06/28/09 242 W, 1 I - + 15 - 12 Raleigh Fire Units Renumbered July 7

Unit numbers are changing for a number of Raleigh fire units. Effective July 7, ladders, rescues, mini-pumpers, haz-mat, and the air truck are no longer numbered according to their station assignment. New sequential numbers will be used. Ladders 4, 11, 17, 1, 22, 24, 20, 26 become Ladders 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Rescues 19, 7, 14 become Rescue 1, 2, 3. And so on. A mapping table is shown below, along with a revised station map. Mike's pages will be updated accordingly. And watch for historical musings, as we trace the histories of those unit numbers going in or out of service. The city hasn't had a Rescue 1 since the 1970s, for example.

This change enhances fireground safety, reducing the number of duplicate unit numbers on scene. For example, Engine 1 and Ladder 1 to the same call. The change also aids eliminates equipment renumbering when a truck is moved to a new station. Reserve apparatus is not affected.  Additionally, Car 5 (Division Chief) and Car 10 (Training Chief) are swapping unit numbers. Car 10 is the Asst. Chief of Training and the change aligns Car 5 with the other Assistant Chiefs: Car 4 (Prevention), Car 3 (Services), Car 2 (Operations). 

Old Number New Number
Ladder 4 Ladder 1
Ladder 11 Ladder 2
Ladder 17 Ladder 3
Ladder 1 Ladder 4
Ladder 22 Ladder 5
Ladder 24 Ladder 6
Ladder 20 Ladder 7
Ladder 26 Ladder 8
Rescue 19 Rescue 1
Rescue 7 Rescue 2
Rescue 14 Rescue 3
Air 8 Air 1
Car 5 Car 10
Car 10 Car 5
Mini Pumper 16 Mini Pumper 1
Mini Pumper 3 Mini Pumper 2
Mini Pumper 23 Mini Pumper 3
Haz-Mat 2 Haz-Mat 1
Haz-Mat 15 Haz-Mat 2
SR 2 SR 1
SR 8 SR 2
SR 22 SR 3

Was there any rhyme or reason to the renumbering of the Ladder Companies?
stretch - 06/28/09 - 11:14

Guess the wheel needed reinventing cause the one we had didn’t work anymore.
Buckwheat - 06/28/09 - 11:34

The reasoning was explained above by Mike.
Duh - 06/29/09 - 06:27

Ok, so I’m even more confused. How does this improve fireground safety? Are they saying that new ladder 1 will never go on a call with engine 1? or rescue 1…
Mike - 06/29/09 - 17:21

This just screams for a Countywide numbering system. Come on Fire Commission members, take a chance
Numbers - 06/29/09 - 18:02

The fire commission has no say so in how Raleigh FD runs their operations or calls their trucks, so even if they did adopt a scheme they couldn’t force Raleigh to go by it… so that point is null and void
CFP 7021 - 06/29/09 - 19:00

What was wrong with leaving HM2 as HM2 and only renumbering HM15 to HM1? That way you would have only needed to renumber 1 item, which has got to be less confusing in the long run.
Paul - 06/29/09 - 19:12

One additional point to consider is the time it takes to change unit reassignments in CAD. I’m sure some of the dispatchers can comment further on this. But for what little experience I have, it takes a month or two to have the RFD units renamed in CAD. Which is one of the primary reasons for the numbering change, to prevent this CAD change in the future, regardless of where the units are stationed.
BM - 06/29/09 - 23:06

From a dispatcher standpoint, this will create some confusion for us for a while until we get used to it. This is especially true for our new trainees who just completed training at FIRE and EMS. They are learning one thing and now having to relearn something else two weeks later. Personally, I wish it would have stayed the same because you will always have a situation where duplicate unit numbers are running together, usually a large response to a major fire. As far as the CAD programming issue, I cant say for sure because I dont work on the programming part but I think it is a lengthy, time consuming process to set up the new run cards whether its 1 unit changing or 8 of them. Its not something that is easily done in a day, especially a change like this. Considering everything involved in making the change, I have to wonder if the ends justified the means.
dispatch - 06/30/09 - 11:48

Unfortunately the Fire Commission cannot require the re-numbering for the county. Although we think they are the overall regulatory body for the FD’s, it actually does not work that way. For example, they voted and agreed on a standardized accountability system some years back. They could only “support” or advocate the positive change for standardization.

