Black volunteer rescue workers in Roanoke get historical marker

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The City of Roanoke added new downtown marker on Wells Avenue Monday in honor of a big part of Roanoke’s history: the Hunton Life Saving and First Aid Crew.

Alexander Terrell is the founder of the all-Black volunteer Hunton Life Saving and First Aid Crew, which was established in December 1941, the first of its kind in the nation. The group was disbanded in 1987.

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources approved the application to mark the rescue crew’s former home.

Rev. Nelson Harris, the former Mayor of Roanoke and historian responsible for bringing the marker to downtown, stated, “This needs to be celebrated, this needs to be recognized. This needs to be marked, literally in our city, and so that’s what we’ve done today.”

A member of the squad was in attendance at the event on Monday, Sept. 28. He says this level of recognition is something for which he has been waiting.

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