When their training is complete next month, those firefighters will become members of the HCRS and will respond to emergencies utilizing a truck that will be permanently stationed at the CVVFD’s Station 2 on Clinch Valley Road.
The rescue squad is sometimes confused with Hawkins County EMS, but they are two different agencies.
The HCRS is an all-volunteer agency and doesn’t transport victims or treat the injured. It mainly performs rescues, with the most common being extrications from vehicular accidents.
Each firefighter participating in the HCRS expansion is completing a 40-hour extrication certification class. They will also have the option of taking training to join specialty teams such as structural collapse, high angle rescue, cave rescue and water rescue.
But the only mandatory rescue squad training is for extrications.
The HCRS truck stationed at CVVFD has a complete set of hydraulic tools including the Jaws of Life. It also has equipment used to stabilize a vehicle during the extrication process.
HCRS Capt. Donnie Hawkins said the Clinch Valley truck has enough equipment to get a rescue operation started, and if they need more equipment or manpower, that support will come from the Rogersville HCRS station.
The main advantage of an HCRS truck in Clinch Valley will be cutting down on response time. It can take a half-hour for an HCRS team to arrive on the scene on the north side of Clinch Mountain when coming from Rogersville, Hawkins noted.
This partnership of the HCRS, CVVFD and SVVFD is similar to the partnership that has existed between the HCRS and the Persia VFD for about 15 years.
An HCRS truck is stationed at the Persia VFD station as well, and Persia firefighters are trained to man that vehicle, cutting down on response time at wrecks and other emergencies south of the Holston River.
Firefighter training for the Clinch Valley truck is expected to be completed in early August.
“This is a great opportunity for us to spread out our resources, that we already have, through the county at no cost to the tax payers of Hawkins County,” Hawkins said. “A fully equipped rescue truck would cost in excess of $200,000.
“The rescue squad never charges for services. We provide rescue services in the area of vehicle extrications of trapped individuals from vehicle crashes, farm and machinery rescue, search and rescue for lost persons, water rescue, trench and structural collapse rescue, high angle rescue and cave rescue.”