Long Beach, Yaupon Beach, Oak Island, Southport – History Notes

Last updated 7:00 a.m., July 25

This posting is undergoing updates, with clarifications on the coming current changes, and as additional historical perspectives are added.

News out of Brunswick County. Yaupon Beach Fire Department is dissolving, and transferring their assets to Southport Fire Department. Members of YBFD are also joining SFD. [ Previously reported as a merger of YBFD into SFD. ]

Starting July 1, 2018, the town of Caswell Beach will contract with the town of Southport for fire protection. The beach town had long-contracted with the private Yaupon Beach FD, who occupies a town-provided public services building.

Here’s a WWAY story about the coming changes, though they refer to Yaupon Beach FD as Caswell Beach FD. 

What’s the historical perspective of YBFD, Caswell Beach, and its neighboring fire department on Oak Island? Here are some notes that Mr. Blogger has compiled and collectively revised, with assistance from readers on this Facebook thread

Click to enlarge:

2018-06-19-map

Historical Perspective

1950-1969

  • 1954 – Long Beach destroyed in Hurricane Hazel.
    • Only five of 357 buildings survive.
  • 1955 – Town of Long Beach incorporated.
  • 1955 – Town of Yaupon Beach incorporated.
  • 1961, July – Town of Long Beach has a fire truck, and is operational.
    • Six-wheeled military surplus tanker bought as surplus from Cherry Point.
    • Carries 1200 gallons, with two pumps, including new low-volume, high-pressure pump.
    • They add hoses, ladders, axes, etc. Town also had 550 gallon, trailer-mounted water tank.
    • Housed in garage adjacent to the 1960 town hall building.
  • 1962, Sep 15 – Town ordinance for creating Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
    • Organized by town manager with twelve volunteers.
      • Formal training began on July 23 (1962?) in Southport.
  • 1966, Oct –  LBFD fire station completed. Construction took two years.
  • 1967, Feb – Long Beach awards bid for new fire truck to C.W. Williams of Rocky Mount.
    • Will replace “ancient truck” from Sanford, which is being returned to Sanford.
  • 1968, Jul 20 – Long Beach adopts fire district resolution, named Tranquil Harbor Fire District 1.”

1970-1989

  • 1971 – Construction underway on LBFD Station 2. Need address.
  • 1973 – LBFD fire and rescue services split, to improve county funding.
  • 1976 – LBFD jeep declared surplus.
  • 1978 – LBFD adds Spartan pumper.
  • 1979, Jan 1 – Yaupon Beach FD – Chartered as corporation.
    • Department organized in 1960s or earlier.
    • Station located at 8510 East Oak Island Drive. 
    • Four-bay metal building. The far-right bay is later closed and converted to a training room. The building is expanded across the entire back of the building, with a bay exiting on the left side of the building. 
  • 1979, Jul 1 – Town of Long Beach begins Public Safety Officer program.
    • Trains police officers in medical services.
    • Program continues into early 1990s, at least.
  • 1980 – LBFD leases GMC pumper to Yaupon Beach, as well as “old granny” fire truck to Sunset Beach.
  • 1984 – LBFD leases 1957 GMC pumper to Ocean Isle.
  • 1986 – LBFD adds 1985 Ford C/Grumman pumper-tanker.
  • 1987-88 – LBFD adds “equipment truck” built by Ranger Corporation of Rhode Island. Also has 1955 ALF pumper on roster.
  • 1987-88 – LBFD adds 1988 Ford C/Grumman FC-1250 TeleSqurt, 1250/750/20A/50-foot.

1990-1999

  • 1990 – New radio system installed, shared between LBFD and YBFD.
  • 1992 – First annual LBFD “Horse-a-Thon” fundraiser.
  • 1994 – LBFD auxiliary chartered.
    • Non-profit organization, created in response to need for additional volunteers.
    • Provided wide-ranging support to LBFD, from fireground rehab to fundraising.
  • 1996 – LBFD opens new station at 101 East Oak Island Drive.
    • Was the new station built on an older station site? TBD.
  • 1999, Jul 1 – Town of Oak Island created, merging towns of Long Beach and Yaupon Beach. 
    • LBFD renamed Oak Island FD.
    • YBFD declines to merge with LBFD, and continues operating as independent entity. 

