Roane County Rescue Squad

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

The Roane County Rescue Squad was created and incorporated as a non-profit organization on April 7, 1960, for rescue and relief work of any nature and the promotion of water safety. They also promoted a safety program, including among other programs, rescue and relief, and such allied and similar programs. The incorporators were: Ray Gullett, Chief of Police Harold W. Hart, Carl Henry, M.D. Eugene Evans, G.B. Cross, James C. Hammon. In the “The Tennessee Rescue News”, May-June 1969 is the following article:

“In March of 1959, using Luke’s Gospel parable of the Good Samaritan as a guide, a group of men organized what has become the Roane County Rescue Squad. At first, the squad was only equipped with a desire to serve. Soon after they were formed they were called to recover a body of a boat dock owner, while having to use the operator’s equipment. Then they had a recovery of two children’s bodies, on this trip, they used borrowed vehicles and had three flats within a ten-mile trip. Bystanders, seeing their trouble persuaded the Kingston Steam Plant Employees Association to donate to the squad a boat, motor, and trailer. At the same time squad men, ashamed to be caught like this, went to the bank and borrowed enough money to buy a vehicle to carry their equipment. Thus it started, a donation here, a piece of equipment there, until now we have five vehicles, three boats and motors and $40,000 worth of equipment in a 40 by 110-foot building worth $25,000. We are equipped to recover bodies or equipment from the water, or down a cliff, from a tree, underwater, caves or car wrecks. We provide standby first-aid for gatherings and haul ambulance patients. We practice as often as we can and take as much training as we can. Squad men have just completed a 3-day course on initial emergency care of the injured, held in Chattanooga, TN. We never refuse a call. We have taken a kitten out of a tree, which was our smallest job and an expectant mother with a 150-pound cast on each leg, a total of 450 pounds, our heaviest load, to the hospital.”

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, August 2016.