History of the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad
Future Home of the Clifton Forge
The Clifton Forge Rescue Squad was founded in 1945. The first captain was J. W. M. Paxton and he served as the Captain for 11 years. The squad was housed with the Clifton Forge Fire Department during the beginning stages of its existence. The fire department was located on Main Street in Clifton Forge, next to what was then City Hall. Clifton Forge has since reverted to a town and is now used as Town Hall. The Clifton Forge Rescue Squad began with 12 charter members in 1945 with one ambulance that was a converted funeral van.
In 1954 the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad separated from the Clifton Forge Fire Department to form its own Incorporated Agency and moved to its current location at 522 Commercial Street in Clifton Forge. In 1959, the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad Headquarters was named Paxton Hall in honor of Captain Paxton. In 1975 the Van Horn Family donated property adjacent to the Squad Building located on Commercial Street and the rescue squad built an addition that was primarily used at that time for the Junior Membership and storage.
In the summer of 1995, in order to meet the growing needs of the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad this structure was torn down and a new modern addition was added to house three ambulances with a new training room upstairs along with working offices.
The Primary Medical Facility for the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad was the C&O Hospital located on 800 W. Ridgeway Street in Clifton Forge from 1945 until 1979. At that time the C&O Hospital of Clifton Forge and the Alleghany Memorial Hospital located just outside the city of Covington were merged together to form Alleghany Regional Hospital in Low Moor, VA, which is situated between the cities of Clifton Forge and Covington. The C&O Hospital is now as an assisted living complex and the old Alleghany Memorial Hospital houses the Alleghany School Board Offices and Social Services in the Rosedale of Alleghany County.
In the early years of the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad, the squad would respond to an average of 400 to 500 calls on a yearly basis. In the present years of the rescue squad, the squad averages between 1,400 and 1,800 per year. The squad currently has one of the largest coverage areas of any volunteer Rescue Squad in the state of Virginia covering three counties, two towns, and providing mutual aid for 11 other agencies. All of this is accomplished with a current roster of approximately 30 members. This year marks the 73rd anniversary that the Clifton Forge Rescue Squad has proudly and unselfishly provided emergency medical services to our community.