The Kingsport Lifesaving Crew was created in the fall of 1947 as an Independent, all Volunteer Organization. KLSC was the first Volunteer Rescue Squad in the state of Tennessee.
KLSC was created to render aid during emergencies such as, Drownings, Electrical Shock, Traffic and Industrial Accidents, Smoke and Gas Suffocations, Catastrophes and other Major Disasters. All members had to possess qualifications enabling them to pass courses in First Aid and Lifesaving along with the handling of special Equipment. The first Emergency Call Out for this new Organization came on October 18, 1947.
A fundraising campaign was used to fund the purchase of essential lifesaving equipment by the new Organization. This same method continues today as the means of purchasing and maintaining equipment and supplies as well as training all members.
Today, Kingsport Lifesaving is dispatched on all calls involving:
In Addition* to First Responder on Echo type calls such as:
The water/ dive rescue team responds to any water related search, rescue, or recovery, and provides specialized training and equipment to safely accomplish the tasks. Some of these responses can be to locate and recover a lost person in one of the area lakes, or assist in search and recovery of evidence for local law enforcement agencies. The team also responds to areas for mutual aid assistance within the state, as well as neighboring communities across state lines. The team also provides standby at any event in or near the water.
To help the team perform their job more effectively we have 3 flat bottom boats, 2 pontoon boats, and inflatable Zodiac boat, and a jet ski. The boats designed for initial search are equipped with the latest on board SONAR units. A towable JW Fishers Side-Scan Sonar was purchased with homeland security grants years ago and the team just recently purchased an underwater ROV through local donations specifically set up for the purchase.
The KLSC offers two primary water rescue teams, Swiftwater and Dive. Rescue 20 is the water rescue truck that supports all water related functions. The KLSC maintains two Jon Boats, a Rescue One Connector Dive boat, and two pontoon boats in addition to an inflatable raft. These watercraft offer a range of options for Swiftwater.
The KLSC provides Swiftwater rescue capabilities for Sullivan County and the City of Kingsport. A specially equipped water rescue truck, Rescue 20, supports all of our water teams. For the Swiftwater teams, it provides Class 5 personal floatation devices (PFD) which incorporate a harness for tethering a rescue swimmer in extremis circumstances. In addition, it provides the inflatable raft for boat rescues, and a full complement of technical rope gear to facilitate all manner of rescues and recoveries. Rescue 20 also provides an awning with sides to allow rescue members to change into the provided dry suits in privacy with some protection from the elements.
The KLSC provides trained and certified divers for dive operations within Sullivan County, the region, and potentially across the state. Rescue 20 supports the divers with SCUBA gear, dive suits, and other supporting equipment. Rescue 20’s retractable awning offers a private and sheltered place for divers to change into and out of their gear. Dive teams respond to vehicles in bodies of water and drowning recovery operations.
Kingsport Life Saving Crew responds to any and all emergencies within Sullivan County that the team is requested. The individual teams that make up the KLSC Special Teams are High Angle/Confined Space Team, the Trench/Structural Collapse Team and the Water Rescue Team. The special teams at Kingsport Life Saving Crew are also members of the Tennessee Homeland Security District 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR). The USAR equipment is stored in a 53' enclosed trailer with a 30' enclosed trailer set up for logistical supplies.
The High Angle/Confined Space team rescues of any person that is in a high angle or requiring vertical movement or within an OSHA defined Confined Space environment.
The trench/ structural collapse team operates in situations that include location and removal of victims in an underground collapse involving trenches or excavations.
The water/ dive rescue team responds to any water related search, rescue, or recovery, and provides specialized training and equipment to safely accomplish the tasks.
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