Virgina Rescue Squad Disbands After 50 Years

Roanoke County personnel will respond to emergency calls.


 
 

AMANDA CODISPOTI, Roanoke Times | | Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Roanoke County's Mount Pleasant First Aid Crew has run its last call, ending 53 years of service.

The 14-member crew couldn't keep up with training demands, an increasing call volume and a decline in volunteers, said the squad's chief, Ann Meyer. It ran its last call about a month ago.

"I'm very sad, and I feel guilty for having to do this, but you know, there was just no way we could really be as viable as we should be with the amount of people we actually have," Meyer said.

Career paramedics have staffed the Mount Pleasant station for several years and will continue to respond to calls, Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Chief Rick Burch said.

"The citizens will not see any change," Burch said.

Burch and the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors recognized Meyer and other squad members for their service at the board's meeting Tuesday night.

The first aid crew has given its assets, which included donations from the community, to the county department. The county will use the money to buy a new ambulance and emergency medical equipment for the station.

"It's certainly a great help to the county," said Supervisor Mike Altizer, whose district includes Mount Pleasant.

Residents have been sympathetic with the squad's decision, Altizer said.

The squad began in the basement of a community grocery store in 1958, when the closest ambulance was in downtown Roanoke, according to the county resolution expressing appreciation for the squad.

The squad's first ambulance was an Army surplus vehicle that had to be jump-started every time there was a call.

In 1973, the squad moved to what is now known as the Mount Pleasant Public Safety Building, or station No. 6, on Jae Valley Road.

The squad had 14 members on its roster last year, but only about eight were active, Meyer said.

The squad has had a hard time recruiting new members because its station is small compared with others in the county, and because people who are trained to be medics often want a full-time job in the field, Meyer said.

In addition, medic training is time-consuming, Meyer said. The medics work and have families, which often come before volunteering.

"I think it's just a sign of the times," Meyer said.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, training, public relations, politics, finances, budget

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kansas City Woman Thanks EMTs Who Saved Her Life

CPR save highlights community awareness program
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

University of Pittsburgh STAAMP Trial

Trauma experts launch tranexamic acid trial.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New York Ambulance Service Begins Using Power Cot

Service is first in county with new technology.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Moscow Subway MCI

At least 20 dead and 150 injured in subway derailment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >