Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is proud to present our Non-Profit Member of the Month for October 2015 Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad (BVRS).
BVRS is 100% volunteer with no paid staff. Here at BVRS, we pride ourselves on being completely volunteer and having a community able to depend on us in their time of need and never thinking twice about calling 911. Our team of both community members and Virginia Tech students boasts 120 members, 90 of which are active members. BVRS is proud that over 90 percent of our membership has at least one additional training or certification. Moreover, in 2014 BVRS had three members certified as Life-Guard flight nurses or paramedics, which is more than any other rescue squad in the area. BVRS will also be opening a new station in 2016 on the corner of Progress Street and Patrick Henry Drive.
Members put in anywhere from 20-40 hours monthly depending on their membership category, which is in addition to our monthly training and business meetings. Our members also spend countless hours training for new medical equipment, rescue vehicles, Heavy Tactical Rescue (HTR), and much more.
BVRS proudly provides 24/7 coverage 365 days a year and was the first rescue squad in the state to have a female paramedic (Louisa Gay). Moreover, BVRS has different forms of Heavy Technical Rescue (HTR) teams, which include swiftwater technicians, cave rescue, trench rescue, Search and Rescue (SAR), Big Rig Rescue, and the dive team. BVRS is also part of the Regional Swiftwater and Dive Rescue team and has been breaking the way for the Rescue Task Force (RTF), which is training our members to enter into warm zones with active shooters, provide patient care and to bring the patient to safety. In 2014, BVRS was featured in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) for an article entitled Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad Partners with Police to Create Rescue Task Force written by member Will Bulloss. This article details why community members can rely on our training and how we are now training to “enter the warm zone” with law enforcement. Full article at http://www.jems.com/article/major-incidents/blacksburg-volunteer-rescue-squad-partne
A few examples of the emergencies we respond to in Blacksburg and the surrounding area are as follows.
On February 16, 2015, Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad (BVRS) responded to an ice rescue at the Foxridge Pond. Crews were dispatched at 2:02 p.m. for two children who had reportedly fallen through ice while walking across the pond. EMS, technical rescue, and water rescue crews immediately responded to the scene. Mutual Aid was also requested from Longshop-McCoy Fire/Rescue of the New River Valley Water Rescue Association. A witness getting off a bus saw two children playing on the pond and witnessed one fall though the ice.
Upon arriving at the scene, crews made contact with Blacksburg Police and Fire units who were in contact with the victims. Water Rescue Technicians donned protective equipment and worked across the ice to reach the victims on a small island in the middle of the pond. The crew began warming the patients and transported them one at a time across the ice using a rope system and stokes basket. Each patient was transported individually to LewisGale Hospital at Montgomery.
On April 12, 2013, BVR responded to a man who had shot two victims at the New River Valley Mall. One patient was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial, and the other was treated and transported. BVRS was able to assist and transport of the injured.
In 2010, BVRS was awarded with the Carilion Life-Guard Winged S Award for a call on Craig’s Creek Road for an over turned SUV with six Virginia Tech students trapped in the vehicle. The SUV had rolled over many times and the occupants had critical injuries. Four of the six victims were airlifted out, and the other two were treated and transported via ground.
BVRS does not bill the patients that we treat and transport. Instead, we are funded through the budgets of the Town of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, the United Way, and the generous donations of those that we serve. While we have an annual fund drive in the spring, donations are appreciated throughout the year. BVRS is a 501c3 corporation and your donations are therefore tax exempt. You can donate today mailing a check to our station.