Pembroke Rescue Squad, Inc. has a vibrant and dynamic history. Originally known as Pembroke’s Civil Service Patrol, the squad was established in 1956. The tasks assigned to the founding members of the squad are quite different than those now. Not only were those founding members charged with providing emergency medical care, they quite frequently could be seen patrolling the town and assisting the town’s only full time law enforcement officer, Percy Brooks.
However, as the town grew the two entities separated, and eventually giving birth to the incorporation of Pembroke Rescue Squad, Inc. in 1977. However, the squad was alive and well before the incorporation, and even before the building the squad currently uses as its headquarters located on Union Chapel Road. It was in the old town hall and police department that the squad parked their only vehicle, a Volkswagen Bus.
Over time the squad expanded but it was a rather subtle growth, eventually branching out of the town hall building for one lent to the squad by a Mrs. McCormick. This building was essentially a two bay garage in which the squad saw an opportunity to expand by purchasing another vehicle, this vehicle was to be deemed Pembroke’s first ambulance, and it was a station wagon. Former Commander J.W Oxendine remarked about the first ambulance in saying, “There were few supplies, just things to bandage patients up with, and splint arms, ambulance services have come a long way, when I started in 1972, we didn’t have gloves, only one radio, the best thing we could do was load them and go.” The McCormick building housed the squad until it became incorporated in 1977, the building was erected at 210 Union Chapel Rd. by the community.
In several interviews with former members of the time, they gave great accounts of how the community was instrumental in assisting in the construction of the building. Churches held plate sales sending the proceeds to the squad to purchase building equipment, members of the community dedicated there weekends to laying block, several accounts call into recollection the utilization of trucks owned by the local electric companies to set the trusses. The squad has since expanded in a way that many of the interviewed members deem, “phenomenal.”