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Warren Rescue History

Through the first half of the century local physicians made house calls and responded on scene in case of emergencies. By the 2nd half of the century these house calls were becoming a memory, making a Rescue Squad a necessity.

Although a “Rescue Squad” had been recognized as early as 1950, the Warren Rescue Squad became didn’t become a separate organizational unit until August 1952. The Rescue Squad was initially composed of one or two volunteer members from each company. Who were given special training which included: advanced first aid, scuba diving, search & recovery, and evacuating citizens from damaged vehicles/buildings.
An old donated laundry truck, modified to hold a stretcher, tools and equipment, served as the first rescue truck. That truck was replaced in 1952, when a much needed donation of a new rescue vehicle was received from Romeo Asselin (a local auto dealer and deputy chief of Sowams Fire Company) who donated the vehicle in memory of his father Joseph. The truck was dedicated on September 19, 1952, only to be cut short when the unit was dispatched to its first call during the dedication ceremony.

The RI Automobile Dealers’ Association also donated a rescue boat while rescue members acquired a war-surplus jeep, modified it to tow a boat, and equipped it with a generator for lighting. As the amount of equipment grew and the squad’s membership increased, a pressing need arose to house the new organization. At the town meeting in March 1953, taxpayers appropriated $13,000 for an addition to the rear of the Town Hall. The appropriated amount was not enough to meet the bids received until December 1953 when a bid was negotiated with Sevigny Contractors for $13,400.

The rescue squad was independent, not affiliated directly with the police or fire department; therefore the squad depended on donations and surplus equipment from Civilian Defense. The donations they received is a clear indication of the townspeople’s appreciation.

CHARTER MEMBERS
Warren Taylor
George Gempp
John Tattrie
Manuel Perry
Bernard Stack
Louis DeBiase
Cornelius Hoffma

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