HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - For decades the North Meck Volunteer Rescue Squad has rushed to the aid of nearby residents living in Huntersville, Davidson, and Cornelius. That service will end this week.
The rescue squad posted a letter on social media announcing that they will run their final call on Friday. The letter states that the rescue squad is losing funding.
That funding will, in turn, be provided to the Huntersville Fire Department.
"We're upset and sad obviously because this is a big part of our lives. We have people that have been here 20-plus years," explained Michael Tessari, assistant chief of the rescue squad.
Tessari said the members of the squad understand why more funding is going towards the fire department these days.
Huntersville mayor John Aneralla said the local fire department can already serve the purpose of the rescue squad. He said eliminating the rescue squad became part of the plan to expand the Huntersville Fire Department.
"All our firemen are out there and they can do what North Meck Rescue can, but not all North Meck Rescue are fire (trained)," explained Aneralla.
The mayor told WBTV that residents in the surrounding areas wouldn't have to worry about emergency response times with the rescue squad's departure. He explained that the Huntersville Fire Department would be able to handle the emergency call volume in the area that has been served by the rescue squad.
"They'll be able to handle that, and they are going to add on more people," said Aneralla.
Members of the rescue squad will gather at the agency's headquarters off of Old Statesville Road Friday to reminisce on the organization's last day.
"There's a lot of great people up here and I wish the town and our staff and the fire department the best," said Tessari.
Tessari said the squad plans to sell a lot of their belongings and put the money towards a scholarship foundation for young people hoping to work in public safety.