The Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation and its leadership recognize that in order to help preserve and enhance the remarkable and unique volunteer-based rescue system in the City of Virginia Beach, it must be an active contributor to its well-being and future. With that mission in mind, the Foundation initiates and funds programs in support of these dedicated volunteers and their squads.
The following are the programs/initiatives currently funded and directed by the Foundation:
Volunteer Recruitment Initiative – Since 2007, the Foundation has invested almost
$2.5 million on creating and enhancing a recruitment website (livesneedsaving.org) along with supporting a continuous media campaign that has brought over 500 new volunteer operational members. In the fall of 2009 a full time recruitment coordinator was hired to support this initiative. To date over 8,000 request have come through the livesneedsaving.org website seeking information on joining.
Grant Program: Since 2009, the Foundation has funded a grant program to support all volunteer rescue squads. To date have distributed over $5.5 million. In 2017 grants were awarded to Council of Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads, Kempsville VRS, Ocean Park VRS, Princess Anne Courthouse VRS, Virginia Beach VRS and Virginia Beach Volunteer Water Rescue Team.
Volunteer Leadership Initiative – 40 graduates to date. In 2009 the Foundation began sponsoring daylong seminars to enhance and encourage leadership skills among volunteer squad membership. The seminar offers DISC Leadership Assessment and provides CEU credits for volunteer members
Volunteer System-Wide Annual Retreat – Hosted for the last ten years. Annually for last ten years the Foundation has hosted a retreat/forum bringing together volunteer squad leadership with VB EMS and Foundation leadership to address current topics and issues facing the volunteer rescue system. The 2016 retreat in April had over 50 participants.
Volunteer Retention Initiative – Since 2008, the Foundation has sponsored media recognition of volunteer rescue members. By funding media recognition of volunteer rescue members on a bi-weekly schedule through the Beacon and Pilot Online promotions along with annual full page recognition in the Virginian Pilot during National EMS Week in May.
Community Outreach Program – Since 2006, the Foundation has funded free monthly community CPR/First Aid classes. To date almost 2,000 members of the community have been trained in CPR through this program.
Langhorne & Pulley Scholarship Program – Since 2009, the Foundation, together with the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad has offered scholarships for volunteer rescue squad members and their dependents. In 2017 eight scholarships were awarded.
Public Relations and Marketing – Since 2005 have supported ongoing media campaign to enhance community awareness of volunteer-based EMS system via local TV, radio and print. In spring 2013, initiated the first collaborative fundraising effort among City’s volunteer rescue squads. Continue to support through targeted marketing efforts in support of effort.
Advocacy Initiative – Since 2006, the Foundation has funded support of a year-round advocate in the Virginia General Assembly. This advocate is also charged with advocating at city, state and federal levels for local, regional and statewide volunteer rescue systems.