top of page

History of Madison Rescue

Founded in 1957

The Madison-Rockingham Rescue Squad was formed in April 1957 after the drowning of a mother and child on the Mayo River, near the confluence of the Dan River. Sources state there were no appropriate resources
locally to conduct the search and ultimate recovery of the two victims. As resources were summoned from out
of county, and out of state, several members of the Madison Fire Department observing the recovery efforts
had the idea to create a "rescue squad" in Rockingham County. The name included "Madison" as its place of
origin, but also "Rockingham" as it was the first rescue squad in Rockingham County, and the creators hoped
to gain support from across the County. Shortly after, Reidsville Rescue Squad was formed, followed by Tri-
City Rescue Squad, known today as Eden Rescue Squad. Madison Rescue later obtained an ambulance and
began patient transports, as volunteer time allowed, supplementing the patient transport work of Ray Funeral
Home. It was not until late 1979 when financial efforts were made to obtain a hydraulic "Jaws of Life" type

A quote from our first Chief, known then as Captain

"Its humble beginning and the organizer's belief in the need for the type of emergency service it would provide;  also to see the squad has moved forward to have the best equipment and trained personnel as any rescue squad in the state is what the organizers envisioned", by Dean Sharpe

b and w old.jpg

The Beginning 

Rescue in the United States is still fairly young. The first independent volunteer rescue squad in the country, Roanoke Lifesaving and First Aid Crew, was established in Roanoke, Va. in 1928. Winston-Salem Rescue Squad was the first to form in North Carolina in 1937. The formation was attributed to founders: Roy Kane, and Thurmond Chatham. Kane had come from Roanoke to work for Chatham at Chatham Manufacturing Company. Winston-Salem Rescue's formation was aided financially by Chatham Manufacturing Company, Duke Power, and R.J. Reynolds. Over time additional rescue squads began to form across the State.

Our Current and Past Missions

Since the beginning, Madison Rescue has taken on a variety of missions, in addition to daily responses to subjects in their time of need. In April of 2017 we started a convalescent transport program, as a part of the Rockingham County EMS System. This was intended to absorb some of the BLS workload from EMS, allowing their ALS ambulances to concentrate on more critical incidents. The hope was also to provide additional revenue to Madison Rescue. We currently provide services to events such as the Belews Lake Triathlon, cycling events sponsored by the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League, and others as requested. With equipment, skills, and abilities such as boats, ambulances, 4-wheelers, and associated personal protective gear, we are well suited to handle such events requiring a variety of rescue and medical disciplines simultaneously.  Throughout the years we have provided services at 311 Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway; main track, drag strip, and dirt track, 2012 Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Riverside Go Kart Track, McMichael High School athletics, Western Rockingham Middle School athletics, Madison-Mayodan Recreation Commission athletics, Huntsville athletics, and other large-scale events such as downtown festivals and mud runs.


We frequently partner with other service providers such as Eden and Reidsville Rescue Squads, area fire departments, EMS systems, area Police Departments and the Sheriff's Office, local, State, and Federal Emergency Management, G.A.S.P. - Guilford Association of SCUBA Personnel, Hospice/Ancora Compassionate Care, and many others as requested.

bottom of page