can make those changes! Rock on to the brothers for making the attempt to help the station look better than coffee and mud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you boys think the good ol boy system is still their I have a public number call me and we can talk because you are out of touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jason Lane - 10/24/08 - 22:13

Why should it matter that our fire doors look different? I don’t see any difference in that compared to having a decal on the back, which many departments/stations already practice. Each station is a part of the department as a whole, with each having its own characteristics relating to the district it serves. How is modifying a station and its grounds different from putting a decal on the back of a truck? Why are the Chief’s so worried about what the station looks like, or who’s doing what jobs around the department? There is so much talk about “pride and ownership” around the nation, and how the current and coming-up generation doesn’t have enough of it. Yet, when they try and do something like “paint the station”, it gets shot down. Why are we all of a sudden worrying about our image to the public? Sure, we need to be professional and everything that goes along with that, but isn’t also professional to keep up with things around the station? As the public drives by, shouldn’t they want to be proud of their neighborhood fire house? So much talk about losing tradition, but yet the ones that want to keep it alive are being shot down by the people that should be leading by example.
"Batman" - 10/24/08 - 22:20

and i was about to suggest an eventual re-design of our hydrants, when the current ones need to be replaced, to have acorn tops since we’re the city of oaks, and have rustling gold leaves flying in the wind on the sides of all our apparatus to make them easily visibly as ours in a sea of similar red trucks
cornerhydrant - 10/25/08 - 16:01

I think the wcff comments are way out of line. They show an ignorance of the situation, i.e. the proper-at least in title-person(s) were checked with prior to any of the improvements. Silver was right in that some Chief in our chain wasn’t happy and the folks at 7 are being needlessly penalized. What a shame. And a promotion is not pat on the back. That is a pretty narrow, closeminded viewpoint.
Jason-Apparently you too misunderstood the promotion comment. No one is harping on the Lt. process- we all know the comment is about the Batt. and up. Don’t let yourself be so misled.
To all-we as a department have made tremendous strides over the past few years. There is still a long way to go in smoothing our processes and improving the way we do business and treat our people. Hopefully the attitude and changes in personnel in the higher management positions will continue, and in doing so continue to make things better for us.
firefighter - 10/25/08 - 22:12

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Legeros - 10/26/08 - 08:06

Wow, you take the side of the administration and it brings out the devil in everyone! I did expect that, after all I think it is good to challenge people’s opinions.

However, I did want to clarify something that a few people have misunderstood from what I said eariler. I think it was Firemedic that mentioned the lack of pats on the back. My promotion comment was to only say that the creation of the promotional ceremony was one way that RFD does pat those who get promoted on the back. Now sure, this isn’t the only way firefighters should be patted on the back, but just an example one way in which RFD does pat us on the back. Remember the pre-McGrath days the promotion ceremonies didn’t exist and pats on the back were even harder to find.

I think we can all agree that the administration should do more in giving us pats on the back, but to say they don’t do this at all is just not true. What is to say that pats on the back can’t come from your Captain? Recognition for good work doesn’t always have to come from the top.
wcff - 10/26/08 - 22:38

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