05/10/09 176 W, 2 I - + 13 - 17 Military Fire Apparatus in Granville County

Tooling around Granville County, Lee Wilson photographed two pieces of military or military conversion fire apparatus yesterday. Left is a tanker that served Camp Butner, and is parked with some other vintage vehicles at the North Carolina Army National Guard facility in Butner. Read some Camp Butner history, which notes the Army continued fire and police protection after the camp closed after World War II. The state assumed fire and police services on November 3, 1947. Read about Butner Public Safety, which remains state-run and is presently contracted by the town. Butner was unincorporated until 2007.

Right is a 1944 International that served as the first piece of apparatus for the Stem Fire Department. The truck was obtained in 1959, says this SFD apparatus page. It served until the early 1980s and was sold. It was donated back to the department in 2007, and restored to non-running condition. Read more about Stem Fire Department. See more of Lee's photos from Granville County, which includes Oxford Public Safety Day. Or click to enlarge:

Lee Wilson photos

Here in Wake County, both Cary and Six Forks fire departments operated near-identical tankers as the Stem truck. See below. Another half-dozen (at least) military conversion tankers served Durham Highway, Falls, Holly Springs, Wendell, Yrac, and maybe others that I am forgetting.

CFD: http://legeros.com/ralwake/galleryc/appa..

SFFD: http://legeros.com/ralwake/galleryw/appa..
Legeros - 05/10/09 - 08:23

In Duplin County Rose Hill and Northeast Fire Departments run 6×6’s similar to these as brush trucks. They were very useful during the Floyd flood in 1999.
car3550 - 05/10/09 - 14:11

Knightdale had a ‘deuce-and-half’ until the late 70s or so. Wendell had what I think was a 5-tonner. Morrisville had a couple of deuce-and-halfs, and Apex, Rolesville, and Fuquay-Varina, as well.

In Johnston County, Micro had one during the 60s. Down at the coast, Stella had an M530 pumper that they got from somewhere in Craven County.

They were tough, reliable, and versatile trucks. Maybe not pretty without much chrome, but how much fire does the chrome put out anyway?
DJ (Email) - 05/10/09 - 14:42

Fairview operated a ex-gasoline tanker. “Big Red” was a 1947 Diamond Rio tanker with a 1000 gallon tank and a 100 GPM pump.
4447 - 05/10/09 - 19:22

I have ridden in that old 5-Ton pumper. What I know about it is.. that it’s Studebaker built, and was Butner Public Safety’s back-up tanker/pumper in case Engine 1 went down for many many years. Until it was decommissioned about 4 years ago, it was Active Duty. It was liquidated and put on Auction. MSPL Beal from what I understand purchased the vehicle and then painted it to reflect the old Camp Butner FD’s scheme.
Brian Hicks (Email) - 01/18/11 - 20:55

Thanks for the insight, Brian. Need to visit that way some time, and see what historical photos can be found from decades past. Not many military FD historical pictures in my collection.
Legeros - 01/18/11 - 21:02

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