The Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad provides medical and trauma care to residents of Town of Blacksburg and the northern portion of Montgomery County who are in need of emergency medical assistance and transportation to the hospital.

With an all-volunteer staff of about 85 active members, made up primarily of paramedics and EMTs, the squad relies on donations from the community to supplement the funding it receives from the Town of Blacksburg and Montgomery County. According to Marshal Frank, administrative vice president and medic volunteer with the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, the squad relies on these donations to purchase the specialized equipment that allows them to be provide top-notch service.

Junior Crew program
The rescue squad also has a Junior Crew program, which allows high school students age 16-18 to assist in the daily operations of the senior crew and participate in every aspect of the squad.

This squad is the sole provider of pre-hospital care and rescue service to citizens of the Town of Blacksburg and surrounding Montgomery County area. They encounter a variety of tasks, including extricating patients from crushed vehicles, evacuating people from buildings, and assisting in disaster recovery. The squad responded to about 2,500 rescue calls last year.

While Virginia Tech has its own student-run rescue squad that many university employees support generously with time and money, the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad is also near and dear to the hearts of many Virginia Tech employees.

In 2012, 73 Virginia Tech employees donated more than $10,000 directly to the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad through the annual Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC).

“I donate to the Rescue Squad because they serve this community so well. When my husband was alive there were many times that they came to my house, were very professional, and transported him to the hospital in a short period of time when every minute mattered,” said Karen Watson, director of academic support.

The Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad
The Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to about 2,500 rescue calls last year.

“Great people and great donations are our lifeblood. These donations are the make or break type, no matter the source, the bottom line is that we could not operate as an organization of pure volunteers without them,” said Frank.

“I know that my donations can make a difference in saving someone’s life,” said Watson. “By donating to the rescue squad, I’m enabling them to better serve my neighbors,” said Watson.

Many of the individuals who volunteer with the squad have jobs outside of the station. The volunteers who staff the squad include current and past Virginia Tech faculty and staff, Virginia Tech students and alumni, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine students, stay-at-home moms, emergency room nurses, engineers, EMS providers employed by local transport and EMS companies, and various other professions throughout the New River Valley.

Please consider donating to any of the 1,000 charities participating in this year’s Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. The online CVC Pledge System enables salaried Virginia Tech employees to make fast, easy, and secure donations via payroll deduction. All donations are tax deductible, as allowed by law.

First published on December 03, 2013.

Written by Nadia Groome, a junior majoring in communications at Virginia Tech.