2000-2009

  • 2000 – YBFD orders two pieces of E-One apparatus:
    • Order date 5/25/00 – Project #122660
    • Order date 9/14/00 – Project #121883
  • 2001 – OIFD buys demo ladder, 1999 E-One Hurricane, 155/200/95-feet. 
  • 2001, circa – By this time, the old Long Beach town hall fire station is housing only the Oak Island FD ladder truck. 
    • Presuming the station was closed in early 2000s.
  • 2003, January – YBFD is providing contracted fire protection to the town of Caswell Beach by this time.
    • When was YBFD first contracted? TBD.
  • 2005, August – Town enters (re-enters?) contract with YBFD, to provide fire protection to the town. 
    • Was this supplementary fire protection? To help with ISO requirements? TBD.
    • Was this service made formal in response to response or mutual aid issues? TBD.
    • Oral histories recall YBFD contracted to protect the town by 2001. Perhaps back to the town’s creation? TBD.
  • 2006 – Oak Island FD starts 24-hour shifts.
  • 2007 – Town awards two bids:
    • $2.6M construction contract to build new fire station for YBFD, erected on the same site. By September 2017.
    • $2.1M construction contract to build new fire station on Vanessa Drive. August (?) 2017.
  • 2007, September
    • OIFD has one station, 12 full-time employees, six part-time, and about 15 volunteers. 
    • YBFD has one station, about 34 volunteers, and four fire trucks. 
  • 2007 – YBFD adds 1989 Spartan Diamond/American Eagle, 1250/750, bought from Smith Grove FD, which bought from Salem Chapel FD, which bought from a department “up north.”
  • 2008/2009 – OIFD opens substation at 4151 Vanessa Drive.
    • Building is 9,000 square-feet.
    • Located in South Harbour subdivision, which was annexed in the 2000s.
    • Original annexation agreement included a requirement that the town build a fire station within the subdivision. 
  • 2009 – OIFD receives FEMA grant to help pay for staffing, and increases total of full-time staff from 13 to 20.
  • 2009 – YBFD station rebuilt on same site.
    • Building in 17,000 square-feet, two stories.
    • Architect is Garner & Brown from Charlotte.
    • Original structure dated to 1960s, described as “metal building with several additions.” Also cited as built in 1979.
    • Designed to accommodate planned future transition to full-time department. 
    • Built by the town and leased to YBFD, beginning that year, for $1 per year.
    • Town also retains control of one apparatus bay, to meet ISO requirements.

2010-present

  • 2011 – OIFD adds second tower, 1991 Simon/Duplex LTI, 1500/500/85-foot, ex-Closter FD in New Jersey.
  • 2011-2013 – Former Town Hall fire station building demolished, to make way for new Town Hall expansion. 
  • 2014, April, before – Town offers to merge with YBFD, and the offer is declined.
  • 2014, April – Town terminates contract with YBFD
    • Orders YBFD to vacate the fire station by October 28, 2014.
  • 2014, July, by – YBFD acquires 1988 Ford C/Grumman telesquirt (ex-OIFD?)
  • 2014, later – YBFD relocates to nearby 104 Elizabeth Drive.
    • Old Oak Island Volunteer EMS building.
    • Built 1984, say tax records.
  • 2014, later – OIFD occupies old YBFD station, now Station 2.
    • Also moves administrative offices to location.
  • 2015, June – OIFD upgrades from EMT-Intermediate to EMT-Paramedic response
    • Effective June 18.
    • They begin responding at paramedic level to all EMS calls with their two engine companies, one at Sta 1 and the other at Sta 3.
    • They cease providing primary emergency transport services, and use their ambulances only to back-up Brunswick EMS.
  • 2015, Oct, by this time – OIFD has purchased four “gently used” engines.
    • Identical 2008 KME Predator pumpers, 2000/500.
    • Cost $200,000 each.
    • Bought by selling six pieces of used apparatus:
      • 2005 Freightliner/E-One rescue pumper, 1000/500, rear-mounted pump
      • 2009 Spartan/Rosenbauer quint, 1500/500/75′
      • 1995 HME/Luvern quint, 1500/500/55′
      • 2011 Ford/RoadRunner ambulance, #1 of 2
      • 2001 Ford/RoadRunner ambulance, #2 of 2
      • 2000 Spartan/E-One pumper/tanker, 1250/1000
    • However, only four are ultimately sold.
    • The 2000 Spartan/E-One and an ambulance are retained. The pumper/tanker as reserve, and an ambulance to assist county EMS, when they have extended response times. 
  • 2016, early – YBFD relocates to nearby 1100 Caswell Beach Road.
    • Newly completed Caswell Beach Public Services Building.
    • Built by the town, which contracts with YBFD for fire protection.
  • 2017, circa – Last ambulance sold. 
  • 2017, Dec 31 – YBFD answered 61 calls in calendar year.
  • 2018, May 10 – County officials approve cutting supplemental funding for fire departments for coming budget year.
    • YBFD will suffer loss of 42-percent of its funding.
  • 2018, Jun 20 – Southport town officials approve contract with town of Caswell Beach, to begin providing fire protection.
    • Service was previously provided by contract with YBFD.
  • 2018, May-June – YBFD votes to dissolve corporation and transfer assets to SFD.
    • All members are invited by SFD to join the department.
    • Several members accept offer.
  • 2018, Jul 1 – SFD starts protection of Caswell Beach.

