About Us


Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Inc. (HCRS) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization providing essential emergency rescue services to approximately 28,229 individuals in the western part of Hawkins County, TN which includes Bulls Gap, Eidson, Mooresburg, Rogersville, and Suroginsville. HCRS was chartered in 1958 by the founding members of our agency. HCRS is governed by an all-volunteer elected Board of Directors and Commanding Officers. HCRS is staffed 100% volunteer by members of our community dedicated to providing services to those in need. HCRS provides expected emergency rescue services for all citizens and visitors of Hawkins County and surrounding communities in their time of need FREE OF CHARGE, twenty four hours a day (24), three hundred sixty five (365) days per year. Our members consist of men and women of all ages who answer approximately 375 – 400 calls annually, volunteer an average of 5,000 - 10,000 man-hour annually, and train regularly. For the history of our agency please see the below section titled "History".  

HCRS provides a wide range of services which require each member to receive several hours annually of specialized training to meet local, state, and federal requirements. This training along with highly specialized equipment is necessary for our organization to respond to any and all emergencies that citizens of Hawkins County may experience. Listed below are examples of the services we provide.

· Cave Rescue

· Community Event Support

· Farm and Machinery Rescue

· Fire Rehab and Support

· First Response and Back Up Assistance for Hawkins County EMS (When Requested

· Heavy Rescue (Semi, Mass Transit, Train, Industrial Accidents)

· Low and High Angle Rescue

· Motor Vehicle Accident- Including Vehicle Extrication

· Mutual Aid for Surrounding Agencies and Counties 

· Search and Rescue

· Structural Rescue

· Technical Rescue

· Trench Rescue 

· Water Recovery

· Water Rescue

· Wilderness Rescue


HCRS always welcomes applications all three category levels of membership (Adult Member, Junior Member, & Crewettes).  Applications for membership for any of levels may be obtained by attending either one of the regular monthly meetings. The regular meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 7:00 pm.



The first meeting was held at Holston  Electric Cooperative Building, March 1958. This meeting was called by  the Junior Chamber of Commerce as Sam Ross had been interested in  starting a Squad and asked the Chamber to have a kick-Off Meeting for  people interested in joining the Squad.  The second meeting was at the  Tennessean Restaurant, attended by a few men who had attended the first  meeting, to discuss ways to raise money to buy equipment. The meetings  were next held at Holston Electric for several weeks at weekly  intervals. The first men who joined the Squad had to buy their own  uniforms since there was no money available for this. The City Drug,  then owned by J. C. Kensinger, donated $100 to buy uniforms. 

The  Kingsport Life Saving Crew was a great assistance in helping organize  Hawkins County Rescue Squad since they spent countless hours teaching  Red Cross First Aid and also a course in Bureau of Mines First Aid. They  also gave lessons on how to rescuisitators and inhalators and various  types of Rescue equipment. They discussed things to expect as a Rescue  Squad. A few weeks later it was decided to have a parade of Rescue Squad  Vehicles and men through Rogersville and a display of equipment, which  was held at First National Bank Parking Lot. Other squads were contacted  and asked to help.  The Kingsport Life Saving Crew, Bristol Life Saving  Crew, Morristown Rescue Squad, and Greeneville Rescue Squad helped with  this. This was done to help raise money for Hawkins County Squad. Men  were on sidewalks and in the parking lot to take up money, which was  successful enough to start buying equipment. 

As we began buying  equipment, the VFW Post 9543 donated a new 1958 International Six-Man  Cab Four Wheel Drive to the Squad. The Squad began buying oxygen  equipment, boats and motors.  The first equipment was stored at  Nash-Wilson Funeral Home. The Squad then bought a 1953 Ford Courier to  equip and use for an ambulance. Mr. Frank Farris then let the Squad use a  building on West Main Street belonging to him, which was vacant. The  Hawkins County Rescue Squad, Inc. was chartered with 19 members on June  9, 1958 and began answering emergency calls soon after. The first call  was answered by Capt. Ross using his own vehicle to take oxygen to a  home where it was needed. The first highway accident call answered by  the Squad was just East of Hawkins County Airport on Highway 11-W.

The  Squad used the building for their equipment and vehicles for several  months till it was leased. While there, the Pet Milk co. donated a 1949  Van type truck to pull boats and equipment. At that time, the Squad  moved into a location near the Rogersville Elementary School known as  the Rotary Park. Vehicles were parked outside, Meetings were held in the  Scout Hut. We remained there approximately one year. Then the City of  Rogersville let us use an upstairs portion of the City Hall and Fire  Department Building to store equipment and have headquarters there.  Again our vehicles had to be outside.

Mr. Mack Lawson gave money  to build a building on a lot belonging to him just across the street to  store vehicles and boats, which we used as long as we remained there at  no cost to us. Later the Squad built a two ambulance garage on back of  the City Hall to store equipment and vehicles. While the Squad was at  City Hall a 1960 Ford Station Wagon was purchased and converted into an  ambulance.

As years went by the Squad raised money by roadblocks  and auction sales, and many civic clubs raised money and donated it to  the Squad. A lot of individuals donated money and equipment, to which we  are grateful. Time and space will not allow us to mention each one.  A  1963 Ford Station Wagon was purchased and equipped for an ambulance. As  the Squad constantly trained throughout the years they accumulated Red  Cross Instructors which were busy throughout the county teaching first  aid classes.

In 1964 the need was seen to put a vehicle in  Surgoinsville to better serve the public there. As progress was made,  later a 1967 Chevrolet Van was purchased. In 1967 a lot was leased for  99 years from the Hawkins County Board of Education. A Building  Committee was formed to decide what type and size building was to be  built there. After a lot of discussion and planning by the committee,  they drew up an outline of what was wanted and Beason and Beason,  Architects, drew up the plan. Later money was raised to build the  present the present building. Again the Squad saw the need of putting  equipment in the Bulls Gap area and in March of 1968 the ambulance was  placed there. It's stationed in a building the Squad built joining the  Fire Department.

The first one was stored at Stewart's Funeral  Home at no cost, and they made headquarters there.  In 1969, a Ford Van  was bought and equipped for an ambulance as the funeral homes went out  of ambulance service. Colboch-Price, Nash-Wilson, and Stewart's Funeral  Home donated ambulances to the Squad since they had to take over all  ambulance service in June 1970. In 1971, two new Chevrolet Vans were  purchased to replace some of the older ambulances. One of the operations  the Squad helped in the earlier days, was the Iron Mountain Plane  Crash. The Squad has been on many operations throughout Tennessee.

As  we are members of Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, also some  calls have been out of state. One was the school bus wreck at Big Sandy  River. Several men were on the scene. The bridge collapsed in Point  Pleasant on the Ohio River. The Hawkins County Rescue Squad is proud of  having the Hawkins County Crewettes and their assistance to the Squad.  They have raised money and gave to the Squad to buy equipment and are  always there with food when needed on an operation in Hawkins County or  where ever the need may be. As the Squad members look back to the times  of the first meeting in March 1958, of how we were wondering how to  raise money to buy our equipment.

We began without any money,  depending on the people of Hawkins County and surrounding areas for  their assistance. We have seen the help they have given as members have  increased from 19 to 53 and over. Building and equipment in 1978 could  be valued at approximately one quarter of a million dollars. We are  still depending on the support of all people. We have confidence that we  will not be let down in the future.  In 1972, the International Card  and Label and employees donated a 1972 international six-man cab crash  truck.  Since that time, we have added numerous pieces of equipment. The  Squad has always used for its theme quote "Service is Our Best  Advertisement."