Historic Wheaton Cadillac Ambulance
    ~1960s Cadillac Ambulance

    The Mission of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad is to protect the public’s health and safety in partnership with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. We are a volunteer, not-for-profit corporation that provides emergency services to any person in need.

    To be widely recognized as the premier rescue squad in the United States.

    To honor our traditions by providing ethical, compassionate, and innovative volunteer service to our community; To inspire excellence through a culture of inclusiveness, respect and accountability.

    Organization History

    A Short Documentary on WVRS’s History (2005)

    The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad was formed in May of 1955 by a civic minded group who realized that a community this size cannot escape inevitable illness and injuries in the home and on the street.  Chartered as a non-profit, volunteer organization, the Squad went into operation with nothing more than a few dedicated members and a single used ambulance purchased from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.  At this point, the squad was located in a small building in the 11200 block of Georgia Avenue.

    By July of that year the rolls of the squad had reached 20 members. With this in mind the squad purchased a 1950 Cadillac ambulance and a 1941 Ford LaFrance pumper which was used as a squad truck.

    The station moved several times over the years, including 2311 Price Avenue, 11435 Grandview Avenue, temporarily the Wheaton Presbyterian Church, and 2400 Arcola Avenue, where the station sits today.

    Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Honor Guard
    WVRS Honor Guard Member

    Groundbreaking for the new WVRS headquarters occurred on July 14, 2012. The grand opening of the new headquarter at 2400 Arcola Avenue, WVRS’ first station built from the ground up, occurred at 1100hrs on November 15, 2013.

    Over the years, the WVRS has seen many cycles of Ambulances and Rescue Squad vehicles. Some of the current vehicles can be seen on the Apparatus page.

    Among many firsts, Wheaton was home to one of the first paramedic units in the County. Medic 2, the second medic unit in Montgomery County, was placed in service in 1973. It ran the Hillandale, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington, Rockville, and Gaithersburg area; as other medic units were placed in service Medic 2’s area was decreased to Wheaton, Kensington, and Silver Spring. The paramedic course at the time consisted of 80 classroom and 120 clinical hours; this has increased to over 500 hours.

    Image of Bob Lawson at WVRS
    Former Chief Bob Lawson honored for 60 years of service to the WVRS

    Currently units from the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad remain among the busiest in the county, state, and nation.  Units were dispatched to over 10,000 calls in 2018, and our rescue apparatus is consistently the 7th-10th busiest heavy rescue squad in the nation.

    Past chiefs of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad include Lou Bowman, Bill O’Brian, William Chester, Kirt Rodgers, John Walters, John Pervety, John Stury, Bill Ryan, Bob Lawson, Allen Gibbins, Bill Gooding, Buck Hook, Harold Schantz, Ronald Maloney, Paul Sterling, Allan Platky, and Mark Dempsey.