Lisa Dunkum EMT — Buckingham County Volunteer Rescue Squad

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Interview conducted by George Waters

Q: How many years have you been with the department?

A: 5 years

Q: What are some of your responsibilities?

A: Dunkum has previously held positions on their board, including President. Currently, she acts as a training officer and CPR instructor. She also performs any procedures that are considered “high-risk” to due the rarity of them being performed.

Q: What does a typical day look like?

A: The department contracts paid crews to come in during the weekdays. Volunteers come in at night and on weekends to respond or provide backup. There are always two crews active at all times.

Q: How long have you wanted to be a(n) firefighter/police officer/EMT? Why?

A: In 8th grade Dunkum wished to become a nurse. She was successful, and became an RN. As time passed, she wished to keep up with her medical skills and was recommended by a member to join. She took some EMT courses and has volunteered ever since, loving the ability to deduce problems and help people at the same time.

Q: What are some little-known aspects of the job people wouldn’t guess you do?

A: It is a lot of hours, especially for those who have day jobs. At times it can be hectic, with only so many crews to respond. Additionally, what’s called in isn’t always what is on the scene when they arrive, so EMTs have to adjust quickly and calmly for the sake of others.

Q: What training was required for you to reach your position?

A: Dunkum has her training as an RN, as well as IV assessment. This coincides with the HIPPA and other codes that she keeps up with. Ultimately, you are always training, as you have to get recertified to prove you are still fit for the job.

Q: What are some of the challenging/rewarding aspects of the field?

A: Geography is the hardest part. It is a large county, and you are constantly getting pulled from one end to the other. This would be easier if there were more volunteers but alas, they just have to go as quick as possible. Helping and saving people is its own reward, and there’s nothing like a thank you from a life you bettered.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?

A: Dunkum loves working with and helping others. She is also an avid gardener, pet lover, and takes in rescues. She thinks it is important for people to know she genuinely cares.

Q: Is there any information or story you’d like to add about your service to the department that I haven’t asked about, or you’d like people to know?

A: Dunkum wants readers to know that there is a viable, professional emergency squad in Buckingham County. All volunteers are trained thoroughly, and they have an open door policy in regards to questions. They are looking for more volunteers to help the community.