02/09/11 45 W, 1 I - + 6 - 5 Wake Forest Receives New Ladder

As referenced in this prior discussion of Rolesville's new ladder, here's the recently delivered Pierce platform of the Wake Forest Fire Department. Specs and other information forthcoming. Click to enlarge, or see other sizes on this Pierce Flickr page.

Wake forest’s new ladder looks great.
charlie - 02/09/11 - 22:27

what kind of cab is that?
lee - 02/10/11 - 17:28

The cab is a Pierce Arrow XT
Swiman - 02/10/11 - 19:14

Shouldn’t it say Raleigh Forest on the side instead of Wake Forest? I know, just kidding…same reason RFD is referred to as Raladelphia! Seriously though, I see the WF patch on the bucket but what’s on the rear cab door? Just a plain maltese? Hard to see…thanks for the info. It’s definitely one of the more attractive ladders!
Richie - 02/10/11 - 20:36

bares heavy resemblance to Raleigh L5 and L7.
charlie - 02/10/11 - 20:41

Nice rig Wake Forest. I have to get up there and check it out!! Here’s a question I’ll throw out there; are departments setting up their rigs tactically versus “parade ready”? For Ladders; mounting your hooks in easy access locations, using a ground ladder assortment that can be deployed easily, and storing the irons together in a close compartment versus separate brackets for the ax and Halligan? For the Engines, nice shelves for pre-plan books (or MDT’s in cab), hose configurations to address your territories needs???

Oh yeah baby, here we go. Well, no offense to my Brothers to our South, but, I’d rather be referred to as Raladelphia than Raleston. Read the reports following the tragic events of the Sofa Super Store fire in Charleston, that was us folks about 10 to 15 years ago.

I know you were just poking fun Richie, but, there are those that are completely pissed off about adjusting some things to make us function more efficiently and safer. Refusing to change culture can end up with tragic results. Go ahead bashers, I’m ready….
Silver - 02/10/11 - 21:07

Silver, is it reasonable to expect smaller departments to outfit rigs tactically from the get go, or does it take time to gain the experience, assess their needs, and adjust their configurations accordingly?
Legeros - 02/10/11 - 21:17

Mikey, my opinion is that the size of the department doesn’t matter, rather the skill sets, training levels, and priorities of the Command Staff and/or Committee Members. Wake Forest, for example, is a smaller department but they have established the difference between a “ladder truck” and a “ladder company”, and my hats off to them for doing it. You should set your apparatus up tactically, because that’s their purpose, versus just “looking good”. Sure, the chrome rims look great polished, but if the hooks aren’t maintained properly, the nozzles cleaned regularly, and the ax and Halligan are stored in separate compartments (unmarried), you’ve got your priorities mixed up. Nothing more frustrates the hell out of me when a Halligan is placed back on the rig with sheetrock mud caked all over it, but the chrome is polished and it “looks good”.

Responding with one guy on a ladder truck doesn’t constitute a “ladder company”. Same thing goes for when a ladder truck with three members pulls up then grabs a second line to go inside and fight fire. Engine Companies do engine work, Ladder Companies do ladder work, pretty simple concept. You don’t need a ladder truck to perform ladder work, but, the work has to be done at every fire where crews are in the IDLH to support the attack line.
Silver - 02/10/11 - 22:26

Raleigh Ladder 1 could fit in the rear compartment of this rig
Huh?? - 02/10/11 - 23:05

What’s your point?

Raleigh Ladder 1 was originally used as a “quint” for which is now Engine 23’s area. It was put into service as a Ladder company eventually, and is great for the territory it serves as there are many apartment complexes with tight entrances and streets.
Silver - 02/10/11 - 23:10


Thank you! I could not have said it better myself brother. You’re right, WF is trying to get into the “truck company business” but it is still a learning curve for 99% of the folks. To answer your questions that were put in the other posting: No, I was not on the apparatus committee, I am still assigned to an engine (give me a call, I will tell you all about it) but overall, I think the layout of the truck is pretty good. It is A LOT better than the old midmount and hopefully some other issues will corrected with this truck.
Wayne - 02/11/11 - 08:22

