Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station museum complex will have its annual
American Heroes Day on Thursday, August 2, 2012 from 10 a.m. until 3
p.m. on the station grounds in Rodanthe.
Chicamacomico was part of the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS)
and was the first station built in North Carolina. The original
station, dating from 1874, is still on the site as one of eight
buildings belonging to the Chicamacomico Historical Association.
The men of the United States Life-Saving Service (1871-1915) were the
original rescue heroes, the “storm warriors” who made dramatic and
heroic rescues of shipwreck victims whose lives were in peril from the
sea. In their history, nationwide, the USLSS’s men responded to more
than 178,000 lives in peril from the sea, of which they saved more than
177,000. This is a startling rate of success of 99.2 percent,
while their own loss of life, usually under the worst possible
conditions, was less than 1 percent.
In 1915, this service merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to
form the United States Coast Guard whose members routinely continues
this tradition of heroism.
With that inspiration, Chicamacomico decided to honor and celebrate
true American heroes of the past and the present. Participants
invited include the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary,
local volunteer fire departments, N.C. Highway Patrol, the local
sheriff’s office and police departments, local Emergency Medical
Services units and ocean rescue squads, Outer Banks Lighthouse
Society, and perhaps some last-minute surprises.
Equipment on display and/or in use will include fire engines,
ambulances, police cars, Coast Guard rescue boats, and others. There
will be numerous displays, demonstrations, and exhibits, as well as
hands-on activities and participation events.
one of the “one-time events’ is worth the price of admission. The
Beach Apparatus Drill, normally done on Thursdays at Chicamacomico
during June, July, and August, has long been “the best show on the
Outer Banks.” It is one of only two full drills done anywhere in the
nation, and the only one performed by volunteers of active-duty U. S.
Coast guard personnel.
.The Beach Apparatus Drill is a historic re-enactment of a rescue
method used by the U.S. Life-Saving Service. It involves a large
two-wheeled cart filled with life-saving equipment or “apparatus,” the
firing a projectile with a black-powder cannon to get lines to a
stricken ship (the “wreck pole” in the drill simulates the mast of a
ship) and then sending out equipment to save the lives of those on
board, one soul at a time.
The personal watercraft rescue is another simulation.
There are professionally trained local volunteers who can be on the
scene of a water rescue in a dramatically short amount of time.
And for the flyover at the closing event, a request has been made but
at this time it is unconfirmed. So stick around to the very end
for more surprises!
“All of these organizations are heroic to us,” said sitemanager James
Charlet. “Some are obvious by saving lives, but others are saving
history nature, or culture. All selflessly serve the public like
the Life-Saving Service did. And, unfortunately, also like the
Life-Saving Service, do not always get the public recognition they
American Heroes Day is a fund-raising event for the non-profit 501c3
Chicamacomico Historical Association so that it may continue these
kinds of events and keep the history of heroes alive.
Admission fees are a flat $5 per person. Children 5 and
under are free. Chicamacomico’s seven-acre site will be filled with
equipment and displays of the participants, so parking will be across
the street. Carpooling is encouraged.
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site is located at
milepost 39 ½ Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe. The GPS
coordinates are 35° 35’ N, 75° 28’ W.
For additional information, contact the Chicamacomico Life-Saving
Station at P.O. Box 5, Rodanthe, NC 27968 or by phone at (252)
987-1552, or email [email protected] . Visit the website at www.chicamacomico.net to learn more about the organization. and see a write-up about previous year’s events.
The Schedule of Events, as of Press Time:
Chicamacomico’s Seventh Annual “American Heroes Day”
2 AUGUST 2012 (Thursday)
Schedule of Events
I. ONE-TIME EVENTS
10:00 Event Opens (All emergency vehicles: 5 seconds sirens and 5 minutes lights this time, please)
10:30 Opening Ceremonies - Main Stage Area Posting of Colors, United States Coast
Guard Sector North Carolina, Nags Head Field Office.
Welcoming Remarks: James Charlet, Chicamacomico Historic Site Manager.
-Browsing time for exhibits, displays, tables and talking with participants
12:00 S.S. Mirlo Rescue Story & “Chicamacomico Songs” by Singer John Golden
Ramp of 1874 Life-Saving Station
1:00 Beach Apparatus Drill Starts at 1874 Station
(Team USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Oregon Inlet)
2:00 Water Rescue Demo (Chicamacomico Banks FD Water Rescue Unit)
On the Beach
3:00 Military Flyover requested but unconfirmed at press time.
II. ON-GOING EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Hot dogs, chips & sodas, for sale!
US Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet- static display of 25 foot response boat & tow truck
US Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet- interactive demonstration of fixing vessel water leaks
Banks Volunteer Fire Dept & Water Rescue Unit- static display and
inspection of ladder truck and jet-ski, and tow truck. See demo
County Sheriff’s Office- live demos of K9 Officer and dog, static
displays and inspection of patrol car and 5 ton “storm truck”
Dare County Emergency Medical Services –static display of EMS ambulance and equipment
Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue Unit – static display of truck and lifeguard equipment
Salvo Volunteer Fire Department – static display and inspection of company fire engine
North Carolina Highway Patrol – static display and inspection of SUV Patrol vehicle.
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative Bucket Truck-climb in trucks, try on lineman gear, ride way up in the bucket!!
Outer Banks Lighthouse Society displays and literature
Tables, displays, handouts, and conversations with Participants.