05/17/14 437 W, 3 I - + 10 - 2 Cary's New Rescue Truck (and Some History)

The Cary Fire Department received their new Rescue 7 on Wednesday, a 2014 Pierce Velocity heavy rescue. It replaces a 2008 Pierce Velocity, that will enter reserve service. The town also operates a pair of 2012 Pierce Velocity rescues. All four are similiar or near-identical in specificiation. They are non-walk in units that carry a full compliment of ground ladders, have a breathing air compressor and fill station, and are equipped such features as a light tower and bumper-mounted hydraulic tool compartment. See more photos from Lee Wilson.


Lee Wilson photos

What's the history of Cary Fire Department rescue trucks you ask? Their first was a converted military mobile machine shop-turned-Civil Defense rescue truck in 1955. It carried $8,000 worth of equipment including a "5,000-watt portable generator, 2,500-watt generator, two-way radio, $600 resuscitator, block and tackle, ropes, and a portable oxygen acetylene cutting torch." At the time, it was the only Civil Defense rescue truck operated by a volunteer fire department in North Carolina. Or so local sources claim.

How long did the truck operate? Don't know, but the Cary Area Rescue Squad began providing technical rescue services when they formed in 1971. They purchased the county's first Hurst tool in 1974, which was originally carried on a 1973 Chevy/Murphy ambulance. Their first crash truck was a 1974 or 1975 Ford/Reading light truck, followed by a 1983 International/Swab walk-in rescue truck. That orange-and-white unit was transferred to the fire department by June 1997, when the squad relinquished technical rescue services to the fire department. The rescue truck was repainted red. Presume the unit was fully staffed from the get-go.

That truck was replaced with a 2000 Ford F-550/KME light-duty rescue, which operated as Rescue 2.  (Did the prior rescue also operate as Rescue 2 from the beginning?) The town added a second rescue unit the next year, and Rescue 4 was placed in service with an identical 2001 Ford F-550/KME rescue. (Need some reader help here. What was their staffing at the start, and how did it evolve?) The trucks ran a lot. They were tired and ready for replacement in 2012, when the fire department made the change to heavy rescue companies. (Second question for readers. One of my notes says these were both 2000 models. Correct?)

And why is Rescue 7 shown below lettered as Truck 7? The company was first a service ladder company. And there's a whole 'nother history there, on the town's service trucks from the beginning. Maybe we'll tackle that one another day. Click to enlarge:

Cary Fire Department/Lee Wilson photos


When I came to Cary in 2000 Rescue 2 was running on the Mack truck that was sold a few years ago, truck 1446. It ran as Rescue 2 until the F550 was put in service then it moved to reserve. Also we carried extrication rescue tools on Truck 5 at the time which eventually changed to Truck 7 then sold a few years back when the 2008 Rescue was delievered. The rescue tools were took off of it when Rescue 4 was put in service the almost identical unit to Rescue 2. The staffing at first was Lt, MFF (as the driver) and a FF but could operate at a minimum of 2. MFF who were driving were eventually promoted to engineer’s
car3550 - 05/17/14 - 17:23

Yes, the prior rescue was Rescue 2 from the start in 1997. It was staffed with a Lt. & MFF. Staffing evolve to 3 with the increase of calls and the duties for the unit expanded. They were called truck companies for ISO points at that time.
MSW - 05/17/14 - 18:34

so a 2008 unit is now a reserve ??? after only 6 years? some towns have way too much money to spend….
retiredff - 05/18/14 - 11:40

Yes the 2008 will be placed in reserve. At the current time there is no reserve rescue available. Vehicle 1094 (Pierce truck) was in reserve for a while, but had some maintenance issues that were beyond cost effective repair. As such when a rescue went down it was riding an engine with limited resources available. So the quandary was do you purchase a “reserve” rescue, or move up the replacement of the oldest unit and place it in reserve. Obviously the choice was made to purchase a new one identical to the remainder of the fleet. It also provides a mobile air truck for training and the academy so an in service unit isn’t tied up out of service for training.

Back when the small rescues were in service they routinely operated with only 2 people. This was eventually beefed up to a Lt, Eng and 2-FFs, and minimum staffing was 3. When they went to the larger units the Lt positions were reclassified to Captains. Truck 7 (now Rescue 7) had a Master FF assigned to it while R2 and R4 did not. Last year the MFF position was moved to Rescue 4 based on the additional equipment that is at #4 that they might be needed to drive.

There are no longer trench/collapse rescue trailers, they are now assigned to various equipment projects. All trench/collapse/confined space equipment is contained on TRS-1 the tractor drawn unit at #4.

The 3 rescues receive full ISO credit as a truck company as they are equipped with a full compliment of ground ladders and support equipment.
cfdfireman - 05/18/14 - 15:05

Some towns manage their budget well to be able to have top notch equipment. Cary has the lowest tax rate in Wake County, gives employee raises every year and does this without a tax hike. I would argue thats sound management of their taxpayer money.
fiscally sound - 05/18/14 - 16:54

Cary is well managed from a fiscal standpoint and they have always had nice things. Other municipalities may be equally well managed, but ultimately, the resources are not there, aka tax base, so nice things are a little easier to come by.
Monetary turf - 05/19/14 - 09:17

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