Department Information2023-11-14T18:12:49+00:00

Office of the Fire Chief

Station Locations and Information

Fire Station 1 is located at 204 S. Center Street. The back side of the station, which is viewed in the photo below, is facing Spruce Street. It is the Headquarters of Goldsboro Fire Department and all Command Staff and Administration operate out of this station.

Station 1 was built in 1976 and has the following apparatus:

  •  Tower 1 – 2018 Pierce 100 ft. Aerial Platform. 1500 GPM Pump / Tank holds 300 gallons of water
  • Engine 1 – 2015 Pierce Pumper Arrow XT.  1500 GPM Pump / Tank holds 750 gallons of water
  • Brush 1 – 1976 Pierce 4WD
  • Battalion 1 – Battalion Chief – Ford F250
  • 7 Command Staff /Operations Vehicles

Fire Station 2 is located at 1901 Royall Ave. Station 2 was built in 2000 and has the following apparatus:

  • Engine 2 – 2000 E-One Quint. Tank holds 450 gallons of water/foam.
  • Ladder 1 – 2001 E-One Ladder 100 ft.  Tank holds 475 gallons of water and foam (Reserve Arial Apparatus)


Station 2 is the official location for the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Fire Station 3 is located at 100 E Patetown Road. Station 3 was built in 1966 and has the following apparatus:

  • Engine 3 – 2010 Ferrara 1,500 GPM / 750 gallon tank.

Fire Station 4 is located at 1300 Poplar Street. Station 4 was built in 1984 and has the following apparatus:

  • Engine 4 – 2010 Ferrera 1,500 GPM / 750 gallon tank.
  • Engine 8 – 1998 Marion Pumper 1,250 GPM Pump / 1,000 gallons of water. (Reserve Engine)

Fire Station 5 is located at 3521 Central Heights Road. Station 5 was built in 1998 and has the following apparatus:

  • Engine 5 – 2006 E-One. Tank holds 1,000 gallons of water/foam and also serves as a Light Tower/Rescue Tool.
  • Engine 7 – 1991 Pierce Dash 1,000 GPM Pump / 1,000 gallons of water (Reserve Engine).

Our Training Grounds is located at 900 McDaniel Ave. It features several connex buildings that are able to simulate a variety of fire scenes and skill sets. There is also a training building wh ere classroom training can take place. It is utilized by our firefighters for their regular training requirements and also by our training academy. Each year, we join with Wayne Community College to offer a fire academy to future firefighters.

Department Divisions

The Support Services Division is responsible for:

        • All Apparatus
        • Staff Vehicles
        • Facilities
        • Fire Equipment
        • Radios
        • Protective Gear
        • Air Packs
        • Uniforms
        • Supplies
        • Grant Writing
        • Contracts and Services

The Training Division is responsible for recruitment and training of staff.

Fire Personnel are required to have 240 hours per year including:

  • Facilities Training
  • Officers Training
  • Drivers Training
  • Haz-mat Training
  • New Driver Training
  • Structural Fire Suppression Training
  • Technical Rescue
  • EMT
  • OSHA
  • Auto Aid

Our monthly training hours average 2200 hours collectively. During the average workday, our firefighters are involved in some type of training to improve their skills.

The Training Division is also responsible for insuring adequate training for the specialty teams such as the Water Rescue Team. This training is over and above the regular training required for the firefighters.

Another aspect of our Training Division is Recruitment. Our department is always seeking out those that are interested in the fire service. Our application period is open from July 1-July 31. During other times of the year, we can help mentor you to help achieve your goal of a career in the fire service.  Contact our Training Division at 919-580-4265, Option 1 for more information about careers in the fire service.

Our Inspections Division is responsible for fire safety throughout the city including the inspections of building and presenting fire safety education to all members of our community.

The goals of the Inspection Division are to:

  • Raise the public’s awareness of fire safety considerations
  • Identify fire hazards that must be eliminated for a safer environment
  • Develop records and reports of inspection information that will serve in public record
  • Verify proper functions and maintenance of fire protection systems and equipment.

To schedule an inspection for your location, contact our Fire Marshal or Fire Inspection Captain at 919-580-4265, Option 3

Plans review and new construction inspections are conducted in close cooperation with the City of Goldsboro Building Inspections Department. To schedule inspections of new construction and fire protection systems you must call the City Inspections Department at 919-580-4385.

To schedule any fire safety education tours, contact our Administrative Assistant at 919-580-4265, Option 2.

All Businesses are required to have a periodic inspection on their facility. The following are examples of types of businesses and their frequency requirements for inspections.

