Rescue Squad

The Salem Rescue Squad was organized on the 15th of November, 1932. Even though it was called the Salem Life Saving Crew when it was first established, the Salem Rescue Squad was patterned after the Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew, organized in 1928. In our third building now and more than 80 years later, the Salem Rescue Squad continues its all-volunteer tradition of giving the best pre-hospital health care to the citizens of Salem and surrounding Roanoke Valley.

About Us

The Salem Rescue Squad celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2012. We remain the oldest of all volunteer rescue squads in the United States. Our rescue squad currently operates four ALS-equipped ambulances, one medium-duty crash truck, two SUV response vehicles, one chief car, two EMS response carts, and a command trailer. All of these vehicles and equipment enable us to run an average of 550 calls per year.

Currently, the Salem Rescue Squad has 43 members on our roster and we are voting on new members almost every month. We have members from varying walks of life, some work full-time, some are students, some have children, and all of our members want to be with us. All of our members take time away from their families at least one night a week and at least one weekend day per month to serve the citizens of Salem, Virginia. Our members also staff several requests for EMS stand-bys each month and attend at least two meetings each month.

Our members vote annually on a command structure that allows for a Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain, five Lieutenants, a Treasurer, as well as other appointed officer positions. All of our officers and members are governed by Standard Operating Procedures and a Constitution that has been written to help us maintain high standards of care. With the help of our officers, our members are able to keep current on changes within the EMS community. Our Chief, Assistant Chief, and Captain meet frequently with the leaders of surrounding EMS agencies in order to bring back information that will help all of us work together.

All members attend monthly training sessions and may choose to take as much training as they wish. In 2013, we sent several members to the annual Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads (VAVRS) Rescue College to participate in classes ranging from command classes to technical rescue training. Several members also attended the VAVRS Conference in September. All of our members are required to take FEMA Incident Management courses and are encouraged to take all NIMS courses available. We also offer classes at our own Rescue Squad that include CPR, EMT-B, EVOC, and others.

In 2009, the Salem Rescue Squad became a part of the Western 14 State Disaster Task Force. Our primary function with the task force is in a rehab capacity. We may be called to provide rehabilitation for EMS responders in an emergency situation throughout the state. We may be also called upon to provide an ambulance, a crash truck, or just personnel for state emergency responses.

The Salem Rescue Squad also operates Technical Rescue Teams for local and mutual aid responses. We operate a Vehicle Extrication Team, and a Search and Rescue Team, and are developing an EMS Bike Team. We also have members that are certified in Vertical Rescue and Farm Machinery Extrication.

Throughout each year, the Salem Rescue Squad will provide service at multiple major events in Salem. These events include the Salem Fair, Olde Salem Days, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, and others as scheduled. All of these events are staffed completely by volunteers.

We hope this helps you to understand how your local Rescue Squad serves the community and we thank you for your continued support. We look forward to growing with you as we serve those around us that call for help.