Atlantic Beach launches beach wheelchair program

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WITN) – The Atlantic Beach Fire Department, with the support of numerous sponsors, has introduced the beach wheelchair program to improve beach access for wheelchair users.

The specialized wheelchairs feature thick, heavy wheels and floatation devices for water use.

Despite initial shortages, the department has expanded its inventory.

“We made a conscious effort a few years ago to start building up our stock of wheelchairs,” said Deputy Fire Chief Casey Arthur. “It breaks our heart to have someone come and request a chair and not be able to get to the ocean.”

“Those mats get sanded up very quickly, ”Arthur explained. ” The wheelchairs are more accessible and easier to use.”

Wheelchairs are available at no cost at the fire department and must be returned by the end of each day.