Linville-Central Rescue

About Us

We are a private, all-volunteer, rescue squad serving the people of Avery County, North Carolina for over fifty years. Our first responders, certified rescue technicians, EMTs, and paramedics respond to motor vehicle and work-related accidents, traumatic injuries and medical emergencies, wilderness and mountain rescues, searches for lost or missing persons, water-related rescues, and calls to assist county EMS and fire departments. We provide standby at public events, from high school sports to marathons and large-scale events. We do our share of mountain rescues, considering that our county includes parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain State Park, the Appalachian Trail, and the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area. We frequently assist Burke County during rescues in the Linville-Gorge Wilderness. Our K9 search teams and our mountain rope and technical rescue team (North Carolina MRT-1) serve law enforcement and emergency service agencies throughout western NC.

Please consider helping us as we help others in our mountain community.

Our Core Services

Vehicle and Machinery Extrication and Rescue

Emergency Medical Care At Responder, EMT, and Paramedic Levels

Auxiliary EMS and Standby at Events

Search and Rescue Backcountry Medical Services

Our Mission

To provide state certified, professional, and caring aid to victims of medical or traumatic emergencies in Avery County, North Carolina by providing volunteer first responder, technical rescue, backcountry medical, and auxiliary emergency medical services. never charge for our services.


To improve community well-being through prevention and public education on issues related to public safety, rescue, and emergency medical services.


To provide assistance to, and cooperate with, local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, Avery County EMS, and state and county emergency management agencies in the performance of their duties or during emergencies.


To provide mutual-aid assistance to other fire, rescue, law enforcement, or emergency management agencies outside of Avery County as requested and as resources permit.


To recruit and maintain a roster of well-trained, qualified, and properly equipped personnel needed to fulfill our mission in a safe and effective manner.

Our Search and Rescue Specialty Teams

Mountain Technical Team

K9 Search, Rescue and Recovery

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue

Linville-Central K9 team descending off the parkway near Mt. Mitchell on a search in Buncombe County

K9 Search and Recovery

Our volunteer search dog/handler teams are available to law enforcement and emergency services agencies in western North Carolina to aid in the search, rescue, or recovery of lost or missing persons. All teams are qualified in K9 tracking, area search, and/or human remains detection, working in day and night operations in wilderness, rural, and residential environments, and in all weather conditions in which it is safe to operate. Typical searches have included lost, injured, or overdue hikers, hunters, Alzheimer's patients and wanderers, missing children, drownings, despondents, and law enforcement investigations. Linville-Central K9 teams have worked searches in 41 counties in 5 states and have considerable experience in search planning and managing K9 operations. LCRS K9 Policies, Procedures, and Standards for Operational Dog Teams are compliant with most recognized national K9 standards. Linville-Central currently has ten operational dog teams on its roster.

Mountain Search and Technical Rescue (MSAR)

Our Mountain Search and Rescue Team is a volunteer group of dedicated individuals that responds to technical mountain and rope rescues in Avery County and as requested throughout the mountain region of western North Carolina. They are one of only five such teams recognized by North Carolina Emergency Management (MRT-1) in technical and rope rescue. With many miles of mountain trails, waterfalls, and numerous rock climbing and wilderness areas, falls and injuries are not uncommon. As a team, we provide the ability to locate, access, stabilize, and transport patients from difficult and often life-endangering terrain. Our members hold state and national certifications in technical rope rescue, land search and rescue, water rescue, snow/ice rescue, and in medical care from emergency medical responder up to the paramedic level. The MSAR team's history in rope and technical rescue goes back over 30 years and today several of its members are nationally known rope rescue instructors.

Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Team

Our Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Team responds to swiftwater rescues, high water evacuations, flood rescues, searches for missing persons in water-related incidents, and ice rescues in Avery and surrounding counties. The county's high peaks, from the Yellow Mountains along the Tennessee line to Grandfather Mountain, can quickly flood our rivers and lakes during mountain storms and threaten life and property. Our rivers descend into the French Broad, Catawba, and Tennessee River sheds, as well as into the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area and the Linville Gorge Wilderness. We train regularly to maintain a high state of readiness to protect residents and visitors to our area.

We gratefully acknowledge the Duke Power Weather Resiliency Program for its assistance and support of our efforts.

Have A Question

Frequently Asked Questions

What localities are covered by Linville-Central Rescue Squad?

All of Avery County, North Carolina, and surrounding communities on a mutual-aid basis as requested by the authority having jurisdiction.
Our MRT-1 Mountain Rescue Team covers Avery, Ashe, Caldwell, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancy Counties, and other western NC counties as requested.
Our K9 SAR teams regularly respond to lost or missing persons incidents throughout western NC.

What services does LCRS provide?

We provide emergency rescue services to Avery County. Together with local fire departments, we respond to medical and traumatic injuries as first responders and to assist Avery County EMS personnel. We also provide backup ambulance resources as requested by the county, and provide standby emergency personnel at public events.

What specific types of incidents do you usually respond to?

A few of our most frequent incidents involve motor vehicle collisions, emergency medical calls, searches for lost, missing, or overdue persons, mountain rope rescue and evacuations, carry-outs, farm and machinery accidents, drownings and water rescues, and disaster response. We also provide support to fire departments and law enforcement agencies.

How are you called?

We are dispatched only through Avery County Emergency Communications. Call 911 for any emergency. For non-emergencies, please see our Contact Us page.

Is there any charge for your services?

No, there is never any charge for our services. We are a volunteer, non-profit, organization.

When do you meet?

We meet at 7pm on the first Monday of every month at LCRS, 1940 Linville Falls HIghway (Hwy 221), Linville, NC, adjacent to the Land Harbor development. See our Join Us page for further information. Our meetings are open to the public, and you are welcome to attend. Please come by and meet your neighbors!

What level of pre-hospital emergency care to you provide?

The level of emergency care provided is determined by the level of certification of the individuals staffing an ambulance. Squad members have three years from joining the squad to achieve a minimum level of Emergency Medical Technician - Basic, or basic life support. Many members practice at the level of EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic (Advanced Life Support).

Wilderness EMT Class Grandfather Mountain, 2022

Training for Automated CPR

Linville-Central members after a day of training