Ahoskie Rescue SquadPublished 9:28am Wednesday, January 5, 2011
This is a letter of appreciation to pay tribute to the 50-year history of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad.
In 1962, with 23 dedicated men, the Squad received its Charter. Over the next 50 years, 100 volunteers served with the Ahoskie Rescue Squad.
The Shoup Boat Company of Winton gave the Squad a panel van in 1958 to use as its first ambulance. From 1962 to 1973, Mr. Charles H. Jenkins gave the Squad a new station wagon.
For many years, members of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad went to local businesses and walked the local area to ask for donations. In 1969, they purchased a new Ford van and with the help of Mr. Swain, who did the welding in order to hang the stretchers, converted it to transport four patients at one time.
Before there was a rescue building and due to the lack of overall space at the Ahoskie Fire Department, Marshall Askew (an Ahoskie Rescue Squad member) let the Squad park two rescue vehicles in the service bays of his gas station on Main Street.
The Ahoskie Jaycees went to the local radio station, WRCS AM/FM, in 1972 and with the help of Station Manager Sammy Doughtie and Disk Jockey Don Upchurch, a “Radio Call in Day” was broadcast annually on the second Tuesday in September to raise funds in support of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad. This tradition continued for 29 years.
In 1971, we started building a facility to house the Ahoskie Rescue Squad. Over the years we had four lots and a building to hold seven vehicles, complete with restrooms, a meeting room, kitchen and a bed room.
Allen Parker, an employee with Carolina Telephone, drew the plans to expand the building to a second story. We went with our blueprints to Ahoskie High School’s woodworking and brick-laying classes. There, Mr. Newsome and Mr. Shores, with their young men, built the two-story section during their class time (1 ½ to 2 ½ hours each day).
W.T. Modlin let us use a box trailer to store all our supplies.
Mrs. Howard Hunter Sr. drew the Ahoskie Rescue Squad patch.
Howard Basnight let us shovel busted bags of cement from their train boxcars. We were able to accumulate enough cement to build our building as well as give Mr. Hoggard and Mr. James of the Cofield Fire Department enough cement to build their Fire Station. In return they gave us some nails.
Carolina Aluminum gave us a flagpole, the aluminum studs for the inside of the building and scrap metal to place in the cement of the station’s driveway.
A.W. Myers and Jones Lumber donated a pallet of 2x4x8 studs. Dell Barnack donated the paneling for the walls and the Rescue members put it up.
Ronnie Northcott (an Ahoskie Rescue Squad member) gave us 2x12x18 solid cedar planks for the Ahoskie Rescue sign on the building.
Allen Parker and his father-in-law of Rich Square built the facing on the front door.
All of this came about through volunteer work and donations.
The Ahoskie Rescue Squad received a great deal of support from the following organizations over its 50-year history:
Frank Guttu and Andy Jackson (from 1969 to 1975) of the News-Herald as well as numerous other reporters over the years;
The Town of Ahoskie;
The Ahoskie Police Department and their dispatchers;
The Hertford County Commissioners;
The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office;
The fire departments of Hertford County;
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW);
Woodmen of the World;
The local power company;
Carolina Telephone Company and its succeeding entities;
Savin and Hill;
The North Carolina Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Association; and
Local churches, other local area rescue squads, numerous local businesses, and the Town of Powellsville (until 1975).
This is a brief list of what the people of Ahoskie, Hertford County and surrounding areas gave in support of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad from 1958 to 2008.
We hope these words will in some small way say thank you to the community as well as pay tribute to the many volunteers who gave their time and effort to saving the lives of those in need.
We hope we have left a legacy that the people of Ahoskie and Hertford County can be proud of.
Members of the Ahoskie Rescue Squad