The Pownal Center First Aid and Rescue Squadron began in 1959 through the Pownal Center Fire Department. A handful of volunteer fireman were determined to make a difference for those in need of emergency treatment in Pownal. After acquiring a used Buick wagon, a year's worth of organizational meetings, and first aid trainings, the squad was ready to handle emergencies in October of 1960
The concept of Emergency Medical Services was a new one, and it was focused on basic first aid skills, bandaging, splinting, use of oxygen and resuscitation. It was a service that demanded intense commitment.
In the 1960s calls for help came in by telephone, and for those on call, it meant being within earshot of the phone. In this time the Rescue Squadron continued to train new members, upgrade equipment, and develop skills at courses through the Vermont State Firefighters Association. The service was hailed as the most complete service in VT by a local newspaper in 1960. The ambulance and its equipment were often on display at schools as far away as Middleberry VT, and in 1963 when Bennington Rescue members began organizing, it was Pownal that they turned to for guidance and help.
In 1969 the town of Pownal approved $8000 for the purchase of a 2nd ambulance (in 2018 we bought our newest ambulance for over $200,000).
In the mid to late 1970s there were major changes which marked the beginnings of the present day Rescue Squad. The increasing call volume helped contribute to changes in the Fire Department bylaws to allow for membership in the Rescue Squad alone, and in January of 1977 the formation of five 3 person teams was started to cover calls Monday through Friday with each team covering 1 weekend in rotation. On July 4th 1979 a new paging system was put into the hospital in Bennington to dispatch crews replacing the "Red Phone" and having to be within earshot of the phone, crews could now carry pagers and be "on call".
With the steady increase in specialized training, required state certifications, and demands of providing 24-hour service the rescue squad developed as a separate community service, and in 1981 the Pownal Rescue and First Aid Squadron was legally incorporated as the Pownal Rescue Squad Inc.
In 2008 we moved into our current location at 22 Ladd Road in Pownal and continue to serve the residence of Pownal and surrounding areas upgrading our service level in 2021 to the Paramedic level, the highest level of emergency provider in Vermont. We look forward to continuing to grow and serve our community, and are proud of our history of helping others.