Did you know the student-run, all volunteer Virginia Tech Rescue Squad operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year?

As most students spend their winter break at home visiting family and friends, members of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad are gearing up to spend their holidays on-duty, serving the community.

When classes are in session, the squad is staffed to full capacity with about 45 members. Once classes end and the majority of students leave campus, a rotating staff of five to 10 squad members stays in Blacksburg to ensure someone is always there to take an emergency call.

Every member of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is committed to serving some “break duty” throughout the year and many squad members go above and beyond to serve during multiple breaks.

In addition to taking calls, the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is also on standby at Cassell Coliseum during Virginia Tech basketball games held throughout winter break.

The number of 911 calls received varies from year to year, but with the popularity of Winter Session classes, there has been an uptick in call volume to about 25 to 30 calls throughout the four-week break.

When they get a bit of downtime, on-duty staff members get ahead on projects around the station, such as routine maintenance and upkeep.

“The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of the Virginia Tech community,” said Virginia Tech Rescue Squad Chief Michael Geary. “Squad members’ willingness to jump in and serve during the holidays and breaks is a clear reflection of their commitment to the squad.”

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 45 student members who perform the same functions of a municipal rescue squad and handle about 1,200 calls per year.

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