Virginia Beach, Va. – Bruce W. Edwards, Virginia Beach EMS Chief, received the 2012 Virginia Gilpin Distinguished Service Award at the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad’s 61st Annual Awards Banquet on January 12.
The award was instituted in 2005 to recognize individuals whose outstanding actions and activities have helped to strengthen and enhance the volunteer rescue squad system in Virginia Beach.
“Chief Edwards’ unrelenting commitment and dedication to the volunteer rescue system in our city has long been recognized as one of the main reasons its longevity and strength endures,” said Kitty Schaum, Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation, who presented the award to Edwards. “He has been, and continues to be, a strong and fierce advocate of this system and the volunteers that sustain it.”
Chief Edwards began his relationship with the system as a volunteer almost 46 years ago. In 1967, he became a member of the Ocean Park Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad and attained Life membership in 1977. In 1973, he assumed the position of Executive Director of the Emergency Coronary Care Program for the volunteer rescue squads, and in 1975 became the Coordinator of EMS. Both positions were the forerunners for what was to become the City of Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. In 1984, Bruce became the EMS Director and Chief.
The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc., as well as the entire volunteer emergency medical system in Virginia’s largest city. It is our vision to advocate for an independent and vital volunteer Virginia Beach rescue system, which provides free pre-hospital emergency care to the citizens and visitors of Virginia Beach. Foundation initiatives include recruitment, retention, advocacy and education efforts, among others. For more information, visit www.vbrescuefoundation.org.