Fire district to take over emergency service from Exeter Rescue Corps

Exeter Rescue Corps

If you visit the Exeter Rescue Corps and look on the building's walls, you'll see history.

It goes all the way back to 1942 when it was known as the North Kingstown Ambulance Association.

For more than 70 years, the corps eventually focused solely on helping Exeter residents.

But on June 30, Chief Jack Kliever will shut down the corps for good.

"It is sad to see it come to an end. On the other hand I understand the practical reasons behind the change," he said.

Kliever said there's a lack of volunteers to help keep the corps afloat - it handles 800 calls a year. Kliever said there's also a growing budget which makes the corps dependent on the Exeter Fire District. The district covers about two-thirds of the corps's budget.

On July 1, the corps will dissolve and the fire district will take over emergency services. All of the corps's equipment will be donated to the district.

However, it remains unclear whether the district will inherit the corps's six full-time employees and three part-time workers. The corps currently has at least one full-time employee and a volunteer on duty around the clock.

"It's very nerve-wracking because they don't know if they're going to have job on July 1," Kliever said.

Kliever said the district will roll out its plan at its annual meeting April 9. He said it's for the best and could result in better accountability and service for the town.

The president of the fire district told NBC 10 it's working with the corps so there's a smooth transition in July.

"It's tough because I agree with the change, but it's also a lot of nostalgia for the place too," Kliever said.