State’s rescue squad units recognized by Bredesen
Recognizing the unselfish acts of rescue squads across the State of Tennessee, Gov. Phil Bredesen has proclaimed May 18-24 to be Rescue Squad Week.
The Obion County Rescue Squad was organized in 1964 under its original name The Vol-unteer Emergency Radio Unit Inc.
The six founding members — Chuck Davis, Harold Barnes, Montel Lyell, Artell Harding, Bill Norman and Houston Corbitt — had been meeting at a building at Everett-Stewart Airport as a CB radio club at Barnes’ garage, but they wanted to make a difference in their community.
They began with a 1949 Dodge panel van and a 12-foot jon boat and a desire to help. With a lot of hard work and the support of the United Way of Obion County, the squad has evolved with a name change, a move to a permanent base in 1976 on Sunswept Drive, an increase in membership and several changes of equipment.
Today, the membership in-cludes 30 dedicated volunteers. The squad has a crash truck, a combined crash/fire truck, a brush fire truck and a utility SUV, as well as two boats, a four-wheeler and a diesel generator.
They respond to motor vehicle accidents, vehicle fires and grass and brush fires. During bad weather, such as snow and ice, members assist area hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers by transporting medical personnel.
In 2007, the squad reported responding to 76 standbys, 98 motor vehicle accidents, 13 crowd and traffic control calls, 10 vehicle fires, 40 grass or wildlife fires, 13 public relations events, 10 ambulance transports, four water searches, two land searches, 59 training sessions, 34 work days, three false calls, 10 assists, 12 state meetings, 12 board meetings, 12 regular meetings, three first responder meetings and 275 medical assists. A total of 11,690 man-hours were worked by the local volunteers.
The local rescue squad has a good working relationship with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department, all police departments in the county, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Regional Emergency Medical Center, a member stated.
Obion County Rescue Squad treasurer Jim Williamson is currently serving as president of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads — the first local member to hold this office. During the 2007 convention, Woody Pugh received the Costo McGhee Award for his outstanding work in his church and community in addition to with the rescue squad. Bobby Faulkner became a state lifetime member. Other local state lifetime members include Bill Sowell and Freddie Preuett and the late Lionel Gray, the late Chuck Davis and the late Jack Moore. The Obion County Rescue Squad has the second-most lifetime members in the state.
Local active members include captain Teddy Willcutt, co-captain Steve Jones, secretary and chaplain David Taylor, personnel officer Freddie Preuett, treasurer Jim Williamson, training officer Don Bloxom, supply officer Donald M. Bloxom, equipment officer Timbo Smith, unit director Woody Pugh, Ryan Stone, Jim Foster, Wayne Fulcher, Corey Jones, James “Jimbo” Wetzel, Brent Grimes, Pat Hogan Sr., Sharon Wetzel, Josh Willcutt, Daniel Johnston, Chad Davidson, Bill Sowell, Stan Lee, Pat Hogan Jr., Bobby Faulkner, Heath Bloxom, William Downey, Taleatha Nicholson, Don Petty, Galen Hall, Valerie Hall and Paul Sternisha.
Published in The Messenger 5.21.08