A Mount Airy Rescue Squad fundraiser will be on the menu Aug. 14 when Chick-fil-A from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
According to Rescue Squad Assistant Chief Nathan Webb, 10 percent sales that evening will go to benefit the squad. He said squad members will give demonstrations and answer questions about what the group’s rescue activities during the event as well.
Rescue vehicles and gear will also be on display and free instruction on “hands only” Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation will be part of the event. He said the classes will not go towards American Heart Certification.
“The opportunity for question and answer sessions is popular,” said Webb. “They (the public) don’t often get to ask us questions.”
He said squad members enjoy talking with community members about their job, which is important in light of the misconceptions the public can get from portrayals of rescue squads on movies and television. He said contrary to popular portrayals, rescue squad members are not emergency medical service (EMS) members. They serve as backup to EMS and are primarily concerned with rescues in their 177-square-mile district.
Webb said members regularly train and are certified in a variety of rescue area specialties such as water rescue and confined space rescues. Mount Airy squad members typically are required to have 36 hours of additional rescue training yearly and must completed 92 hours of medical instruction every four years.
He said the fundraiser hails back to a group of citizens who raised money and purchased a Jaws of Life which was the city’s first rescue tool. This piece of equipment is still in use and is operated by two squad members. It’s modern equivalent can be operated by a single person.
One constant for squads is training to meet the demands of specialized rescue situations, such as trench rescues. He said the squad logs more than 200 hours of community service yearly with demonstrations, talks in schools and other events. He explained all five of Surry County’s rescue squad groups are certified at medium standards and said he hopes Mount Airy will earn a heavy standard by the end of this year.
Earning a heavy rescue standard or accreditation allows rescue squads to work with even more types of equipment, such as wooden cribbing, to stabilize vehicles in dangerous situations. Webb said the nearest units certified to heavy standards are Yadkin County and Forsyth County Emergency Services.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.