Support the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Every year, the Nansemond-Suffolk Rescue Squad volunteers help thousands of Suffolkians in need. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, there’s always a team of emergency medical technicians, paramedics and other volunteers on hand to aid anyone who might be in danger – for free.

But once a year, they need a little help from the people that they work so hard for. Every year, the Squad asks for a bit of aid from Suffolk’s businesses and citizens. For Suffolk, it’s that time of year.

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In her 15 years with the squad, the last 13 as treasurer, Barbara Rayburn has seen the facility grow, &uot;by leaps and bounds. When I started, we were averaging about 2,400 calls a year; last year we had 8,000. We’ve gone from four ambulances to 10, and our budget has gone from $150,000 to $300,000.&uot;

The budget pays for insurance, vehicle and building maintenance, first aid supplies, equipment purchase, and much more. But although the city has picked up much of the squad’s payroll, aid is also needed from the citizens.

&uot;We are totally dependent on the city and its businesses,&uot; Rayburn said. &uot;Our insurance costs about $45,000 a year, and upkeep costs run between $120,000 and $150,000 to take care of our equipment and purchase new supplies.

Donations can be made at the station at 428 Market St. or mailed to NSVRS, P.O. Box 1515, Suffolk, Va. 23439-1515.

The only squad of its kind in the city, which celebrated its 45th anniversary this year, was awarded the Outstanding EMS Agency of The Year Award by the Tidewater EMS back in September. It serves an area of approximately 380 square miles. Because its services are free, it saves the city’s taxpayers from $2.5 to 3.5 million dollars annually in expenses. Its station is located on Market Street. Ambulances are also at fire stations on White Marsh Road, in Holland and Chuckatuck.

For more information, call 539-6870 or visit the squad’s Web site at, where online donations can be made. All donations are tax-deductible.