1980, apparatus delivery:  1980  FMC / Beach pumper, 750 gallon, 1000 GPM for Town department. Southeastern Seminary contributes to fire department by paying principal on the debt, totaling $70,000.  Town pays interest. It is named Engine 64

1980, fire department participates in search for missing boy. Two-year-old is later found dead from exposure, three days after wandering away from northern Wake County home.  Searchers include firefighters from Stony Hill, Rolesville, and Wake Forest.  More than 600 people become involved, along with tracking dogs and a helicopter.

1980, Donnie Hight named Fire Chief

1981, apparatus delivery: 1977 Ford pick-up truck purchased used for conversion to brush truck. It is named Brush 69 (February 1981)

1981, explosion and fire cause $200,000 damage at North Star Chrysler-Plymouth building on US1 late in afternoon. Four departments respond-- New Hope, Wake Forest, Falls, and Rolesville.  Explosion occurs about 5 p.m.  Workers hear sound "like a sonic boom," go to rear of building, and discover flames from the furnace area.  No new cars are damaged, thanks to passers-by who stop to help move the automobiles away from the fire. (July 2, 1981)

1981, rural fire department proposes providing fire protection for town on contract basis.  Impetus is that rural department stands to lose large parts of tax base as town annexes area. According to figures in an annexation study, the rural fire district would lose about $30 million in tax base when the Town annexes south to Chappell Ford.  Additional. another $10 to $15 million in tax base will be lost when the town annexes to the West. Fire Chief Donnie Hight makes presentation to Town Board, noting both Town and rural fire stations sit side-by-side and that the same chief and personnel serve both departments. (August 13, 1981)

1981, firefighters and Town officials begin discussions  on contract, cost, service, and merger issues, per Chief Hight's August 13th proposal. (August 31, 1981) 

1981, firefighters and Town officials agree to combine fire departments, to merge the rural and Town fire districts governed by a board of directors with equal representation from both rural and Town areas.  Both areas will contribute to the fire budget based on their proportional shares of the tax base.  In recent inventory of equipment, apart from the buildings, both departments are about equal.  At present replacement value, Town fire department has $152,000 worth of equipment and the rural fire department has $130,000 worth.  Benefits from the proposed merger include the ability of the merged department to fight fires from the Franklin County line to the Neuse River and greater water availability with quick-dump tankers, in lieu of the Town's poor water pressure. 

1981, Wake Forest Fire Company #2, in operation since1942, officially merges with Wake Forest Fire Department and closes it station on Taylor St.

1982, rural fire department amends charter so it can serve Town and has power to lease, rent, purchase, and convey. (January 1982)
1982, apparatus dedication: 1981 FMC / Slagle tanker, 1,500 gallons.  Cost $56,000.  Delivered to rural department. It is named Tanker 68 (February 28, 1982)

1982, after a Thursday evening training, 28 year veteran of Wake Forest FD FF Lewis B. Nuckles is rushed to the hospital with chest pains. The next day he passes away from a severe heart attack.

 1982, rural fire department approves formal proposal for Town to contract fire protection, to be presented to Town board at later date. (March 21, 1982)

1982, Lewis B. Nuckles Award created and awarded to the fireman of the year. The inaugural winner is Hubert Denton.

1982, formal proposal made to Town Board, calling for Town to contract fire protection from rural fire department.  The department would lease all Town fire equipment for $1 a year, while the Town would pay the department a descending amount each year for fire protection.  A reorganized Board of Directions, including one member appointed by the Town board, would run the department.  Town and rural fire district residents would be able to vote for two of the six directors.  Benefits noted include cost savings in lessened administrative costs and double payments no longer required for insurance, workman's compensation, and pension funds.  The rural department can also purchase pagers and radio equipment through the County with matching funds, which the Town cannot.  Both fire districts are overdue for new insurance ratings and proposal would likely lower the town rating of "8" and the rural rating of "9" to a combined "6," translating to lower insurance rates for home owners.  The rural department's tankers would also combat the Town's serious hydrant problems, though the Town is making progress installing new water lines and upgrading older lines. (August 3, 1982)

1982, Town board discusses rural fire department proposal, but disagrees with proposed restructure of governing board..  Members set September 2 for another workshop meeting. (August 12, 1982)

