Celebrating first responders

Published 10:51 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS), established in 1969, is celebrating its 50th year.

There is a network of fire departments, law enforcement agencies and rescue squads in our coverage area made up of career service members and volunteers who, like former PEVRS member Tim McKay said put themselves in the middle of life’s worst moments to offer their assistance.

Despite the national and regional trend of dwindling volunteer numbers, increasing expenses related to equipment and increased training involved in performing emergency medical services, a number of these agencies in our area are adapting to the circumstances surrounding them and withstanding the test of time.

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Glenmore Volunteer Fire Department is one, having celebrated its 50th anniversary in November. Farmville Fire Department is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2020.

That’s not to dismiss the support these organizations need. It remains a challenge to staff these departments, to regularly update and upgrade equipment when it’s needed and respond to the number of calls, which have only increased since these departments first began. Individual, county, state and national organizations need to be aware of the importance of ensuring the departments have the tools they need to serve people who need it the most.

Whether we personally know a first responder, whether we or a loved one have been helped by a first responder in an emergency, or in case we need their assistance in the future, it’s important to keep the area rescue squads and fire departments in mind.

“What you do is significant,” McKay said in a statement to rescue squad members Saturday. He noted that people squad members have never met are living their lives and may not know that life threatening situations may be just around the corner. “They’re relaxed and they’re having a good time because they don’t know that one day next week, next month, or next year that their entire world is hanging by a thread … And there will be you, as your senses, your hands, your decisions in that very moment, will be the difference between life, and longing, and hope and hurt. What you do in that moment will change the world for them and for you.”

EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@FarmvilleHerald.com.