In the 1960's, a group of emergency responders saw the need for a specialized team to perform extrication capabilities for Jay County. The team was formed under the Civil Defense Department (currently Emergency Management) and consisted of 12 volunteers. A Chevy van was used to carry the equipment, much of which had been donated or purchased with funding from grants. Eventually, the number of emergency calls increased and the need for more sophisticated training and equipment became evident. The volunteers were sent to various locations to receive training and additional equipment was purchased. In 1975, a Chevy 3/4 ton box truck was purchased to replace the van, which had become incapable of carrying the weight of the equipment. As the years went on, more specialized and updated equipment was purchased and additional volunteers were added and trained.
Rescue 19 is currently a team of 19 rescue professionals with a combined 200 plus years of emergency service background, trained in vehicle rescue, industrial rescue, search and rescue, confined space related fields. Rescue 19 is dispatched through the Jay County Sheriff's Office, where the 1998 Chevy 1 1/2 ton rescue unit is housed. The personnel are strictly volunteers with no compensation for their time or vehicle expenses. Personal protective equipment is provided by funding from the Jay County Council and donations. The rescue vehicle, equipment, and necessary rescue items are purchased with county funds, with the assistance of donations from local business and industry, and the volunteers themselves. Rescue personnel are proud to serve Jay County and surrounding communities when called upon. We understand what is adequate today is insufficient tomorrow and we are very proud of our ongoing achievements.