HR539: Commending the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew.

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 539

Offered February 19, 2021
Commending the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew.
Patron-- Aird

WHEREAS, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew commemorates 75 years of brave and admirable service to the communities of the Tri-Cities area in 2021; and

WHEREAS, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew originated when W. Roy Smith, president of the Petersburg Junior Chamber of Commerce, formed a committee to visit the Roanoke Life Saving Crew and its captain, Julian Stanley Wise, after reading an article in Reader’s Digest in February 1945; and

WHEREAS, based on the committee’s report, the local chapter of the Jaycees committed to sponsoring an organization like the Roanoke Live Saving Crew to serve Petersburg and the surrounding communities; and

WHEREAS, in May 1945, the mayors of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Ettrick, along with first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructors, presidents of local civic organizations, and medical personnel, held an organizational meeting to form the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew; the Board of Trustees was then elected on June 9, 1945; and

WHEREAS, the newly formed Southside Virginia Emergency Crew obtained the use of an unused fire station on Bank Street in Petersburg and acquired a first aid vehicle, numerous supplies, and an adult and child iron lung; and

WHEREAS, after initial training and with support from generous donations by individuals, community organizations, businesses, and industries, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew began providing emergency medical services (EMS) to Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Ettrick, Dinwiddie County, Prince George County, and Chesterfield County; and

WHEREAS, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew established a sub-station in Hopewell in 1947 and one year later the City of Hopewell formed the Hopewell Emergency Crew; and

WHEREAS, having outgrown its first headquarters, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew moved to a larger space on Wythe Street in Petersburg and, in 1968, moved again to its current location on Graham Road in Petersburg, adjacent to Interstate 85; and

WHEREAS, as times changed and members found they did not have adequate volunteer man hours to answer daytime EMS calls, the Board of Trustees of the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew elected in July 1989 to employ daytime staffing to answer the calls; and

WHEREAS, many of the communities initially served by the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew have developed their own emergency crews over the years, with 21 current agencies benefiting from the organization’s foresight and leadership; and

WHEREAS, the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew serves as the primary EMS agency for the 32,000 residents and 23 square miles of Petersburg, answering more than 8,000 EMS service calls each year while growing through the recruitment of professionally trained providers and the implementation of the latest in health care technology; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, That the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew hereby be commended on the occasion of its 75th anniversary; and, be it

RESOVED FURTHER, that the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the membership of the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew as an expression of the House of Delegates’ admiration for organization’s continued contributions to the citizens, businesses, and community of Petersburg.