  • 1 Year Inspection:
    • Assembly – Restaurants, clubs and places of entertainment
    • Hazardous – Hazardous materials, flammable liquids facilities
    • Institutional – Hospital, nursing homes, licensed care facilities, jails
    • High-Rise Buildings and Residential (except one and two family dwellings)
  • 2 Year Inspection:
    • Industrial Facilities
    • Educational Facilities (except public schools)
  • 3 Year Inspection:
    • Businesses
    • Mercantile, Storage Facilities
    • Churches and Synagogues

A fire inspection should include checking for the following:

  • The means of egress as pertaining to life safety considerations
  • Fire protection systems – fire alarms that give early warning to occupants and fire suppression systems that control fire in the early stages
  • Heating systems as they affect the furnace, the fuel-supply and ignition systems, vents and chimney
  • Electrical systems – including electrical distribution, motors, extension cords, lamps, lighting fixtures, grounding and other related areas.
  • Mechanical systems – such as heating and air conditioning systems
  • Storage – where materials are being stored and how they are arranged in occupancies.  Recycling programs have had an impact on buildings not designed to house these used products until they are scheduled for pickup.

For more detailed information about our Inspections Division or Fire Codes, please contact Fire Marshall Lee at 919-580-4265, Option 3

The Operations Division consist of 3 shifts (A, B, and C) and includes a total of 75 personnel. Each Shift is assigned with 1 Assistant/Battalion Chief, 6 Captains, 6 Engineers, and 12 Firefighters. Each front line apparatus is operated with 4 personnel. We operate 6 companies out of 5 stations including 1 Engine company per station and our Tower company out of Station 1. The Assistant/Battalion Chief operates out of Station 1.

The Operations Division works a schedule of:

24 hours on

24 hours off

24 hours on

24 hours off

24 hours on

96 hours off

This averages to a 56 hour work week. Each shift begins and ends at 08:00.

While many citizens assume the fire department only respond to calls related to an actual fire, we actually respond to many other types of incidents. Our Operations Division responds to emergencies involving EMS, vehicle accidents, trench rescues, water rescues, extrication, false alarms, as well as all fire related emergencies.

Special Teams

The Water Rescue Team is a group of 18 highly trained members of Goldsboro Fire Department. Members go through rigorous training each year to qualify for this team. They are also provided other training throughout the year such as shore-based rescue techniques, boat operations, and other drills in order to keep their skills at the optimum level. Goldsboro Fire Department has four boats/rafts in which to utilize in the event of a water rescue.

The Trench Rescue team is comprised of 36 members skillfully trained in Trench Rescue Operations. There are 12 members on each of the 3 shifts and they are located at Station 1, Station 3, and Station 4. They are geared in proper footwear, helmets, gloves, and eye protection for their safety. The members of this team are trained to make quick, life-safety decisions for both the victim(s) and GFD personnel.

The High-Angle/Confined Space Rescue Team is made up of 36 members, 12 on each of the 3 shifts. These members are located at Station 1, Station 2, and Station 5. These team members are equipped with a chest or full body harness, retrieval lines, testing and monitoring equipment, ventilation equipment, radios, personal protective equipment, lighting, barriers and shields, ladders, rescue and emergency equipment.  The purpose of this team is to rescue those trapped in locations that has limited or restricted means of entry or exit. 

ISO Rating

ISO (Insurance Services Office) ratings are between 1 and 10, with a 1 being the top tier. Goldsboro Fire Department is proud to have earned an ISO Rating of 2. We are in the top 5% of all fire departments in North Carolina, as well as the United States. We were evaluated on our department call response, staff training, pre-plans, apparatus types and quantities, station locations, community risk reduction, and so much more. It also involved an evaluation of our emergency communications, as well as water supply within the city. What does this mean for you? Better insurance rates are among the benefits of a fire department having a better ISO rating. Also, it should give our citizens the peace of mind knowing that we are an excellent department, equipped to serve you in the best way possible.

Goldsboro Fire Department Average Call Volume

Goldsboro Fire Department serves the 33,200 citizens within the 25 square mile city limits of Goldsboro. We receive an average of 2,555 calls per year including structure fires, vehicle fires, false alarms, EMS, etc. We also assist Wayne County Fire Departments through mutual/auto aid that covers an additional 533 square miles and approximately 83,000 more citizens.

*Data as of 2021 Census

GFD Historical Timeline


Chief Ron Stempien

Ron Stempien became Fire Chief  of the Goldsboro Fire Department on June 30, 2021. He joined the department January 17, 1996 as a Firefighter. He moved through the ranks as Engineer, Captain, and then Assistant Chief of Support Services before becoming Fire Chief.


