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Rescue

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Original 1-9-7

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The final Department unit to be attached to Station 2 is the Rescue Squad. Rescue was initially formed by members of Hook and Ladder Company 4, but allowed any Department member to join. In 1949 most of the fires were brush fires, leaving the members of the Hook and Ladder Company little to do. With the money donated by the Mayor of Babylon village the department purchased an Ambulance and put it in service on the first of January 1950. The original Rescue Squad was made up primarily of members from Company 4, but all Fire Department members were welcome, Carl Bode a Fire Policemen from Station 2 was a charter member of the Rescue Squad. The men that created the Rescue Squad were very dedicated and conscientious men. Unlike today, there were not any rules or regulations covering the operation of an ambulance squad. Throughout the 1950s, the members went out of their way to become better trained and have the best equipment. They made arrangements to have Doctors come to the fire house to give classes, they purchased the equipment they felt they needed, if the Board of Fire Commissioners would not pay for something they paid for it out of their own pocket. They joined, as a unit and as individuals, various Ambulance Squad associations throughout the Island. All of this was done in addition to their regular duties in their own fire company. During the 1950s, any member of the Fire Department could become a member of Rescue provided he held an Advance Red Cross Training Card. All members also were required to have telephones in their homes. The community's growing dependance on a Rescue Squad became quickly apparent, in 1950 its first year in service the Ambulance responded to 103 calls, 23 more than the Fire Equipment. In 1964, the Ambulance responded to 409 call and in 1996 over 2000.

The Rescue Squad has provided a vital service to the community, but its growth has been an uphill battle against its big brothers, the Fire Companies. Rescue has always had a hard time maintaining enough men to run the ambulance. Part of its problem has been due to the amount of calls they answer. All members of a Fire Company are expected to answer every fire call the department receives, this is not very difficult because there is usually only one or two calls a week. Rescue can receive as many as eight or ten calls a day, if every member responded to every call they would be "Burned out" very quickly. In order to avoid this problem Rescue was organized as a group system. Each member is assigned to a group and is only required to respond when his group is on duty. One group, consisting of from 3 to 5 people, is on duty from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M., the Day Group, on duty from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M., is made up of anyone that can respond. Depending on the total number of groups each group is on duty anywhere from every other day (2 groups) to once every two weeks (11 groups). The actual number of groups fluctuated depending on the total membership in Rescue