Bassett Rescue Squad


Bassett Rescue Squad, Inc.
1950 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 510
Bassett, VA  24055
(276) 629-3107


   On a May afternoon in 1909 two men from an overturned canoe suddenly disappeared in the Roanoke River.  In 1928, Memories of this tragic drowning led Julian Stanley Wise to start the first rescue squad in America.On a May afternoon in 1909 two men from an overturned canoe suddenly disappeared in the Roanoke River.  In 1928, Memories of this tragic drowning led Julian Stanley Wise to start the first rescue squad in America.
    Thirty years later in the spring of 1958 in Bassett, history repeated itself.  A broad, deep bend in the Smith River northwest of Bassett claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy.  The Bassett Police was notified and rescue crews from Danville and Martinsville responded.
    After this incident, like many other rescue squads in Virginia, the Bassett Rescue Squad was founded.  There were five members of the first squad:  S.B. Conway, John Arnold, James Wall, Joey Craig, and Marvin Reeves.  Of these, Joey Craig is the only charter member active in the squad, and he runs every Saturday night.
    The squad moved from the fire department into their new building pictured above in 1981.  Assets of Bassett Rescue Squad now exceed $2 million dollars, but this is far less than the value of the dedicated members who give of their time to help others in their time of need.

Service Area

   The squad’s primary service area encompasses approximately 20,000 residents and a land area of approximately 85 square miles.  The squad’s primary service area borders Patrick and Franklin Counties and the squad often times respond into the adjoining counties on emergency calls.  The Bassett area is very industrialized consisting primarily of textile and furniture manufacturing operations.  Thousands of employees travel to the area to work each day further taxing the EMS system.

We have several types of memberships for your consideration that will hopefully fit into your schedule.

  • JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP is available to those between 16 and 18 years old.  This is a unique opportunity for young adults to participate in rescue squad activities under supervised conditions.  Junior members have their own officers and conduct their own business meetings. Activity is limited to support success in their educational efforts.  Parental permission is required for consideration.
  • SUPPORT GROUP membership is available to those who feel like they want to be a part of the squad without necessarily being involved directly in its’ operations.  These members work with our auxiliary to support the operations of the squad.  Examples of these tasks include:  bookkeeping, data entry, cleaning, etc.  Support group members are required to log 150 hours of service per year.
  • ASSOCIATE MEMBERS are members who are already a member of another public safety agency and would like to align with us.  These members don’t participate in the squad’s business decisions, don’t have duty requirements, and receive limited equipment.
  • WATER RESCUE MEMBERS are current members of the public safety community or someone suggested by members who have the exclusive responsibility of performing water rescue operations.  These members are responsible for attending training as scheduled and perform a lot of community service and public education.
  • ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP is the backbone and basic membership category of the squad.  This membership category requires training to the level of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC), and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  The duty requirement is 24 monthly hours.
  • LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP is for members who have ten consecutive years of active membership and service within the squad.  This prestigious category of membership allows benefits of the squad to a member who has served for their lifetime.


What to expect when you have applied:

  • Our membership committee will contact you and review your application for completeness and clarify any questions they may have
  • The Captain will mail your background check to the Public Safety department where a preliminary screening will verify a good state criminal history.  When that is done, you will be mailed instructions for having your fingerprints obtained to do a full criminal history.  NOTE:  The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that all fingerprints are confirmed and background is negative prior to affiliation with a licensed EMS agency.  This process can take 2-6 weeks.
  • The membership committee WILL contact your references and Chief staff of any agencies you have prior affiliation with.  Please make sure to provide good character references and not just acquaintances.
  • As soon as your background is confirmed, the membership committee will arrange for an interview.  If you are a junior member under 18, your parents will be required to attend as well.
  • After the review process is complete, your application will be presented to the membership for consideration at our monthly meeting.  Your membership committee contact person will let you know about the date and time of this meeting so you can make arrangements to attend if you would like.

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