In 1955 nine men met to discuss how to make their neighborhood a safer place to live. The Forest View Volunteer Rescue Squad was formally organized on July 14, 1955. These members purchased an old Buick hearse, which was converted into an ambulance. It was parked next to the squad’s new donated building, formally a chicken house. The first president was Mr. R. L. Cavan.
In 1956 the new squad answered its first call, a woman having seizures at the Sunset Drive-In Theater. In 1956, the squad answered a total of 85 calls for help.
By the winter of 1956 the squad had 41 members, 2 ambulances and a bank balance of $1,295.35.
The Forest View Auxiliary held its first meeting on January 30, 1957 to support the senior squad. During the early years fund raising projects included selling fruit cakes, having bake sales, and yard sales. Many of these projects were held during the year and at that time we thought our profits of $500 to $1,000 were outstanding.
On May 20, 1963 a new squad building was dedicated at 5327 Forest Hill Avenue. A new addition was added to the building in 1966 consisting of 4 additional bays, a meeting room, kitchen, and sleeping facilities.
In 1969, due to growth in northern Chesterfield, the squad began running calls from a converted horse stable on Grove Road in Midlothian.
The Forest View Junior Squad was organized in June 1963 with a membership of 12. For many years Juniors were only allowed to assist in keeping the building, grounds and equipment clean and running. In the summer of 1965 Juniors were allowed to run their first emergency calls on an ambulance. Their training began with basic First Aid.
In 1970, Forest View adds 2 new ambulances to its growing fleet. During the fall of this year, the squad builds the “Stew Building” to provide over 400 Gallons per year of delicious homemade Forest View Brunswick Stew to the community as a fundraising project.
In addition, in 1970, Forest View held President positions in all three State Volunteer Organizations exhibiting Forest View’s leadership beyond the local level.
A new building for Station 2 was dedicated in June, 1981.
Several of Forest Views members become some of the first volunteer Paramedics in the State of Virginia providing advanced life support to the community.
Forest View moves into their largest building and new headquarters, Forest View Station 3 located at 8008 Midlothian Pike in December of 1993.
In the early 2000s, the squad has grown from a chicken house and a horse stable to three operating stations in Chesterfield and Richmond, from 9 members to 231 Senior Squad, Auxiliary and Junior members and from 1 converted hearse to 7 ambulances, a heavy duty rescue truck, a quick response vehicle and a chief’s car. In 2004 Forest View’s members responded to over 3,000 emergency 911 calls.
The Auxiliary is also very active in supporting our agency. They conduct a portrait fund raising project each year and these funds have helped purchase ambulances, a first responder vehicle, and paid for capital improvement items for all three stations. Over the years we have helped with dispatching calls, being hostesses at dinners and meetings, Brunswick Stews, and riding calls. We are proud to be a part of the Forest View team.
The Junior squad continues to thrive participating in Senior Squad and Auxiliary fundraisers, competing on the statewide level, winning many trophies. They are a vital part of our organization and we are very proud of our youngest members.
Forest View has moved its primary staffing to Station 3 in Chesterfield County. The squad proudly staffs multiple stations each night in Chesterfield County and Richmond.
Forest View was approached by the Midlothian Volunteer Fire Department at Company 5 about donating their building in the Village of Midlothian and assets to Forest View. Their membership had been struggling with the challenges faced by all volunteers in the 21st century and were unable to continue as they had in the past, but wanted the citizens of Midlothian to continue to be served by volunteers and therefore donated all their assets to Forest View.
Forest View officially moved into Station 5 in 2017 and this station is operated as a joint station with FVRS and CFEMS. Forest View staffs this station as the secondary station, with an ambulance here on many nights of the week, in addition to Station 3. Station 2 continues to be operated on a regular basis and it is not uncommon to see all three FVRS ambulances on the streets of Chesterfield County.