05/22/09 149 W, 1 I - + 7 - 11 Wake Forest Fire Department #2

For your Friday enjoyment, here's a great picture of Wake Forest Fire Department #2, a second town fire department that was operated by black citizens. They were organized in 1942, and operated for a number of decades. They merged with the town fire department around February 1982. The following year, the town and rural fire departments merged. The WFFD #2 station was located on North Taylor Street. It became a community building after the fire station closed, but burned in a suspicious fire a year later. 

Pictured with a 1948 Chevrolet pumper that first served WFFD #1 are, left to right, Chief Edward Alston, Matthew Williams, George Massenburg, and Robert Alston. The image was scanned from a halftone image (versus photographic print) at the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society. The picture dates circa 1953. Read more WFFD history, via outdated timeline. Click to enlarge:

Courtesy Wake Forest College Birthplace Society

I was wondering what you were calling “Black Station”, this post sums it up. WOW! I had no idea there was a such a thing and it being right down the road in Wake Forest. The fire service has sure came a long way!!!!
firebugg - 05/22/09 - 14:21

Segregated fire stations, fire companies, and fire departments are a common component of the state’s firefighting history. In Raleigh’s volunteer era, the fire companies were segregated by race. The first black fire company was organized in 1869.

Colored fire companies, as they were called, were present in many cities and towns, for many decades: Beaufort, Clinton, Farmville, Goldsboro, Monroe, New Bern, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, Warrenton, and many others. When the first full-time black firefighters were hired in the 1950s and 1960s, some cities segregated the stations. Winston-Salem Station 4 (1951), Durham Station 4 (1958), and Greensboro Station 4 (1961) are three examples.

To read more about early and later black firefighters in North Carolina, see http://www.legeros.com/history/ebf
Legeros - 05/22/09 - 17:54

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