Chief Joseph Dixon

Chief Joseph Dixon joined the department in July of 2018. He made tremendous advancements in the department in his time here. He implemented a reorganization of the department to include the positions of Deputy Chief and Lieutenant allowing for more advancement opportunities within the department. This reorganization was also a cost-saving effort not only within the department, but the city of Goldsboro. He has encouraged new and differing training opportunities to allow the personnel to grow in their knowledge of the fire service. He was an advocate, not only for the employees of GFD, but for the citizens of Goldsboro as well. Chief Dixon left the department to pursue other opportunities in March of 2021.


Eastern Aluminum Fire

Thick smoke could be seen for miles as Eastern Aluminum on Oak Forest Rd. burned on the afternoon of April 13, 2018. C Shift was on duty that day, but members of A and B Shifts were called in to assist. 35 Personnel from GFD along with volunteers from Belfast, Elroy, Nahunta, and Patetown Fire Departments fought the fire for almost 1.5 hours before it was under control. Crews were on scene for almost 10 hours total to keep watch on any hot spots and also for investigation and clean up. Two fire personnel and one civilian sustained minor injuries that day. Cause of the fire was undetermined after the investigation.


Aycock Tractor Fire

A major fire occurred in Goldsboro on August 4, 2015 at Aycock Tractor Company close to 7:00 in the evening. Due to the massive size of this fire and materials around the structure, it took over 3 hours to control the fire. C Shift was on duty that evening, but members of A Shift were called back to assist. Also, members of neighboring volunteer fire departments were called to aid GFD including: Belfast, Elroy, Rosewood, New Hope, Mar Mac, Patetown, and Pricetown.


Chief Gary Whaley

Chief Gary Whaley became Fire Chief in 2009. During his time as Chief, he accomplished many goals for the department. The ISO (Insurance rating) for GFD was improved from a 4 to a 3 due partially to personnel and equipment improvements. Station 4 had an addition added on in 2010. Due to the size of apparatus being used, the old bay was too small and no longer usable for housing the apparatus. A new dual bay was built on the eastern side of the structure. Other departmental improvements included the addition of our current Engine 1, as well as a new aerial apparatus, Tower 1. Staffing improvements were made in adding the positions of Senior Firefighter, Day Shift Captains, and the Fire Marshal. The Water Rescue team was developed after the need was seen during several major hurricanes in our area. The GFD Explorer program, and the Car Seat program were also implemented in our department during Chief Whaley’s time at GFD. He was very active within the community, never one to say a job was too small for him. Chief Whaley retired from the department in 2017.


Firefighter Carol “Irene” Taylor

Goldsboro Firefighter, Carol Taylor, passed away on November 14, 2008 following a shift at Station 4. Her crew at responded to an electrical fire call a few hours prior to shift ending and they did not return back to the station until close to 0800. She was found in her home later that day after suffering from an apparent heart attack. Firefighter Taylor had served her community for over 11 years.


Chief Alvin Ward

Alvin Ward served as Fire Chief for approximately a year and a half.


Paramount Theater Fire

Before the sun had even risen on February 19, 2005, a fire broke out at the Paramount Theater on S. Center St,  destroying years of history. An officer from Goldsboro Police Department noticed the flames and called dispatch around 04:00. Over 60 members of Goldsboro Fire Department were on scene, as well as members of New Hope, Rosewood, and Elroy Fire Departments. Volunteers from Mar Mac and Pinewood Fire Departments were on standby to assist with any other calls that Goldsboro would receive that day. Multiple aerial units were utilized to help contain the fire to just the Paramount Theater. There was a real danger of the entire block of businesses going up in flames. Chief Greenfield knew after assessing the situation that the theater was not going to survive the fire, and therefore focused on preventing the fire from spreading to the other structures beside the theater. Crews stayed on scene well into that day to keep watch for hot spots even after the fire was out. On February 15, 2008, only three years after the devastating fire, the Paramount Theater was rebuilt and opened for business.


Wayne County Community Building Fire

The Wayne County Memorial Community Building was a fixture in Goldsboro as it honored those who died during WWI. It was built in 1924 and served not only as a memorial, but as a meeting place for some organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Red Cross, and United Way. It was also the headquarters for Goldsboro Recreation and Parks Department for many years. This building was destroyed on May 2, 2004 from a fire that started in the cupola on top of the roof. By the time the firefighters reached the scene, the fire had already overcome the structure. Chemicals inside the building aided in the fire spread. Outside, storms including lightning and high winds, were not helping the situation either. Off-duty GFD personnel were called to the scene to assist, as well as two neighboring departments, Mar Mac Volunteer Fire Department and Pinewood Volunteer Fire Department. It took over 3 hours for the fire to be contained.


