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, and auxiliary emergency medical services. We 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.


President, Jim Taylor

Vice President, Larry (Cub) Cuthbertson

Treasurer, Ken Suddreth Corp.

Secretary, Edward Dean


Additional Directors:

Roy Smith

Steve Miller


Operational Officers and Staff:

Chief, Rob Calloway

Immediate Past Chief, Bob Garland

Asst, Chief for Admin., Tommy Oakley

Asst. Chief for Operations, Edward Dean

Training Captain, Kyle Kitchens

Equipment Captain, EJ Byrd

SAR K9 Group Leader, Richard Schaffer

Mountain Technical SAR Team Leader, Derick Calloway

Office Manager, Carolyn Garland

Webmaster, Richard Schaffer

  • 1968: The Avery County Volunteer Rescue Squad was formed. The first EMS charter in Avery County was founded.
  • 1971: The first Emergency Medical Technician Class was offered in Avery County. The first E.M.T.'s were certified.
  • 1974: The first Hurst "Jaws of Life" were purchased in Avery County.
  • 1975: The Linville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad was formed.
  • 1978: The Avery-Central Volunteer Rescue Squad was formed in Newland.
  • 1982: The Avery County Ambulance and Rescue Association was formed from the three volunteer rescue squads in the county.
  • 1984: New techniques were introduced in Avery County to help improve medical care to patients in the field. Among these were the use of IV's and Heart Defibrillators.
  • 1987: Classes and Instructors advanced to Advanced Life Support (A.L.S.) Level.
  • 1989: The Linville-Central Volunteer Rescue Squad was recognized for the Rescue of the Year Award for the State of North Carolina. A Hang-glider was rescued on Grandfather Mountain.
  • 1993: The North Carolina Rescue Squads were required to upgrade to North Carolina Emergency Rescue Technicians Certification. The first rescue technicians in Avery County were certified.
  • 1994: The first 24-hour paid EMS system was founded in Avery County.
  • 1995: Received the David Blake Rescue Award for a rescue at Wiseman View.
  • 1999: Avery Central and Linville merged to form the Linville-Central Rescue Squad.