Rescue Squad Growth

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

Rockingham County's population has increased 41 percent since 1970. For years, local rescue squads have been scrambling to keep up. Now, they're getting there.

"I can remember the days when we had a small number of vehicles, a small number of people and a small number of calls-it doesn't seem like that long ago," Becky Anhold of Bridgewater's Rescue Squad says.

It may not have been, the area's population is exploding, Bridgewater's now going out on four times as many calls as they were 25 years ago.

"Because we've seen an increase in the number of calls we've had to increase the number of vehicles ready to respond so we're busting at the seams," Anhold says.

That's where the new building will come in, it'll be twice as big, house 14 ambulances and sleep 16.

A few miles away, construction is underway for Harrisonburg's new Rescue Squad building.

"The community's growing we need to try and keep up with the community. As we grow, our vehicle fleet grows and we have to park things in the parking lot now, so the new building we'll be able to keep our vehicles inside," Jackson Baynard of Harrisonburg's Rescue Squad says.

Elkton doesn't just need more room-they need a second station to keep up with the area's growing population.

"We've never had a year that has been down in call volume-it's been up about 100-150 calls a year-so that's a significant increase-I think with the development going on here especially in McGaheysville I think we're going to see that number increase even more," Thomas Schroeder, of Elkton's Rescue Squad says.

Right now almost half of Elkton's calls are from seven miles away in McGaheysville.

"We're just trying to cut down on response time be a little bit faster to the community," Schroeder says.

You've got to remember, all of this costs money. The projects have a price tag of more than $1 million. They're looking to the community for help.


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