04/20/13 673 W - + 3 - 1 Reader Mail - April 19, 2013

Let's open the mailbag again. I am also working on another compilation of fire department news. Who has apparatus on order, new stations being planned, or other updates of note? Drop a line, please.

Q: I'm visiting Hawaii soon and hope to grab some pictures of fire apparatus over there. Do you know of anything spectacular that I should try to check out?
A: Negative. Despite wardrobe indicators to the contrary, I possess zero knowledge of the islands or what's good to see. Maybe I'll get to visit some day.


Q: Where can you find the most current and up-to-date minutes of fire commission meetings? The Wakegov page doesn't have the updated ones (yet).
A: Fire commission meets are scheduled every other month. Draft minutes from the prior meeting are published a few days before the current meeting, then approved at the meeting. Here's a web site of mine, where I have been reposting them since 2008.


Q: Hey Mike, I was just curious about how WC-7 gets dispatched. I see it pop up on the CAD at times but never actually hear it come over the speakers. Is there a different scanner frequency that dispatched them? Just wondering.
A: That unit, which a body transport vehicle that's operated by the county medical examiner's office (I think), is dispatched via paging methods, probably or certainly an alphanumeric pager.


Q: What model camera did you use on Lakestone drive? Really nice photos.
A: My equipment at that fire was a Canon 50D + 18-55ish mm 4.0 L lens, and a Canon 40D + 70-200mm 4.0 L lens. Since that time, I have added a Canon 7D, which replaced the 50D, which replaced the 40D, which is being sold.


Q: Do people ever get in trouble from your photos? Like when they're doing things they shouldn't?
A: Stories have reached my ears over the years about such things. My intention with scene photos is two-fold: create a reasonably (but not always entirely) objective "artful documentary record" while simultaneous making the responders look as good as possible. Alas, my camera sometimes captures things that cause heartburn or outright trouble for folks. On the upside, there's usually a learning lesson in there.


Q: I have always been curious when the third fire pole was removed from Station 1. Do you have any ideas?
A: That's a good question. I would think it correlates to the use of that upstairs space for offices, maybe in the 1960s or 1970s, when Fire Prevention was moved up there, or grew a bit larger. I'll have to ask on that.


Q: Who is Car 55 in Raleigh? And when did the numbering scheme change?
A: That's the Haz-Mat Coordinator, a Captain assigned to Training. The unit was previously named Car 71. See this blog posting for a complete list of the numbering scheme that was adopted on February 5.


Q: Thank you for the great historical pictures you have assembled for Wake County.
A: You're welcome. This collection of images, posted in March and hosted by the Raleigh Fire Museum, has been hidden on my computer for too many years. History should be shared, and these personally curated images are a good start.


Q: Are you planning a third volume of Raleigh and Wake County historical fire photos?
A: Negative, at least in the size and format of the first two volumes. It would be good someday to collect the images from those two books, and expand them with addition photos, and include color versions for the modern shots. Then publish them in a larger-size or longer book. My present publishing plans are a pair of hardcover books. One will compile selected Raleigh Fire Department newspaper articles from the late 1860s to the early 1910s. The second will be an omnibus of Raleigh Fire Department historical materials, ranging from essays to data lists to maps to reports and everything in between. These will be print-on-demand books, available online. Probably won't be a huge audience.

Correct Mike, WC7 gets paged out using Alpha pagers.
Kermit - 04/20/13 - 17:11

To clarify:WC7 is a separate asset of Western Wake Fire Rescue. Its monies come from a contract through Wake County. Staff are paid by WWFR. This change occurred after the county put the service out to bid in FY 2011 and was finalized with the contract being awarded to WWFR. They are requested by anyone from EMS to hospital staff, etc. Their purpose is to collect bodies from unattended, suspicious, or “other” types of deaths. The entity is overseen by Kevin Gerity, who works for the Office of the State Medical Examiner.
Duda (Email) - 04/20/13 - 17:58

To further answer the radio question, WC7 is equipped with portable radios mostly the same as any apparatus in the county, but they rarely need to use them. They would talk on the same Ops or TAC TG as any fire, EMS or LE unit on scene if necessary.
Duda (Email) - 04/20/13 - 18:00

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