Re-numbering could only happen one of two ways… (1) All departments agree on the change and initiate it as a group (good luck on that one), or (2) it is part of the fire protection contract revisions (the only actual way it can be required). We’ll see and hopefully the new contracts will have more “service standardizing” items contained therein.
A.Rich - 07/01/09 - 09:44

so… to pull a dead horse out of its grave and beat it around again….

Now we have:
7 Ladder 1’s in the county
Garner, Fuquay, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Holly Springs

2 Ladder 2’s in the county
Morrisville, Raleigh

3 Ladder 3’s in the county
Apex, Raleigh, Cary

2 Ladder 5’s in the county
Raleigh, Cary

9 Rescue 1’s in the county
Apex, Garner, Fuquay, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Morrisville, Fairview, Swift Creek, Holly Springs

3 Rescue 2’s in the county
Garner, Raleigh, Morrisville

3 Rescue 3’s in the county
Apex, Raleigh, Fuquay

whew… that’s a lot of Ladder 1’s and Rescue 1’s!
CFP 7021 - 07/03/09 - 21:18

I, for one, am a supporter of the change. I think we should be crediting the staff more than most have. I’d be willing to bet that the redesignation of these companies has been planned out to minimize the liklihood of multiple duplication of responding companies. I’m not intimately familiar with Raleigh F.D. but I have been a student of this type designation system in other departments. Usually, the instances where you’ll have a Ladder 1 and Engine 1 on the same scene will usually occur, maybe, 3 alarms deep or more. Look at it as a frequency type thing.

As for the county wide duplicacies…I guess you can only right it off as the autonomy due to the numerous, individual municipalities and incorporated towns of Wake County. They all want to do their own thing. Good luck with getting half of those entities to agree on something like company/unit designations. It only took our county departments about 20+ years to drop the department name/identity as part of the unit call sign over the radio (ex. ABC unit #1 became E-111).
k.mac - 07/11/09 - 23:49

Good for Raleigh for taking a proactive approach to accountability is what I say. I too am a supporter of this idea because I have worked in systems where this works, no matter who is responding. Maybe, if your the type that gets confused easily, you should find another passion to pursue or another hobby to take up, becauase, as most of us already know, this line of work is not the line of work where command and leadership should get easily confused.

I work in communications that covers police, fire and ems and I have to ask how hard is it to ask the company or unit calling to identify themselves? If you give me some bs story that seconds count, all I can say is CRAP!!! I came from from the field so I do know how it works and what takes place. Try again.

CFP 7021, I do pose a question though, why does each respective municipality and/or department in Wake County have to have a rescue 1 or a ladder 12 or a helicopter 47? Is it a matter of not wanting to wait or pride? Just curious, beacuse where I used to work in Southeastern North Carolina, both the county government and volunteers have adopted the same philosphy and I do not understand why. Maybe you could shed some light or offer a perspective I do not see.
Beanomac - 07/17/09 - 20:12

Shall I answer Beans question Shev?
Silver - 07/18/09 - 11:11

why doesnt someone come in and do a fire fighter reality tv series in wake county? I swear it would be better than watching the same ole stuff on news 14 carolina. Just have the tv cameras set up in all the different fire stations in the county and watch the drama and the bitc*in unfold. This is almost comical looking on this blog just to see whose feelings are hurt today. I see blogs about the hazing and rookies and all this blah blah blah and then scroll down to see more upsetting mess. Who gives a rats ass if the engine is 122432423 and the ladder is 5438353….we need to worry about doing what we all have been trained to do and stop whining about useless crap like this…engine 122432423 is gonna do the same thing when it gets on scene and im sure it doesnt give a crap about what its number is.
CTK - 07/18/09 - 18:06

Amen CTK. Who gives a crap. Just do you job.
ncff - 07/18/09 - 18:46

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