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A rescue squad is an emergency service organization that uses specialized equipment and knowledge to rescue people. There are two typical applications: squads that rescue trapped people, and squads that rescue people who are having medical emergencies.
Entrapment rescue teams are typically associated with fire departments. They may be combined with fire search-and-rescue, or operate independently for non-fire rescues, such as from motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and natural disasters (cave-ins, house collapse, and the like).
Medical rescue squads are typically Emergency Medical Services (EMS), operating from ambulances. They provide emergency medical care after trauma and to medical patients. Such rescue squads may provide either basic life support or advanced life support. The staff of such agencies can possess any number of certifications including first responder, emergency medical technician, and paramedic. Typically, the term rescue squad is synonymous with first aid squad, emergency squad, safety squad, ambulance squad, ambulance corps, and EMS.
In some states in America, a Rescue Squad is an organization staffed by volunteers who offer assistance and is limited to vehicle extrication, search and rescue, and other community services.
Typically, an entrapment rescue squad has light and heavy rescue vehicles, such as squad trucks or crash-trucks, and possibly boats. They may also have ambulances of their own, or they may rely on a separate EMS provider for ambulances.
The concept became familiar to a segment of the American viewing public with the TV series Rescue 8 and Emergency!, both of which dramatized the exploits of the Los Angeles County Fire Department rescue (later combined/transitioned to) paramedic squads.
- Emergency service
- Emergency medical services
- Emergency medical technician