UNDATED PHOTO (Early 1960s)
For 36 years, Marlboro County Rescue provided Rescue and Emergency Medical Service to Marlboro County citizens free of charge. Using volunteers exclusively, MCR provided the best service possible, and better service than what was provided in many other places. In 1996 however, under pressure from Marlboro County Government and S.C. DHEC to reduce response times, and facing an ever decreasing membership and an ever increasing call volume, MCR decided to take drastic steps to improve service to the citizens of Marlboro County. With a call total approaching 1900 calls per year, and a membership total down to 18 personnel, something had to change. With an average response time of over 20 minutes from call received to ambulance on scene, the change would have to be historic. Understanding that our county's citizens needed and deserved coverage from a full-time EMS service, and trying to preserve MCR as a primary ambulance service in Marlboro County, MCR's Board of Directors decided to take matters into their own hands.
On May 20, 1996, MCR began charging a user fee for all emergency calls, with the income generated to be put towards paying a two-person crew to be on duty during the daytime hours. Hoping that this daytime crew would help to reduce response times, "paid" crews were placed on duty at 6 a.m., June 3, 1996.
Initially, coverage was provided by paid (on duty) crews from 6am until 6pm Monday through Friday. Average response times were reduced from the pre-June 1996 levels of 15+ minutes, to approximately 10-12 minutes per call overall . The average response time was still hindered by the times (like at night) that we depended solely on volunteers. Late in June 1996, MCR was asked by Marlboro County Administration and Marlboro Park Hospital about the feasibility of providing ALS (Advanced Life Support) transfer services for Marlboro Park Hospital. Knowing that we could provide a much better service to Marlboro Park Hospital than they had ever received before, MCR felt that this was the logical move to make.
The income generated from operating a transport business could help the costs incurred by expanding our emergency call capability. The biggest hindrance was the desperate need for a dependable ambulance that could support repeated trips to Florence, Columbia, Charleston, and the like. MCR had just purchased a 1996 unit that was designated as the primary emergency ambulance. The other two units that we owned were 1989 and 1987 models. Neither of these trucks could stand the stress of a transport program, and having just bought a new ambulance, we didn't feel comfortable with buying a second unit right away.
At about the same time, MCR was contacted by Bill Kinney about a gift that his recently deceased aunt, Miss Annie Kinney had bequeathed to MCR. MCR was presented with a check for $35,000 that Miss Kinney had graciously left for us. The money left by Miss Kinney was put towards a brand new 1997 Wheeled Coach Ambulance on a Ford E450 Super duty Chassis. This was the very first "Super Duty" unit ever purchased by MCR, and was made possible by Miss Kinney's gift. MCR then entered into contract with Marlboro County and Marlboro Park Hospital. At 12 a.m. on July 1, 1996, MCR began providing Marlboro Park Hospital with ALS transfer capabilities, a service never before available to them.
On a side note, the 1997 ambulance purchased with the help of Miss Kinney is still in service today. Most of our personnel will agree, that even with 200,000+ miles it is still one of the best riding and most dependable units that we have. The plaque pictured below is mounted on the wall of the ambulance in the patient's compartment. When this truck goes for remount in 2007, the plaque will be moved to the "new" 117. This is our promise to never forget those that helped MCR prosper.
Out of town transfer calls were initially handled by on-call crews, while emergency crews went to seven days a week, 12 hour per day shifts. In August of 1996, "emergency" crews were placed on duty 24 hours per day. Crews working from 11pm - 7am unselfishly agreed to work for $5 per hour as the service grew. As the number of out of town transfers increased, it was evident that a second crew was needed. In October of 1996, a "transfer" crew was placed on duty from 9am-6pm Monday through Friday to handle the growing number of calls. Out of town transfers were assigned to "on-call" personnel between the night hours of 6pm and 9am each day.
On-call personnel were required to go by Rescue 1 before 6pm every night to pick up the "transfer team" pager. By late 1999, the transfer team was expanded to 7am-6pm Monday through Friday and 10am-10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Although far from ideal, it was imperative to stretch our budget as far as possible. In addition to adding paid crews to the schedule, MCR also undertook a major renovation at our base station. A three-apparatus bay was added to the rear of the building, while two bedrooms and a training room were renovated. All of this construction was took place at about the same time that our fleet was being expanded from 2 worn out ambulances in 1995, to the fleet of 8 units that we operate out of today. 1996-2000 was a time of extreme growth for MCR, in that over $500,000 was spent in building renovations and equipment upgrades alone. MCR survived on the loyalty and dedication of a handful of members and employees that were dedicated to see this dream fulfilled. Unfortunately, most of the main players in the growth of MCR during this time, especially the Paramedics that gave beyond the call of duty, have since given up working for MCR. Several moved on to other jobs, one or two moved to other cities, but each played a vital role in catapulting MCR into the 21st century. MCR entered the year 2000 as a strong and vibrant service.
