Last Thursday, Northumberland County Democrats learned about Mid-County Volunteer Rescue Squad’s services and costs, as well as the challenges faced by volunteer first responders in the county.
The rescue squad’s newly elected captain Joe Schlatter said his organization was in strong need of personnel. He added that the same volunteers have virtually been answering calls all of the time. Kitty Creeth said that the county has one of the oldest populations in the state, as approximately 30 percent of its population is over 65.
“What it looks to me like is the handwriting is on the wall,” said Creeth. “We’re not getting new people in and we’re all getting old!”
Schlatter said that younger members normally volunteer with the Northumberland rescue squads to “get a little experience and then zip” to a paid agency outside of the area, as Northumberland Countyis one of the few remaining counties in Virginia is which all of its fire and rescue organizations are run by volunteers.
In addition, Schlatter cited a need for more emergency medical technicians (EMTs) with Advanced Life Support (ALS) certification. Several of the Mid-County Rescue members, including Schlatter himself, are Basic Life Support (BLS) EMTs.
“I cannot start an I.V…I can’t do an endotracheal tube,” said Schlatter. “If I want to administer medication, I’ve got to get on the phone, call the E.R. and talk to the doc, tell the doc about what your symptoms are and ask permission to give you [the medical treatment].”
—Pick up the January 22 issue of the Northumberland Echo to read the full story!