Cary Rescue Squad was formed because in the summer of 1971 a 4-year-old boy was struck by a furniture truck and died in the street after waiting 45 minutes for an ambulance to respond from Raleigh. The first meeting of the steering committee was September 19, 1971. At this meeting, the charter members agreed that the rescue squad should not be a part of YRAC fire department and a week later they had a meeting with Fred Bond, Mayor of Cary, to discuss funding.

Circa 1974

The founding members of Cary Rescue Squad were:

  • John Owen
  • Jerry Adams
  • Jackie Hunter
  • Howard Finch
  • Joe Hodges
  • Benny Rideout
  • Billy Henderson

The founding members developed seven principles to help guide in the formation of Cary Rescue Squad. They were:

  • The Squad would be autonomous.
  • Start with fully trained personnel – “advanced first-aid” at the time.
  • Project a professional image.
  • Require all members to pull duty from the station.
  • Use pagers instead of a siren to alert members of a call.
  • Start with new equipment.
  • Not raise funds through the use of BBQ’s or similar events.

The first call for Cary Rescue Squad occurred on August 18, 1972, at 9:20 pm at Yates Place (Old US 1). The nature of the call was severe bleeding from the wrist and the patient was transported to Rex Hospital. Jerry Adams was the primary attendant on the call assisted by David Weaver, Benny Rideout, Bob Weaver, Tom Brown, and John Servis.

Our main building that still stands today at 107 Medcon Court was built and dedicated in 1974. Today this location serves as our administration building in addition to two 911 service ambulances and our district supervisor.

Cary Area EMS’s current response district includes 60 square miles covering Cary, Morrisville, Swift Creek, parts of Apex, and Raleigh.

  • 1972 – 15,000 citizens
  • 2004 – 112,000 citizens in Cary and 14,000 citizens in Morrisville
  • 2012 – 145,000 citizens in Cary and 20,000 citizens in Morrisville
  • 2016 – 162,000 citizens in Cary and 25,000 citizens in Morrisville
  • 2017 – 165,000 citizens in Cary and 26,000 citizens in Morrisville
  • 2018 – 168,000 citizens in Cary and 27,000 citizens in Morrisville

Number of Calls

  • 1972 – 30 calls
  • 2005 – 6,952 calls
  • 2012 – 12,000 calls
  • 2016 – 15,000 calls
  • 2018 – 19,800 calls
  • 2019 – 20,000 calls

Cary Rescue/EMS Firsts

  • Volunteer agency in the state to have a federally certified ambulance
  • Volunteer agency in the state to have a certified EMT – Jerry Adams
  • Volunteer agency in the state to require its members to remain at the building while on duty
  • Agency in Wake County to offer a Citizens’ Academy to the public
  • One of the first agencies in the state to require that all of its members be EMT-certified
  • Volunteer agency in Wake County to have paramedics
  • Agency to use pagers to alert members about calls
  • Agency in the area to have a command post
  • Volunteer agency to offer a free Flu Clinic to the public
  • Volunteer department in Wake County to hire a full-time paid Chief
  • Agency in Wake County to use 12-lead monitoring in the field
  • Agency in Wake County to have a Bicycle Emergency Response Team (BERT)
  • Volunteer department in the country to receive the C.A.A.S. accreditation
  • Agency in Wake County to utilize Emergency Medical Dispatch


Past Chiefs of Cary EMS

  • W. Jerry Adams
  • Walter R. Powell
  • John L. Owen
  • Bob Annunziata
  • David K. Boone
  • Tom Maynard
  • Charles Cheek
  • Jon Olsen
  • Tom Modafferi
  • John Barile
  • Eddie Wimberly
  • Tammy Patton
  • Steve Cohen