By 2000, MCR was remaining true to it's ultimate goal of the very best patient care possible to the residents of this county. Paramedics from other areas (counties) were beginning to hear of our growing service, and were wanting to become a part of it. As the core work force of the 1996-2000 era moved on, new Medics were coming on board. By the end of 2000, two separate transfer crews were being utilized. The first transfer team, or "T1", worked from 7am-3pm each day while the second transfer crew, or "T2", was on-duty from 3pm-11pm each day. This narrowed the time from 11pm-7am that was needed for "on-call" transfer coverage. The service remained basically the same until the fall of 2001.
In the spring of 2001, Marlboro Rescue organized and hosted the first Paramedic class ever to be offered in Marlboro County. The class, which was taught by Pee Dee Regional Training Center of Florence, was held at the MCR headquarters on Ball Park Street. This class yielded Paramedics Greg Boan, Amy Boan, Olantha Jackson, Brent Steen, and Bryant Quick.
In the fall of 2001, MCR was approached about the idea of placing a staffed ambulance in McColl. The McColl area had been served by McColl Rescue for years, but the squad there was experiencing the same problems that volunteer organizations all over the country were experiencing - and the same that MCR had experienced in 1995-1996. A lack of growth in membership, coupled with a $400-$500 EMT course was causing McColl Rescue many problems. McColl Rescue Captain Dr. Kevin Jasinski, First Aid Officer David Flowers, and MCR Captain Jeff Boan met with Marlboro County Administrator Anna Hubbard, and then with the entire County Council trying to work out a plan for a "countywide" service. Over the course of several months, and countless meetings, Marlboro County Council agreed to a funding increase for Marlboro Rescue to place a Paramedic-level ambulance in the McColl area 24 hours per day, seven days a week. It was agreed that the ambulance would best serve the citizens by being stationed in McColl Rescue's headquarters on Railroad Avenue in McColl. At 8am, July 1, 2002, Medic 2 went on line as the primary responding unit for the McColl-Clio area. The ambulance at Marlboro Rescue's headquarters would now be known as Medic 1. The Paramedic-level transfer unit on duty from 7am-8pm every day was designated as Medic 3. This unit was to be stationed at the Smithfield Community Center on Community Road mid-way between Bennettsville and Wallace. Although by no means an ideal location, it served as a temporary home for Medic 3 for almost 3 years.
Late In 2004, Marlboro County Rescue and McColl EMS and Rescue 5 began talks about a possible merger between the two organizations. The members of both organizations were so close that it seemed at times that we were one organization anyway. The actual merger took place after much discussion between the two organizations yielded the conclusion that it would benefit both groups. McColl Rescue's members joined Marlboro County Rescue's members in forming one bigger and better organization. Many thanks to McColl EMS and Rescue 5's leaders David Flowers and Dr. Kevin Jasinski for helping to make this happen. McColl Rescue members David Flowers, Dr. Kevin Jasinski, Erick Flowers, Jill Flowers, Brian Blue, Chad Powers, Sebrina Woelki, Meg Gliarmis, Paul Ward and Mike Goff became members of Marlboro County Rescue. The merger became official March 1, 2005.
Also late in 2004, and in early 2005, citizens from the Wallace area began expressing concern about not having a 24-hour Paramedic-level ambulance in their area. MCR was then contacted by Marlboro County Council's Public Safety Committee about making Medic 3 a permanent 24 hour crew to cover the Wallace/Brightsville areas. After many meetings and a lot of negotiating, MCR signed a contract with Marlboro County Government to provide a third 24-hour ALS ambulance. Medic 3 went on-line on July 1, 2005. The station is located at 2750 Highway 9 West, beside the Bingo-rama, and at the corner of Hickory Grove Road and Hwy 9. The present "transfer crew", which works from 8am-6pm Monday through Friday, is designated as Medic 4.
In the past 9 years, the MCRS has grown tremendously. From a roster of 16 certified members in 1995, to 35 certified members today. From 1 "Junior Member" in 1996 to 9 today. From three ambulances in 1996, to a fleet of nine today. From one crew twelve hours per day, five days per week in 1996, to three ALS crews around the clock. The MCRS employees 21 Full-Time personnel, and has a total roster of 57 people.
