Updated: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011 | Posted: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011

Area's oldest volunteer rescue squad ends operations

Box 21, a self-supporting entity, owes $1.1M in judgments, court says.

By Doug Page

Staff Writer

DAYTON — Box 21 Rescue Squad, the area’s oldest volunteer rescue unit, will answer no more calls for assistance because the unit has entered receivership.

The squad owed $1,113,484.77 in judgments — plus interest, late fees and attorneys’ fees — to PNC Bank, arising from a contractor’s lawsuit involving unpaid bills, according to Montgomery County court records.

A receiver was appointed by the court Feb. 17 and has begun the process of selling off the squad’s equipment and other assets. The certificate of judgment was filed Oct. 21, according to court records.

Efforts to reach the squad’s leadership were unsuccessful Wednesday. Though the squad’s website remains active, various phone numbers for the group are disconnected.

“They were a good resource for the county,” Sheriff Phil Plummer said Wednesday. “Their canteen truck and water rescue equipment will be missed the most.”

According to the website, the squad was funded through fund-raisers, dues and donations. No tax dollars supported the squad’s work that included heavy rescue, mobile intensive care, mobile rehabilitation and water rescue. Their equipment included rescue trucks, patient transport vehicles, water craft and an air cascade system and a mobile home.

The squad assisted mostly area fire, police and medical units. “By its charter the organization will travel any reasonable distance to assist,” according to the website, which lists Cleveland, Louisville and Canada among its destinations.

There were 30 to 40 members, many with specialized training.

Founded in 1935 by eight men to assist the Dayton Fire Department, the squad — at the suggestion of then Fire Chief Frank B. Ramby — took its name from the fire alarm box that had been used to report more serious fires than any other in Dayton.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2290 or dpage@DaytonDailyNews.com.


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