09/16/10 636 W, 6 I - + 5 - 3 North Carolina Rescue College, 1977


From Emergency Medical Review, October-November 1977

A Four Year Rescue College

In today's academic world, a person can acquire a degree in most any category he or she desires.

Probably few of us realize that there exists a four year college totally dedicated to perfecting rescue techniques and skills.

Founded in 1962, the North Carolina Rescue College has instructed over 3,500 individuals. Of that number, over 450 have successfully graduated, some going on to acquire their "master degree."

However, don't make the mistake of thinking that this particular college is restricted to North Carolinians. Just as a public university accepts students from all parts of the continent and world, so does the N.C. Rescue College.

Over the past 13 years, regular participation has been made from the states of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Occasionally a visitor from Canada will drop in for a session.

The college got its start as a joint venture between the Fire and Rescue Services Division of the N.C. Department of Insurance, N.C. Association of Rescue Squads and the Greenville Rescue Squad, who hosted the first year.

Only around 100 person attended the first year, but it successively grew over the coming years. With attrition as it normally is, only 22 persons graduated at the end of the first four years. Soon, with attendance rapidly growing, the college had to be expanded. With the expansion more classes were added, including graduate courses. The present course outline is as follows:

1st Year:
Use of portable fire extinguishers
Extrication using hand tools
Lowering from heights - litter
Casualty handling

2nd Year:
Lowering from heights - stokes
Use of the Hurst Tool and heavy extrication equipment
Rigging tripod

3rd Year:
Rigging an A frame
Ladder hinge
Leadership by motivation

4th Year:
Rigging jib arm
Ladder as a derrick
Gin pole
Telpher line

Graduate Course:
Varies from year to year

The two weekend courses involve 38 highly skilled instructors, each a specialist in his category.

Of that 38, nine are full-time instructors with the N.C. Department of Insurance, Fire and Rescue Services Division.

Director of the Rescue College Dawson Nethercutt, author of "The International Manual of Basic Rescue Methods," which has been adopted by the International Rescue and First Aid Association as a national standard for heavy rescue methods. These methods are also used in competitions as rules and regulations for judging.

Many squads who have sent teams to the college have won national honors in international competition. Some of these include: Moore County Rescue, Vas, N.C.; Greenville Fire-Rescue, N.C.; Bethune Rescue, S.C.; Riverside Rescue, Catawba, N.C.; Westvaco Rescue, V.A.; Trevose Rescue, P.A. Most all have won state and local honors.

The college is self-supported and not funded by any governmental agency. Operational expenses come from the $6.00 registration fees.

Everyone from age 16 to senior citizens classification, male and female have attended and all have learned basic skills vital to performing smoothly in any disaster. Many carry their skills back home and teach local squad members what they have learned.

The overwhelming success of the Rescue College has been expressed by Elwood Enscoe, Deputy Commissioner of Insurance as "total dedication by volunteers and professionals the preservation of life... even at the expense of giving up relaxing weekends preparing to do so."

Many outsiders will ride past the training grounds in the heat of a late July Saturday or Sunday when temperatures are between 95 and 105 degrees, humidity standing at around 95%, and comment "those people must be fools."

Fools they may be, but when the alarm sounds and skilled assistance is needed, those so-called fools are there to render aid even to those that misunderstandingly have made those comments, whether it be 105 or minus 25 degrees.

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