02/28/12 929 W - + 10 - 14 Reader Mail Again - February 2012

More mailbag excerpts, as dinner settles and little cutting and pasting and typing helps counter the urge to kick back. Still have a couple more hours of productivity time before bed! Must. Remain. Active.

Q: Do you have a contact or email link on the blog?  Went to look for it to suggest something and I could not locate a way to contact you via blog.

A: Didn't have same, but have added one. Thanks for the great suggestion!


Q: Mike is there a list of current North Carolina fire chiefs or contacts that you have or know about?

A: The best that I have is this Yahoo Groups mailing list: ncfirechiefs@yahoogroups.com. And this directory on the OSFM site.


Q: I just had to laugh a little when reading the "Tanker Fire In South Carolina" thread on your blog. I guess safety is really being stressed now, as well as the need to have personnel fit for duty with the advent of "non-alcoholic" foam. 

A: Please help support those members of the emergency services community who have problems with alcoholic foam.


Q: I tried posting a comment to your site's most recent post, but for some reason it wasn't working.  I tried posting it a couple times and then gave up since it didn't seem to work.  I love your blog, BTW.

A: Thanks for the kind words. Your post posted fine. I have enabled moderation on my blog, and thus had to approve my post. That feature is new, maybe a couple months old.

Please consume alcoholic foam in moderation.


Q: I enjoyed your site and have gathered some great research information from it.  I noticed the building that I am researching was listed with the wrong address.  The Old Town Hall and Central Firehouse in Washington is located at 126 North Market Street.

A: Thank you! That is helpful and I will update my database of historic and former firehouses at my next convenience. The site is a bit outdated, alas. Some years have passed since I was heavily researching and exploring old engine houses around the state. Thus reader submissions are extremely useful. I still have, cough cough, some buildings to add on the eastern side of the state that Lee Kennedy photographed for me, as well as some recently explorations by Lee Wilson.


Q: Love all your fire photos, any chance you have any more from the old Six Forks fire station (EMS Station 3) on Six Forks road from back in the day? Or any of the Raleigh Fire Department from 1975-1990?

A: For RFD old photos, take a look at www.raleighfirehistory.org. For pics of the old Six Forks station, those have been hard to find. Here are some related to that:



Q: I am tasked with putting together a history of sort about our agency. I know several of the early employees and plan to talk to them. I was wondering if you had any words of wisdom, or an outline of sort that might help me get started.

A: Here are some key questions to try to answer, that may help you:

- When founded, key dates in development?
- Who founded, key people, key leaders, over time?
- Where located? Facility locations over time?
- What did they do? Describe mission at first, then if their mission has changed over time?
- Notable events? Are there notable events that have been milestones of the organization, that they have participated in, or that have affected them?


Q: Where do you get all your fire-related car and truck models? That is, if the source isn't a secret.

A: Great question! And one that's easy to answer, but in a disappointing fashion. Maybe eight or ten years ago, the market for American-made (or marketed) die-cast model cars and trucks was booming. Code 3 Collectibles and Corgi USA were the biggest players. Yat-Ming was making some well-detailed (and very reasonably priced) 1:24 scale antique fire engines. First Gear was producing a number of fire service models, including some very nicely tooled pumpers. Matchbox Collectibles had come and gone, however. They left a couple dozen very nice vintage fire engines in their wake. Plus some pocket-sized gems, and a couple 1:24 and 1:18 releases. (There were also numerous models ripe for importing from Europe, such Del Prado's splendid World Fire Engine series. And releases from Siku and Minichamps and Schuco and such.)

Lately, in the last couple years, the production of die-cast fire service models has greatly diminished. Code 3 Collectibles has gone out of business. Corgi USA stopped production of fire apparatus models. Yat-Ming did the same. First Gear has stuck with construction and commercial vehicles. The Franklin Mint is also stopping production, or maybe has already. On the up side, the relatively new TWH Collectibles has flourished with their museum-quality promotional models of Seagrave and Pierce apparatus. Matchbox has been booming as well, both with their 1-100 line and Real Working Rigs. They've shifted their toolings toward more realistic (and outright licensed) models.

But, back to your original question, where do you get them? Try these places: eBay (of course), www.diecastmodels.co (TWH), www.3000toys.com, www.diecastdirect.com, and www.pthinc.com. Those are good starting points. Plus Google.

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