Event Standby


  • There are many events that go on in our community, ranging from church functions and sporting events to festivals and gatherings.  Hartsville Rescue Squad is happy to help out in keeping these events safe and providing medical personnel and equipment to care for any emergencies that may arise.  We do this free of charge, although we do greatly appreciate donations!  Since 2002 we have covered over 1,000 events in our community, and the requests continue to rise each year.
  • If you see us out at an event don't be afraid to come by and speak with us.  Bring your kids and our members will be happy to show them our vehicles and equipment and answer any questions you may have.  Letting our children tour the ambulances and talk with emergency personnel is extremely important in reducing their anxiety.  This may play an important role if your child is ever in need of an ambulance, as children tend to be frightened and make caring for them difficult.
  • There are many sporting events that occur in Hartsville each and every week.  We are proud to provide coverage for some of these events, and 2013 marked our first year covering our Hartsville Red Foxes' football games!
  • If you would like to have us at an event you are hosting, go to our contact page and send us a message.  Please keep in mind that we are volunteers and we will make every effort to come out to your event, however sometimes it may not be possible for us to be there due to emergency calls, conflicting events, or personnel shortages. 

Medical First Response


  • Medical First Response is a service in which our members will respond to the location of a 911 call to render care before the arrival of an ambulance.  First responders play an important role in every emergency system across the United States.  This service is usually provided by agencies like ours, but Fire Departments have also started first responder programs as well.  What we have learned since the terror attacks on 911 is that you will never have enough emergency personnel to handle every disaster we may have.  Volunteers make a formidable force by not costing tax dollars and being able to provide life saving procedures before Emergency Medical Services arrive.
  • Every member of Hartsville Rescue Squad is required to be "Healthcare Provider" CPR trained in addition to basic first aid training.  This training must be completed within their first year as a member.  Once training is completed each member is issued a medical responder bag that contains medical supplies for traumatic injuries and for performing CPR.  CPR is vital in the survival of patients that suffer from sudden cardiac arrest.  Proper CPR can keep the brain and heart oxygenated for up to 14 minutes, greatly increasing the chance of survival.
  • Plans are in motion to require all of our members to be certified nationally registered medical first responders in the next few years.

Dive Rescue & Recovery


  • Drownings are the seventh leading cause of accidental death in the world.
  • One of the first rescue services offered by Hartsville Rescue Squad was underwater search and recovery.  In the 1950's drownings were very common in our area, actually accounting for a large percentage of the rescue squads call volume.  We attribute this today to poor education about water safety and how important life jackets are.  Going to the "watering hole" was also a favorite past time for the majority of the population, since many of today's attractions were not around.  This trend continued several decades before government advertising campaigns and regulations created a decline in drownings by educating the public in water safety and imposing fines on boaters that failed to follow the regulations.  This service was looked upon mainly as victim recovery with no real possibility of saving a life, but what we know now has changed this service forever.
  • In 2011 Hartsville Rescue Squad adopted a new standard for our dive team.  We have reorganized the team and operate to the Dive Rescue International standard, changing the outlook from victim recovery to potentially "life saving".  This is due to recent studies performed on drowning victims and many theories that doctors have published.  There are still many unknowns to how the human body reacts to drowning, but what we do know is there is a chance at reviving drowning victims that have been submerged for a prolonged amount of time.  This chance greatly increases in cold water situations, where the water is below 70 degrees fahrenheit.  There have been documented cases of victims being pulled from cold water after 90 minutes of submersion and later revived by rescuers with no neurological deficits!  In some documented situations victims are found underwater and still have a pulse!  It is believed that through the mammalian diving reflex, hypothermia, and shock our bodies are capable of surviving because of residual oxygen in our blood.  Being in shock means the body has shunted blood to the vital organs (brain, heart, lungs), significantly reducing the amount of oxygen that is used.  Many factors must play an important role, such as quickly locating the victim and beginning resuscitation immediately after retrieval.  The chance of survival is extremely very low.  Unfortunately many drowning victims do not have witnesses, or the witness was unable to identify where the victim was submersed.  Without this information it is unlikely to find the victim in a timely matter, thus creating a recovery situation without possibility of survival.  It is important to note that even with the studies and information we have now, our bodies cannot survive without oxygen.  Without oxygen our brain will have irreversible damage after 4 minutes, and death after 6 minutes.
  • Very few dive teams exist today, mainly because of how expensive equipment and training has become.  We are proud to still provide this service and will continue to do so for many years to come.  Help support our efforts by making a donation or participating in our fundraisers!  Click here to help now.

