01/22/12 295 W - + 9 - 6 CFD and RFD - The Command Connection

Did you know that three members of the Raleigh Fire Department have served as Fire Chief of the Cary Fire Department? After Asst. Chief R. Lee Matthews retired in 1963 with 36+ years of service, he took the position of Acting Fire Chief for five months in 1967. He was acting chief from January 21, 1967 to May 1, 1967. Matthews had served the Cary Fire Department in earlier times. In 1926, for example, the fire department had 12 (!) volunteers with Matthews acting as a part-time training officer.

Chief Matthews replacement was Clarence F. Ayscue. He was appointed Fire Chief on May 1, 1967 and served until July 15, 1968, when he was hired as a firefighter for the City of Raleigh. He retired from the department in 1989. Subsequent Cary Fire Chiefs were John L. Dew (1968-69), Billy Henderson (1969-71), and Terry Edmundson (1971-75).

Chief Edmundson's replacement was Capt. Ned K. Perry, who served with the city from 1958 to 1975. Perry was also a charter member of the Raleigh Fireman's Club Inc. (organized in 1968) and the first President of the re-chartered Raleigh Firefighter's Association Local No. 548 (organized in 1969). Perry served the Cary Fire Department for 18 years and retired in 1993.

Another former Raleigh firefighter is a current member of the Cary Fire Department command staff. Capt. Mike Cooper was a member of the Raleigh Fire Department from 1991 to 2005, when he was hired by the town of Cary as an Assistant Fire Chief of Logistics. He served in the role from 2005 to 2010. When Asst. Chief Don Daniels retired in January 2010, he moved over to supervise Budget and Planning and serve as the department’s Accreditation Manager.

Next project? How about mapping the command staff connections for other fire departments in Wake and surrounding counties? Now that would be an interesting list to compile!

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