Silver and Wayne, that sounds like a great class, session, seminar for firefighters. Strategic configuration of fire apparatus. They’ve already called for presenters for the August Fire Expo, but maybe next year??
Legeros - 02/11/11 - 08:28

I’m in…
Silver - 02/11/11 - 12:39

Silver, some and most departments dont have the manpower to staff a single ladder and perform strictly as a ladder company. Where I’m from you have a crew to run your engines and a small crew to run your (second out) whether its a rescue, brush, tanker, or the ladder. We are trained in all those situations it is just that we are not able to have hydrants everywhere and plenty of manpower. Some departments not calling any names would rather have their ladder on the scene in a rural house fire than to have water to supply their first due engine. The county departments are not Raleigh, Cary or Knightdale. Those three departments dont have to worry about water situations in the rural setting. I hope this helps you understand the diffrence betwwen well trained ladder companies in the rest of the county.
911 - 02/11/11 - 16:03

Instead of saying youre in on something why dont you go out and do it? nothing ever got accomplished until someone took the initiative. I also want to put it out there that ladder 1, while a good ladder, is not sufficient for many locations in north raleigh. A 75’ is not long enough to reach some homes and many of the office buildings that are now popping up. The saving grace is that Ladder 5 is not far away on Durant Rd. I realize that station 1 is not large enough to hold anything bigger but in the coming years this is a problem that will have to be addressed as North Raleigh grows.
1709 - 02/11/11 - 17:16

911, I served as a vollie for 12 years in this county. So, before you begin educating me on how the county runs, take the time to ask questions. I’m well aware how the county service runs, and quite frankly, it’s appalling that it is still the way it is. I don’t care if you are in a rural setting or in a city, TRUCK WORK DOES NEED TO BE PERFORMED if a hose is stretched and operating inside a burning house.

Will the Wake County Fire Service ever change and get with the times? Probably not. The days of running to the station for every call are bye-bye. The county needs duty crews county wide, with staffing levels to go along with it, and marking equipment “in service” only if it has proper staffing (yes, I know I“m digging him up, but oh well). Unfortunately, this won’t happen until someone is severely injured or worse. It will take NIOSH, USFA, NFPA, OSHA or whoever else you want to add to rake certain people through the coals to make change. Some departments are taking the proactive approach, realizing the county isn’t going to make it happen, and putting duty crews at their firehouses. That’s awesome.

Yes, adequate water supply is necessary, but so are truck ops. Like I said above, you don’t need a ladder truck to perform truck ops.

1709, you don’t know me well enough to take a stab at my level of initiative so watch yourself. You have no idea what I’ve contributed to my organization, and I could care less about recognition because as long as it got done, I could give a crap who gets “credit”.

Ladder 1 is fine for us. While I wish it was a 105’ stick, 75’ will do for now. Plus, we’re at Firehouse #4, not #1.
Silver - 02/11/11 - 18:14

Silver I’m well aware of who you are and what you have done. You Volunteered. You like myself showed up to calls but unfortunately that don’t happen anymore. I’m not saying that truck work doesn’t need to be done we just don’t have the manpower to staff an engine, ladder, and a rescue out of one station. We still perform truck work just like y’all do in the big city. I’m with you when it comes to staffing. Our town nor county will not realize how much we do when we get on a working fire. Y’all are in the same boat when it comes to your rescue companies.
911 - 02/11/11 - 19:18

Yes Raleigh Ladder 1 is a 75’ stick that will not reach many of the houses in its first in, however you do not need the aerial ladder to reach the house to perform truck work, many people forget that you can get a lot of work done with ground ladders. Yes with the steep roof pitches it is much safer to work from a aerial ladder but in situations where ventilation of the attic space is needed ventilation can also be accomplished by taking/cutting out the eaves of the house. And if it is just the second floor that needs to be vented, you always got horizontal. As Silver points out its not the rig you have its the crew inside of it.
Watson - 02/11/11 - 19:25

