In 1976 the Fire Department was launched with an all-volunteer force of 15. The OIB Fire Protection
Association was established thanks to the leadership and vision of seven community leaders. The
department depended on donations from businesses and individuals for funding. Chief Johnny Hill was
the first chief. Fire calls were routed to their homes with a unique ringtone. A 1974-model Ford
Cabover from America LaFrance pumper along with a modified delivery truck with an added tank and (2)
5 HP engines to pump water were the first pieces of apparatus. The fire house was located on the island
near where the old town hall is located on W. Third Street. To access the mainland, the narrow 2-lane
drawbridge was a challenge – residents would wait on one side for the truck to pass safely.

1985 New tanker replaced the modified delivery truck tanker
1989 Radios issued, and a water rescue inflatable boat was purchased
1993 First new engine, manufactured by Quality Mfg., replaced the 1974 pumper
Acquired a used 1972 American LaFrance 95-foot articulating boom truck
1995 Acquired an E-One with a 70’ ladder truck which replaced the 1972 American LaFrance 95 foot
truck. ISO rating of 4 earned (rare for an all-volunteer force). 
Also acquired a 1980 Sutphen pumper from Loveland Colorado as additional apparatus.
1999 Department moved to its current location on Causeway Drive to a new firehouse. Chief Al
Crawford offered the dedication attended by state and local elected officials.
2000 Fire fees established based on property value
2001 Acquired a new American LaFrance pumper replacing the Quality Mfg. pumper
2005 Acquired a new American LaFrance pumper to replace a 1980 Sutphen pumper.
2009 Town of Ocean Isle Beach took over management of the fire department for funding through a
Board of Commissioners
2018 Acquired Ferrara HD-107 (currently in use) replacing the E-One ladder
2020 Acquired Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck
2022 Acquired Pierce Enforcer Ladder Truck

Chief Johnny Hill 1976 - 1984
Chief Terry Barbee 1984 - 1993
Chief Dave Harrell 1993 - 1995
Chief Al Crawford 1995 - 2007
Chief Bobby Yoho 2007 - 2018 for a total of 34 years of service
(14 years as a volunteer and 20 years full time)
Chief Chuck Rash 2018 - 2020
Chief Blue Born 2020 to present