HUNTERSVILLE, NC (FOX 46) - The North Mecklenburg Volunteer Rescue Squad is about to close its doors.
“There’s no better feeling than when you saved somebody and then two months later, they come knocking on the door to say thank you because they’re alive because of you,” Michael Tessari, a rescue squad member, said.
“The mood’s sad because these are all my best friends,” Tessari added.
After 58 years of responding to car wrecks, cardiac arrests, and other medical calls, about 40 EMTs, some who work as volunteers, won’t have a job anymore come Friday at midnight.
“It’s been a big thing for me to try to find work,” Tessari said.
The Town of Huntersville is cutting funding for the rescue squad, which from the town was about $375,000 last year.
Medical calls for the North Meck coverage area will now be handled by the Huntersville Fire Department. Firefighters in Huntersville are already trained EMTs, but now that North Meck is closing, Huntersville Fire’s coverage area will be bigger, and they’ll have more calls.
“It’s a shame that we could not work something out with the fire department, but they did not want any of our members that are not certified firefighters,” North Meck Rescue Chief John Stroup said.
The rescue squad hasn’t only been saving lives for almost six decades, according to the chief, who says they save the town money.
“It saved the community a lot of money over the years, obviously any of your volunteer agencies save the taxpayers money,” Stroup said.
The rescue may donate some of its rescue gear and they also plan to sell some of their trucks and other equipment to go into a charitable foundation and that money may be used to give scholarships to people who are interested in the fire and medical service.
Even though the doors are closing, North Meck Rescue will keep giving back to the community.
“We’ve saved a lot of lives, we’ve helped a lot of people.”