Clay Rescue Squad begins annual fundraising drive


The Clay County Rescue Squad has started its annual fundraising drive, asking local businesses to advertise in their annual tabloid newspaper about the squad.

Over 4,500 copies of the newspaper are distributed during the squad’s annual roadblock, held on Memorial Day weekend, and at boat docks, resorts and camping sites around Dale Hollow Lake.

The publication contains “safety information for auto travel, weather, and water travel and recreation to protect you and your family members,” said a squad spokesperson, “and what to do if an emergency does occur, mainly calling 911 for help.”

In the event of an emergency that requires rescue squad assistance, squad members are available 24 hours a day by pager, and the squad is equipped with a wide array of emergency equipment. That includes two vehicle extrication trucks carrying the Jaws of Life device, air bags capable of lifting 50 tons, hydraulics and air tools, saws and other rescue tools. The squad also has a four-wheel drive Suburban for off-road rescue and a pair of four-wheeled ATVs for off-road use. 

“All members are trained and certified to use this equipment on a yearly basis,”  the spokesperson said. 

Water rescue equipment includes two 14-foot, flat-bottom boats and a 28-foot pontoon boat, which is also used to transport the rescue squad dive team when needed. 

Clay County government helps the rescue squad with $2,500 annually and the group also gets some help from local fire departments. “We greatly appreciate their assistance, but the average yearly operational cost for the Clay Rescue Squad is anywhere from $8,000 to $16,000 if we don’t have any major disasters,” the spokesperson said. Drowning victim searches can easily run from $2,000-$4,000. 

“We want to thank all the businesses and the community for their continued support,” the spokesperson said. “The squad, formed in 1972, has touched the lives of almost every family in Clay County at one time or another, through auto accidents, storms, lost persons, or water-related accidents. The money collected through our projects continues to pay for fuel and maintenance on boats and vehicles, and to help pay for new equipment and training expenses.

“We are there to respond any time of the day or night, and we ask that you help us to help you when needed,” the spokesperson said.