03/22/12 598 W, 10 I - + 11 - 4 UPDATED: Falls, Wake Forest Fire Departments Celebrate Merger on Sunday, March 25

At 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, a ceremony will be conducted at the Falls Fire Department at 11908 Falls of Neuse Road, to commemorate and celebrate the department's merger with the Wake Forest Fire Department. The departments signed an operational consolidation contract on July 25, 2011. The merger was first proposed in 2009, and originally included ideas to close the Falls fire station. 

The Falls fire station will be renamed Wake Forest Station 5, and will retain the nickname "Home of the River Rats." The apparatus will be renumbered to include Engine 5, Tanker 5, Squad 5, Brush 5, Utility 5, Boat 5, and Car 6. (Wake Forest Station 4 is in the planning stages, and mostly recently in the news regarding town officials discussing funding. It will be located on the northwest side of town.)

Personnel from the Falls FD staff will serve in roles such as Asst. Chief of Volunteer Operations, Battalion Chiefs, and Captains. The response area of Falls and Wake Forest fire departments will be merged. The result will add a ladder response to some current Falls responses.

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Fire District Maps

These maps were distributed at Thursday night's Wake County Fire Commission meeting. The map on the left shows the current fire district boundaries for Falls, Wakette (the Wake Forest rural district), Wake Forest, and nearby Raleigh and Rolesville. Note the planned location for Wake Forest Station 4. The map on the right shows the proposed expanded Wakette fire district, now incorporating the Falls fire district. Click to enlarge:

Established in 1970

The Falls Fire Department was established in 1970. They were incorporated on July 7, 1970. Donations were requested of $10 per residence or business, and anyone who donated became a voting member. The fire department raised $3,060 that first year. The fire district limit included east to the railroad tracks on Durant Road, and south on Falls of Neuse Road to the present location of Ravenscroft School.

Sam Perry was the first fire chief. The Falls Community Clubhouse became the fire house. Two fire engines were obtained, a 1956 Ford/American pumper from Six Forks FD and a 1966 military 6x6 tanker from Durham Highway FD. Readers are welcome to expand this history, and add their memories.

Mr Blogger, when spent nights a couple decades ago at the old mill-turned-condos with a girlfriend who lived there, particularly loved hearing their siren begin blasting.

Earlier Mergers

This is the second merger for the Wake Forest Fire Department. On July 1, 1983, the Wake Forest municipal fire department and Wake Forest Rural Fire Department merged. Their districts were joined. Wake Forest Fire Department Inc. was chartered. At or about the same time, the town's second fire department was also merged into the organization, Wake Forest Fire Department #2, shown below, which operated from a fire station on Taylor Street.

Other fire department mergers in Wake County have included Six Forks Fire Department (1956-2002), which merged with the Bay Leaf Fire Department in 2002. And Fairgrounds Fire Department (1961-1998) and Yrac Fire Department (1961-1998), which merged to form Westen Wake Fire Department in 1998. Plus a number of mergers of town and rural fire departments, in such places as Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Morrisville, and Zebulon.

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Falls Fire Department (1970-2012) will join the list of "gone but not forgotten" fire departments in Wake County (excluding aforementioned municipal and rural variants): Fairgrounds FD (1961-1998), Knightdale FD (1954-2003), Six Forks FD (1956-2002), Wake Forest FD #2 (1942-1983), Western Boulevard FD (1957-1960), and Yrac FD (1961-1998). See much earlier blog posting listing all Wake County fire departments past and present.

It will be interesting to see if the county or Wake Forest replaces station 5.
That is a very old and cramped building. I went by for a visit a year ago and those guy’s are very dedicated and appreciate what they have.
They have very nice equipment now they need a new larger facility to better serve them and their residents and businesses.

And no I’m not a memebr of Falls or Wake Forest.
Buckwheat - 03/22/12 - 10:44

Good luck moving forward with the merger. Hope it proves to be a success!
Silver - 03/22/12 - 17:05

Updated with fire district maps.
Legeros - 03/23/12 - 09:04

Just before 5:00 p.m. today, Wake County Fire Station 21, the Falls FD, was placed out of service, and Wake Forest Station 5 was placed in service. See some preliminary pics at http://legeros.com/ralwake/photos/2012-0..
Legeros - 03/25/12 - 22:43

Isn’t 19 Western Wake?? 21 was Falls right?
Typo - 03/25/12 - 23:08

Yes Falls was Station 21. Don’t know who 19 is.
RiverRat - 03/26/12 - 02:41

Yes Western Wake is county station 19.
911 - 03/26/12 - 10:38

Thanks for catching my error. I have corrected my comment above.
Legeros - 03/26/12 - 11:11

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