To The Rescue Museum

To The Rescue Museum

Cross Posted: EMS Personnel; Timeline; Places; Events; Biographies; In memoriam; By Era
Submitter/Author: To The Rescue Museum

To The Rescue Museum 

  The To The Rescue Museum was located in the Tanglewood Mall in Roanoake Virginia, and IS NO LONGER OPEN. It was one of the earliest attempts to document the history of rescue and EMS in the nation. Though unable to keep their doors open, their spirit and mission found a new home in the National EMS Museum Foundation, when their Board of Directors donated a significant portion of their collection of EMS equipment and artifacts to us.

 The Officers and Board of Trustees of the National EMS Museum will always be grateful for their generosity.


Julian Stanley Wise

    On May 28, 1928, Wise and nine coworkers at the Norfolk and Western Railway organized the world's first volunteer rescue squad, The Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew. Julian Wise died in Roanoke on July 22, 1985, at the age of 85. never having his vision of a "comprehensive history of the safety movement" realized.

    With the support of a grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Julian Stanley Wise Foundation formed in 1988 to chronicle the history of the volunteer rescue squad movement and emergency medical. On June 8, 1991, The Julian Stanley Wise Foundation opened the To The Rescue Museum in Roanoke. Julian Wise's widow Ruth, was present at the opening.


    To The Rescue Museum, formerly located in Roanoke, Virginia, was the only museum of its kind in the nation to tell the story of the rescue movement and today's emergency medical services. The 3000 square foot museum housed 52 exhibits, including a real automobile accident, a simulated ride in a real crash truck, an iron lung, a CPR mannequin, the National EMS Memorial, the Tree of Life, historic artifacts, and modern EMS technology. To The Rescue Museum offered a fascinating glimpse of the history of emergency medical services and the excitement of EMS today.



The National Emergency Medical Service Memorial Service

    To The Rescue Museum was the first home to the National EMS Memorial, which is dedicated to the men and women of emergency medical systems across the US who have given their lives in the line of duty. These fallen heroes are memorialized on the Tree of Life, which is made up of gold leaves representing each victim. 

    Each Memorial Day weekend beginning in 1991, until the Museum  closed, To The Rescue Museum held the National EMS Memorial Service. The victims' friends, family members and fellow squad members come from across the nation to attend the event.

    The Memorial began in the morning with tours of To The Rescue Museum, followed by an impressive and solemn memorial service at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church and then a reception. Hundreds of EMS providers from around the nation came to Roanoake to honor those that gave their life in the service of others.

    In later years, the EMS Memorial Bike Ride, (now known as the Muddy Angels) concluded with the riders arriving to attend the service.

    The National EMS Memorial was relocated to Colorado Springs Colorado in 2010, where the original Tree of Life resides.



Keywords: Julian Wise, Virginia, Roanoake, Lifesaving, Rescue, Museum, Memorial, Muddy Angels, Tree of Life

Last Revision Date: 5/19/11 - 7:10 PM

Share Your Memories

Note: the numbers zero (0) and one (1) do not appear in the image. If you are uncertain of a character, take your best guess.