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Point Harbor Beach

LONG-AWAITED DRY HYDRANT INSTALLED AT POINT HARBOR BEACH

A brilliant rainbow crossed through the mist descending upon the boat ramp at Pt. Harbor Beach on a sunny day in August, where a newly installed dry hydrant fed sound water through the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department's Pumper Engine Number 50. The welcome spray from the nozzle poised atop the shiny, red engine shot a hundred yards back into the Currituck Sound, climaxing two years of research, cooperation, and stubborn persistence by neighborhood residents and members of the Pt. Harbor Beach Firewise Task Force. Lower Currituck has several dry hydrants in local "still water" ponds, but this is the first dry hydrant that will draw from an active body of water, adding numerous complications to the installation.

Point Harbor BeachAnthony Bartolotta (atop engine) and Captain Chuck Wacker, both of the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department, conduct a successful test of Point Harbor Beach's newly installed dry hydrant.

The successful installation accomplished the goal of providing a water resource for fighting fires in the sound- front neighborhood, an idea proposed in 2008 to the Point Harbor Beach Property Owners Association by resident Anthony Bartolotta, who volunteers with the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department and is a career Fire Lieutenant with the Duck Fire Department. It was also the culmination of the first major effort mounted by the Task Force since Pt. Harbor Beach achieved certification as a Firewise USA Community in late 2009. A Firewise Community Block Program Grant was awarded to Pt. Harbor Beach to partially finance the project, the remainder of the cost being funded by residents' donations and volunteer hours.

When the project was envisioned, interested residents sought the aid of the Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department and then-chief James Moseman, and Currituck County Forest Ranger Aaron Gay, who suggested the Firewise USA Communities program and guided the Task Force through the necessary steps to certification. For the last two years, the neighborhood has organized clean-up days to remove brush and overhanging vegetation from the roads, delivered Firewise-sponsored educational materials to residents, and celebrated a Firewise Day with a free neighborhood hot-dog lunch on July 4th weekend, with guest appearances by LCVFD trucks and crews and county EMT vehicles and personnel. With the completion of the dry hydrant installation, the Firewise Task Force will now move forward with new projects to further enhance the safety of the Pt. Harbor Beach community, including uniform reflective address markers and continued fuel and vegetation removal.