Early Organization History
|Up until the 1970’s, emergency treatment outside of a hospital was very poor throughout the United States. Prior to what we know today as an Ambulance Services or Emergency Medical Services (EMS), funeral homes were performing emergency transport. In the early 1970’s, some funeral homes began staffing drivers along with someone to provide first aid. These early ambulances didn’t have much more than a portable oxygen cylinder and a stretcher for the victims to lie on during the rough and rapid transport to the hospital.
As EMS improved there arose a need for a specialized group of responders to free victims from wreckage and to retrieve persons from rural areas and deliver them to the EMS for transport to the hospital. Thus the Rescue Squad was born. In the days before the Rescue Squad, victims of automobile collisions faced being cut free from the wreckage by inadequately trained and poorly equipped volunteers. Often in those days, personnel from local wrecker services would help to free victims from wreckage. Their tools were limited to their winch booms, hacksaws, chains and come-alongs. The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. didn’t have much more equipment than this when we were first formed.
The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. is a Tennessee State Chartered, non-profit, emergency service organization. We are also recognized as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Our Squad was formed in 1978 and is composed completely of community volunteers. In 1979, the Rescue Squad acquired the world famous “Jaws-of-Life”. Since 1978, the Squad has been the only organization providing Rescue Services to all of Cannon County. The Squad also responds to the cities of Woodbury and Auburntown; also, we respond to our contiguous Counties when requested.
The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. started with little more than a vision to provide Rescue Services to the citizens of Cannon County. The first home for the Squad was in the basement of a building on Lester Street in Woodbury. In the early years, the Squad held meetings at what is now the R.E.A.C.H. Center. The very first emergency response vehicle was an old, worn-out station wagon. Later, the Squad acquired a pick-up truck which had a utility bed attached. The members converted it to a Rescue Response Vehicle also known as a Crash Truck.
In 1983, the Rescue Squad and the Cannon County Fire Department together moved and worked out of a building in the Mooretown Community. This building today is known as the Mooretown Fire Department. The first few years were very challenging for the charter members. With no local tax support, the founding members raised money any way they could to try to finance this much needed service.
For the past twenty years the Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. has sustained a volunteer membership base of at least twenty members. These men and women live throughout the county. Each member is notified of an emergency by the 911 dispatch center. Some members respond to emergency scenes in their personal vehicles, while others are responding with the Extrication (Crash) Truck.