10/06/11 250 W - + 3 - 5 Origins of Rural Fire District Names?

As suggested by a reader, what's the history of Wake County's rural fire district names? Specifically, those rural districts outside municipalities, which are named differently than the town. Such as Zebulon (municipal) and Wakelon (rural) fire districts. Why are they named differently? That's because the municipal and rural districts are separately graded, and thus listed on insurance documents as separate districts. Below are the municipal/rural districts in/around the towns of Wake County. Perhaps readers can fill in the blanks. Readers are also welcome to tell about such differences in surrounding counties.

Johnston County municipal/rural district names:

Four Oaks/Wynn
Pine Level/Pi-Le
Princeton/Boon Hill
Selma/Selma Rural
Smithfield/Smithfield Rural
Legeros - 10/06/11 - 18:34

On Wakelon (Zebulon), the name is derived from the Wakefield and Zebulon communities. It was first used (as far as I know) for the school which was constructed between the two communities to serve them both.

During my tenure with the county, we dealt with these names quite a bit. I recall when Garner’s Saint Mary’s and Panther Branch districts were being combined into a single district. Many departments had used the “Rural” designation as the county portion; however, it was determined that the word “rural” was no longer appropriate. With than “Garner Suburban” was created in lieu of “Garner Rural”. Same eventually held true for “Cary Suburban”. Some of these districts included their municipal counterpart, until OSFM preferred they be split in the 1990’s. I think Rolesville was the last one split.

At the county level, insurance companies are often confused by these because residents often know their fire department name, but not their district name (when different).
Zeb101 (Email) - 10/06/11 - 21:45

I guess clearing up the confusion is why some departments actually put their district name on their trucks. I know some in our area run the district name and department name on apparatus.
Zeb101 - 10/06/11 - 21:52

Thanks Chris. I had forgotten about Panther Branch, and updated my posting. Wake County is divided into 20 townships, notes Wikipedia: Bartons Creek, Buckhorn, Cary, Cedar Fork, Holly Springs, House Creek, Leesville, Little River, Marks Creek, Meredith, Middle Creek, Neuse, New Light, Panther Branch, Raleigh, St. Mary’s, St. Matthew’s, Swift Creek, Wake Forest, and White Oak. Here’s a map: http://www.wakegov.com/NR/rdonlyres/57A8..

What the heck is a township? It’s a small geographic area that range in size from 6 to 54 square miles, and used in three ways: survey township (for deeds and grants), civil township (unit of government), charter township (unit of government only in Michigan).
Legeros - 10/06/11 - 22:06

I have been told that the “Hipex” name was a derivative of Apex, which allegedly got its name from being the highest point (above sea level) on what was then the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (Highest point along the railroad in aPEX). Makes as good of sense than any other reason.
DJ - 10/12/15 - 17:20

DJ, that probably also explains their motto of “the peak of good living” as well.
Billy Bob - 10/12/15 - 19:56

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