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Virginia Tech Rescue Squad recognized as one of best in country

April 4, 2016

Three members of the ALS skills team attend to a patient.
Virginia Tech's advance life saving skills team in action. Team members include Sarah Higginbotham, a senior from Fairfax, Virginia; Aram Hudson, a sophomore from Falls Church, Virginia; and Chandler Davis , a junior from Newport News, Virginia.

From a hotel room at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in Pennsylvania, 15 members of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad put their skills to the test on simulated patients in front of spectators who were judging every move they made.

The results supported what the Virginia Tech community already knows. The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is among the best in the nation.

The squad performed exceptionally well at the 23rd annual National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation conference, receiving awards and recognition for the following:

  • 1st place, Basic Life Support Skills Competition
  • 1st place, Mass Casualty Incident Skills Competition
  • 1st place, Striving for Excellence Award
  • 2nd place, the Advanced Life Support Skills Competition
  • 2nd place, Emergency Medical Services Video of the Year

“As an agency we’re admired for how long we’ve been practicing in the collegiate space; we provide a service that’s a lot more expansive and offers a lot more to the Virginia Tech community than some younger collegiate squads can offer their communities,” said Virginia Tech Rescue Squad Chief Chris Eyestone, a junior from Blacksburg. “Many of the other younger collegiate rescue squads in the country are quick response teams, relying on local municipal ambulance services for transporting patients to the hospital as they don’t have their own ambulances.”

When they were not competing in drills, members of the squad, who are all full-time undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, participated in lectures, roundtable discussions and panel interviews about pre-hospital medical care, trauma, disaster preparedness, emergency management, and leadership education.

Over 1,200 representatives of campus-based EMS organizations from over 110 colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada and Jamaica attended the 23rd Anniversary Conference

Eyestone also presented a workshop on sustainability in emergency medical services.

This is the ninth consecutive year that members of the rescue squad have attended the conference.

The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad has served the university community since 1969 and is the oldest collegiate rescue squad in Virginia and the second oldest in the nation. The squad has 40 student members who perform the same functions of a municipal rescue squad and handle about 1,200 calls per year.

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