Fundraising effort lagging

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 17, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Members of the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad are working almost as hard at fund raising as they are in responding to the ever-growing number of calls for assistance, but they still need help in financing operations for the next year.

Barbara Rayburn, treasurer of the squad, said this year’s fund drive, which is currently under way, is $10,000 short of last year’s amount at this same time.

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&uot;Right now, we have the reflective address signs on sale, but sales have slowed even though so many people are still using the non-reflective type that are difficult to read from a distance,&uot; said Rayburn. &uot;Every address should have these signs to help the emergency response teams find your home faster, and in some instances, it’s a matter of life and death. Minutes wasted in trying to find an address on the street eats into the time that could be spent on a patient.&uot;

To make it simple for everyone to obtain a reflective sign, Rayburn and other members of the NSVRS will be stationed at Liberty Spring Christian Church, 4213 Whaleyville Blvd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 5. Orders will be taken and the signs made while you wait, or they may be ordered, paid for and picked up later.

The cost of the curbside mailbox sign – blue with white three inch reflective numbers on both sides is $15. The house sign, blue with white three inch reflective numbers on one side is $10.

To order a sign, you may also call the Squad at 757-539-6870. Rayburn said those who place orders will be called when the sign is ready for you to pickup. Payment may be made when signs are picked up. You may also stop by the Squad on Market Street to place an order and pay for it there.

The NSVRS is a volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) agency located in the heart of downtown Suffolk. Serving an area of approximately 400 square miles, with a diverse population, NSVRS currently has more than 80 active EMT’s and Paramedics, as well as 11 ambulances that serve the community

&uot;We’re there with highly trained men and women responding around-the-clock to medical emergencies and rescues in the community,&uot; said Rayburn. &uot;We’re all ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, and we are certain there are others out there with the time and talent who can, like us, be there because we care&uot;

Rayburn also pointed out that with the dedicated services of volunteers and career providers, the NSVRS successfully responds to more than 7,300 calls per year, within an average of 6.5 minutes.

&uot;That figure is well below the national standard of 8 minutes and 59 seconds and it’s the great dedication of our volunteers who make that difference,&uot; Rayburn added.

In 1975, the NSVRS became the second all-volunteer advanced life support program in the nation. Virginia Beach was the first. Today, NSVRS boasts 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 Rusty Hunley, the NSVRS chief of operations. &uot;Our residents never get a $200-$300 bill for services.&uot;

Hunley is hoping that the Suffolk community will continue supporting them, and that new residents will also get on the bandwagon. Contributions can be mailed to NSVRS, Post Office Box 1515, Suffolk, Va. 23439.