SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. (WAVY) — A new 8,800-square foot EMS facility is going up just off N.C. Highway 12 in Southern Shores.

Dare County officially hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new EMS Station 4 at the corner of East Dogwood Trail on Monday. The new station will provide services for Duck and Kitty Hawk in addition to Southern Shores.

Dare County says it’s all part of a multiphase project to modernize the county’s outdated EMS facilities, which started earlier this year with a groundbreaking for a new facility in Kill Devil Hills. The other facility in the first group of construction is a new Dare MedFlight hangar on Roanoke Island.

Dare County EMS Chief Jennie Collins says the county’s current buildings range from about 20 years old to 52 years old. There are eight in total, with others in Nags Head, Manteo, Manns Harbor, Rodanthe and the Buxton area.

The groundbreaking for the new Dare County EMS Station 4 was held on April 10, 2023 in Southern Shores (Courtesy of Dare County)

At Monday’s groundbreaking, Dare County Manager Bobby Outten says “all of these stations have become inadequate.”

“The number of calls that our EMS stations receive has also increased dramatically from the days that these facilities were built,” Outten said. “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.” 

Officials say the new Southern Shores facility will have many new features, including new technology to keep carcinogens from the vehicle bays out crew living areas, updated fire safety systems, greater protection from storms and more overall space for various duties. The facility has also been designed to be more supportive of both male and female personnel, the county says.

During construction, which is expected to be complete in late spring or early summer 2024, EMS crews will operate out of a temporary facility on Juniper Trail provided by TowneBank.

You can read more about the facility improvements here.