The Floyd County Rescue Squad will be holding its 47th annual radio auction, beginning today and running until Aug. 4.
The Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad was the first of its kind in Kentucky and the second in the nation, and has always relied heavily on donations and fundraisers such as the radio auction. The squad formed out of the tragic 1958 bus accident that claimed the lives of 26 school children and their driver, while capturing the attention of a nation. The radio auction has historically been one of the best opportunities for the squad to generate revenues, but this year, says Captain Tim Cooley, people just haven’t been able to donate as much.
“Because of layoffs and things, I think the economy really is the case this year,” said Cooley of why he feels donations have declined this year. “People are nervous, and not without justification.”
Cooley says that, while he understands, that doesn’t change the squad’s need.
“Our auction is really our lifeline. If it doesn’t go good, then we suffer,” says Cooley. “People need to remember, that there are a lot of worthwhile organizations out there but Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad is is right at the top.”
While typically reserved for operations in its home county, the Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad has become a response team to disasters across the state. In March the squad dodged tragedy when, while responding as a search and rescue unit to tornado damage in West Liberty, their responding vehicle was caught up in the storm as it passed through Salyersville. Though all the crew were miraculously spared, the vehicle was totaled.
Cooley says that being a state response team comes with some added expense. “Especially after this year with almost losing four people and losing the truck, it costs us.”
The rescue squad, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, has recently completed work on their new training center at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. The training center will be used for classroom work during future Moving Water Rescue, Vehicle Stabilization and Extrication, and Basic Search and Rescue courses taught by squad members.
Money has been allocated through coal severance to build the squad a new building to call home. The squad currently resides in the same building that they have called home since 1958.
“My goal is to get the squad established to have ownership, so that no one can ever take it away from them,” Cooley said of his plans for the new building.
The radio auction will be on the air from 6. until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from 1 p.m. until the last item is sold on Saturday. This year will also feature a new twist, as squad members will put pictures of items on their Facebook page when the items go up for auction.
“Once an item goes on the board, it will go on the Facebook page,” says Cooley.
For more information or to inquire about how you can make a donation or take part in the radio auction, contact the rescue squad at (606) 886-8114.
The radio auction phone number is (606) 886-0000