Tag Archives: Roane County Rescue Squad

Tennessee Elevates to a Level 3 – State of Emergency

Numerous rounds of heavy rainfall and flash flooding moved across the state starting February 6th. This rainfall set new records across many locations in Tennessee for the month of February and nearly the entire state received between 10”-20” of rain. Flooding during this time caused widespread damages to roadways, homes, farms, infrastructure, and communities.

Roane County’s Office of Emergency Service responded to support the local fire departments, law enforcement, EMS crews, Roane County Highway Department and the Roane County Rescue Squad to deal with the immediate threats to life and property. Communication with local governments, utilities, and county departments started early to assess the damages caused by the rainfall.

Estimates are approaching $10M to repair the losses in Roane County. New hillside slides are still being identified creating major safety concerns on our roadways so this number could continue to grow. We established an e-mail address Roane.EMA@roanecountytn.gov for residents to self-report damage to their homes or businesses in addition to our crews being out completing damage assessments. All of the information is compiled and reported to TEMA on a daily basis. Seventy-six of our county residents have reported some level of damage to their homes. Residents are urged to call the TEMA Assistance Hotline at 1-833-556-2476 for flood damage assistance.

While flood waters have largely resided across the state, the Tennessee River still remains at the action and minor flood stage, the Mississippi River remains at a minor flood stage, and the Obion, Hatchie, Cumberland, and Stones Rivers remain at action flood stages. Locally, we continue to see new slides along our roadsides. Our Highway Department is working hard to make our roads safe as quickly as possible.

The State of Emergency is still active and the danger is still present. Please do not move safety barricades or signage. Public safety is of the utmost importance. Roads will be opened as soon as they are safe.

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.