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Chief Wesley Howell became Fire Chief in 1949 until 1968, making him the second longest serving Fire Chief of Goldsboro Fire Department. Additional personnel were hired during his time as Chief and the department was able to be organized on the basis of four pumper companies and one ladder company. A Training program was also established to instruct the personnel in the use of equipment, location of fire hydrant and fire alarm boxes, fire methods, fire hazards, fire prevention, and so much more. In 1967, the Goldsboro Fire Department with Chief Howell's guidance was able to obtain a level 4 insurance rating due to the increased personnel, fire apparatus, training, and fire prevention methods. Chief Howell was a community-minded Fire Chief, realizing that being a leader in the community involved more than just supervising the fire department. He encouraged the children of the community to do well in school, offering them incentives such as spending the night in the fire house if they received all A's on their report card. He also offered tutoring in math for those students that were making poor grades in that subject. Chief Howell retired in December of 1968 with 40 years of service to Goldsboro Fire Department. Chief Howell pictured here the 5th from the left, top row.
Disaster struck on the afternoon of February 9, 1948 when a fire started at Weil's Department Store on S Center St. According to the records, when the firefighters arrived on scene, the fire was too far gone to salvage any part of the store.
Chief A W Gurley served as Fire Chief from 1941-1949. During his time as Chief, he knew that more and better equipment was needed. However, due to the war, it was almost impossible to obtain major equipment. Once World War 2 ended, Chief Gurley renewed the efforts to improve the department's equipment. In 1947, a new Pumper Apparatus was purchased from the American LaFrance Company in Elmira, New York. Also in 1947, Chief Gurley was able to hire an additional 6 firefighters which allowed the department to go to a two platoon (shift) system. Unfortunately, Chief Gurley passed away suddenly on his way home from work in 1949. A.W. Gurley pictured on the far right.
In 1939, under the leadership of Fire Chief Cohn, a new station was built on Ash St. The department had expanded to the point that it was overcrowded in its quarters in the 100 block of North John St. It was felt that a more modern building was needed in a less congested area. Early in 1939, the building on Ash St broke ground and construction started taking place. In May of that same year, the building was complete and able to be occupied by Goldsboro Fire Department. This location had the iconic fire poles that are associated with many historical fire departments. This structure is still in existence, but is used for other businesses in the city.
Chief Max Cohn became Fire Chief in 1930. He recognized the overgrowth of the department, and knew that a new facility needed to be built. In 1939, Chief Cohn was able to fulfill that need, and a new station was built on Ash St. He retired just two years after the new station was built, but later returned to the department to serve as Assistant Fire Chief after the passing of his wife. At least two new apparatus were purchased during his time as Chief.
Chief George Mabry was Goldsboro Fire Departments first fully-paid, career Fire Chief. During his time as Chief, the department was able to achieve an improved insurance rating through improvements with the water system, fire alarm system, and six additional personnel. Two additional trucks were purchased and put into service during his time as Chief.
During the year 1919 while Leslie Yelverton was serving as Chief, another piece of motorized equipment was purchased and put into service. The 1919 America LaFrance was put into service as the second motorized apparatus at Goldsboro Fire Department. This truck was a one-thousand gallon per minute capacity pumper. After this new pumper was put into service, Old Mary Alice was not longer needed and therefore put into reserve until 1940. Mary Alice was retired in 1940 and placed at Herman Park as a Memorial. During World War 2 when our country was in desperate need of metal, the Mary Alice proudly answered her last call to the junk yard. The 1919 was able to continue to serve the department for several decades before being used only in parades and special events. It is currently still home at Goldsboro Fire Department and being restored to its former glory.
Chief Leslie Yelverton served as Fire Chief of the Goldsboro Fire Department beginning in 1919. He served in a combination capacity as part volunteer, part paid employee. He was also the City Building Inspector beginning in 1923 as well as working with Yelverton Hardware Company. Chief Yelverton was instrumental in improving the state of the Goldsboro Fire Department. During his time, three pieces of motorized equipment were purchased. He also helped with improvements in the water system, fire alarm system, and added eight full-time fire fighter positions to the department. These accomplishments allowed the department's ISO (Insurance Classification) to be upgraded to a level 5. While that rating was good for the size and capabilities of the department, Chief Yelverton continued to strive for an even higher rating through the remainder of his time with Goldsboro Fire Department. Chief Yelverton's health began to break during the year 1927, eventually leading to his passing later that year. The work and effort Chief Yelverton had done for Goldsboro Fire Department was not forgotten.
The original Station 2 was built on Vine St in 1918 and was operational until 1928. Little is known about this particular station and how it was used. It is known that it housed one horse drawn hose wagon with one person manning the station at all times. This station closed down in 1928, bringing the hose wagon back to the original Station 1 on John St.