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MEET YOUR TOWN STAFF
Dan Sparks, PKS Firefighter
Pine Knoll Shores Fireman Daniel Sparks
—Photo by Mary Ellen Schramm
Pine Knoll Shores Firefighter
Dan Sparks lives on Markers
Island in a house once owned by
his grandparents, who have an
extensive history on the island.
In fact, the street he lives on is
Sparks Road, named after the
Sparks family. Firefighter Sparks
has had many experiences and
many stops along the way back
to his roots.
Dan’s parents met in Phila
delphia. Dad was in the United
States Coast Guard, and his
mother was a civil servant with
the Navy. Dan was born in the
Philadelphia Naval Hospital,
one of the last few children born
there before the facility closed.
Dad was transferred from Phila
delphia to Elizabeth City, and
in 1979 was deployed to Guam.
The family drove cross-country,
was shipped out and lived in
Guam for several years.
Dan was 4 when they moved
to Guam and had the privilege of
being able to catch his first Blue Marlin at age 8. During those formative years, Dan
learned the local customs and language and still maintains close friendships. “Face-
book is a wonderful tool,” explains Dan.
In 1987, Dan returned to Philadelphia, where he graduated from George Wash
ington High School, the same high school, incidentally, that comedian Kevin Hart
attended. After graduation in 1993, Dan returned to Guam and brought his ailing
father home to North Carolina, where he could be better cared for. Dan returned
to Philadelphia for a time, then returned to Markers Island to be with his father and
For a short time, Dan worked as a charter fisherman on the Mattie GII -with
Captain Leroy Gould. Between 1996 and 1999, Dan, having earned his USCG
captain’s license, ran passenger ferries between Markers Island and Cape Lookout.
In 1999, Dan began working for Sea Tow, providing assistance and rescue to those
in distress on the water. While serving with Sea Tow, Dan received its International
Life Saving Award for his bravery in helping rescue those aboard a yacht that had
After spending some time in Key Biscayne, FL, Dan returned to Markers Island
and began volunteering with the Markers Island Fire Department while attending
the Crystal Coast Fire Academy and earning his firefighter and basic EMT certifica
tion. Dan has since gone on to earn his advanced EMT certification and is currently
studying to earn his paramedic certification.
Dan has previously served with the Marshallberg Fire Department and Otway
Fire and Rescue. On his days off duty in Pine Knoll Shoes, Dan serves as captain
at Markers Island Fire and Rescue. In October 2014, Dan began working part time
with the Pine Knoll Shores Fire Department and in May 2015 became a full-time
firefighter with the department. Because of his experience with lifesaving and res
cue, Dan also drives the Yamaha WaveRunner for the department when assistance
(Continued on page 8)
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