@911…. you just said a TON... you are 100% CORRECT... that a dept. or station cannot staff an engine, ladder and a rescue out of one station. That’s why the “county” departments need to get off their high horse, and have other neighboring departments dispatched with THOSE pieces on their INITIAL dispatch… not dispatching an entire house worth of equipment HOPING that somebody can come get them, or even worse, divide a crew and have somebody “just bring the truck” to the scene. I hear it every day, and it’s on every run card in this county. Dump an entire station, get 2 pieces out MAYBE... then have neighboring depts, who are itching to come with that equipment and have staffing sit idle. Even if if means running with those big bad cities… If our current CAD “can’t” do it, then scrap the POS and get something that can… Our current CAD allows too many options for “tagging” a truck and leads to too many complications on what is dispatched to what… I’ve seen it, and I’ve heard it.

You put 1 engine, err pumper or whatever, 1 tanker and 1 brush truck in EVERY county station. Then strategically place aerials, rescues and specialty pieces where they are needed. And if there’s an aerial on a run card, and that’s the closest one, then put that engine out of service, bang out the aerial and continue to the next closest engine, and so forth… Run this county’s fire service like it should be run….

It’s why fire protection in this county needs to get together in a big room, lock the doors, and not leave until there are standard operating procedures for rural and municipal fire operations, staffing levels are equivalent (not equal) throughout the county, training is CONSISTENT, and accountability is present and strongly enforced… after all the county holds the purse strings for most departments who play in the sandbox.

Oh yeah that’s right… the “fire commission” is run by the “fire chiefs” so the chances of changing the rules in anybody’s sandbox is slim to none…

carry on
shevais - 02/11/11 - 19:44

Congratulations to Wake Forest! Long time coming and this apparatus should serve you well!! Interesting comments that lead to a question: How should Wake County’s fire services be run? Here’s some facts and thoughts:

1. The Fire Commission does not “run” the county’s fire services. Many who post here blame them for the inconsistencies in service when in fact they are essentially ONLY a funding methodology approval body that makes recommendations to the Wake County Commissioners on how the fire tax monies are to be allocated and for what. The sub-committees of the Fire Commission do the work, the Fire Commission approves or rejects. The focus remains centered around the allocation of monies. It is not a perfect system and I definitely cannot defend some of their decisions over the past 12 years, but their existence is required as Wake County operates under a “Service District Tax.” Yes, many chiefs are naturally a part of it.

2. County-wide policy/procedure changes and standardization can ONLY be existent and consistent if required by the Wake County Fire Protection Contract. The contract is between the County Commissioners and the individual departments. The Fire Commission is not a approving component of this process. Performance standards are the key. The current contract reflects mainly business practice standards with very minimal performance standards. Even if standards are listed in the fire protection contract, the municipalities are not complete and total subscribers (not required due to funding source).

3. To achieve the goal of true standardization, Wake County (proper) would have to be one governed entity. That includes all municipatlities and rural areas. Otherwise, it will forevermore be separate. We often speak of “Wake County” standardization, but what about Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, and other municipalities. Could they merge their fire services with Wake? The answer to that question is the same as for the rural fire departments and other municipalities in the county. NO, not easily.

So, who’s call is it? Who’s right? Is Raleigh doing it right, ...is Cary, is Wake Forest, is Morrisville, et al. It depends on your understanding, experience, knowledge, values, and perception. So, step back, take a look around. Is it really all that BAD? Wake Co. is very diverse in all aspects of life, ergo the reflection in the fire services. We are doing well. Hey, compared to 27 years ago when I started in the Wake Co. fire service, it is apparent that we HAVE come a long way.

