LAW & PUBLIC SAFETYRescue SquadHistory   


A History of Saving Lives

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Rescue Squad members receive absolutely NO compensation for the hours they volunteer.

To effectively serve a 7000 square mile county (roughly the size of New Jersey), the Rescue Squad operates two regional headquarters: a Duluth office or "South Squad" and a Cook office or "North Squad".

The South Squad meets every Thursday beginning at 7:30 p.m. while the North Squad meets every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Cook. Operational needs often require that the members of one office respond to the other's calls and for both offices to frequently work together on "joint" operations.

History 1970 Expansion

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Volunteer Rescue Squad has provided rescue services and disaster relief within our county for 53 years.

The St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad was founded on August 23, 1958, by three men: Fred Van Derwalker, Donald Isakson, and Roderick Appleby.

The unit they envisioned was one of volunteer private citizens, who, in their free time, would train extensively in various aspects of rescue work, searches, first aid, and accident prevention by public education.

On August 23, 1958, this group of men approached Sheriff Sam Owens with the idea of forming such a rescue unit for St. Louis County.  They were informed by the County Attorney that state legislation was required to authorize the county to accept such a unit.

The bill was introduced to the legislature by the late Senator Homer Carr and Representative Willard Munger in the 1959 session.  Chapter 53, Laws of 1959, was passed by the Senate on February 16, passed by the House of Representatives on February 24, and signed into law by Governor Orville Freeman on February 27, 1959.

On March 17, 1959, the squad was officially accepted by the County Board.  It was suggested by the County Attorney that the unit be incorporated under the Minnesota State law.  The Charter of Incorporation was granted on August 17, 1959, and the name St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc. was adopted.  The corporation as chartered is non-sectarian, education, and charitable in character and operation, and is authorized to receive gifts and contributions from individuals and corporations to achieve the foregoing purposes.

Officers and charter members of the Rescue Squad were:

Captain Fred Van Derwalker

1st Lieutenant Harold “Bozo” Wilson               Harlin Behn
2nd Lieutenant Ryan Markfelt Dave Coleman
Sgt. Donald Isakson Marsh Slatten
Sgt. Royal Adams Rod Appleby  
Ken Slatten, Secretary

James Helgemoe

Robert Lee, Treasurer Gordon Bromme

James Rogers

Robert Olson

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St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman

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