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Strasburg Rescue Squad dissolved

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Strasburg's volunteer rescue squad has been dissolved by the Shenandoah County Board of
Supervisors. The resolution cites the failure of the squad to improve its ability to respond to emergency calls during the past 18 months.  What do you think about this?

17 Replies

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  • I think it's been a long time coming! When people's lives are in danger, you can't mess around. The SRS had just under a YEAR to improve their response times and recruit more volunteers. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and an institution of this county has ended unless they can get their act together. The citizens of Strasburg and the surrounding areas should be counting their blessing that Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue was there to pick up the slack. Otherwise, how many people would have died over the last 9 months because 10 minute or more delays occurred while another squad from another area had to come for them? Think about it folks. Would you want to leave your fate to a 2-5% reponse time from your rescue squad? I sure wouldn't.

    • you have said some true statments but left out some facts also, First you complained about the times but did you volunter and help them out.or did you just set back and complain aboutit. the second the county has helped and has never had a failed response. but they arent telling the community that they only got put on calls when they had a crew available if not they didnt get called to the scene so this really padded there numbers. third you can complain but noboby but the volunters of those organizations truly know the time that is put into it for no thanks and members of this community who are saying it is about time. that is good and when your taxes go thru the roof then you will realize how much there time was worth that they gave to the community for free.

    • well then u better get 24/7 staffing in the whole county because there are many times i hear other rescue companies going this far with their response times

    • Did you volunteer to help the situation?

  • I no longer reside in Strasburg but it will always be "home" to me. When I did live there I was a member of the rescue squad and have remained in contact with many of it's members over the years. I am deeply sadden by these recent events. I also feel it's just another time the county kicks the town in the teeth. Strasburg has always been treated like an unwanted member of the family by the county. The way this was handle seems very underhanded to me.

    As for the squad being able to provide coverage 24-7, before anyone points fingers at the organization, they need to look at themselves. Unless members of a community get involved and volunteer with their local volunteer rescue squads and fire departments this sort of thing will be seen more and more!

    The Strasburg squad, just like most of the squads in the county has a group of very dedicated members but there aren't enough of them to do it all, they NEEDED people to volunteer! People in the community tend to have the idea that they don't need to volunteer, "Someone else will do it". These days volunteerism is down everywhere. Strasburg has grown tremendously in the past few years as more people of moved out of the city. These folks are used to having emergency services provided for them and perhaps don't realize the importance of volunteering themselves. People are less willing these days to sacrifice the personal time they need to in order to volunteer. Sacrifice is part of helping your community. Volunteer Fire and Rescue members have always been willing to sacrifice their time, their energy and sometimes even their lives in order to keep their community safe.

    I would like to thank the members of the Strasburg Rescue Squad for all the time and effort you've put into your community over the years. Hold your heads high and be proud of that!

  • Personally I'm glad the Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue finally stepped up! It's about time this two year problem got resolved. If it was your family or loved one who needed help and the volunteers couldn't get out . . . you'd want someone - whether it be paid staff or volunteers from another town to come help. This was the only solution left to try to reorganize Co. 25 - they needed to rise to the occasion - which didn't happen with any of the other "chances" they had.

    Thank you SCFR for making sure our community has proper staffing for emergencies!

  • As a member of the community of Strasburg and a recent member of the Strasburg Rescue squad I believe that this is the wrong thing to do. You need the volunteers in the oommunity. I am upset with the decision of the board of supervisors. So is the county going to furnish 24 hour paid emt's to cover this area or are we going to have to drive ourselves to the hospital. Also if we have paid people covering our area does that mean we have to pay for the ambulance ride and the supplies thay use on us. As a resident of Strasburg I pay town and county taxes and I believe that paying county taxes is not right for us. If you have paid people here in town does that mean my taxes are going to go up because of having to pay their salaries. You have to understand volunteers means you are a volunteer. I support the Strasburg Rescue Squad 100%. I would like to thank all those who serve on the squad that take time from their families to do this. You all do a good job.

  • In response i would like to say i am saddend beyond belief on this decision not only for me but the citizens of the community that has supported this organization for so many years. To think that we were once a great organization respected around the state to the lowest scum known to man on the earth to our so called supportive county. This issue stands on one main ground. That volunteerism is something we need. To some individuals this word means nothing. To be a volunteer is something to take pride in not look down on. But for all those who arent one dont make an opinion and or statement about something you know nothing about. The time it takes for training and meetings and fundraisers is beyond belief.. With a job and a family take a step back and think about it.. There just has to be more people willing to give a bit of time working together to help with the slack for every other person.. The main problem is having a double or triple workload that other volunteers should be helping pick up the slack. The bottom line is besides the bs and the politics look at the big picture. More paid staff equals higher taxes.. YOUR MONEY! In the time of a recession this isnt something to look forward to. These volunteers give their time so u dont have to pay more and do this out of the kindness of their hearts and because they want to help! In a response to ANYONE who is happy about this outcome plain and simple dont open your mouth and give an opinion when u didnt get off your hindend and get an application and put in the time like the rest of us who did volunteer. And heres a fun fact that alot of you all out in NV Daily land should know Most of the county fire and rescue employees were VOLUNTEERS THEMSELVES! and they got their experience for Fire Rescue from being a volunteer so who is to blame here? Take a minute and you decide.

