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Standing Watch…

There’s a proud buzz thruout the village as we admiringly marvel at a new structure springing up on Hwy 12- our new Fire House, soon to be home to our Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, the OVFD   .This may seem like a mundane topic unworthy of these pages, but not so.  It’s the culmination of a village dream, legions of volunteers and donors, a dedicated and thoughtful planning committee, a bit of government and the proceeds of auctions and tons of barbecue devoured at the annual Firemen’s ball, this year our 8th. Oh, yes-  forget not the donation of the site by the Hutcherson family.

There is, of course, a story. Before mid 20th century little Ocracoke dealt with fires  fairly informally- good luck, cistern  or ocean water by bucket brigade, that sort of thing. Along came systematic ferries from Hatteras together with Hwy 12, and  building growth ensued,  having gotten a push from The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard during World War II.

The OVFD  was organized in 1966, to meet the need. Legendary developer Sam Jones, he of The Castle, Berkeley Manor, and more, donated the first fire truck and Stanley Wahab the first fire house. In the 70s the community water system was developed, permitting fire hydrants. New equipment was acquired, and the Ocracoke Fire Protection Association (OFPA) was organized by agreement with the Coast Guard and The Park Service. The old fire house was soon outgrown, trucks parked outside in the weather, and the dreaming began.

An important offshoot of the OVFD was the Ocracoke Rescue Squad in 1977, ultimately blending into the Health Center and then Hyde County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in 1995.. But that’s another story, one to be proud of, for another day. Meanwhile, come admire the new quarters, and even become a part of it with a donation to the building fund at www.ocracokevfd.org .



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