OFPA and OVFD: Many years ago, a group of Ocracoke residents saw the need for a fire station. They developed a successful plan for the community. They first established the nonprofit organization, Ocracoke Fire Protection Association. This would be the organization that oversaw the operation of the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department. Using their plan, these two groups have worked successfully to provide the service to the community that has been needed since 1966.
The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department provides service for a small island community of approximately 950 permanent residents. During the annual vacation season the island population can swell to 10,000 visitors on a daily basis. This population increase presents a unique challenge to our small volunteer fire department. Working with the National Park Service and Hyde County EMS, we provide coverage for fires, accidents, medivac, rescues and other emergencies.
Some are charter and commercial fishermen, EMTs, former educators, and tourist industry workers. They all work together to maintain a North Carolina fire insurance classification of 6.
The Ocracoke community demonstrates its pride in their fire department by providing additional manpower and supplies when needed and by participating in fire department sponsored events such as barbecues, special fundraisers and our annual Memorial Day Weekend Firemen's Ball. We welcome you to explore our website and discover more about the O.V.F.D.
The Ocracoke Fire Protection Association luckily received a $2500.00 endowment grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation this past spring. We matched the grant with our $2500.00. The grant will grow over the years by donations made specifically to this fund by OFPA supporters. At the end of each year we will be given a fund statement that indicates contributions to and grants paid from our fund, as well as investment activity. This fund statement will inform us as to the amount that the fund is allowed to distribute to the Ocracoke Fire Protection Association for the year. We may choose to take the distribution or leave it in the fund to grow.
We are encouraging those of you who are supporters of the OFPA to consider making contributions directly to this endowment fund. You need to send your check to the Outer Banks Community Foundation at 13 Skyline Road Southern Shores, NC 27949 or directly to www.obcf.org/donate.
Matching Funds: Anyone who stays at any of the Ocracoke Realty rentals, may leave a donation to the Fire Department that the rental company will match.
Our yearly fundraisers will continue with the Memorial Day weekend Firemen’s Ball and our annual letter requesting donations. We will continue to sell home address signs for those of you who are Ocracoke property owners, plus the sale of t-shirts.
As our firetrucks age out, we will need to continue raising money for the purchase of new trucks. This is a state and federal requirement. Right now, we are currently writing specifications for a pumper tanker truck. Not only do firetrucks age out, but so does gear. As you can imagine, nothing is cheap to purchase. We have been successful in securing a state grant each year since 2006, which has assisted us in replacing some of the older equipment and gear, but there are restrictions on as to how that money can be spent.
By keeping the gear and vehicles up to par, plus improving our training, we not only are better prepared to serve the community, but this also helps keep property insurance at a lower rate for Ocracoke homeowners.