Meet the Volunteers
The Pittsylvania County Public Safety System depends on many community fire and rescue agencies, which are manned and operated by volunteers. These dedicated citizens spend hundreds of hours completing training, responding on a moment's notice to emergencies around the clock, and fundraising to ensure that their department has what it needs.
When the average citizen calls 911, they have no idea who will show up to help them through their emergency. Whether it's a weekday morning, the middle of the night, or Christmas morning, Pittsylvania County volunteers are always ready to respond to an emergency. Here are a few of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that sacrifice their time to provide quality and quick fire and EMS coverage.
Elaine Moore, first lieutenant at Chatham Rescue Squad.
Even though she had no medical experience, Elaine Moore decided that she wanted to volunteer over 20 years ago because calls for help would come through the pager that belonged to her son, a volunteer at Climax Fire Department, and nobody would be available to help.
"I just got tired of hearing his pager and nobody going to help," she said.
After receiving her certification to provide basic life support, she volunteered with Climax for over a decade before switching to Chatham Rescue Squad so that she could provide transport service. In addition to running many calls, she now serves as the first lieutenant, which means that she is also in charge of much of the billing for the department. Since retiring from her post as a special education teacher several years ago Moore has invested even more of her time into the department.
During her time as a volunteer, one of the memories that sticks in her mind is a three-fatality car crash where she knew the people involved. She worked with the lone survivor, who she also knew, and helped him on the ambulance drive to the hospital.
"That stuck in my mind," she said.
David Adkins, Communications Lieutenant at Ringgold Volunteer Fire and Rescue.
Luke Fowler, Firefighter with Blairs Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Larry Morris, President and Assistant Deputy Chief of Hurt Volunteer Fire Department
Amber Stowe, EMS Captain at Brosville Fire and Rescue
Fresh out of high school, Amber Stowe went on a ride along with the Danville Life Saving Crew where she got to watch emergency personnel respond to a stabbing and a cardiac arrest.
"It was definitely intimidating, but it was definitely something that I wanted to learn more and do more for those people," she said.
She immediately began volunteering and pursuing her EMT after that. When she married her husband, she moved into Pittsylvania County and began volunteering first with Tunstall and then Brosville Fire and Rescue. Before they had kids, she and her husband would even get to run calls together. When responding to a call, one of the hardest things can be not knowing the final results.
"Most of the time we don't have a clue what happens with people after we drop them off at the hospital or send them off on a helicopter somewhere. Sometimes you'd like to know obviously… not knowing the final outcome of our patients, sometimes you'd like to know."
Now that she has 13 years of EMT experience under her belt, Amber is taking classes to become certified as a firefighter as well.