Nags Head Fire Chief Kevin Zorc retires after 34 years with town

By on November 28, 2018

After over three decades with the Town of Nags Head, Fire Chief Kevin Zorc retiredretire Dec. 1, 2018.

Zorc started with the Town in November 1984 in the Water Department and, recognizing his interest in community service, soon became involved with Nags Head’s Volunteer Fire Department. Just two years later, Zorc became one of Nags Head’s first career firefighters, working his way through the ranks to become chief in 2010.

During his tenure as chief, Zorc focused on fire prevention measures, establishing a comprehensive prevention program for Nags Head’s businesses. He was instrumental in updating the Town’s building codes and worked to have ordinances passed that paved the way for stricter enforcement of life safety requirements, which exceeded state building codes.

As a result of his leadership, Nags Head’s fire protection rating was upgraded from an ISO Class 4 to an ISO Class 2 in early 2018, no easy feat for a small department.

Zorc also championed the growth of the Town’s ocean rescue forces, working to add several lifeguard stands on the beach in Nags Head, as well as securing several beach wheelchairs for those with mobility challenges.

In addition to beach safety and access, Chief Zorc also concentrated on employee welfare, and, in 2004, Nags Head received its first ever Safety Health and Achievement Recognition Program Award from the North Carolina Department of Labor.

“My career with Nags Head Fire and Rescue was simply irreplaceable; it was an honor and a privilege to work with this fantastic organization,” Zorc said. “Working together through many changes, I believe we created a safer community. It is my hope that during my time here I was able to reach out to others meaningfully and create a lasting, positive experience with our department.

“Thank you Town of Nags Head – I will miss the citizens and my wonderful co-workers, and wish everyone the best!”

Despite working long hours, Zorc has been involved in many community organizations on the Outer Banks, including volunteering at the YMCA and Elizabethan Gardens, to name a few.

“Chief Zorc’s decades of committed service to Nags Head can be characterized by leadership based on hard work, genuine kindness, and unending support,” said Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn. “He championed fire prevention and personnel safety during his tenure and we owe him a debt of gratitude for that. Our entire community will miss his leadership.”

A key part of the rise up the ranks was his commitment to education. He first completed an associate degree in fire protection technology from Coastal Carolina College. From there, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Emergency Services from Fayetteville State University.

In 2016, Chief Zorc added gradation from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer’s Program to his list of accomplishments.

The Town is currently interviewing for a new fire chief.

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Missy Newman

Congratulations Kevin! You have served our community well, often going beyond your job description! I count myself fortunate to know you. Now about that “Honeydo” list Charlotte has waiting for you at home…enjoy your retirement!

Elizabeth Neal

Kevin is the best! Good luck to him and his future endeavors!!