The Ocean Rescue Division became an integral part of the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department in August 1998. The first full season of the division was 1999 when it was defined by having 14 fixed guard stands, four roving lifeguards, one pick-up truck and one jet-ski. The division now operates with 21 fixed guard stands, guards in four separate zones, with one roving lifeguard group leader in each zone. This level of staffing gives the division nearly complete stand-to-stand sight lines and continuous visibility of the high water line.
Equipment for the division includes two similarly outfitted pick-up trucks, each with a jet-ski and other rescue and communications equipment. The division also has one three-seat personal water craft and two rigid inflatable boats (12 feet and 19 feet in length).