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Answering calls for ‘Help!’

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A Life Evac helicopter is among the many resources available to the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad in Deltaville. Volunteers are needed to drive ambulances, or to be Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). An EMT class begins February 12. Call 776-6606 or email . (Photo by Tom Chillemi)

by Tom Chillemi
First in a series

For 56 years calls for “Help!” have been answered by the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad (MCVRS) of Deltaville.

It takes dedicated people to operate a high-caliber rescue squad like this one, and they could use some help. Members are needed. If you can drive, you can help. Or, you can train to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and learn skills that could save a life. An EMT class starts February 12.

“The first time you feel like you’ve helped or saved a life is an incredible rush. I still get it, and I’m just as stoked now when I feel like I’ve made a difference in something that really matters.” — MCVRS vice president Dennis Mann

In coming weeks the Sentinel will run stories offering a glimpse into the all-volunteer rescue squad and the people who are always ready to help, especially when it’s needed the most.

Making a difference
Before 1956, if you got hurt or had a medical emergency in Middlesex, you pretty much were on your own. Maybe a neighbor could drive you the 70 miles to a Richmond hospital. If your emergency was very serious that hour-long drive may have been a one-way trip.

In 1956, a group of concerned citizens got trained in first aid and bought a used Ford station wagon that was turned into an ambulance. The MCVRS was born and became the first volunteer rescue squad in Virginia.

Today, the MCVRS has a fleet of five ambulances that are mobile emergency rooms.

“Something that really matters”
Squad members talk with a passion about what they do. They regularly are involved in life-and-death situations. And, that intensity is energizing.

MCVRS vice president Dennis Mann was motivated to become an EMT 17 years ago at a vehicle crash where he helped stop a victim’s bleeding. “The first time you feel like you’ve helped or saved a life is an incredible rush,” he said. “I still get it, and I’m just as stoked now when I feel like I’ve made a difference in something that really matters.”

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 02.06.2013

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