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Leonardo First Aid Squad's Iconic Heavy Rescue Truck Finds New Life in South Carolina

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

L-R: Scott Chesser, Chris Schlabach, Janice Utz, Kenneth Utz of Govan FD receive the keys from Leonardo FAS members Tom Stone, Betsy Alverson, and Tom Hayden.

The Leonardo First Aid Squad has bid farewell to its beloved Heavy Rescue Truck after 28 years of serving Middletown Township, and it will soon be used by the Govan Fire Department in Bamberg County, South Carolina, to help more than 13,000 people in a county spanning 393 square miles.

“This Heavy Rescue Truck has been an integral part of our squad’s history and has served our community well,” said George Gremminger, president of the Leonardo First Aid Squad. “It’s a bittersweet moment for us to say goodbye, but we're proud to see it go to the Govan Fire Department, where it will continue its lifesaving work.”

It’s also an exciting moment for Leonardo First Aid. The decision to transfer the truck is part of the ongoing evolution of the all-volunteer Leonardo First Aid to better serve its community.

When the vehicle was put into service in 1995, it was used for countless emergency responses and critical situations. The Heavy Rescue Truck also played a pivotal role in disaster relief efforts, notably during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. However, as the work across the Leonardo First Aid Squad has evolved, the Middletown Township Fire Department assumed some of the duties once handled by the Squad, specifically vehicle extrication. Other services, including water and dive rescue, are now managed by coordinated countywide teams.

Leonardo First Aid Squad's leadership is now focused on the future, intensifying a commitment to progressive EMS training for our volunteers and expanding our dedicated team of responders.

“We believe this decision allows us to focus more effectively on our core mission of providing emergency medical services to our community," said Tom Hayden, captain of the Leonardo First Aid Squad.

"Bamberg County was facing a significant gap in heavy rescue services,” said Hayden. “Govan’s acquisition of this truck and equipment is a pivotal moment for us as we look ahead and do what we do best: providing the best emergency medical care possible to Middletown Township.”

"The Heavy Rescue Truck has been a symbol of dedication and service for nearly three decades. It's fitting that it will now bring its rescue capabilities to a new community, and we're proud to have played a part in making that happen," said Tom Stone, trustee and life member of the Leonardo First Aid Squad.

The Leonardo First Aid Squad is an all-volunteer organization serving the community. With a rich history spanning decades, the squad is dedicated to providing exceptional emergency medical services and support to the residents of Middletown and surrounding communities.

Leonardo First Aid actively seeks new member volunteers; no experience is necessary, and training is provided. Visit, find us on Facebook @LeonardoFirstAid, or email at to learn more about how you can become a part of our lifesaving team.

“This has been a team effort,” said Hayden. “We are grateful to the dedicated team at the Leonardo First Aid Squad for their collaboration in making this happen, which has undoubtedly enhanced the safety and well-being of our community and that served by the Govan Fire Department."

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