Excerpts From the First Minutes Book of Marlboro Rescue
DATED: SEPTEMBER 1, 1960
Although at least two previous attempts had been made to establish a rescue squad in Marlboro County prior to September 7, 1959, that date actually marks the beginning of a productive effort. On September 7, 1959, Winston Miller received the green light signal from Dr. C.R. May, Chairman of Civil Defense for the county, to recruit members, arrange for training, and begin in the procuring of equipment.
Winston signed up about 13 men who enrolled in a Red Cross First Aid Class taught by Ryan Bozard. These men furnished a nucleus, and Dr. C.R. May turned over a rescue vehicle with considerable equipment to them. This truck and equipment was furnished jointly by the Civil Defense and the County of Marlboro. These two agencies still being the principle sponsors of the Rescue Squad. An interim period of training and equipping is now in progress. An election of temporary officers has taken place to provide for cohesion until full training and complete organization has taken place.
Two rescue missions have been performed by the squad, both body recoveries from drowning. One was a suicide in the Big Pee Dee river, and the other in an irrigation pond. Credible help was done both times by the squad. Donations from the City of Bennettsville and Whitner Funeral Home have been deposited by our treasurer and is being used as an operating fund.
Inasmuch as the previously mentioned twenty men in a very real sense, constitute what can be called Charter Members. Their names are listed as follows.
With training progressing nicely at this time, the squad is placing itself on call as of this date, September 1, 1960.
Further pertinent data will likely be found from here on in the Secretaries' book of minutes, and in the pages of this book which will primarily be used as a log of rescue missions performed.
Dana Crosland, Temporary Captain
MCRS CHARTER MEMBERS
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Honorary lifetime membership is granted a past member in recognition of excellence of service to the squad. There are no set guidelines by which honorary members are elected. This honor is instead determined on a case by case basis.
Once a member resigns from the squad, that person is reviewed for possibility of honorary membership. If a present member of the squad feels that the person is deserving of this award, then a written nomination is presented to the squad for review. A motion is then made, and three-fourths of the squad must vote in favor of the nomination.
Once the person is elected to honorary membership, he or she is notified in writing of such, and the honorary member's name is placed on a permanent plaque at the MCR base station. Being elected to honorary membership is the highest honor granted a past member. An alphabetized list of MCR honorary members and their length of tenure follows.
This area of our site is dedicated to the individuals that provided leadership and guidance. The position of Captain is the highest position obtainable by MCR members. Before 1996 there was a term limit of two years for all Board of Director positions. The By-Laws were amended that year to eliminate term limits.
SQUAD PHOTO 1995
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In 1998, the Board of Directors decided that the "Most Active Member" award no longer was appropriate due to the changing face of our service. Since we were depending more on crews that were "on duty" to answer calls, and depending less on "volunteers", the board decided that the time had come to change from a most active member to a most dedicated member. The Board decided that it would be appropriate to name this award after Mr. Dana Crosland. Mr. Dana, as he was known was a Charter Member, Lifetime Honorary Member, as well as the very first Captain of MCR. This award is voted on each November by the members, and a plaque is awarded to the recipient at our annual Christmas Party. Below are the award winners from 1998-2005.
In 2005, Honorary Member and Charter Member, Mr. Ryan Bozard, died after a long illness. Mr. Bozard is mentioned above in the first minutes book as having trained the initial or "Charter" group of MCR volunteers in 1959. In addition to being the very first "Training Officer" that Marlboro County Rescue ever had, he was also the grandfather of present MCR Training Officer Ryan Mackey. We had given thought to an award that recognized our personnel for clinical excellence, and with the death of Mr. Bozard, it seemed the time was right to establish the award in his name. In 2005, the inaugural award was presented to MCR Paramedic and Shift Supervisor Greg Boan. The Ryan Bozard Award will become an annual award to be voted on by MCR personnel, Hospital staff, and others that interact with our service.
HISTORY RELATED PICTURES
This area contains pictures dedicated to the past members from the 40+ year history of Marlboro Rescue. Many of these pictures will be undated, but each will tell some story. Almost all of the rescuers shown in these pictures are retired from MCR, and some are deceased. Each of these past members and each of these calls have all helped to mold MCR into the organization that it is today. There have been many great people that have passed through this organization over the past four decades. This is a small tribute to them.
If anyone has MCRS photos that they would not mind sharing, please contact Jeff Boan at 843-479-2644, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.