Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad is like the “Little Engine That Could.” No matter what the challenge this year, this small group of dedicated volunteers has said, “I think I can, I think I can . . .” and they did! I am dedicating this end-of-the-year column to SVRS so that you can share in the pride of their accomplishments and service to our community.
Service: First and foremost, SVRS has a 99-percent response rate to calls for service in 2012. They have fulfilled their mission to serve the community with excellence.
Advanced life support: Two new advanced-life-support volunteers completed their internships and were released into service this year.
Facility: The existing building had two ambulance bays that were too small for new equipment. Various committees researched options for expansion but no new land was found that might be donated for a new facility. A design for expansion on site was drawn up, a local contractor built a new addition and then the same members who run calls for service did all the rest – insulation, drywall, finish work and painting. Another volunteer painted a new sign, and a flagpole with down lighting is about to be installed. If you have not driven by and noticed this building, be sure to do so. In addition, insulated windows, a renovated bathroom and a more efficient heating system have improved the office area for volunteers.
Ambulance: The current fleet of two ambulances is quite old and one is always in the shop. After carefully researching and studying many models and designs, a new ambulance was selected and is due for delivery Jan. 24.
Parking lot: Well, there really was no parking lot, just a few spaces adjacent to the building. One of our members called in a few favors for the basic excavation and then member volunteers did all the finish work while master gardeners did the landscaping. The result is a fine upper-level gravel parking area that can accommodate an adequate number of cars. This work was completed at no cost to the community.
New power ambulance cots: For the safety of patients and volunteers, two power ambulance cots were purchased and installed in the existing ambulances. This protects the backs of the volunteers and is much safer and more reassuring for patients loaded into the vehicles.
Awards: At the December meeting a special award was given to Brian Ross who, between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 this year, had responded to . . . count them folks . . . 231 calls for service. Also recognized and given an award were volunteers who joined SVRS in May. Jennifer Kindall responded to 76 calls for service and David Hawn responded to 57 by the end of November. Harold Beebout, who was named volunteer of the year by the Rappahannock County Fire and Rescue Association, completed 198 calls for service; Judy Reidinger, 174; Dick Reidinger, 83; Josh Waddell, 79; George Swett, 42 and Meddie Arismende, 26. Twenty additional volunteers had between one and 13 calls each. Interestingly, in that group, one family – mother, father and son – responded to a total of 32 calls.
SVRS volunteers serve the largest geographic area among the five service areas in the community. They could not do this without your support. They cannot do this without volunteers and they cannot do it without money. It costs at least $60,000 annually to operate SVRS (not including capital improvements and new equipment). Current funding comes from the annual fire and rescue levy, state support, grants and community donations.
What does SVRS need from the community? SVRS needs you to fill positions of emergency medical technician, ambulance driver, administrative support, vehicle, computer and facility maintenance and your donations. Please contact SVRS if you want to learn more about training that can lead to future employment or for any of the other myriad tasks needed to keep a rescue squad well-staffed and serving the community.
Your SVRS is a professionally managed and fiscally responsible volunteer organization. Please step forward to join the squad to help continue and improve excellence in service to the community. Call Ray Boc at 540-987-9706 or SVRS at 540-987-8085 for more.
A huge thank you to all members of SVRS for another year of personal sacrifice and outstanding service to the community.
Members of a local book club wanted to help promote reading in children and began collecting a small donation from members at each meeting. They recently presented the Head Start program with these books at the program’s holiday party.
The decision to provide books to Head Start is based on the program’s emphasis on empowering parents and teaching them to read to their children. This not only improves reading skills, but strengthens the parent/child relationship. The books will go to Rappahannock’s at-risk children and will be put to great use within the reading program.
Annie Williams, owner and physical therapist at Mountainside Physical Therapy, takes care of many of us. We are delighted to report that she took some much needed rest and went with her husband to the Virgin Islands to celebrate her birthday.
In two recent editions of the Rappahannock News you read about the accolades and recognition given to several local businesses in a variety of formats. Here are a few more:
A travel story about Rappahannock County by writer/publisher Jordan Wright – released after his Office of Tourism-organized visit here – appeared online (whiskandquill.com/?p=5245) on Nov. 30, just before Christmas in Little Washington, and is one of the most comprehensive pieces I have seen.
When I opened my email from the famous Murray Cheese Shop in New York city, Virginia Chutney products were featured as part of their gift basket offering. And while flying Southwest Airlines last week, the cover story on the airline magazine was “Spirit’s Guide to Spirits.” Our own Copper Fox Distillery was listed under “Craft distilleries of the south: Where whiskey and lightning take center stage.”
We enjoy the success of all these businesses and their contribution to our quality of life.
Your friends and neighbors decided to continue the Fourth Friday format on Dec. 28, even though it’s just after Christmas. Be sure to come into the village from 5 to 8 p.m. for hostess gifts for new year parties and to find something just right to add a note of spark to your home or office.
Jerry Smith Sleepywood Rustic Furniture is offering discounts on select items; Coterie is offering 20 percent off all holiday items all next week and is open till 8 p.m. for Fourth Friday. Middle Street Gallery artist Thomas Spande is having an artist talk, discussing ways of revising works of art and music as they develop in the studio; light holiday refreshments will be served. And Old Rag Photographers is donating 10 percent of sales to the Rappahannock Benevolent Fund.
Happy new year to all!