Work to revive rescue squad continues

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Past Hillsville Rescue Squad members will try to revive the agency by the end of the year.

The efforts have support of the full Hillsville Town Council and Sulphur Springs District representative Frieda Jessup, who served as a squad volunteer before it was shut down about four years ago.

At the town council meeting Sept. 8, Jessup reported as other former members Jeff Sexton and Robert Harrison watched from the audience that some preliminary work on resuscitating the rescue squad is in the works.

They are seeking a doctor to work with the squad, and they have lined up people willing to teach emergency medical technician training classes, she said.

Members want the town's permission to try to relaunch the rescue squad again. "Give us until the first of the year, a chance to get it running again."

Jessup is willing to get involved herself to help put the rescue squad back together.

"We're only willing to re-open if we have good staff."

Jessup moved for the town to support the effort, and Council member Orba Alderman seconded it for discussion. He asked how the squad would work.

Town Manager Larry South said he'd discuss the dispatching protocols with Joe Roma, Carroll's emergency services coordinator.

Hillsville rescue would be the first agency dispatched in the town limits, the town manager said. After one minute without a response, volunteers would get a second tone.

After two minutes and no volunteer has answered, Carroll EMS would be dispatched, South said.

Carroll would also respond for advanced life support calls.

The squad would be staffed at all times, so a full staff is crucial.

"A lot of people have put applications in, and others are interested in working as associate members if we re-open.

"I'd like to see it opened back up I think they saved my life one time" said Mayor Bill Tate, referring to a past heart attack.

Alderman agreed, as did Council member Greg Yonce.

"I think everybody wanted it," he said, before council unanimously voted for the motion.

A motion was not required, but council members did so as a gesture of support.

"You heard that," Tate said, smiling, after the vote. "Get to work."