Station 2 Relocated

Station 2 was moved to the current location of 1901 Royall Ave in 2000. This station houses Engine 2 and Ladder 1 (reserve) in the two bays. The style of the fire station is a more modern, open concept in the kitchen and living area.


Wayne Auto Salvage Fire

November 6, 1998 is a day that GFD hopes is never repeated. Fire crews from GFD were dispatched to Wayne Auto Salvage for a structure fire to aid Thouroughfare and Arrington Fire Departments. After ventilating the structure, crews entered with hose line. After a few minutes of fire attack at the source of the fire, crews were instructed to exit the structure to reconvene and strategize a different attack plan. Upon exiting the structure, a blast of heat and smoke knocked several members of the crews onto the ground. Most were able to get out of the structure with minimal injuries. However, two firefighters lost their lives that day, one being from Goldsboro Fire Department. Robby Blizzard had just completed a 24 hour shift at GFD and was volunteering with Arrington Fire Department. Sidney Jones was the other person that lost his life that day and was the Chief of Thoroughfare Fire Department.


Station 5 Is Established

In 1998, Goldsboro Fire Department’s Station 5 was opened and operating on Central Heights Rd. This station resembles Station 2 in style, but includes one more bay.


Chief Bobby Greenfield

Chief Bobby Greenfield served as Fire Chief beginning in 1997, serving the department for almost a decade. In 1998, Station 5 (Central Heights Rd) was opened and fully operating. Station 2 was later relocated to the current location on Royall Ave. During his time as Chief, the Ladder 1 apparatus was purchased as a replacement Aerial for the 1976 Snorkel. Our current Engine 2 was also purchased during his time. Chief Greenfield helped assist in the expansion of the department by creating new positions such as Assistant Chief of Support Services. The GFD Honor Guard was established during his time as Chief.  He adopted the Committed to Life Safety slogan that is represented on all our current apparatus.


Station #4 Opens

In early 1980, it was decided a new fire station was needed for Goldsboro. The station was built with 2700 square feet of usable area at a cost of just over $100,000. The station was designed to blend in with the residential neighborhood in which it was located. On December 13, 1982, this new station was placed in operation on Poplar St as Goldsboro Fire Station #4.  An Engine Company from Station 1 was transferred to Station 4 and no new personnel were needed to be hired at that time.


Headquarters Station Moves to Center Street

As the city grew in size, the department had to grow as well. The Ash St station became overcrowded with not only personnel, but fire apparatus. At the same time, the Goldsboro Police Department was also becoming overcrowded. It was decided to build a Fire-Police Complex and to have one Central Dispatch Office for both the Fire and Police Departments. Land was purchased at the corner of S. Center St and E. Spruce St. On October 19, 1976, the Fire and Police Departments transferred their operations to the new complex.


In the later 1970’s, GFD obtained another apparatus. This 1976 American LaFrance with a 1000 gpm pump and a Detroit 350 HP was added to the fleet.


Belk-Tyler Co. Department Store Fire

The Belk-Tyler fire was one that was not quickly forgotten. It was reported that the fire began in the light fixtures. The store had allegedly had issues with the florescent lights, but no repairs had been made. The fire began on an afternoon in 1974, and crews stayed on scene well into the next day. Like many structures downtown, one worry was neighboring buildings being affected by the flames and smoke.  With the fire starting in the ceiling/light fixtures, it was difficult for firefighters to get the fire under control. A lot of water was flowed that afternoon and into the next morning as hot spots were trying to reignite. As a result of all the water flow, merchandise from the store also flowed down the street and on the sidewalks. While there were minor injuries that occurred, no life was lost during that fire!


Chief Willard Herring

Chief Willard Herring became Fire Chief on January 9, 1969 and was the youngest Fire Chief Goldsboro had hired up to that point. During that first year, a new 1000 gallon pumper was put into service, replacing a 750 gallon pumper and bringing the total number of 1000 gallon pumpers in the department to 3. Chief Herring was able to oversee the development of a Training Grounds for GFD in 1970. In 1973, Goldsboro Fire Department was able to obtain a new modern type rescue unit. Personnel attended an ambulance school and were certified by the Emergency Medical Service of North Carolina as Ambulance Attendants. 1974 brought about a change to the department in the way of a three platoon system. This reduced the number of hours the men had to work from 72 to 56 hours per week. This is the current system used today. During this year, Chief Herring was approved to hire 6 additional personnel to help outfit the third platoon. In 1976, Chief Herring moved Headquarters from the Ash St location, to the new property on S. Center St.

