Volunteer squad contributes a lotPublished 10:56pm Thursday, August 22, 2013
I am the medical director for the Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad and am writing in support of the squad.
I have 40 years of EMS experience, serving in roles ranging from patient transporter to dispatcher to five years as a full-time paramedic for the city of Greensboro, N.C., and I am a certified, nationally registered EMT-P.
I have been an EMS Medical Director for 20 years and have had the honor of serving the citizens of Suffolk for more than 15 years as a core emergency medical physician at Obici Hospital.
Nansemond-Suffolk Rescue Squad is an asset to the city of Suffolk. The organization has a rich tradition of attracting well-qualified volunteers and a strong leadership, and it was an advocate of pre-hospital emergency care long before Suffolk Fire and Rescue became involved with emergency medical care.
The spirit of volunteerism has long been an avenue through which interested individuals of all walks of life have been able to contribute to our fine community.
The involvement of these heroic individuals has improved the care in our community not only through direct patient care, but also by keeping the spirit of volunteerism alive and by giving individuals young and old an opportunity to enter the field of health care.
From first-hand involvement, I attest that the care people receive when they call 911 and are cared for by NSVRS is excellent, the best available in our city. The care providers within the volunteer organization are well trained and enthusiastic.
I am also a proponent of a professional paid organization such as our own Suffolk Fire and Rescue being available for those many hours when NSVRS providers are working their own jobs, and also as a second-call resource when the NSVRS personnel have been called out on a first call.
There is a current proposal that all first-calls be taken by Suffolk Fire and Rescue. With current call distributions, this would decrease the volunteers’ volume to such an extent that NSVRS would no longer get enough calls to justify the volunteers making themselves available during those hours. In my opinion, NSVRS would cease to exist.
Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue squad is not only rich in tradition, but makes contributions to the City of Suffolk that, in my opinion, would be a great loss to our citizens if it were to cease its operations.
I implore city officials to consider the many benefits of continuing to support NSVRS and to allow the squad to serve our community and make it better for years to come.
Dr. Joel C. Michael is the operational medical director for the Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad and a member of the Emergency Physicians of Tidewater. He also serves in the former capacity for the Isle of Wight, Carrollton and Windsor volunteer rescue squads. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.