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Jones hired to lead squad

Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) believes it has found the leader to help put the organization back on solid financial footing.

Deanna Jones

The squad recently hired Deanna Jones as its executive director. She started effective Jan. 27.

Jones is the agency’s first executive director and will be responsible for overseeing all PEVRS administrative and operational activities.

“We did a comprehensive search and had competitive candidates from across Virginia and even the country apply,” PEVRS President Ryan Taney said. “Deanna stood out not only because of her experience in emergency medical services (EMS) and with nonprofit management but also her thoughtful ideas for enabling the rescue squad to continue to serve Prince Edward residents.”

A native of South Hill, Jones began her career in health care and EMS in 2004 as an emergency medical technician and later as a paramedic and training officer with Southside Rescue in South Hill. She also has worked in the emergency department at Community Memorial Hospital and as a clinical liaison with First Care Health Services in South Boston. She was most recently a health educator with the Virginia Department of Health in Farmville.

Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and health care business from Liberty University where she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public health.

“I’m thrilled to be joining PEVRS,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to strengthening relationships with the community and helping the squad meet the challenges facing health care today and in the future.”

In December 2018, the PEVRS executive board began discussions of an executive director as one way to continue to modernize the organization and the operations of the squad amid several trends. As volunteerism has declined nationally, the costs and regulations associated with health care and EMS agencies have increased. PEVRS began discussions with area entities to find solutions to address the issues.

Representatives from the Town of Farmville, Hampden-Sydney College, Longwood University and Prince Edward County joined the executive board in January 2019 to assist the squad. The town, Longwood, and Hampden-Sydney collaborated to provide the funding for the executive director position in 2020. Funding will be revisited each year with the hopes that Jones is going to help steer the squad to a place in which it will be able to self-fund the executive director position.

The county passed an EMS District levy in August 2019 for funding for county EMS agencies, including for ambulances for PEVRS, the first of which was delivered in September.

Founded in 1969, PEVRS is a 70-person EMS provider with both volunteer and paid staff. Last year it responded to 3,600 calls in Prince Edward and Cumberland counties.