Commission honors Rescue Squad for National EMS Week

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In honor of National Emergency Medical Services Week, members of the Carter County Commission passed a resolution on Monday honoring the Carter County Rescue Squad for its service to the community for more than six decades.

Commissioner Timothy Holdren, chairman of the county’s Health & Welfare Committee, presented the resolution to the full Commission. The Health & Welfare Committee voted unanimously in support of the resolution and honoring the Rescue Squad during the committee’s meeting on May 8. Following the committee’s direction, Holdren then brought the matter before the full Commission for approval.

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During Monday evening’s meeting, Holdren asked that any members of the local EMS service, as well as any other first responders in attendance, stand to be recognized. A standing ovation from the Commission and other attendees greeted those in attendance.

“This is a very, very special group of folks,” Holdren said. “They are the ones running into the burning building when everyone else is running out.”

County Attorney Josh Hardin then read aloud the resolution recognizing May 20 through May 26 as National EMS Week and honoring the Carter County Rescue Squad for the services they provide locally.

National EMS Week was first recognized in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, who wanted to celebrate emergency medical practitioners and the vital work they do in their communities.

In Carter County, the Carter County Rescue Squad provides both emergency medical services as well as rescue operations, and its employees provide essential day-to-day lifesaving services for local residents.

The Rescue Squad was formed in the 1950s after the creation of Watauga Lake. It was initially an all-volunteer agency to provide rescue services for the community.

Over the years, according to the resolution, as Carter County’s population grew, so did the number of emergency calls that required a medical or rescue response.

“As the number of emergency calls grew, so did the Rescue Squad, growing from a small group of dedicated volunteers without much training to paid Paramedics and Certified Emergency Medical Technicians who provide emergency medical and rescue services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” the resolution states. “Today, the Carter County Emergency Rescue Squad responds to over 12,000 calls per year, in a fleet of modern Advanced Life Support ambulances and it strives to provide the best ambulance, rescue, and emergency medical services possible while meeting the needs of Carter County and the surrounding area.”

“The citizens of Carter County are extremely fortunate to be able to rely upon those who provide emergency medical and rescue services throughout the county in their time of need,” the resolution continues. “The Board of County Commissioners feels that it is proper to honor those that provide emergency medical and rescue services locally and in turn provide them with some much-deserved recognition for the invaluable services they provide to the citizens of Carter County on a daily basis.”

Commissioner Nancy Brown made a motion to approve the resolution honoring the Rescue Squad. Commissioner Mike Hill provided the second for the motion, which then passed unanimously on a vote by the full Commission.