Members of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad and several local first-responder agencies will put their training to the test in a full-scale drill that will simulate a stadium emergency at 10 a.m. on March 31.
First responders from the Blacksburg, Cave Spring, Christiansburg, Giles, and Vinton rescue squads will connect with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance, and the Virginia Tech Police Department to participate in the drill.
In addition to approximately 55 first responders, there will be about 40 volunteers who will play the role of those injured by the crash. Volunteers will wear make-up designed to make their “injuries” look as real as possible. This will allow responders to practice resource coordination and lifesaving interventions in an authentic mock-up scenario.
Setup for the drill will begin at 8 a.m. The drill is expected to start at 10 a.m. and wrap up by noon. A Carilion LifeGuard Med-Evac helicopter will be on scene as well.
A similar drill was held last spring, simulating an airplane crash at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport.
The rescue squad also conducts a mock DUI drill each year to help educate students and the community about the risks of drinking and distracted driving. These types of drills help keep the rescue squad ready for all types of emergency situations and have led to multiple local, regional, and national awards over the years.
This year, the squad performed exceptionally well at the 25th annual National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation (NCEMSF) conference, receiving a first place award for advanced life-support skills. The squad received recognition for reaching the Silver Tier of NCEMSF’s EMS Ready Campus program. The squad is the second campus across the nation to receive this recognition.
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 as a municipal rescue squad and handle about 1,200 calls per year.