Ruritans boost rescue squad
Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2003
The Kings Fork Ruritan Club recently presented a much-needed donation to the Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad. Funds were generated through the club’s annual Waffle Breakfast, the membership’s single largest fundraiser.
Judy Shuck, on behalf of the squad, thanked the King’s Fork Ruritans membership, and told the club of the squad’s mission – to be where they are needed when they are needed to provide volunteer emergency medical services. As Shuck said, the NSVRS is made up of highly trained men and women responding around-the-clock to medical emergencies and rescues in the community.
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The NSVRS responded to almost 7,500 emergency calls during 2002. Staffed 24 hours a day every day of the year, the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad is considered one of Southeastern Virginia’s premiere emergency medical services organizations. Located on Market Street in the heart of downtown Suffolk, the squad serves an area of approximately 380 of the city’s 429 square miles. Chartered in 1960, the NSVRS has grown from a one-ambulance squad housed in the back of an old auto repair shop, to a modern Emergency Medical Services Agency.
This is the time of year when the squad’s budget is stretched to almost impossible lengths. As Squad Treasurer Barbara Rayburn pointed out, people are concentrating on Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts right now, and that means contributions to the organization almost come to a standstill. Rayburn added that this is a crucial time and the time when donations are greatly needed in order to keep the volunteer squad operational. She said that anyone who can give a donation to the squad is urged to do so at this time.
&uot;And, remember it is tax-deductible because we are a 501-C3 organization, and we are also a United Way recipient and you can designate funds to come directly to us,&uot; said Rayburn. &uot;We also accept credit card donations and gifts like the one from the King’s Fork Ruritan Club. Any church, club or other group is asked to please remember us with all you can at this crucial time. We desperately need help.&uot;
In 1975, the NSVRS became the second all-volunteer advanced life support program in the nation. Virginia Beach was the first. Today, NSVRS boasts around 85 members that work in partnership with the Suffolk Fire Department.
&uot;We have a very good system that serves the community well,&uot; said Robert W. &uot;Rusty&uot; Hundley, EMS Chief. &uot;Our residents never get a $200 to $300 bill for services.&uot;
Hundley also pointed out that in 1927, Roanoke became the first city in the country to organize a volunteer rescue squad. Since that time, volunteer units have become commonplace in Virginia. Today, most states continue to operate with the assistance of volunteer emergency response resources.
The EMS chief said he trusts that citizens of Suffolk will continue supporting their squad, and that new residents will also join in the effort to keep the cost-free to citizens group operational. Contributions can be mailed to NSVRS, Post Office Box 1515, Suffolk, Va. 23439.
Donations can also be made safely, quickly and easily by credit card (online). Also, each time you shop at Food Lion and use an MVP card, Food Lion will donate a portion of each purchase to the squad without cost to the customers. All that’s needed is registration of the MVP card on Food Lion’s Web site. For those who prefer, mail checks to the NSVRS, P.O. Box 1515, Suffolk, Va., 23439-1515.
Donors may also make contributions in person at the squad building at 428 Market St.