Chainsaws ARE ready! 🧰

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January 2022

Large and in charge, Maylon White whips the massive red 2009 Pierce fire engine around the firehouse like he was driving his own late-model Toyota pickup truck. On tap for this morning?

“Preventive maintenance checks,” he says. “Every Saturday.”

White, director of the North Carolina Aquariums Division, volunteers for the Volunteer Fire Department in Southern Shores, his home town. He and the other volunteers perform numerous duties — firefighting, equipment

maintenance and storm recovery cleanup, as well as search and rescue.

For him, it’s important to give back to the community. And besides, he has fun doing it.

“It’s a good way to engage with the community, make more contacts and represent our department,” White said. He sometimes spends workdays at Jennette’s Pier and the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island when not in the division’s Raleigh headquarters.

He notes that the N.C. Department of Cultural and Natural Resources encourages employees to help-out in their communities and even offers folks three days of community involvement leave each year. Volunteering was also listed as an overall goal in Aquarium employees’ work plans this year.

For White, the motivation runs deep for the people in these windswept seaside towns.

“It’s a great chance to serve locally,” he said. “I like being able to help people in need.”

At Southern Shores, White said, they keep chainsaws at the ready so they can respond quickly after hurricanes or northeasters to clear roads of fallen trees and such.

They also partner with groups such as the Coastal Humane Society and Toys for Tots in Dare and Currituck counties.

When it comes to fighting fires, don’t be surprised to see White and the Southern Shores firefighting crew assisting in one of the county’s other five beach towns or unincorporated areas.

“A lot of people may not realize it, but the small towns of the Outer Banks share resources,” he said. “We have mutual aid. We help keep fires from spreading.

“If they ask for our help, we will come.”


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