The Rescue Minute: Join Us.
The dictionary defines a “Volunteer” as “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.” Since 1968, the dedicated corp of the Greene County Rescue Squad has been comprised, primarily, of selfless volunteers. We are your nextdoor neighbors; we are community fathers and mothers, grandparents and siblings; a truck driver, and a vineyard worker. The Rescue Squad has had teachers, preachers, students, retired military, contractors, nurses, farmers, and several local business people join our staff. Young and old, you know us from church, the County Fair, school events and, sometimes, you see us on the evening news. You might not realize exactly what we do (until you need us), but you definitely know some of our members.
The following incidents are taken from many that happened over one week’s time. Here, they have been rolled into a single volunteer’s shift for illustrative purposes.
- 5:45 PM. Two crews, between three and four people each, report to the GCRS Building; after light conversation with the exiting day crew, they perform the ambulance check, making sure all vehicles are fully stocked. A lot of medical and emergency supplies are carried in emergency preparedness. The vehicles are fueled and ready. The two crews head to dinner — this happens with grace and gratitude as they well know at any moment they will be called into service. Mid-drive, mid-ordering, mid-meal — they will stop whatever it is they are doing, including eating supper, to answer the 911 dispatcher’s call: an emergency.
- 6:12 PM. As their meal is delivered a call for help signals over their radios: single car motor vehicle crash. The meal is fully abandoned and the crews head to their vehicles. Once on the accident scene, GCRS crews meet Greene County deputies and Virginia State Police, as well as volunteers from the three County Fire Departments. Thankfully, only one patient; no vehicular extrication required. The patient is stabilized and transported via GCRS ambulance by one crew, and taken to UVA hospital. While en route, the driver takes precautions to navigate evening traffic yet deliver the passengers swiftly and safely. In the rear of the ambulance, an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) tends to the car accident victim; vital signs are notated and the technician calms and reassures the patient while monitoring screens and injuries. Once at the hospital, the crew escorts their patient into the ED (Emergency Department), where hospital staff take over and continue patient care. The GCRS crew, when needed, replenishes any supplies used on the ride to the hospital, then heads back to the Squad building for the night. They do not return to their supper but they may stop at a convenience store or market to pick up light snacks and beverages.
- 7:48 PM. Just back to the Squad building, the dispatcher calls again: chest pains, elderly male, the address is shared. One crew quickly boards their ambulance and drives to the where the patient is suffering. Once there, after assessment of both patient and his health history, they place him on a cardiac monitor, administer oxygen and medications. The heart monitor transmits the ECG to the receiving hospital, so the doctors know about the patient they are about to encounter. The monitor sends patient detail during the drive to the hospital as his condition improves. Still, once at the hospital, the patient may have to stay for testing and observation… .
…and so it goes. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 50 years of service to this beautiful and strong community.
The Greene County Rescue Squad answers roughly 2,100 calls for emergency service every year.
If you would like to help, we would love to have you. We are actively recruiting volunteers. We seek folks to drive, we need EMTs, we need you. You must be at least 16 to apply. Training will be provided — CPR, driver training, and EMT. The next EMT class begins August 24th. For more information, contact Kathy Hatter at firstname.lastname@example.org