History

Corolla Fire & Rescue Squad, Inc. (Corolla Fire) was established July 1, 1983 as a non-profit volunteer organization funded by Currituck County and donations from supporters. The groundwork, however, was laid several years before. In the decade prior, fire response was provided by Lower Currituck. As a recognized need for a more local response was acknowledged, Lower Currituck donated a red ’65 Jeep pick-up truck with a brush unit that was housed at the Whalehead Club.

Using mostly volunteer labor, a three-bay garage and meeting room was built on Whalehead Drive in 1983. A new 4WD Ford ambulance was placed in service, and Corolla became a North Carolina Certified Basic EMS provider. A Grumman pumper/tanker and Grumman tanker was placed in service in 1984. In 1986, an Emergency One GMC all-wheel drive pumper was added to provide a water source from remote ponds and the Currituck Sound. In the summer of 1989, Corolla Rescue became one of the first EMT-D (Defibrillation) rated squads in northeastern North Carolina. With membership, training, and the year-round population constantly increasing, Corolla Fire and Rescue Squad pursued, and was granted, a Level 9 fire rating from the North Carolina Fire Commission in December 1989. Throughout the decade, Corolla Fire responded to fewer than a dozen fire calls annually.
In the spring of 1990, Corolla Rescue became state certified as an Advanced Life Support (ALS) EMT Intermediate Squad. A second ALS ambulance was added in early summer 1990. Currituck County EMS supplied two EMT’s to staff the Corolla Station. During that year, the station was enlarged to seven bays, and a new 102 foot Grumman Aerial Platform truck was placed in service. The station was further expanded to ten bays in 1995 and to its current eleven bays in 1996. Corolla added a Pierce Sabre Pumper in 1998.

In mid-2007, Corolla Fire added a second facility located at roughly mile post 4.7 on Ocean Trail. The Pine Island station boasts another six vehicle bays, and additional sleeping quarters for personnel. A second Pierce pumper was added to the fleet, allowing one “first out” engine at each station. The addition of the Pine Island station and dedicated efforts of volunteers resulted in an improvement of local insurance rating to a Level 6 which dramatically reduced insurance costs. It was also in 2007 that Corolla retired its provider number and Currituck County assumed full responsibility for Emergency Medical Services in Corolla.
Today Corolla boasts over three thousand (3,000) homes and businesses. The total property tax value is estimated at over five billion ($5,000,000,000) dollars. Although properties have mushroomed, the year-round, permanent population is still fewer than one thousand (1000). Incredibly, summer visitors can balloon weekly population to over sixty-five (65,000).

Currently, Corolla fire is a multi-faceted organization serving the citizens and visitors of Currituck County, supported by 45 -50 full members, North Carolina state firefighters’ association certified, with frequent, and appreciated assistance from county EMS personnel. The organization operates from two stations with two standard class “A” pumper engines, two four wheel drive class ‘A’ pumper engines, a 102 foot aerial platform truck, a four wheel drive “brush” truck, and various other specialized fire apparatus.

In 2015, volunteers responded to 430 fire calls from the Dare County line to the beach strand. The service area is nearly fourteen (14) miles in length, but an average of only one half (1/2) mile in width.