History Of Hot Springs Rescue Squad 1963-2023
On Sunday, September 17, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Hot Springs Rescue Squad will celebrate the 60th anniversary of service to the people of Bath County.
After repeated requests from concerned citizens, Hot Springs Fire Department held a meeting in January of 1963, to discuss the formation of the first rescue squad in Bath County. Until this time, emergency medical transport was provided by an ambulance service, operated by the local funeral home. By February of 1963, a meeting was held at the Odd Fellows Hall, a committee was formed to initiate the procedures that lead to an organizational meeting of the Hot Springs Fire Department Rescue Squad. On April 30th, an organizational meeting was held, and the first slate of officers were elected. They were D.H. Mclaughlin, Captain: Ed Rogers, First Lieutenant: Wilbur Bonner, Second Lieutenant; Charles Herman, Secretary; Cecil Armstrong; and Bill Jenkins, Reporter. D. H. Mclaughlin was the captain for the first seventeen years. Several years later, his son, Buddy McLaughlin was elected as captain and served for seventeen years.
Hot Springs Rescue Squad (HSRS) was modeled after the first rescue squad formed in the United States by Julian Staley Wise of Roanoke, Virginia in 1928. Wise also formed the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1933, of which Hot Springs is a member.
Today the squad has one paramedic, three intermediate, six advanced, 5 drivers, and 20 basic providers. It is a 501-(c)(3) organization. HSRS is also appreciative of the doctors, who have served as operating medical directors. The squad gives praise to all the people who have served as members since its formation as well as their families who sacrificed holidays, meals, and other special occasions while the members were seeing to the EMS needs for the community. Changes over sixty years have presented many challenges in operations, training and requirements to operate as an EMS agency. HSRS remains all volunteer. Hot Springs Rescue Squad looks forward to continued service to the community.