Reason for forming the Department
Back in 1971, a group of men and women concerned about recent fires in their area gathered at the Level Cross Community Center to attempt to organize fire protection for the area in and around Level Cross. This group was very aware of the damage that fire could cause. A steering committee was appointed to determine the necessary requirements for a fire station. Committee findings and recommendations were presented to the citizens of the community who indicated a desire to continue the pursuit of fire protection. In early 1972, we began to lay bricks for our station. Except for finishing touches, our station was essentially completed in mid-1972.
A brief written history of the department
I guess you could say that we are famous for being the fire department for Petty Enterprises. Petty Enterprises is the home of auto racing's NASCAR champions Richard Petty, Lee Petty and Richard's son Kyle Petty. In fact, under our county fire department numbering system, we are called Station # 43. Our engines are numbered 431 and 432, our tanker is numbered 434, and our Squad is Squad 43. For the first 17 years, each piece of fire equipment that we bought had to be rebuilt by our volunteers. During this time of our history, our budget was very tight and we were unable to buy new equipment, only used items. Over the years we rebuilt about six vehicles, and after our volunteers finished with them, they were just like new. They really did a super job with what they had to work with. In 1988, we received our first new piece of fire equipment. It was a 1988 Emergency One, 1,250-gallon-per-minute pumper. In 1991, we bought a 1991 Chevrolet, 250-GPM pumper to be used as a squad unit on medical calls, vehicle accidents, and small grass fires.
First Fire Trucks at Level Cross Fire Department
Our first fire truck was a wrecked 1964 Chevrolet, a 750-gallon per minute pumper. We took this vehicle and rebuilt it. Our first tanker was an old fuel oil truck, a 1955 Chevrolet, with a 1,200-gallon tank.
Fire station location
The original fire station is still in its original location. It has been added onto several times to hold the equipment that we have.
In 2019 we started operating out of our new fire station located next door.
Names of all past chiefs
Donald Whitaker - 22 years
Max Hooker – 1 year
Fallen in the line of duty
Michael T. Childress - May 7th, 2005
At the present time, we have 24-hour staff on duty. We have a full-time Chief that is at the station from 8 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday. We also have 3 full-time shift personnel that are Firefighter/ EMT’s, and they work 24 hrs. Being able to have full-time personnel here at the station means that we are able to get the first piece of equipment out the door within minutes of an emergency call coming in. This is needed if your house is on fire, or you have a family member that is having a heart attack. As a member of the Level Cross community, your tax dollars help pay for Fire district services and the members of station 43 want to be sure you get the best service we have to offer!
ISO stands for Insurance Service Office rating. The inspection is conducted by the Department of the State Fire Marshall. The inspection is required on a regular schedule as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. During the inspection, the OSFM officer looks for things such as proper staff training, up-to-date equipment, and the availability of our water sources. Insurance ratings range from 1 point being the highest to 10 being the lowest. Higher ratings can lower a fire district's insurance rates and thus save homeowners and businesses in that area.
Level Cross recently had our DOI (Department of Insurance) inspection in November 2015. Our insurance rating will be a class 5 effective May 1st, 2016. The department has worked hard to help the Level Cross community maintain a reasonable tax rate by trying to keep our station and the members of our department in tip-top working condition. We appreciate everything the people of Level Cross do to support our station and this is one way that we as a fire department can give back to the community.