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In Virginia Beach, EMS continues focus on volunteer support, rural stations

 

Emergency Medical Services Chief Ed Brazle spoke during the Thursday, Aug. 25, forum for the Princess Anne District hosted by City Councilmember Barbara Henley. [John-Henry Doucette/ The Princess Anne Independent News]

Emergency Medical Services Chief Ed Brazle spoke during the Thursday, Aug. 25, forum for the Princess Anne District hosted by City Councilmember Barbara Henley. [John-Henry Doucette/ The Princess Anne Independent News]

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

COURTHOUSE – Emergency Medical Services Chief Ed Brazle said the city has had success this year in an effort to expand the ranks of its volunteer rescue personnel, a cornerstone of the response system.

The city had “already had more applications processed this year than all of last year,” Brazle said during the monthly constituent forum hosted by City Councilmember Barbara Henley, who represents the Princess Anne District.

The meeting was held on Thursday, Aug. 25.

Brazle said increasing the number of volunteers at rural stations in Blackwater and Creeds remains a priority, and strides have been made to get shifts covered, including people coming from other stations to fill in.

One challenge, he said, is that younger recruits both want and need to run rescue calls to build skills and experience. The more rural stations simply run far fewer calls. 

“Once you get south of Pungo, that’s one percent of our calls in the city,” he said.

Brazle and Henley also said people in the rural community, which has its share of independent-minded folks, need to call as soon as they realize they are having an emergency that may require medical care.

“Sometimes folks call when they don’t have an emergency,” Henley said. “What we tend to have in the rural part is they don’t want to call.”

“If you feel you need an ambulance, please call,” Brazle said. “What we see in Creeds and Blackwater is a lot of people drive themselves to the fire station.”

“Call them,” Henley said. “It’s okay. … If you think you’re having a heart attack or a stroke, for Pete’s sake, call 911.”


Learn more about volunteer rescue service via livesneedsaving.org.


© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

The Independent News

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