10/01/13 685 W, 1 I - + 10 - 10 Hose & Nozzle Stories of Fallen Firefighters, 1976 to 1978

These three stories appeared in Hose & Nozzle magazine between 1976 and 1978. Learn more about North Carolina fallen firefighters on my history pages, which includes a database, vital records, and other information. Learn more about Hose & Nozzle on a new project page of mine.

H&N - March/April 1976
Fireman Killed
Two injured

ASHEBORO, N.C. - West Side volunteer fireman Carlos Dale Dorsett was killed [on March 13, 1976] when the tanker truck he was driving to a fire overturned on Fuller's Mill Road, 14 mile west of Asheboro. Two other firemen, Paul Chaney and Barry Bunting, were injured and taken to Randolph Hospital where they were treated and released. West Side chief Bill Black said the tanker, along with two other fire vehicles were responding to a 1:55 p.m. fire call to old Fuller's Mill when the accident happened on a sharp curve.

Black said the tanker truck was trailing the other vehicles along the winding and hilly road when it went out of control. Patrolman B. F. Tesh of the Highway Patrol said the tanker truck loaded with water went out of control on the curve, with the right front wheels leaving the pavement, the truck careening back across the left side of the highway, as the driver attempted to steer it straight.

Large holes were gouged out of the pavement as the truck turned over and rolled against a high bank on the left of the road. Dorsett, 28, was dead on arrive at Randolph Hospital. Dorsett had been a volunteer fireman for about 18 months. West Side officials said no insurance was carried on the tanker, "because due to the money situation we could not have insurance on all equipment." Author Henry King.

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H&N - July/August 1977
Volunteer Loses Life in Truck Accident
Two injured when tanker overturns

RANLO, N.C. - A volunteer fireman was killed and his son injured when their truck overturned while on the way to a fire [on July 12, 1977]. Officials say the boy's presence in the emergency vehicle was an apparent violation of departmental policy. Killed was 42-year-old Billy Ray Fulbright of 50-A Ranlo Ave. A truck driver for Burlington Industries in Cramerton, Fulright had been with the Ranlo Volunteer Fire Department since its organization six years ago. Fulbright's son, 10-year-old Billy Ray Jr., received rib injuries in the accident.

Also injured in the crash was the truck driver, Bobby Whisnant, 18, of 10 Maple Ave., in Ranlo. According to reports from Ranlo Fire Chief Dean Stillwell and State Highway Patrol, Whisnant was traveling north on Lewis Road when the truck's tires went off the road on a curve and sank in  soft sand, causing the water load to shift and the truck to overturn. The elder Fulbright was thrown from the vehicle and it rolled over onto him. He died at the scene. "He's really going to be missed," said Chief Stillwell. "We all loved him."

Stillwell said regulations of the Ranlo Fire and Rescue departments prohibit anyone under the age of 16 from riding in an emergency vehicle. He said an investigation is underway to determine why the boy was aboard the truck. The 1,000-gallon pumper, which had been converted from a 26-year-old oil tanker, was en route to a fire when it overturned. The Highway Patrol said there would be no charges in connection with the truck accident. The truck was traveling at an estimated 25 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone when it over turned. Author Bo Perkins.

H&N - January/February 1978
Chief Passes Away

FALLSTON, N.C. - Carl Beam, 46, assistant fire chief and a member of the Fallston Volunteer Fire Dept. since it began nearly 20 years ago, died of a heart attack while fighting a fire [on December 24, 1977]. Chief Cecil Wright said Beam was standing beside the tanker truck when stricken. "The doctors said the attack was so massive that there was nothing they could do," said Wright, who was also at the scene.

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