Emergency Medical Services


  • Emergency Medical Services have not been around as long as you may think.  We can trace "ambulances" back to 1500bc, citing simple horse driven carts, but how we refer to them today is much more recent.  The need for ambulances in the United States was first recognized during the Civil War.  In 1865, Cincinnati incorporated the first civilian ambulance service.  But it wasn't until World War I that ambulances took on a "form" of what they are today, providing field surgeons and medical equipment to care and treat patient's before they reached a field hospital.  The 1950's really sparked the need for ambulance services, seeing a dramatic rise in vehicle accidents.  During this time the industry was unregulated, and funeral homes began doing patient care and provided over HALF of our nation's ambulances!  President John F. Kennedy stated in 1960 that "Traffic accidents constitute one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, of our nation's public health problems."  This continued to grow to the point that in 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson declared the carnage as "the neglected disease of modern society".  This started the building blocks for EMS, but it still wasn't until the 1970's that EMS became organized, with standards of care being imposed by each state following a national guideline.  The decades since have seen rapid growth in the standard of care, technology, and education levels associated with EMS.  We refer to them as portable hospitals now, being able to identify and treat hundreds of life threatening illnesses and injuries before arrival at an emergency room.
  • If you are involved in an accident or are experiencing a medical emergency, chances are an ambulance will be called and offer transport to an Emergency Room.  Hartsville Rescue Squad provides two Advanced Life Support ambulances to the Hartsville and Greater Hartsville area.  We are state licensed and operate in conjunction with Darlington County Emergency Medical Services.
  • What does this mean?  Darlington County Emergency Medical Services is your primary ambulance provider when you contact 911.  Hartsville Rescue Squad operates as a secondary ambulance provider, basically meaning that when Darlington County EMS has a higher than usual call volume we are called to respond.  Think of us as the back-up, but don't think we are not utilized.  Last year we transported over 200 patients to local hospitals!   

Our Services

Extrication & Crash Rescue


  • Simply put, extrication is the process of removing a person that is trapped.
  • Vehicle accidents account for the most common incident in which extrication is needed.  This is a technical rescue operation requiring the use of hydraulic tools, such as the jaws of life, and other tools as needed to remove materials that have trapped a victim.  Extrication may also be performed on victims who have become trapped or pinned because of heavy machinery.  Hartsville Rescue Squad has provided vehicle extrication (crash rescue) since it's induction in the 1950's.  Today we still provide this service in conjunction with local fire departments.
  • In the 1950's vehicle accidents were a "plague of modern society".  Heavier, more powerful cars and trucks were beginning to populate the roadways with drivers lacking the skills necessary to operate them.  Add driving under the influence of alcohol to this list and the number of traffic accidents with fatalities were a very common occurrence.  In these days it could take several hours to remove a victim from a vehicle!  The early days of vehicle extrication involved using common tools and methods to extricate victims.  Just imagine using sledgehammers and hand held saws to bend and cut metal on an old car!  The physical requirements of this process are unfathomable!  An easier and safer method was needed in a hurry, which led to the invention of the Hurst Jaws of Life in the 1970's.  Throughout the 1960's many other tools were migrated into this service, most of which were used in the construction industry.
  • In 1979 Hartsville Rescue Squad purchased it's first new vehicle, Rescue 1, that was built specifically for crash rescue.  We are proud to say that it is still in service today, having now provided 35 years of service to our community.

Emergency?  Dial 911

Hartsville Rescue Squad, Inc.

Call Us:  843.383.9326