1982, Town Administrator reports to Town Board that the costs of fire protection would be shifted to town taxpayers under the proposed rural department plan.  Because of the cost shift, he recommends against any contract or consolidation unless there is a sharper definition of the fire service to be provided. (September 1982)

1983, former fire station on Taylor Street burns.  Someone is seen running from the building just before the fire is discovered, having apparently started inside the building against an inside wall.  The evening blaze is discovered at 9:29 p.m.  Twenty-six firefighters use 1,200 gallons of water.  Fire is contained before destroying the building, though the former quarters of Wake Forest's second municipal fire department is declared a total loss. (February 2, 1983)

 1983, Wake Forest Child Care Center at 325 N. College destroyed by fire. Blaze is reported at 6:47 p.m., less than an hour after the owner left with the last child of the day.  Nearly the entire house is involved before firefighters arrive.  Fire is fifth mysterious fire since first of year. (February 17, 1983)

1983, town and rural fire departments merge. Wake Forest and Wakette fire districts are merged.  Wake Forest Fire Department Incorporated is chartered. Town became first municipality in state to contract fire protection to another agency.  Contract race is $0.05 cents per $100 valuation and department receives $24,000 for

1983, land for new fire station purchased on Elm Ave.

1984, Rolesville Market and Supply Company burns. Fire is spotted by passing motorist and believed started by someone climbing upon roof and pouring petroleum substance through bathroom vent and igniting it.  One firefighter is slightly injured when Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Keith is hit by a passing car.  His leg is bruised. (February 27, 1984)

1984, ladies auxiliary formed to help firemen by providing food and drinks at major fires and assisting with fund raising. (July 1984)

1984, fire department insurance classification rating lowered to Class 5.  Previously, the Town was rated Class 8 and the rural district Class 9AA/9A. (July 1984)

1984, sulfuric acid leaks from railroad car near crossing with Holden Farm Road. One employee of Seaboard Railroad is burned by the acid but not seriously injured.  Spill occurs about 7:15 a.m. (November 24, 1984)

1984, one-car accident on section of old NC 98 near Falls Lake traps driver for 13 hours. Accident occurs on dead-end road, when driver gets lost looking for Interstate 85 and drives through barriers marking the end of the road and into a dirt embankment.  His 1977 Volkswagen flips over upon hitting the embankment.  Accident occurs about 10 p.m. and driver is found about 11 a.m. the next day when an Army Corps of Engineer employee at Falls Lake spots the car. (November 26, 1984)

1985, fire department assists Franklin County with woods fire.  Blaze destroys between 200 to 400 acres from SR 1108 southeast to SR1111.  Firefighters from ten departments fight fire which starts at about 11:30 a.m.  Youngsville is initially dispatched and later assisted by Franklinton, Bunn, Mitchiner's Crossroads, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Louisburg, Justice, Pilot, and Centerville.  Stony Hill stands by at Franklinton fire station.  Two Forestry Service tractors are utilized, as are several more privately owned bulldozers.  Residents of Loop Road and US 401 are evacuated. Fire is brought under control by 6 p.m. (March 12, 1985)

1985, junior firefighter division started for 16 to 18 year-olds. (August, 1985)

1985, groundbreaking ceremony held for new fire station.  Construction expected to take about 180 days.  Cost is around $450,000. (November 10, 1985)

1986, old fire station placed for sale. Sealed bids with a minimum of $160,000 to be opened on February 28, 1986

1986, new fire station completed at 420 E. Elm Street. (May 1986)

1986, fire station dedicated.  Ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m. (June 22, 1986)




1987, Jimmy Keith named Fire Chief



1988, Tornado strikes eastern Wake County about 1:30 a.m.  Funnel cuts northeast path between Wake Forest and Rolesville, almost parallel to US 401.  At least one Wake Forest resident is critically injured when their mobile home at intersection of Ligon Mill and Burlington Mill roads is lifted into the air and crashed into the ground on the other side of the road, reports the December 1 edition of The Wake Weekly. (November 28, 1988) ww

1989, apparatus delivery:  FMC pumper, placed in service as Engine 61. (Spring 1989)



Fire Station #1
420 Elm Ave.
Wake Forest, NC 27587