By 1871, when the US Life-Saving Service (USLSS) was created, The Humane Society was responsible for 78 lifeboats and 92 huts, boathouses and other structures. Volunteers manned these facilities and all were eligible for medal awards. Many of these volunteer leaders were the first to be hired for the new USLSS. For several years, the USLSS and The Humane Society co-existed and often competed to be the first on the scene of a disaster. During major storms, their joint efforts meant that more lives were saved because neither organization could respond to all of the needs.
In 1915, the USLSS and the Revenue Cutter Service were merged to form the US Coast Guard. The Humane Society continued to maintain lifeboats and lifesaving stations along the Massachusetts coast through the 1930's and disposed of the last of its lifesaving equipment in 1946. As the US Coast Guard assumed more responsibility along the coast, The Humane Society shifted its attention to lifesaving needs at rivers, ponds and beaches and provided life-buoys that could be thrown to individuals who had fallen in or were in distress. During the post-World War II period, the need for The Humane Society to deliver such services declined as the public sector assumed greater responsibility.
A cooperative relationship between the US Coast Guard and The Humane Society was established in 2002 in a Memorandum of Understanding, affirming the shared history of the two institutions and their commitment to improving safety on the waters. – less – More from ZoomInfo »