  • First of all I would like to say kudos to the Strasburg Rescue squad for fighting this. This mess has been going on for years and I think it is digraceful that the board of supervisors has to secretly make their recommendations behind closed doors. PEOPLE WAKE UP!! If you think for one minute that the board is saddened or that they think this is a tragedy, you are DEAD WRONG. This is much bigger than responding to emergencies.

    I wonder if the citizens of Strasburg realize that two years ago the Board of supervisors held meetings to discuss the county's plan for fees for service?

    Do the citizens know that one of the county's suggestions was to add additional taxes to homeownwers in lue of actual fees for service? Thats right, even if a homeowner never used the rescue squad it would be added into their property tax each year. Yes this is fact and with a little digging this will come out.

    Do the citizens understand that while county residents are paying additional taxes that these funds can go to anyone in the county? So if you pay every year for rescue squad services in your town it will not necessarily mean that it is going to be used for that? That will be up to the powers to be in the county.

    I would also like to say the rest of the volunteer organizations better take a good look at what just happened and band together quickly and show SCFR that they won't get the control they want. Unfortunately, thus far, it has been a long rivalry between fire/rescue and this needs to stop.

    It doesn't matter what department you are from. Volunteers all over need to come together and stand their ground before it is too late. If you dont think for one minute that the "power's to be" at SCFR sit back and eat it up that the volunteer organizations bicker between themselves you better WAKE UP. We are giving them the ammunition they need to fund their cause.

    I spent many years within multiple organizations in this county and it is the same everywhere. It angers me to see anyone who isnt volunteering their Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, New Years eve or any other holiday have the odausity to even complain about response times or failed calls.

    I, myself, and my family have missed plenty of dinners, birthdays, holidays, and nights volunteering at the rescue squad. I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I went to work just praying to make it through the day so I could go home and sleep because I was up all night running calls.

    SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE WHO CRITICIZE ANY VOLUNTEER!!! Where are you, your kids, your friends,your spouse. I can rest assured you know who you are out there. I know who you are too. You are the same people who abuse the rescue squads. You are the people who call the squad to get into the ER faster. You are the same people who would rather go to the emergency room by squad so you can send the information to SSI or Disability so it will look good on your next review date. You are the same people who abuse the 911 system and then complain because the rescue squad is out on another call (more than likely on another senseless call) because YOU ARE NOT FIRST IN LINE.

    Some of you ask how I know this? Because I have worked in this community for over 15 years. I have been on the squads and heard all the complaints, resons and tactics to "GET IN THE ER FASTER BECAUSE YOU ARE ARRIVING BY SQUAD". I have witnessed delayed calls because the squad was out on a call that half the county can recite the address over scanner land because the squad only goes out there three times a week. I have watched cardiac arrest calls delayed because of people who abuse 911.

    So to all you hypacrites out there- when its your loved one that needs help and its a holiday or weekend THANK A VOLUNTEER because the county guys dont work weekends or holidays. (at least not yet).

    Last but not least- citizens of Shenandoah county- beware of Romans bearing gifts, your tax dollars and your property tax increase is right around the corner. I was in on those meetings two years ago!!!

  • I can't believe the people who think this is for the best. All you people who never volunteered that complain about slow response time, think about this: Volunteers work a full time job, spend time away from their friends and family, have countless sleepless nights being awakened to answer the call to duty when ever it should arise. All to keep you SAFE, and to provide Emergency Medical attention to those in need. Ask yourself this: Am I going to have a heart attack tonight? Am I going to have a wreck on the way home? You better hope not, because their are only two EMT's on now. Residents of Strasburg, get off your butts and stand behind the ones behind you for 45 years!!!! Shame on you Board of Supervisors. Maybe you should offer solutions instead of shutting down a good organization.

  • I just wanted to say thank you to all the volunteers of Strasburgs' Rescue Squad for the love and committment they have given to our town. My family appreciates all you have done for Strasburg citizens all these years and find it shameful that anyone would criticize any volunteer organization. Instead of placing blame perhaps you could have volunteered and become part of the solution.

