12/22/09 215 W - + 5 - 7 Hillsborough Fire Department History?

Closer to home, let's ponder the history of the Hillsborough Fire Department. They were originally named Hillsboro FD, and appear in NCSFA rosters as early as 1930. There was no fire department in 1924, as Sanborn Maps indicate. The town name was also shorter.

By 1943, says Sanborn, the volunteer department had a chief, asst. chief, and 18 men. Their apparatus was a 1937 Chevrolet/Barton 500/100. The fire alarm was electric siren. The fire station was located on or near the northwest corner of King and Churton streets.

HFD appears in NCSFA rosters through at least 1995. Then what happened? The town today is protected by Orange Rural Fire Department, which was organized in 19681. They moved into an old car dealership on South Churton Street in 1976, which the town purchased for their use. ORFD added paid personnel in 1996 and started providing 24/7 paid coverage one year later. Read their history.

What happened then to the Hillsborough Fire Department? Readers, please expand accordingly.

1The March-April 1968 issue of Hose & Nozzle magazine further muddies this history. That year, leading citizens launched plans to create a volunteer fire department to replace the "present 17-year old system." The proposed coverage area extended several miles from town. And the current Hillsborough Rural Fire Department would continue to respond to outside calls.

That’s about the time OSFM said you shouldn’t have 2 department’s with one organizational structure. As for the specifics I will have to defer to some of the Orange County folks. Mark Gordon who does a lot of the vehicle lettering and goldleafing is a past chief there and could provide some information if you run in to him.
D.Cates - 12/23/09 - 21:55

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