Last, “truck work” is very important, but lest I place a “spin” on it… It is actually what we have done in the past; but now it is more structured, coordinated, and expected. Remember, there does not have to be big ladder on top of the apparatus for the guys responding inside to be “truckies!” RFD LADDER 5A is my new Capt’n ride. Just like McDonald’s… “I’m Lovin It!”
A.C. Rich - 02/11/11 - 21:31

Well put AC. Just underlines the fact that many post on here not knowing all the facts. Assumptions are the mother of all $*%&-ups. I agree that we have it better here than it seems at times. Just take a short ride to anywhere in the state, you’ll be glad to be back in Wake County before you know it…at least, fire service-wise.
GH - 02/11/11 - 22:14

What Chief said…
Sparky - 02/11/11 - 22:28

Chief, I understand your comments and appreciate them. So many “decision makers” hide what goes on in these meetings (have you ever tried to find minutes for an apparatus committee meeting, much less any other of the subcommittees?). But I think to call the Fire Commission and it’s subcommittees to be funding related is exactly what puts them in a position to tell the contracted fire departments how they’re run. After all it tells them what trucks they can or cannot buy, what they can or cannot staff, what gear they can or cannot buy, what they can and cannot do with their money… but it doesn’t hold them (nor does the county commissioners) to any form of standard. So I agree that there should be performance measures in place, otherwise how do you measure effectiveness? How do you plan for improvement?

I’ll just speak to the contracted departments who have no municipal ties… there are some with full-time chiefs, some with part-time chiefs… some with full-time personnel covering 24/7, some that rely on duty crews after the part timers go home, some that have full timers from 8-5, some with vollies that come from home, etc. Then there are the municipal departments who contract with the county to provide services to the rural/unincorporated areas, with county built stations, trucks and positions that pull these personnel and equipment to calls over 10 miles away when CAD already dispatched one from another department that is 5 miles closer. These are just a few of the things that need to be looked at, gone over, reviewed and come up with something… there is no time like now, what a great opportunity that we have within the county to do something great and start something?

Do we have it better than a lot of places, sure we do… we have the tax base to support it. Can we do it better? Absolutely we could. And I have been all over this state, and talked to firefighters and chiefs who have amazing task forces and strike teams and automatic aid systems in place to handle calls in their county and make it work with a lot less than we have.

We all already do the same job, day in and day out… The county runs into the cities (and towns) and vice versa. I would say more now than it ever has. So why not get together, come up with something? I know I’ve heard that the northern end departments have done something like this… and everybody shares what they do… but is it really that hard for there to be an agreement on baseline training, standardization of equipment, accountability, etc? To include Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Zebulon whomever? Should there be that much complication to these types of things? Shoot we can’t even agree on standardized helmet colors…. ;-)
shevais - 02/11/11 - 23:41

Well said Shevais! Let’s peel the onion some more. I receive minutes of the sub-committee meetings and can keep myself relatively informed, even in my part-time capacity as the SH chief. It is very challenging though, so significant delegation to others in the organization is required. Communication is critical and the regional reps on these committees should keep all of their affected chiefs posted (at a minimum). Next, I think we can all agree that the WCFC nor its committees can really control what a department does – except in matters related to funding. Again, the county contract is the performance impetus. Fascinating enough, but I must ask everyone this question…. does it really cost to have a great department? I say NO. Is a good organization defined by the outward appearances or its outward effect? Also, what makes a chief truly “Chiefly?” Is it landing the major funding improvement for the department or insuring a cohesive and communicative organization? The latter is achieved at no cost, simply commitment. Last, it’s interesting that helmet colors are mentioned as this situation is an interesting example. Are different helmet colors really the problem? ...or is it the lack of standardized use of accountability systems at emergencies? I would agree on the latter. Good conversation! We all learn from each other!
A.C. Rich - 02/12/11 - 01:33

baby. ladder.
lomas - 02/12/11 - 17:11

A.C. and Shevais, at the center of the onion MUST be the citizen/taxpayer/patient, and not the interests of the individual department. If you can get everyone to drink that Kool-Aid, either by “doing the right thing” or through contractual requirements, it would be easy to develop countywide standards, in direct participation and partnership with the municipal departments, to address all aspects of operations – with time and training being the only cost. We have the equipment, the apparatus, and the knowledge already in place to make this happen. It’s just a matter of the fire service agreeing that the time has come.
Olson - 02/12/11 - 17:25

