The Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to volunteer rescue squads and other agencies interested in providing the finest in rescue and pre-hospital care.
The VAVRS was organized in 1935 in Roanoke and today represent 329 volunteer EMS agencies, rescue squads, fire departments and specialty related agencies with over 18,000 members in ten districts.
VAVRS District 7 includes Grayson, Carroll, Floyd, Wythe, Pulaski, Giles, Bland, Tazewell, Montgomery counties and Radford.
They recently met at the Christiansburg Rescue Squad facility for a picnic, training and social event.
VAVRS provides educational opportunities throughout the state to emergency response volunteer members. One aspect of the event hosted by the Christiansburg Rescue Squad was a competition of basic and advance lifesaving skills.
For example, District Training Officer Jessica Roop prepared members of the Riner Rescue Squad on a mock situation of a sixteen-year-old youth having breathing difficulties after sports practice. A score sheet assesses the rescue squads abilities and provides feedback as a learning opportunity.
Jason Dobbins, a member of the Riner Rescue Squad for four years, said, “Our crew meshes well together. This competition keeps us on our toes.”
Vice President Toby Akers explained VAVRS also lobbies the Virginia and national legislatures for laws affecting emergency medical response members.
Currently, there is an effort construct a National EMS Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“We are fighting against a bill coming up soon about EMS being able to open carry in ambulances,” Akers said.
Before the picnic, training was offered by Lewis-Gale Hospitals regarding the Stop The Bleed campaign. With uncontrolled bleeding as the number one cause of preventable death from trauma, the greater the number of people who know how to control bleeding in an injured patient, the greater the chances of surviving that injury.
District 7 volunteers were taught simple steps or ABCs to stop bleeding: A- Alert, B-Find the bleeding and C-Compress or apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
District 7 elections were also held to determine the new officers for the upcoming year:
- District Vice President: Toby Akers, Christiansburg Rescue
- Alternate Vice President: Jason Roop, Riner Rescue
- Treasurer: Coby Fizer, Christiansburg Rescue
- Secretary: Megan Laci, Blacksburg Rescue
- Training Officer: Josh Salyers, Richlands Rescue
- Rescue Officer: Steve Erickson, Christiansburg Rescue
- Nominations Officer: Denise Davis, Giles Rescue
- Junior Advisor: Adarah Williams, Giles Rescue
- Legislative Officer: Dreama Chandler, Wythe Co Rescue
- Historian: Jason and Tammie Dobbins, Riner Rescue
- Life Membership Officer: Buford Belcher
- Recruitment and Retention: Chris Knapp, Christiansburg Rescue
- Parliamentarian: Normand Adams, Blacksburg Rescue
Akers thanked the ten Access to Community College Education students who helped organize this District 7 event. Students in the ACCE are required to participate in eighty hours of community service annually.
Three of these students have decided to become rescue volunteers of the Christiansburg Rescue Squad.