  • As a long time volunteer, I don’t want to throw more mud into this already cloudy and controversial subject but practical decision making processes (Problem, action and resolution) the latter may or may not have happened in this case (which looks it didn’t) but we need to help with the final phase of the problem which is resolutions instead of criticizing, pointing fingers, ECT. Let’s "brainstorm" on ideas to help resolve the scenario:

    Not sure if many people read these forums (particularly, decision making leaders like the Board of Supervisors) but I wanted to inject my idea for a resolution:

    Summary - Volunteers paid per call program... (Option #1)

    OPTION #1
    1) Volunteer paid $10 per call
    2) Average paid member per year $3,000 (if running 300 calls :)
    3) = More Volunteers and less on County Budget

    NOTE: some initiatives in there for qualifications, lets not get to in depth yet... just basics to get the process started.

    OPTION #2
    1) More SCFR personnel for manning - lets say 1
    2) 1 person salary (haven’t seen what they get paid) but lets say $25,000
    3) = $25,000 per year per SCFR person hired

    DIFFERANCE: $21,000 per year for 1 person... (Not including details IE insurance) that would leave room for 7 volunteers to do the job of 1 SCFR Member... (Can multiply to get even bigger #'s.. but wanted to stay basic)

    Which option seems better for the “Tax Payers”?

    If you agree, Please talk to your Board of Supervisor rep and let them know of the idea.. Allot more to throw into these scenarios but these are the basics to get the thought process going.

    Thank you for your time and concern. 

    “Volunteers, the Heart of Shenandoah County”

  • I am really saddened beyond words what has happended to Strasburg Rescue. I was a very active member for many years and other obligations have taken me away. I can no longer run calls. We can discuss what has been wrong and what has been right and what has been good and bad all night and into next week. The future is uncertain. More questions than answers right now. Start small and build from there, just like your roots. You, we have come a long way. As a child, when you fell down, it hurt for awhile, but you jumped right up and got back to what you were doing right? so, do just that, hurt for awhile, dust yourself off, get up and get back in that truck. Moving forward will be hard and Strasburg needs you and we are behind you more than you think!!
    Strasburg Rescue has been done dirty. Not many of the elected officials contacted them for their side of the story. Strasburg Town Council should have stayed out of it.
    Hang in there SVRS-hang your head up high and may we all extend our hand out to them with our thanks and with help and support.


  • I have seen both sides of this issue...once when my baby sister passed away suddenly at the age of 45 in 2007 and a comment about her was made in front of her children when they finally arrived at her house I did not appreciate..but that does not represent the entire Rescue Squad. At one time I worked at Food lion in Strasburg..and cannot BEGIN to tell you how many ACCIDENTS on 81 they respond to..just as there are SO many there in Strasburg. A few years ago my son in law and his friend were driving home from work, and were rear ended by a rollback carrying one car and towing another because they had slowed down for accidents in FRONT of them, and he was not paying attention. The 18 year old driving, is paralyzed for life..and right now is in a hospital fighting for his life. My son in law also had a neck broken in 2 places..just a disc away from paralyzation himself. Surely people who live here realize there are MANY accidents especially where 66 ends in Shen Co. There HAS to be a rescue squad as close to 81 as this one is...not to mention the GROWTH of Strasburg in the last few years..it is almost a city now. Far better to re-train personnel than just shut them down...they obviously have hearts like my father who was a firefighter did..and are willing to do all they can to save a life. There is no great glory or pay for their work. Except perhaps by those who thank them for their help. BOOT something else out of your budget that is not as imporatant as saving lives in my opinion...Cathy

  • Happens!!! Dont cry over volunteers who think they are doing us such a wonderful service! Yes there are a hand full that truely do what the do for the right reasons, but beneath that there is the biggest political cut throat crap you have ever seen. Mis management, dishonesty, people with private agendas that dont meet the mission of helping to care for others in need;Do you think the the local officials would take such a drastic step if there wern;t reasons to do so. Most of these agencies implode on themselves, running good volunteers off with cut throat tactics that kill them selves internally. And who are they accountable to?????? Bottom line no body but them selves. It is the year 2009, not 1972. It is time the public gets a service that is up tp modern standards and not based on a few pinn heads agenda. Dont get me wrong some of these folks are top knotch, but I bet they are the minority of the group. To only respond to 15% of the calls for service is totaly bogus. How about if you called for a cop and they only came 15% of the time, Kudos for the county to step in and have a set of Kuhonas and start the process to develop a service that will meet the needs of the citizens. Yes it will cost tax dollars, but doesnt trash removal, police protection. So why complain about medical services that will be there when your heart attack hits you in the middle of the night, or your child is choking and only has minutes to live. If you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen!

  • SCFR didnt do crap it was the Board of Supervisors...reread the statement on who shut them down....second the county should get NONE OF THAT MONEY.. the volunteers spent time away from their families to raise that money NOT THE COUNTY and as for SCFR i dont see them raising money away from their families as a former volunteer in this county it takes a lot of your life to do this and i dont think the county or the citizens understand that. Volunteers spend many hours away from family, not only when raising money but when running calls. I agree with SVRS with perusing this in a court matter. WTG

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