But in order to continue providing that level of service, more volunteers are needed to cut down on payroll costs, which have been hindering the squad since it reopened in September.
“We have the equipment, and we have some good people, some good EMTs, and these people are dedicated,” said Curtis Laney, a member of the squad’s board of directors. “They want to help the community, but I think the community needs to give us a little bit back.”
The Nickelsville Rescue Squad reopened about four months ago after reorganizing its leadership. Services came to a halt over the spring and summer of last year after former Capt. Greg Marshall resigned, leaving the squad with no administrative structure.
Now that the squad is back up and running, board members and new captain Anthony Buckner have faced a number of obstacles, including paying for vehicle maintenance and replenishing the medical supplies on their trucks, Laney said.
And while the squad has received monetary assistance from the Scott County Board of Supervisors, paying its employees continues to be a struggle, as was revealed at this month’s BOS meeting.
“I know the Board of Supervisors kind of blamed our board for not keeping a closer eye on what’s going on (financially), but we have,” Laney said. “We have held emergency meetings to look over things, and our captain and our crew are doing the very best job that they possibly can.”
Recruiting volunteers is one of the main ways the squad hopes to get its finances back on track. The squad is looking for volunteer drivers and EMTs who could be on call one or two days a week, Laney said.
In an effort to recruit more people, Laney said the squad will hold an open house in March, though a date and time have not yet been decided.
“We’re probably the best (squad) in the county as far as equipment and ambulances, and we want to showcase it,” Laney said. “We want the community to know what we have and that we are here to serve them and hopefully get volunteers by doing this.”
Prospective volunteers can call (276) 479-3262 or visit the squad in person during daytime hours. From there, they will be required to take a training course before being able to run emergency calls.
“We’re trying very hard,” Laney said. “We don’t want to lose our rescue squad. We want to keep it going.”