Chief Herring retired in 1997 with 28 years of service as Fire Chief, making him the longest serving Fire Chief in the history of Goldsboro Fire Department.

Picture below is Chief Herring with his nephew, Scott Wells, and daughter, Sharon Herring checking out the 1919 La France 


Station #3 is Built

As the city continued to grow, a new sub-station was placed under construction in 1965. The station was (and still is) located on Patetown Rd in the northern part of the city. By July 29, 1966, Station 3 was opened and operating with a 4-man crew.


In 1962/63, GFD acquires this American LaFrance apparatus with a 1000 GPM pump and a 500 gallon water tank.


Station #2 is Opened for GFD

Due to the fact that Goldsboro was growing rapidly, it was decided that a second fire station was needed. Station 2 was built and occupied by August 27, 1956. This station was located at the corner of Beech St and Madison Avenue in the eastern part of the city.



Radio System Installed

Radio System Installed

Considerable improvement was made in the department in 1952 when radios were installed in the stations and on most vehicles. This radio communication made it possible to contact equipped vehicles while outside stations, and between apparatus anywhere in the city. This was an early version of what is being used today.


Chief Wesley Howell

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.


Weil’s Department Store Fire

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

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.


A New Headquarters is Built

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

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

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.


Second Motorized Apparatus Purchased

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

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

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.


First Motor Propelled Fire Equipment Purchased

Another highlight for the department occurred in 1913 when the city purchased it’s first piece of motor propelled fire equipment. This truck was a four cylinder hose and chemical truck manufactured by The American LaFrance Company of Elmira, New York. This truck was not equipped with a pump, therefore any pumping was still left to Old Mary Alice.


First Telegraph Alarm System Installed

The City of Goldsboro installed its first telegraph alarm system in January 1901. Inscription on the old fire bell, which is no longer used, states it was purchased at this time while E.E. King was Chief of the department.

Chief E. E. King

Chief E.E.King served as a combination volunteer/paid Fire Chief from 1901-1918.


Chief Henry Lee

Chief Henry Lee became the fire chief of Goldsboro in 1884, serving for approximately 17 years in a volunteer capacity.


Chief Lionel Weil

Chief Lionel Weil is the first documented Fire Chief of Goldsboro Fire Department. He served as a volunteer Fire Chief until 1884. Little is known about the start of his career with Goldsboro Fire Department.


Goldsboro Fire Department Is Established

Goldsboro Fire Department was established in May of 1881. Before that time, the Eclipse Fire Engine Company was serving the community.

The Mary Alice

This steam engine pumper, pulled by two horses, was purchased in 1880 by Charles Dewey, the Chief of Eclipse Fire Engine Company during that time. It was named in memory of his daughter. This engine cost the department just under $4,ooo to purchase, which at that time was a hefty expenditure as most chemical engines were under $1000.  The Mary Alice was kept in service with the Goldsboro Fire Department during the transition to the new department. The apparatus was rumored to have set a world record for the speed in getting the steam to the correct temperature the fastest and then spraying water the farthest. It served the department as a front line apparatus until 1919, and then was used as a reserve engine until 1940. It was then retired and put on display at Herman Park. During World War II, there was a great need for scrap metal. The Mary Alice was escorted down the streets of Goldsboro one last time on her way to be used for the needed metal for the war.


Very few of the personnel were paid members, most served in a volunteer capacity. The picture below is of the firefighters at the beginning of century with The Mary Alice. It is one of the oldest known photographs of the Goldsboro Fire Department. The man sitting in the front of the Mary Alice was Lon Pearsall, who at that time was the only known paid firefighter. Him and his family actually lived in the fire station and was responsible for making sure everything was ready to go when the need arose. The man in the back by the window was on duty that day, monitoring the Gamewell Telegraph system and would notify the firefighters if any emergency happened.


Uniforms were not regulated in the early days of Goldsboro Fire Department. Most of the volunteers could not afford to purchase extra clothing beyond their daily needs. The Department did not have the funds available to issue uniforms beyond the protective gear. The fire personnel were just asked to dress the best they could with what they already had available. Dress uniforms started to become more standardized around the 1940’s when the department was able to issue the uniforms to the personnel.

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