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Employed as rescue workers on Cybertron and elsewhere, the Rescue Bots existed prior to the Great War; the majority of them were apparently lost as a result of the conflict, with only a handful surviving. Of these, the most notable was Rescue Team Sigma-17, a four-bot group who went into stasis after being attacked by an Energon-eating creature in space. Eventually their ship was drawn to Earth by a signal sent by Optimus Prime, where the crew awoke and were greeted by the Autobot leader, who explained what had happened in their time of inactivity. Not wanting to risk the loss of the few remaining Rescue Bots in existence, Optimus assigned them a unique mission: working with the emergency response force of Griffin Rock, a small island off the cost of Maine. Fearing that humans would react poorly to alien presence, Optimus ordered the Rescue Bots to pose as highly advanced Earth robots for a time, with only Chief Charlie Burns intended to be aware of their true nature.
Eventually Charlie's children also became aware of the Bots' sentience, and formed partnerships with their alien allies: Charlie worked with Chase as a police unit, Kade Burns and Heatwave forming the fire crew, Dani Burns and Blades working air rescue, and Graham Burns and Boulder working engineering and construction. However, perhaps the closest member of the family to the Rescue Bots was the youngest sibling, Cody Burns, who was the first to discover the Bots' true identities on his own. As time went by the Rescue Bots and their partners grew closer and made new friends-such as the Greene family-and new enemies-such as Dr. Thaddeus Morocco, Priscilla and Madeline Pynch, Vigil, and Colonel Quint Quarry. They would also work alongside other Transformers as time went by, including several teamups with Optimus and his scout Bumblebee and with other new Rescue Bots: Salvage, Blurr, Hightide, and Quickshadow.
In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, an alternate team of Rescuebots comprised of Generation 1 Autobots was formed to aid the people of Earth, particularly the G.I. Joe organization, against the Decepticons and Cobra. Together, these heroes formed a version of Defensor.
- Heatwave (leader)
- Medix (toy line only)
- Hoist (toy line only)
- Drake (toy line only)
- Fireplug (toy line only)
- Growl (toy line only)
- Valor (toy line only)