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Cave Spring VOLUNTEER Rescue Squad relies on your donations to continue to provide service in this community.  Please help us to help you.

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Our Mailing Address:

Cave Spring First Aid & Rescue Squad

P. O. Box 20181

Roanoke, VA. 24018-0019

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Our History

Saturday
Jun062009

   The first organizational meeting of the squad was held in late 1957. A volunteer rescue squad was needed in the Cave Spring area since the Salem and Roanoke crews were a long distance away. At the time the Cave Spring area was mostly rural. Mr. Robert L. Monahan was the main individual behind the organization of the crew. He was assisted by Tredway Coleman, who was the Civil Defense Chief of Roanoke County. Monahan, along with 12 charter members and some help from the Cave Spring Fire Department, started the organization. The original 13 members were sworn in on the 24th of April in 1958 by the Civil Defense. The newly formed squad planned to start serving the community on the the 6th of May, but actually ran its first call on the 3rd of May 1958 at the Vinton Dogwood Festival. The first ambulance was a 1951 Cadillac donated by the Army. When it arrived, the members had to paint and equip the unit. The unit was housed in a single car garage next to what is now the Coffee Pot Restaurant on Brambleton Avenue. The building only had room for the unit and when meetings were held, the unit had to be parked outside.

    In its first year of existence, the squad ran 32 calls. During the first full year of service, the crew set up a formal communications system to dispatch its members to the station. A phone network was established and anyone in need would call the Monahan residence. They would in turn contact members by phone so they could respond to the station to get the ambulance. At that time, a few members were certified in Advanced First Aid, while the majority were trained at the weekly meetings held at the building. The membership of the crew had grown to 15 members, mostly made up of local residents. Many times the squad was called to drag the Roanke River and Smith Mountain Lake for drowning victims


    In 1962, the crew needed more space, so it signed a lease agreement with D.L. Ferguson to rent a small one-bay building on Brambleton Avenue for $1.00 a year. During that year, the crew moved the ambulance and the other equipment to the new building. They also purchased a rescue truck to help handle the increase in call volume. The new rescue truck was a 1954 Panel Wagon which was puchased second-hand for $1,000. Two additional phones were purchased and installed in other member's homes to help take some of the burden off the Monahan family. During that year the number of calls had climbed to 105 as the Cave Spring area grew in size.

    In 1963 the membership had increased to 19 members which helped reduce a growing manpower shortage. A second ambulance was purchased. It was a new 1963 Ford station wagon from Magic City Motors at a cost of $2,400. It was put into service in early February of 1963. Diamond Chevrolet donated a 1963 Chevrolet station wagon. This was used to replace the original unit, which was passed on to the newly forming Bent Mountain Rescue Squad. After the addition of this new unit, it was decided that a small carport would be added to the existing building. This was completed using donated materials. During the winter months, heat lamps were placed inside the ambulances parked outside to keep the equipment warm.

    In 1964 a brand new Chevrolet Impala station wagon was purchased to replace one of the earlier units. Stand-by duty teams were established to ensure coverage for calls. The Junior Crew was formed to help reduce the manpower shortage. It consisted of four members in its first year of existence.

    In 1965 the crew realized that a larger building would be needed since the Cave Spring area continued to experience rapid growth. Many sites were evaluated, but the decision was made to add onto an existing building located at 3309 Brambleton Avenue. Plans were completed and modifications began as soon as funds were available. The rapid growth also caused a major increase in the number of automobile accidents. Since the crew's 1954 rescue truck was worn out and had a limited amount of room, the crew decided to buy a new truck from Magic City Motors. This new truck was the most modern crash truck in the area. It was one of the first to use four-wheel drive. Manual hydraulic tools and many other new extrication tools were placed on the squad.

    In 1973, the first set of Hurst Jaws of Life Hydraulic tools were purchased. Cave Spring was one of the first crews in the area to have this new state-of-the-art extrication tool. Radio dispatching was just starting to be used. This was significantly faster than the old method using the phone system.

    In 1974, the crew ordered two new Dodge van ambulances. One of the old vans was sold to Chamblisburg Rescue Squad in Bedford County, VA. These were the first custom ambulances purchased by the crew. They allowed for increased room for the squad members and the patient. In the same year, one of the first EMT classes was held at Cave Spring. There were 69 students enrolled in this first class. The membership had grown to over 35 members.

    In 1976, the squad began work on a new custom-built crash truck. This unit was eventually put in service in early 1977. One of the more unique features was the power take-off winch located in the front bumper. The body of the truck was purchased from Beach Brothers Dodge.

    1977 marked the beginning of a new era. Cave Spring Rescue Squad was one of the first crews in the valley to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS). Members responded to all parts of Salem and Roanoke to provide ALS care. An additional ambulance was purchased that was equipped with a LifePak 5, a one-watt Apcor radio, and a fully-stocked drug box.

    In October of 1989, the crew moved temporarily into the Cave Spring Volunteer Fire Department station while a new building was being completed. The new building was completed and occupied in the summer of 1990. The building was a joint effort of Cave Spring Rescue Squad and Roanoke County. This was the first building that the crew had ever moved into that was actually new. Units no longer need to be moved out of the bays to allow for meetings. The new building has a very large meeting room located above the bays.

    In 1996 the old 1977 squad was replaced with a custom built four-wheel drive Squad. It is one of only two squads in the valley equiped with a 25 foot telescoping light tower to provide maximum lighting during rescue operations.

    1998 marked the 40th anniversary of Cave Spring Rescue Squad providing prehosiptal care and rescue services.

    1999 Cave Spring, along with Back Creek, Bent Mountain, and Clearbrook Rescue Squads implemented a Float Medic program to provide increased ALS coverage to South Roanoke County. The Float Medic responds to assist a BLS ambulance or another medic if the call is of a serious nature.