Oak Island FD

  • Sta 1 – 101 East Oak Island Drive – Built 1997 – Former Long Beach FD. Site of original station?
  • Sta 2 – 8510 East Oak Island Drive – Former Yaupon Beach FD – Built 2009, site of original YBFD station.
  • Sta 3 – 4151 Vanessa Drive – Built 2008? Dedicated March 2009.

Yaupon Beach FD

  • 1100 Caswell Beach Road – Built 2016, Caswell Beach public services building.

Southport FD

  • Sta 1 – 1011 North Howell Street – Built 2010 
  • Sta 2 – 111 E. Nash Street – Old Sta 1, built ?
  • Sta 3 – 4884 Old Long Beach Road SE – Old car wash, leased 2017. Built 2000, say tax records.

History:

  • 1869 – Fire destroys five dwellings and three stores.
    • Troops and sailors aid citizens.
    • Town is then-named Smithville.
  • 1893 – Fire department organized. Hook and ladder truck purchased from Wilmington FD.
    • Housed temporarily in stable at foot of now Caswell Street.
    • Permanent home planned for rear of city jail on Franklin Street.
    • Company of 20 volunteers organized.
  • 1915 – Waterworks completed and first fire hydrants installed.
    • During construction, major fire destroyed many buildings in business district.
  • 1916, Jan 21 – Volunteer fire department officially organized.
    • Officers elected, constitution and by-laws adopted.
    • City purchases three reels, 1500 feet of hose, several extinguishers ,and other equipment.
  • 1916, July 29 – Town has fire hydrants, water mains, fire alarm bell, engine house, three reel companies, and hose.
    • New ladder trucks expected soon.
  • 1917 –  Town Hall now occupied, which also houses volunteer fire companies reel. Two story building?
  • 1923 – First motor truck, combination chemical hose car. 
    • Ford with 600 feet of hose, two 35-gallon chemical tanks, two hand extinguishers, lanterns, crow bars, axes, and ladders.
    • Cost $2,400.
  • 1924 – Reorganized.
    • Two white companies, one black companies.
      • One white company operates the chemical engine, the other handles hose for attaching to hydrants. Both will respond to every fire.
      • Black fire company (ten men) is hook and ladder company.
  • 1946 – Second motor truck.
    • Ford pumper, 500 GPM, mounted on 1.5 ton truck.
    • Original 1923 truck retired.
  • 1965 – New fire truck added. Ford C/Howe pumper.
  • 1965 – By this time, also a brush truck (foam truck?) on the roster. Chevrolet pick-up.
  • 1984 – First annual firefighters competition
  • 1986 – February – Department has four 750 GPM pumpers and one 350 GPM unit.
    • Department has ISO rating of 6.
  • 1986, Jul 30 – E-One apparatus ordered ordered. Project #5107
    • Telesquirt on Ford C chassis.
  • 1992, June – Renovations finishing at fire station, for displaying the antique fire engine.
  • 1994, Jul 29 – E-One apparatus ordered. Project #14282
    •  1995 E-One Cyclone pumper, 1250/1000
  • 1999, Jun 18 – E-One pumper ordered. Project #121143
    • Delivered March 2000
  • 2003, Jun 27 – E-One apparatus ordered. Project #127623.
  • 2004, October – New rescue/service truck. 2004 Spartan/E-One
  • 2007 (?) – New pumper, 2007 Spartan/Rosenbauer, 1250/1000
  • 2012 (?) – New ladder, 2002 Rosenbauer Commander AT platform, 1750/400/101-foot
  • 2015, Oct 1 – First full-time fire chief hired. 
    • Source: SPP, 11/2/16
  • 2015, November – Merger completed of SFD and Southport EMS.
    • Source: SPP, 11/2/16
  • 2016 – Nash Street fire station relocated to old EMS building next door. The fire station is demolished, and the EMS building is renovated and re-opened as Southport Station 2.
  • 2017, Jan 30 – Station 3 opened
    • Substation at 4884 Old Long Beach Road, former car wash.
    • Opened to meet need identified by ISO inspection in February 2016.
    • Source: SPP, 2/8/17

Fort Caswell

Facility had fire department and fire station buildings. Two buildings are still standing, built circa 1905 as firehouse and firefighter quarters.

Sources:

Facebook Comments

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Oak Island Fire Departments Family Tree – Long Beach, Yaupon Beach, Oak Island, Southport, Fort Caswell – Legeros Fire Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.