Dare County, in conjunction with the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 10, 2023, to celebrate the new Dare County EMS Station 4 that will be constructed at the corner of East Dogwood Trail and Duck Road/N.C. Highway 12 in Southern Shores.
Situated in northern Dare County, EMS Station 4 provides life-saving services for the Town of Southern Shores and neighboring communities, such as the Town of Duck and the Town of Kitty Hawk. Demolition of the structure that previously existed on the site—which was constructed in the 1980s and, in addition to Dare County EMS, was also utilized by the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department—began on Monday, March 20, 2023.
The new 8,800-square-foot facility that will be constructed in its original structure’s place is part of a multiphase project to improve and modernize numerous outdated EMS facilities throughout Dare County in order to better serve the residents and visitors of Dare County.
“Dare County EMS operates out of eight stations throughout the county,” said Dare County Manager/Attorney Bobby Outten during the ceremony. “We have stations in Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Frisco, Rodanthe, Manns Harbor, Manteo and the MedFlight helicopter hangar at the airport—as well as Station 4 right here in Southern Shores. The vast majority of those stations are in excess of 20 to 50 years old, and over the years, they’ve really begun to show their age and become outdated. All of these stations have become inadequate.”
Recognizing the integral role that Dare County EMS staff play as essential members of the community’s workforce—and that it is critical to provide them with the quality facilities and resources they need in order to perform their duties both effectively and efficiently—Dare County is committed to improving its EMS facilities throughout the county.
“The number of calls that our EMS stations receive has also increased dramatically from the days that these facilities were built,” Outten continued. “These increases have not only required us to hire more employees and provide more services, but they’ve also required some significant adjustments in our facilities.”
The various projects that will be undertaken by Dare County are scheduled to be completed in multiple phases, the first of which includes the construction of three new EMS facilities: Station 4 in Southern Shores, Station 1 in Kill Devil Hills and Station 7, which is the Dare MedFlight Hangar on Roanoke Island.
Once completed, the new EMS Station 4 in Southern Shores will feature a wide array of advancements that were not available when the facility was initially constructed, including new technology that will keep carcinogens from the vehicle bays out of the crew members’ living areas located within the facility, which have also been specifically designed to be more supportive of the needs of the male and female personnel who comprise Dare County EMS’s diverse workforce. In addition, the new station will also feature updated fire safety systems, enhanced protection during storms and more adequate space to perform the proper cleaning of equipment.
During his remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony, Outten thanked TowneBank, which has generously provided a temporary space for Dare County EMS to operate out of on Juniper Trail in Southern Shores until the new facility is completed , as well as the Town of Southern Shores and the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department, which owns the land upon which the new EMS Station 4 will be constructed.
“I’d like to thank the Town of Southern Shores for their partnership, as well as the Southern Shores Fire Department for their efforts on our behalf,” said Outten. “They own the property, and this could only have been done with the cooperation and the hard work of the Southern Shores Fire Department. This marks an example of important partnerships that exist throughout the county to provide essential services.”
Following the remarks made by Outten and Town of Southern Shores Mayor Elizabeth Morey, officials from Dare County, the Town of Southern Shores and the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department—as well as representatives of Barnhill Contracting Company and Oakley Collier Architects—were invited to officially break ground on the site of the new Dare County EMS Station 4 facility, which is currently expected to be completed in the late spring or early summer of 2024.
For more information about the series of improvements and renovations that are currently underway during Phase 1 of Dare County’s EMS facilities modernization project—as well as updates about projects that will take place as future phases get underway—please visit www.DareNC.gov/Projects.