The Jackson County Rescue Squad Inc. was organized in the late 50s as part of the Jackson county civil defense. The Squad was chartered in May of 1964. At that time there was very little equipment and no building to house equipment in. the first equipment the squad had was a military surplus jeep, panel truck, a small van and a small john boat, which was parked beside the old jail. The uniforms were white coveralls. To respond to emergencies the chief was called, he then called the next person, and so on until every person had been notified.
The first squad building was built in the 1970’s. At that time the rescue squad held the contract for the ambulance service for Jackson County. We held this contract for about 2 years. Somewhere between 1978 and 1979 the squad held a “boot Brigade” in downtown Sylva and raised enough money to buy the “Jaws of Life” (Hurst Hydraulic Extrication Tool). At that time, it was the only one west of Asheville.
The next squad building was built in 1983. At that time there was 1 pick-up truck (2 wheel Drive), 1 (4 wheel drive) suburban, 1 panel Truck, and 2 boats with motors. The first turnout gear consisted of 4 complete sets, (gloves, pants, boots, coat, suspenders and hard hats with shields) and 11 extra red coats. Communications were upgraded from a call list to radios and beepers, with a limited number of beepers.
In 1988 the first 4 wheel drive crash truck was purchased. In order to accomplish this, a fundraiser was organized with the help of Phyllis Foxx, The Sylva Herald, WRGC Radio and the people of Jackson County; this was held at the end of town across from Cogdill Motors. Enough money was raised in one day to pay for the crash truck and the note was burned later that day in downtown Sylva. This is the reason that the Squad is so appreciative of the people of Jackson County, they always come through for us. Since buying the first crash truck several other vehicles have been added including buying a truck with a light tower in 1998
In 2007 our membership had doubled. The squad is certified in different types of specialized rescue and is State Certified Medium Rescue Squad.
In 2010, we purchased a new heavy rescue truck (Heavy Rescue 2) that we are in process of placing into service.