On May 1, 1987, the Town of Emerald Isle started its own municipal fire department. Hiring a full-time fire Chief, three firefighters and three fire captains. They operated out of a one-room station for five years, until the new fire station was built just west at 7516 Emerald Drive. Fire Station 2 was a block shelled building at 2810 Emerald Drive, and was not staffed at this time. In 1989, the Fire Department began a Water Rescue Program with a donated surfboard. They trained with Nags Head Fire Department and later received loaner jet skis from Kawasaki.
August 1992 saw the completion of the new Fire Station 1 at 7516 Emerald Drive. The town had erected a metal shell and the firefighters built the interior living areas themselves while on duty, between emergency incidents. On July 1, 1999, the hiring of four additional firefighters allowed for Fire Station 2 to be staffed and operational 24 hours a day.
In 2010, the Fire Department was awarded a federal grant for 35 sets of turnout gear and Motorola Communication devices. The 26 MSA G1 Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses were obtained by means of federal grants for the Fire Department. Three additional firefighter positions were awarded through the federal SAFER grant. This brought staffing to five per day, split between the two stations.