Huntington County Rescue, an emergency response group that has been in operation since the 1970s, officially disbanded on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
The group was started by the late LeMoine Drabenstot, a veteran of the Huntington County Sheriff's Department, who saw a need for faster and more efficient emergency response in Huntington County.
The group, which was operated by a team of volunteers, was most recently headed by Shannon Hartman, who served as director for one month and deputy director for ten months, after a five-year membership with the rescue team.
Hartman says the group was disbanded by the Huntington County Commissioners, who felt there was no longer a need for a separate rescue entity in Huntington County.
Rescue responsibilities will now fall on the local fire departments. Hartman says each department will now take care of the rescue calls in its area.
Anyone needing rescue assistance will still call 911, and the call will go to dispatch and transferred to the appropriate fire department.
Some components of the rescue operation will still be at work in the county, though.
Three rescue trucks that were used by the group and housed at 755 S. Briant St., in Huntington, will now be used by the Warren, Bippus and Andrews fire departments.
Warren will receive Rescue 1; Bippus will take Rescue 2; and Andrews is the new home of Rescue 3.
The towns will lease the trucks for $1 per year for five years, at which time the towns will be granted ownership of the vehicles.