Charitable giving is on the minds of many, especially as the holidays draw near. With so many worthy causes needing funding, it is often hard to choose a single agency or program to support. However, if you want to make a significant contribution to your own community, consider a donation of time or funds to your local EMS squad.
Over recent years, EMS squads in Campbell County have seen a decrease in volunteer numbers as well as in community contributions. Work schedules and rigorous training requirements often make EMS volunteering difficult for those who remain in the workforce. As long-time crew members gravitate over time toward behind-the-scene administrative rolls in the squad, new volunteers are often needed to staff ambulance calls during crucial hours, which are now routinely supported by career staff to ensure acceptable response times.
The strain on local squads is even greater with a decrease in community donations. There remains a common misconception that local EMS billing revenue for ambulance transports fully covers both career staff’s and volunteer crews’ needs. While Campbell County supplements active EMS crews each year with budget allocations, remaining costs of volunteer crews’ medical equipment, repairs to equipment, and medical supplies come from its own treasury and fundraising efforts.
“Medical supplies and equipment are expensive,” said Ed Foster, of Concord Volunteer EMS squad. “We are very good stewards of the money and resources we have, but its takes community support for us operate, even with the yearly County supplements. It also takes two to three crew members to properly staff an ambulance just for one call. We appreciate all the support we get from our communities and the County, however, man-power and funds are still definitely needed to keep us on the road for our citizens.”
Volunteer EMS crews also give back to their local communities, not only by delivering life-saving services, but also by covering community events, offering children’s programs and events, and educating the public on health/safety matters.
This holiday season, if you would like to contribute to one of Campbell County’s three EMS squads, or serve as an EMS volunteer, please contact:
- Campbell County Volunteer Rescue Squad; 155 Rainbow Forest Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24502; (434) 239-0389
- Citizens Volunteer Rescue Squad; 8553 Brookneal Highway, Gladys, Virginia 24554;(434) 283-4905
- Concord Volunteer Rescue Squad; 12605 Richmond Highway, Concord, VA 24538; (434) 993-3211