Dear Prospective Member:
Thank you for your interest in becoming an emergency medical services (EMS) provider. It doesn’t matter why you seek to volunteer your time but you will soon find that volunteering your time to help others is a worthwhile cause. Numerous people before you were unsure whether they would be able to save a life when called upon to do so. Some decide it isn’t what they expected and move on, however, those that do stay find it rewarding to be able to help others when they are sick or injured. Many volunteers enter EMS training to learn a new career that has steadily been in high demand. The health care industry has grown over the past decade and emergency medicine will always be a field that offers job stability and numerous opportunities nationwide. The members of the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad will be glad to work with you and give you an opportunity to learn life-saving skills that will provide benefits to both you and your community.
Numerous career EMS providers started out as volunteers. You may wonder how volunteering can lead to a new career? Government and private EMS agencies are always looking for well-trained and skilled EMS providers. Numerous members of the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad began as volunteer EMS providers by obtaining the medical experience that qualified them to move into a career in EMS. The experience obtained by responding to 9-1-1 calls is invaluable and is just as important as the basic training. An experienced EMS provider with the proper training will always stand out in the crowd of applicants seeking a position. Numerous EMS providers across the United States began their career by volunteering with the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad. We have members that have moved onto positions as medical technicians with ambulance transport services, municipal firefighter/paramedics, flight paramedics, EMS educators, nurses, pharmacists, as well as managers of entire EMS systems. If you are looking for a new career, Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad is an excellent place to get the experience and training you will need.
The Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad has been providing first due responses for emergency medical calls since 1968 primarily in the Fieldale and Collinsville areas but also responds to calls throughout Henry County and Martinsville when needed. We are the busiest volunteer EMS agency in Henry County and typically respond to 1500 calls annually through the E 9-1-1 system. Assisting others is very rewarding but one must get accustomed to working under strenuous, unpredictable conditions, in all types of weather, and be willing to respond to emergencies at any hour of the day or night. Applicants must be at least 16 years old to be eligible for the Junior Squad and 18 years old for Senior Squad membership. There is no residential requirement that you live in the Fieldale or Collinsville communities. There are no scheduled duty assignments so members typically stand by at the station whenever they are available to serve.
Becoming a member isn’t a difficult process but it can take some time. As much as we need your help there are guidelines and state laws that must be followed for anyone to become a member. Persons seeking to become members must fill out an application. The application will ask for the obvious personal information but also includes a criminal background check that is required by Virginia law. It should also be noted that the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad does not discriminate in any way against any applicant.
- Applicant: First stage of the application process. Applications can be obtained by stopping by the station located at 1827 Daniels Creek Road in Collinsville. If you would like to call ahead the number for the station is (276) 647-3232. You may pick up the application and return it at your convenience. Once the application has been turned into the squad an officer will schedule a meeting with you to review the application. The officer will review guidelines for membership with you and explain the application process. Applicants are allowed to visit the building and meet the members, but cannot participate on EMS calls. The application will be presented to the membership for consideration at the squad business meeting. Business meetings are held monthly on the 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30 pm at the station.
- Candidate: Candidate status is granted by the membership after they have reviewed the application submitted. An applicant is placed on Candidate status for 60 days to allow time for the detailed criminal background check to be completed. To be granted Candidate status, a preliminary background check must have been completed that reviews the applicant’s driving and criminal history records in Virginia. The detailed background investigation is required by Virginia law and is conducted through the FBI criminal records database and takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks to complete. The Candidate process begins the initial training to become a member of the squad by learning how to use the equipment on the ambulances while interacting with current members. Candidates are expected to obtain basic CPR training during this phase as well as taking online courses that outline the Incident Command process utilized when responding to every emergency call. A Candidate should come by the station and meet the members and assist with the daily station duties such as cleaning the building and vehicles. A Candidate is allowed to participate as an observer on EMS calls but cannot provide patient care or operate emergency vehicles. In short, a candidate is a person that has not yet been approved for membership but is learning the daily operations that keep the squad functional.
- Probationary Member: Probationary membership is the time that you begin to gain experience in field operations through the experience offered by other members and through trial and error. Probationary membership begins the journey of actual membership in the squad and lasts for 6 months. You will be instructed on the proper use of communications equipment such as portable and mobile radios and will be expected to develop a functional understanding of how the squad responds to emergencies. After the detailed criminal background investigation results are received, a Candidate’s application is presented to the squad for approval for Probationary membership. As a probationary member, you will be expected to successfully complete an Emergency Vehicle Operators Course, Basic First Aid course, and should be enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technicians Course. If you are already certified as an Emergency Medical Technician or Advanced Life Support provider, you must complete an internship or preceptor program before you can serve as an attendant-in-charge on an EMS call.
- Senior Membership: Probationary members that complete the Probationary membership period must be reviewed by the squad for approval to become a Senior member. Senior members have demonstrated they are proficient in making sound decisions regarding patient care and providing emergency responses. They are on their way to mastering the skills needed to provide the best patient care possible and have also demonstrated their ability to make sound decisions during stressful conditions. Senior members are eligible for a financial stipend, awarded on a per call basis, paid to members. They are also eligible for tuition assistance that is offered that can be used to fund college education courses in the medical field. Senior members have issued a badge that represents they have accomplished the basic training and education necessary to provide the best patient care possible for the citizens of our community. Senior members are eligible to become officers and can develop leadership and management skills by serving in various officer positions.
Whether you are looking to just give some time to the community by helping others or you are interested in learning new skills in search of a new career in emergency medicine, the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad offers opportunities for you to achieve your goal. We are constantly looking for people to assist our community through volunteer opportunities. Thank you for your interest in helping others and we look forward to meeting you.
Daryl L. Hatcher, Captain
Fieldale-Collinsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc.