Bland County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc.

Serving the Land Between the Tunnels Since 1974

Bland, Virginia

The First Twenty Years 1974-1994

     The Bland County Volunteer Rescue Squad was organized in August, 1974, and chartered September, 1974, with 24 members on the roll. The first meeting was held at Rocky Gap High School to form the organization.  Meetings thereafter were held at the Bastian School until the building was completed. 

     The charter members were: Fred Bailey, Robert Barlow, Ronald Bradberry, Judy Burton, James Conley, Phyllis Conley, Linda Gammon, John Gibson, Jack Gwyn, Fay Lambert, Joyce Lambert, Archie Lundy, Albert Miller, William Newberry, Robert Riggle, Harry Sarver, Peggy Sarver, Thomas Stowers, Richard Toesch, Billy Watson, Mary Woody, Robert Woody, and Rudolph Wyrick.

     The Board of Directors in 1974 were: President, Asa Rasnake; Vice-President, Rev. Jack Day; Captain, Jack Gwyn; Secretary, Joyce Lambert; Treasurers, Stephen Cochrane and Henry Ratliff.

     To help fund the new squad, the first horse show was held on the Bland County Fairgrounds.  The first bank deposit was made in August, 1974, for $65, donated from citizens of Bland County.  During that month the donations expanded to $1,600.

     The first ambulance was purchased from Grubb Funeral Home in Wytheville, a 1964 International Travelall for $2,000.  The squad had its first call on November 8, 1974 ran by Johnny Gibson and Watt Conley.  In December, a new Chevrolet ambulance was purchased with a federal grant.

     The land for the Squad Building was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Pyott Shrader in January 21, 1975, for $1,500.  Fund drives consisting of donations from Bland County citizens helped pay this debt in three years.  In July of 1975, a groundbreaking was held and the building was complated several months later.  Building labor was done by members and citizens of Bland County. 

     Since the Rescue Squad began, there have been several additions and a lot of improvements.  A new bay was added to the building in 1990.  Around 1991, enough money was raised to re-decorate the building.  New furniture was purchased, updates to the bathroom, shower installed, bunkroom painted, and laundry room completed.  The building was re-roofed in 1993. 

     With the help of grants, the Squad purchased several new ambulances.  In 1993, the Squad received an 80/20 grant for the Ford Ambulance Unit 75.  That same year a used Dodge Ambulance was purchased, Unit 78.

     In late 1993, an active members meeting was started.  This meeting was for concerns and to solve problems that any member had, and anything concerning Squad business.

     In June, 1994 the elecrical systems was updated and oxygen tanks were purchased.  These tanks had been rented since the Squad was organized in 1974.  Electric bay doors were installed in the old bay.  Several new filing cabinets were purchased.  Also in 1994, the ceiling, doors, trim, and bay floor was painted.  All this had been done by with the help of the Ladies Auxiliary and citizens of Bland County.

     The 20th Anniversary committee included: Chairman, Jean Williams; Viola Reed, Ruth Shufflebarger, Donald Chandler, and Sandy Gammon.