Virtual Museum > EMS History > Timeline
As a young boy in 1909, Julian Stanley Wise life immediately changed when he witnessed a drowning in Roanoke, Virginia. "Right then I resolved that I was going to become a lifesaver," he later said. "Never again would I watch a man die when he could be saved." In 1928, Wise organized America's first volunteer rescue squad, the Roanoke Life Saving and First Aid Crew. Ten years later he wrote, "There is no comprehensive history of the safety movement.... someday it will be written and we shall find it a romance of high adventure." Wise passed away in 1985 never having his vision of a "comprehensive history of the safety movement" realized.
With the support of a grant from the
Up until 2006, the "To The Rescue" Museum had been located at a local shopping mall in adjoining Salem, Virginia. Then there was a change in mall management who decided not to renew the lease and instead offered the Museum a smaller space. The Museum determined that it could not fit its expansive collection in the smaller space and soon decided to totally cease operations. When the new National EMS Museum became a reality in 2007, the Julian Stanley Wise Foundation Board decided to donate a large number of previously displayed items.
Today, the National EMS Museum Foundation continues the vision of Julian Wise, and the great accomplishments of the "To The Rescue" Museum as we research, document and preserve the comprehensive history of America's emergency care evolvement. Who knows, there may be future generations who will look back at our emergency care history and understand "its romance of high adventure" as Julian Wise had envisioned more than a half-century ago.
Keywords: Roanoake, Wise, Life Saving, Rescue Squad
Last Revision Date: 7/18/08 - 6:36 PM