The Morehead-Rowan County Rescue Squad was officially eliminated at a meeting of the Rowan County Fiscal Court on Tuesday.
Judge-Executive Jim Nickell said the all-volunteer squad "was a duplication of services" that cost the county about $35,000 a year.
Members of the squad had opposed the plan.
"I'm just really hurt and disappointed," said Wes Helterbrand, rescue squad chief.
The squad had about 60 members, and about 35 of them are active, he said.
The organization's active members are trained to find people lost in the woods, and they can use sonar to locate submerged vehicles. Some members, he said, are trained rescue divers.
"We are known throughout our region," he said.
Helterbrand said the rescue squad is required to have an affiliation agreement with the county to operate.
He said the agreement expired in February, and Nickell refused to sign a new one.
Nickell said many of the rescue squad members were also firefighters, and the county's five fire departments can provide the same services; the rescue squad's equipment will be distributed among them.
"There's no loss of service," Nickell said. "Back years ago, rescue squads were started because we didn't have county fire departments. ... It's a reorganization of emergency management for the county."