History of Alexander Rescue Squad and EMS, Inc.
The following is a brief history of Alexander Rescue Squad & EMS, Inc. According to records sometime in 1957 Alexander County Rescue Squad (as it was first called) was formed. This formation came about after a person apparently drowned in Lake Hickory. Since there was not a rescue squad in Alexander County other counties around us were contacted for the recovery of the body. Thus the need for a rescue squad was born and a group of men came together and formed Alexander County Rescue Squad. Although it was formed sometime in 1957 it wasn't until March 27, 1959 that the organization was incorporated. A total of 28 members made up the newly formed rescue squad. As with any new organization money and facilities were very tight. At first the rescue squad was housed in a local funeral home with an outside storage building used to store equipment. The squad made many of its first pieces of equipment and several of those pieces of equipment are still being used today.
As mentioned above the rescue squad was originally chartered as Alexander County Rescue Squad. In 1990, acting on a recommendation from the state and because the squad also provided ambulance service, the name was officially changed to Alexander Rescue Squad & EMS, Inc.
As the squad began to grow a new base was built and furnished in 1969. Today, the Squad remains at that same location at 197 Emergency Street Taylorsville, N.C and recently completed renovations to the base. A dedication ceremony and the 43rd anniversary celebration was held on April 14, 2002. In 1969 the squad purchased its first ambulance. The cost of that first ambulance was about $4,000. This is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of today's ambulances at $60,000 and higher not including the cost of equipment. The first crash truck was made from an old milk truck until 1966 when the squad purchased a van and converted it to carry equipment. This remained the crash truck until 1974 when the squad purchased a new 3/4 ton four wheel drive vehicle. In 1991 the Squad purchased a 1991 GMC Top Kick Heavy Rescue truck, which remains in service today. This purchase was largely due to the numerous times two crash vehicles were needed at the same time. In late 1998 the squad was able to purchase a 1994 Rescue truck to replace the 1974 model as secondary crash unit. The current fleet includes a 1991 GMC Top Kick Heavy Rescue, 1994 F-450 Super Duty Light Rescue, 3 Ambulances, a Suburban, a F-250 Support Truck, an Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) tractor/trailer, 3 boats, a Swift Water Rescue trailer for water rescue and recovery, and a 2004 Polaris ATP used for off-road rescues.
In 1999 the North Carolina Association of Rescue & EMS adopted a new set of standards of equipment and training for members of the association. Alexander Rescue Squad was the first squad in the state to be certified at the Heavy Rescue Level and currently holds that status as well as seven specialty areas of rescue including: Air Transportation, Agricultural Rescue, Heavy Vehicle and Machinery Extrication, High Angle Rescue, Swift Water Rescue and Wilderness Land Search.
Currently none of the original members are active, however 50% of them still remain in the community and monitor the status of the current squad. Alexander Rescue Squad wishes to thank our founding fathers for starting such a worthy organization and we sincerely hope they are pleased with the continued efforts of today's organization. The Squad proudly protects approximately 264 square miles and some 36,000 citizens.