While many folks are used to locally funded emergency services with paid employees, such as police, fire and EMT, some of Hatteras Island's services are volunteer only. Like in the days of the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station, water and fire rescue are 100% volunteer-based, with bravely trained islanders risking their lives to save the lives of others, locals and visitors alike.
Emergency Volunteer Services on Hatteras Island
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad:
Since 1980, the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad has been providing professional rescue services to the residents and visitors of Hatteras Island. Staffed by a group of approximately 30 dedicated volunteers, they are always looking for ways to improve their services and learn new and exciting skills. Station 35 is located in Buxton and services the southernmost part of Hatteras Island from Avon - south. A large portion of their duties include, but are not limited to, water rescue, and one of the most beneficial programs they offer to visitors and residents alike is their Rip Current Hazard & Beach Safety Course. This free course, available for all ages, educates folks on rip currents, ocean safety, survival practices, beach dangers, jellyfish stings and fish hook injuries. No matter how strong a swimmer, it is good to be educated on all of these issues before hitting the beach as they can easily take one by surprise.
Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department and Water Rescue:
This 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serves the Tri-Village area (Salvo, Waves and Rodanthe) as response time from the Buxton station, a minimum of 30 minutes driving time from the northern villages might not be as successful. Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, CBFD reports that they respond to nearly 325 calls per year, from traffic accidents and structure fires to distressed swimmers and EMS assistance.
Local Fire Departments:
There are five departments that make up the collaborative group of Hatteras Island Volunteer Fire Departments. They are located in Hatteras, Frisco, Buxton, Avon and Salvo (this department has two stations, one located in Salvo itself, in addition to the previously mentioned Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department, or CBFD).