HJ317: Commending the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 317

Offered February 25, 2020
Commending the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads.
Patron-- Orrock

WHEREAS, for 85 years, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads has helped agencies throughout the Commonwealth provide high-quality pre-hospital care to the members of their communities; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads was formed in the Green Room of the Hotel Roanoke on February 12, 1935, by Julian Stanley Wise, who had previously formed the first volunteer lifesaving crew in the United States, the Roanoke Life Saving Crew, in May 1928; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads held its first convention on September 28, 1935, in Lynchburg and Julian Wise was elected the first president; the organization started with just six units and now is made up of more than 465 departments throughout the Commonwealth, including volunteer rescue squads, professional emergency medical services providers, volunteer fire departments, and specialty agencies, representing 18,000 individual members; and

WHEREAS, the membership of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads includes auxiliaries and junior squads that assist local agencies in improving service to their communities and the Commonwealth, with the junior squads providing a pathway to the senior squads; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads has been a leader in developing and instituting critical training courses, many of which are now considered statewide requirements and models for other state, national, and international agencies; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads provides a multitude of statewide training opportunities through its Annual State Rescue College, which provides training for more than 300 students annually and will host its 40th session in 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads works in conjunction with other state agencies and those of adjoining states to improve and advance training in all areas of emergency medical services; and

WHEREAS, the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads has advocated for emergency medical services departments in state government and supported passage of legislation to gain funding for an office and executive director position in 1976, establish the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund in 1978, and institute the $1.00 for Life program to support regional councils in 1983 and subsequently increase the funding to $2.00 in 1990 and $4.00 in 2002; and

WHEREAS, members of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads have served on numerous boards to enhance the delivery of emergency medical services in the Commonwealth, including the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, of which numerous members have served as chair; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads on the occasion of its 85th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for the organization’s work to ensure that Virginians receive the highest quality emergency medical care.