Governor Signs Proclamation Honoring Rescue Squads

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Governor Phil Bredesen signed the Rescue Squad Week Proclamation for 2010 honoring the work that Rescue Squads perform every day across the State of Tennessee.  This year’s Rescue Squad Week is May 23rd – 29th.

The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. is a non-profit emergency service organization formed in 1978. For over 30 years, our Squad has provided Rescue Services to all of Cannon County.

Our primary mission is to deliver Rescue Services to the citizens of Cannon County. The secondary mission of our organization is to provide disaster relief and support operations of our mutual partners in emergency services in Cannon and surrounding counties, and throughout the great State of Tennessee.

When needed for assistance in disasters or large scale rescue operations, we respond in the Middle Tennessee and Upper Cumberland Regions through agreements with other emergency departments and state agencies.

Our staff is composed completely of community volunteers. We have Members representing a cross-section of the community: from factor and construction workers, to emergency medical providers and office professionals. The Squad has maintained a membership base of at least twenty volunteers for the past thirty years.   

Our Members are what makes our organization a great place to volunteer. Our Membership base has continued to grow throughout the years, and we generally have more than thirty active Members on the roster at any given time. We also have six retired Lifetime Members who represent over a century of volunteer work with the Rescue Squad.

Currently, we have members that have served the Squad and our County for over twenty years.  When you add all of the time together that the current members have served on the Squad, it equals to more than 200 years of service to our County.

The Executive Officers would like to thank all of the Rescue Squad members for the work they do every day.  If you have ever served on the Squad, or contributed financially, we say thank you for helping us to help others.

For more information on the Cannon County Rescue Squad, please visit our website at  

Mission Statement

Our primary mission is to deliver Rescue Services to the citizens of Cannon County. The secondary mission of our organization is to provide disaster relief and support operations of our mutual partners in emergency services in Cannon, surrounding counties, and throughout the great State of Tennessee.


Our vision is to provide coordinated multi-agency teamwork and response to the citizens of Cannon County and the residents of the State of Tennessee. We are sworn to protect their lives and regard it as an honor to do so.


We value human life. Our values reach deep inside our beliefs. These beliefs were rooted in a strong foundation and are governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the organization. We value the same from other emergency service agencies with whom we have a partnership.


Our goal is to save lives by providing optimal Rescue Services. Our goal is focused first and foremost to the citizens of Cannon County. However, we will extend our services to any agency in need of help. We will serve this goal to our best ability both locally and throughout the great State of Tennessee.

Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. History

Organization History

The Early Years

Up until the 1970’s, emergency treatment outside of a hospital was very poor throughout the United States. Prior to what we know today as an Ambulance Services or Emergency Medical Services (EMS), funeral homes were performing emergency transport. In the early 1970’s, some funeral homes began staffing drivers along with someone to provide first aid. These early ambulances didn’t have much more than a portable oxygen cylinder and a stretcher for the victims to lie on during the rough and rapid transport to the hospital.

As EMS improved there arose a need for a specialized group of responders to free victims from wreckage and to retrieve persons from rural areas and deliver them to the EMS for transport to the hospital. Thus the Rescue Squad was born. In the days before the Rescue Squad, victims of automobile collisions faced being cut free from the wreckage by inadequately trained and poorly equipped volunteers. Often in those days, personnel from local wrecker services would help to free victims from wreckage. Their tools were limited to their winch booms, hacksaws, chains and come-alongs. The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. didn’t have much more equipment than this when we were first formed.

The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. is a Tennessee State Chartered, non-profit, emergency service organization. We are also recognized as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Our Squad was formed in 1978 and is composed completely of community volunteers. In 1979, the Rescue Squad acquired the world famous “Jaws-of-Life”. For over 30 years the Squad has been the only organization providing Rescue Services to all of Cannon County. The Squad also responds to the cities of Woodbury and Auburntown; also, we respond to our contiguous Counties when requested.

The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. started with little more than a vision to provide Rescue Services to the citizens of Cannon County. The first home for the Squad was in the basement of a building on Lester Street in Woodbury. In the early years, the Squad held meetings at what is now the R.E.A.C.H. Center. The very first emergency response vehicle was an old, worn-out station wagon. Later, the Squad acquired a pick-up truck which had a utility bed attached. The members converted it to a Rescue Response Vehicle also known as a Crash Truck.

In 1983, the Rescue Squad and the Cannon County Fire Department together moved and worked out of a building in the Mooretown Community. This building today is known as the Mooretown Fire Department. The first few years were very challenging for the charter members. With no local tax support, the founding members raised money any way they could to try to finance this much needed service.

In The Past Decade

In 1996, the Rescue Squad headquarters was moved to the city of Woodbury. We have been housed in the former EMS station at the fairgrounds ever since. Being centrally located in the middle of the county has decreased our response times to most of the entire county.

For the past twenty years the Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. has sustained a volunteer membership base of at least twenty members. These men and women live throughout the county. Each member is notified of an emergency by the 911 dispatch center. Some members respond to emergency scenes in their personal vehicles, while others are responding with the Extrication (Crash) Truck.

The Squad owns one primary response vehicle, one support vehicle, and various other lifesaving equipment. Our primary response vehicle carries two set of the “Jaws-of-Life”, two set of cutters, two sets of rams, two sets of combination cutter spreader tools, multiple air lifting bags, and various other tools. Over the past 10 years the Squad has slowly purchased two sets of every rescue tool with hopes of one day adding another primary response vehicle to the fleet.

In Recent Years

We have expanded our services and added to our fleet. In 2008 we purchased the county’s first ever new rescue truck. We also received a grant and were awarded a Polaris Ranger which we utilize for rural area Search and Rescue missions, and specialty rescue missions such as wilderness patient evacuations. Also in recent years, we have been awarded several grants for equipment including a brand new set of the Jaws-of-Life, rescue cutters, and hydraulic rams. Our in-house grant writer has brought in over $100,000 to the county for the Rescue Squad and the Fire Departments.

Response Area

Our primary response area encompasses all of Cannon County, which is an area of 265 square miles with an estimated population of 13,000 (figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 estimation). Each year we respond to all requests for help not only within Cannon County, but we respond outside of our county as well.

Our secondary response area, which includes the contiguous counties of Rutherford, Wilson, DeKalb, Warren and Coffee, has a collective land mass of approximately 2,972 square miles. This area also has an approximate population of 443,000 (figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 estimation).

Our Squad is an Active Member of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads; and through interoperability agreements, we are requested to respond throughout counties in the Upper Cumberland and Middle Tennessee Region, as well as other areas of the State. We respond to these requests to aid our neighboring departments during natural or manmade disasters, to assist with search and rescue efforts, or to assist with overwhelming call volumes.

Future of the Organization

The future for the Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc. is one that is strong. People are what make an organization. Our membership base continues to grow. Community support for our efforts continues to grow. Our mutually supporting partnership with other emergency service agencies continues to grow. Whenever and wherever someone is in need of our services we hope to always have the ability to respond.
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