04/20/09 139 W - + 11 - 11 First Fire Department Rescue Squads?

Open question, and one we've touched on before. What fire departments operated the first rescue squads or ambulances in North Carolina?  This includes both the "Red Cross era," when that was the medical training available to fire departments, and the "EMS area," after the creation of the North Carolina EMS System in the early 1970s.

1950s - Washington (1951), Raleigh (1953), others?
1960s - Durham (1960?), Goldsboro (by 1962), others
1970s - Fayetteville (by 1970?), Parkwood (1972), Wilmington (1974), Salisbury (1978), others
And which of these were "first aid trucks," versus ambulances, versus heavy equipment trucks? Raleigh's rescue squad, for example, was a two-piece unit. A panel van with first aid equipment, and used for transport if needed, and a Civil Defense truck with the "heavy equipment." Thanks for your help.

PVFD started with an 1964 Econoline Van donated from GTE in 1972. The first production ambulance was a 1967 Cadillac bought from PA in 1974. They then got new under grant from Gov. Highway Safety Program in 1976 and 1978. Later They bought Frontline Type I and have since used Excellance brand ambulances since 1998. History is interesting for EMS at http://www.pvfd.com/html/ems.htm
D.Cates - 04/20/09 - 14:10

Hamlet FD operates (or did up until recently) an ambulance (EMT-P level). Vance County fire operates Vance Co EMS. Atlantic Beach FD has operated an ambulance for some time, as have several other Carteret County departments (Cape Carteret, Wildwood, and I think a couple of others). Westarea FD (Cumberland County) operated a type III ambulance during the 80s (had a short lightbar on the hood).
DJ (Email) - 04/21/09 - 17:14

Charlotte/Mecklenburg County had Charlotte Lifesaving Crew that was founded in the late 1940’s. It disbanded in the 90’s. When my dad was a volunteer in the 1980’s, I remember CLS would be dispatched to all pin-ins and entrapments. This was before each fire department carried their own extrication equipment, so CLS was the primary rescue company of the area. If you couldn’t get the door open with a crowbar, you had to wait for them to respond. Charlotte Fire Department had only one rescue truck for a long time, which looked much more like a large utility truck, located at Station 1 downtown. I’m not sure what it got dispatched to or how long it was in service, I just remember visiting the station as a kid and seeing it. I know it doesn’t even compare to today’s heavy-rescue companies.
Native Charlottean - 04/21/09 - 18:11

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