For the typical college student, dedicating more than 40 hours every week to a cause, leading a team of 45 members, and balancing a full course load may be hard to fathom; for Virginia Tech Rescue Squad chief Michael Geary, it’s just another week.

Geary, a senior majoring in wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, has served as chief of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad (VTRS) for the past two years and as a member of the squad for four years.

As chief, Geary tirelessly leads all operational and administrative functions for the squad, which responds to nearly 1,200 emergency calls on campus annually.

Geary’s exceptional leadership traits are a driving force behind VTRS’ continued success. Geary is a passionate advocate of VTRS and Virginia Tech. He has confidently engaged with university leaders to improve VTRS space limitations and expand squad facilities and resources. These efforts reflect Geary’s leadership skills in ensuring the capacity of future squads five to 10 years down the road.

Geary also sees the big picture.

Improving emergency medical service delivery not only for the Virginia Tech community, but for Montgomery County residents as a whole, has been another priority for Geary. He has used his interpersonal skills and ability to connect with a variety of audiences to deepen partnerships with rescue squads and emergency service agencies in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, and across the New River Valley.

Communicating more frequently and participating in shared trainings throughout the year has enabled all of the agencies to identify key communication weaknesses and make operational improvements.

“Michael has stepped up as a genuine leader of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad. His passion for service, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to motivate others will serve him well in any career path he chooses,” said Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust.

Public service won’t end at graduation in May for Geary. He is interested in exploring potential career paths in fire and emergency services.