Appreciation shown to EMS volunteers

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad held a celebration in honor of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Appreciation Week on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m at The Keysville Station.

The event included food, games and blood pressure checks for members of the community.

According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, “EMS Week is also an opportunity to publicize those contributions. Given the challenges facing our nation’s healthcare system and the rapid pace of change, making sure the public and other stakeholders understand what EMS has to offer has never been more important.”

As a volunteer organization since 1970, the Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad operates stations in Keysville, Wylliesburg and Phenix.

Charlotte County Rescue Squad Captain Bill Mayhew said in a letter to county residents, “Last year, our providers responded to 1,575 emergencies throughout our county and traveled approximately 108,210 miles. Our career staff and volunteers provided 7,520 man hours to the citizens of Charlotte County. These hours do not include the numerous hours of training and additional duties that the men and women of our organization perform throughout the year.”

He said having the three locations allows for an improvement in response times to different areas of the county.

“Being a part of EMS is like being a part of a big family,” said Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad member Danielle Hickman. “You have to have a passion for EMS. Waking up at 4 a.m. to go to work is really not hard when it’s a job that you love.”

Aileen Cassada, who serves as the EMS captain for the Drakes Branch Fire Department, said throughout the county, police, fire and rescue work together as a great team.

“We can’t do our job without the collaboration of everyone else,” she said. “I really enjoy the opportunity to provide a service to our community that’s well needed.”

The Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad is holding its annual fund drive, which will continue through Aug. 31.

Mayhew’s letter said donations will be used for supplies, training and emergency vehicle operations in light of difficult economic times and increased cost operations.

Donations may be sent to The Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 330, Keysville, Va., 23947.