08/07/09 182 W, 3 I - + 12 - 7 Post Your Poles!

Fire poles, invented 1878. First one wooden. Fixture in urban fire stations into the first half of the 20th century. Increasingly less common as the decades progressed. Saw plenty of them while buffing in the big city the other week. Ditto for St. Louis earlier this summer. Wake County has four stations with poles. Raleigh 1, 3, 6, and Apex 3. How many are present in the greater Triangle area, or the rest of the state?

New stations are nearly exclusively single-story around here. Poles must meet ADA requirements, as well as other code compliance issues. Here's an interesting Fire Chief magazine article on the subject of building two-story stations. There’s presumably also the issue of injuries (real or perceived), insurance, etc.

What’s your opinion of fire poles, what’s your experience with fire poles, and what’s your favorite story about fire poles? And pass along pictures, please. Here's a floor's eye view of Station 1:

Here's New Bern, from a reader:
Here's Durham Station 1, photographed by Legeros:

Durham #1 has, like, 4 poles I think…
Silver - 08/07/09 - 18:39

Wilson #3 and #5 were built with slides due to the hazards associated with poles. I’m not sure what the present take on them is but they got mixed reviews when they were new about 14 years ago.
D.Cates - 08/07/09 - 19:00

Anyone have a pic of the slides that are being used?
Silver - 08/07/09 - 19:15

I know the old Kinston St. 1 had 2 poles and my volunteer department has one we acquirred sometime in the 60’s from a station that was closed in Wilmington.
car3550 - 08/07/09 - 20:11

If you don’t land with both feet completely on the rubber pad, things will not go according to plan. That’s my opinion and experience with fire poles.
Luke - 08/07/09 - 20:14

We have one in new bern. At the old station 1 there was 4 two in the front two in the back. The button copmany had there own and the atlantic company had there own also the same for stairs but only two of those.
jdshep - 08/07/09 - 20:23

Station #1 and Station #2 in Henderson both have poles.
rnln (Email) - 08/07/09 - 20:47

New Bern pole photo posted. Scroll up.
Legeros - 08/07/09 - 22:48

Jon C, what dept. were you with?
Silver - 08/07/09 - 22:51

durham station 2 also has poles.
charlie - 08/08/09 - 12:25

Durham Station 1 pole photo posted. Scroll up.
Legeros - 08/08/09 - 12:53

Like Luke said if you donít land right you will get a new bass boat and Chevrolet Z71 out of it.
Apex Batt Chief - 08/08/09 - 18:24

Having worked at station 3 for 3 1/2 years, I LOVE the poles. I hate to think that one day there will be no more poles in Raleigh with the replacement of stations. The only advice I can give is do not slide with wet bunker pants!
Rhodes (Email) - 08/08/09 - 18:52

Google finds an interesting story and photo of a water tower (!) converted fire station, with a two-story slide: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/12..

Here’s a story on fire poles in the west coast. Washington State outlawed them! http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jul/01/..

Here’s a story on poles in Seattle new stations, http://www.seattlepi.com/local/360585_po..

Here’s a company that makes poles, http://www.slidepole.com/
Legeros - 08/09/09 - 07:35

Apex BC… it’s a GMC Z71 and I settled for a condo Uptown versus a boat! ;-)

As for poles in Charlotte… Stations 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 all currently have fire poles in them. Also the Fire Investigation Task Force building (old Station 2) still has the poles inside, although they are not in use.
Luke - 08/10/09 - 02:46

i know this is a old post but new bay leaf fire station 1 has a pole
kevin obrien (Email) - 04/19/14 - 23:45

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