Greene County Rescue Squad is 25 Years Old

   PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - From humble beginnings grow great things and the Greene County Rescue Squad is no exception.

It began in 1982 when founder Butch Heath laid the groundwork for today's squad.

Chief Curtis Davenport, "I'm not sure what butch was looking for down the road but we've celebrated 5, 10, 15 20 and this year is our 25th anniversary."

From humble beginnings with an old ambulance and a van loaded with the bare essentials. The squad has matured with new vehicles equipped with the latest in rescue technology.  And in their quarter of a century existence their calls and what they train for reads like a shopping list of disaster movies.

Davenport, "We've tried to prepare for what we've seen in the past, automobile wrecks, farm accidents, commercial accidents, we've had some cave ins, trench rescue, water rescue, we've had some stuff that's only happened one time but we try and look back and think if it happens again so we can be better prepared for it. "

Tools and trucks aside, what motivates a person to face the kind of challenges that rescue presents?

Davenport, "they want to do something to give back to their community. They want to be involved in something that's helping people."

The squad currently has 20 members who train once a month, unlike many volunteer organizations the squad has a core of longevity.

Davenport, "One of the good things is, with the group we've got now we've got a lot of people with over ten years experience. And what that gives you is that people fall back on some of these rescues we've had in the past, and they kind of know what to do without specifically being told. "

Assistant Chief Charlie Hinson, "We know what the other persons fixing to do most of the time, I mean without someone having to say hey we need this or we need that.we know what we need."

2008 will be a year of growth for the squad. Currently under construction is the new part of their headquarters building in Paragould.

Davenport, "We're really looking for bigger and better things this year, we want the community also to help us celebrate this anniversary, it's a big milestone for us."

Not every rescue can have a happy ending but that will never slow the volunteers of the Greene County Rescue Squad.

Davenport, "There are those occasions through our efforts with the other emergency services we are helping to save a life and that makes it really worthwhile and that's what I think a lot of us are doing it for."

The Greene County Rescue Squad gets no money from the state or county or city and relies solely on donations and the generosity of the people of Greene County.