The all-volunteer, student-run Virginia Tech Rescue Squad recently passed an inspection by the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.
The biennial inspection examined several areas for compliance including vehicle maintenance for four ambulances and three response trucks, radio and communications capabilities, mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities, and 24-hour response plans.
The inspection found the rescue squad compliant in all areas examined.
The rescue squad has 40 students who volunteer their time on top of their academic studies and other activities. Stephen Bennett, captain of the rescue squad, puts in about 40 hours per week leading the organization.
“Some people think we’re being paid and don’t realize we are all students,” said Bennett, a senior forestry major from Covington, Virginia. “It’s hard being a full-time student and serving on the rescue squad. I do it because I enjoy helping people and I fell in love with it back home.”
The rescue squad handles around 1,200 calls per year. They serve the university community and the Town of Blacksburg year round, but their busiest period is during the school year. As can be expected, football games are especially busy for the squad.
In addition, the squad provides free CPR training and maintains the university’s more than 130 Automated External Defibrillators that are placed throughout campus.
The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad has been serving the Virginia Tech community since 1969. It is the oldest collegiate rescue squad in Virginia and the second oldest in the nation.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.