History of Calabash Fire Department

Calabash Fire Department is located in Brunswick County, North Carolina, which is along the east coast. The Calabash Fire District consists of the towns of Calabash and Carolina Shores and a rural portion of Brunswick County that is unincorporated into any town but does include housing developments. The total Fire District encompasses 29.7 square miles. Due to the proximity of many beaches and golf courses, during spring and summer golf seasons the population increases significantly from the normal 12500 residents to almost double that.  

The Calabash Volunteer Fire Department was originally chartered in November 1973. The merchants of Calabash donated a substantial amount of the funds needed to operate. Funds were raised through individual donations, fish fries, barbeques, oyster roasts, and turkey shoots. Our original firefighting equipment consisted of a 1974 Ford, John Bean 750 gallon pumper, 2.5 ton GMC Army type 1000 gallon tanker, and a half-ton truck for brush and woods fires. In 1976 the fire department received a loan through the FHA in the amount of $82,000 to purchase land [one acre], to build a new fire station {Sta. # 1} and to pay off the 1974 truck. Prior to this time the department operated from other temporary locations. During the period of 1973 - 1975 the fire department operated strictly from donations and fund raising events with the help of the volunteer firemen and the ladies auxiliary.

Most of our working capital now is received through fire fees paid by property owners in our Fire District. Our second station came on line in 2004 to help serve the territory that was previously an unprotected section of the county. Although it was primarily staffed by volunteers when it first opened, it is now staffed 24/7 by career firefighters. Today we are a combination department with three 24-hour shifts consisting of an officer and three firefighter/EMTs.

Personnel Update

July 2000 - First career firefighters hired. Coverage with one firefighter 7 days per week 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

September 2001 - Second career firefighter hired, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

November 2001 - Increased career firefighters to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. One firefighter per shift. Continued with second firefighter, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

January 2004 - Added one Officer and 3 FF/EMTs per shift.

December 2014 - Received a Safer Grant for part time firefighter program

Apparatus Updates

December 1999 - 1998 E-One 75 foot Quint placed in service.
February 2000 - 1999 Spartan Salisbury Rescue Pumper placed in service.
January 2004 - 2004 Fout's Brothers 3300 gallon Tanker on Kenworth Chassis placed in service.

2016 - New 2016 E-One Engine purchased with a FEMA grant.

2018 - Old rescue truck replaced with a low mileage 1993 E-One Heavy Rescue/Pumper purchased from Lahaska, PA.



Other Milestones 

April 2002 - Response Rating System (ISO) Evaluation completed. Rating in hydrant area improved from a 7 to a 5.
August 2009 - ISO rating of 4 in towns of Calabash and Carolina Shores and 5/9E in the Calabash Rural Fire District.
Emergency call volume increased annually from 127 calls in 1997 to 572 calls in 2003. For 2005, the call volume was 1058. For 2010, the call volume was 1300. For 2013, the call volume was 1539. For 2018 the call volume was 2230.

January 4, 2013 - Ground breaking of new Fire Station

November 1, 2014 - Moved into our new state-of-the-art Fire Station at 892 Persimmon Rd.

April 26, 2014 - Community-wide open house to dedicate our Fire Station TO THE MEMBERS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE



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Calabash Fire Department Station 12-1| 892 Persimmon Road
Calabash, NC 28467
Tel. 910.579.2355
Station 12-2| 8995 N0. 5 School House Rd
adjacent to Brunswick Plantation
Tel. 910.287.5762
Click for directions