Lancaster supervisors discuss rescue squad recruitment, retention strategies

Madison White Franks

by Madison White Franks

LANCASTER—Lancaster supervisors determined the dire need for recruitment and retention strategies within the county’s paid and volunteer rescue squads at a special work session last Thursday.

Leadership from the county-paid emergency services (EMS) staff, Kilmarnock-Lancaster Volunteer Rescue Squad (KLVRS) and Upper Lancaster Volunteer Rescue Squad (ULVRS) met with the board of supervisors at the request of chairman Bill Lee and District 5 supervisor Bob Westbrook, who serves as the director of emergency services.

They want to know the state of emergency services countywide, future plans and needs.

EMS interim chief Matt Smith, EMS captain Sofia Welch, KLVRS vice president Matt Walker, KLVRS captain Dawn Thompsen, ULVRS captain Alex Symons, ULVRS president Judy Hammell and Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital EMS coordinator Gary Samuels also attended.

There are problems on the career side with retaining emergency medical technicians (EMTs), said Smith. The paid staff is down six positions including two full time positions.

ULVRS needs five EMTs and Kilmarnock needs six. However, they are in the process of training people to take these positions.

EMT training classes require a lot…