Local News

Durham adds recommissioned fire and rescue unit

Posted November 16, 2019 9:13 p.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2019 12:00 a.m. EST

— Durham is a growing city, and that poses new developing dangers.

Those dangers could lead to emergencies in tall buildings and to rescues in confined spaces. A new specialized rescue company has been recommissioned to be ready to help in those situations.

On Saturday, Durham firefighters, along with members of the community, pushed the recommissioned Rescue 1 Unit into service. The ‘housing’ tradition dates back to a time before engine-powered trucks.

"You used to have to push the truck back into the station because horses do not go in reverse," said Durham assistant fire chief Andy Sannipoli.

Sannipoli said this rescue unit will serve a very modern purpose.

New specialized team in action in Durham

"The Durham area is growing, so we have a lot of high-rise and mid-rise buildings," Sannipoli said.

Rescue 1 will also work vehicle extrications, building collapses and water and confined space rescues. The rescue company was decommissioned back in 2000, when another program was introduced.

Now, it is back. The heavy and special hazards rescue company is located downtown and will serve the whole city.

"It's a monumental moment for the department," said Dave Stacy, a Durham fireman. "Everybody has a piece of it, it feels like it is part of the city."

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