Olson, does the entire onion have to be grown at once, or could it be started piecemeal? One or two or three departments that get the ball rolling, and perhaps partner with county officials to develop standards and methodologies that are 100% scalable? Or do all (or the majority) of “players” need to be involved for such an initiative from the get-go?
Legeros - 02/12/11 - 18:52

I agree Jon, but it’s the same old story though. (I believe) to unify the existing FD diversities will require a power beyond what is currently in place; or what is currently used. I see a striking similarity to the changes in the WC EMS System where standardization did not really occur until more structured organizational controls were established. I am a believer and I am guilty of wearing the rose colored glasses all too often. Maybe it’s really garlic instead of an onion…??
A.C. Rich - 02/12/11 - 19:17

It seems that we get into these conversations every few months on here whether about training, operations, how we do it vs how you do it. I agree we do need to get to a standard in the county. Instead of talking here we need to figure out how to get powers that be to come together and do this. Maybe a committee format from the Fire Commision to give them feedback would work. If you have never gone to one of those meetings I highly suggest you go, they are entertaining as well as informative. Until a system is in place to incite the change we are all wasting breath and electrons.
Everyone be safe and go home, tell your family you love them often, you may not get another chance
Scooter - 02/12/11 - 19:17

Count me in…. I will serve as a “change agent” and have been doing so for several years. So, who’s with me? OK, now what do we want to change? Remember, the Fire Commission is not the true change platform, but it may serve as an assembly point or forum since it is the only place where the chiefs actually come together regularly.
A.C. Rich - 02/12/11 - 19:22

I’m with you AC…let me know how I can help. You know how to get a hold of me…
Silver - 02/12/11 - 21:05

OK, I’m going out on a limb here, but the thread topic has changed already. I volunteered many years back in the western part of the state. Due to work and other responsibilities, I left in 2000. I have the desire to return to service, but I want to join a professional and progressive volunteer organization that believes in safety, standardized training, and duty crews. My question, and where I need guidance…I live in a town in eastern Wake. I have visited my local FD, and I did not get a good vibe. Can someone recommend a dept elsewhere in Wake that would take me on (meeting the above requirements) ? If no one feels comfortable posting here, I am willing to provide contact info. Thanks!
Charlie3 - 02/12/11 - 21:24

Charlie, on the eastern side of the county I constantly hear how well Zebulon is run, both in their management and training/ops.
Johnston Co FF - 02/13/11 - 09:31

Hey Charlie. The departments in Wake Co. all offer a great opportunity and you’ll naturally need to draw your own conclusions as to the “feel.” Also, the department’s location compared to where you live is certainly a consideration. Most all Wake Co. departments offer duty crews, a decent training regiment, and a safety focus. Of course, there are some variants, but the whole is pretty adequate. It is indeed a pleasure to see someone inquire about volunteering here!! Any department you join can definitely use your help and experience! I hope this helps and thank you for your interest – good luck!!
A.C. Rich - 02/13/11 - 22:27

Durham Hwy has a good night duty program where we have be consistently staffing two rigs almost every night (one with the full-timers plus a vollie or two and the other all volunteer) We have meetings on Thursday’s at 7pm if you or anyone wants to stop by please feel free. Our department requires 24 hours of duty time a month, can be day or night shifts weekday or weekend.
ToCharlie3 - 02/13/11 - 23:13

Is it just me, or did Wake Forest not get a new mid mount Pierce ladder a couple of years ago. What happened to it?
chuck - 02/15/11 - 20:44

Chuck go back and read the comments
Tochuck - 02/15/11 - 22:07

This week’s Wake Weekly has an article about the new truck. Excerpt on their web site, http://www.wakeweekly.com/index.php?cate..
Legeros - 02/17/11 - 07:20

I have read them several times… and they are NOT here… However, I found time to read the thread on Rolesvilles new ladder, and lo and behold, there it is…. but not on THIS thread…
ToToChuck - 02/17/11 - 16:50

And here’s a Wake Forest Gazette article about the new truck, http://www.wakeforestgazette.com/bm/news...
Legeros - 02/18/11 - 07:43

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