Local Rescue Squad Trains New Volunteers

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- They're keeping our community safe and working hard responding to your 911 calls.

A call comes in and these guys hit the road to save a life; for about 150 volunteers working at the Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, it's a thrill that never gets old.

"That's what we're here to do, and every time, I look forward to it," shared volunteer, Meg Sander.

Sander said she has volunteered there since she was 16. She and another volunteer, Elizabeth Thompson, said the people they work with are like a second family.

"I have a family at home, but Harrisonburg Rescue Squad is definitely like a big family," added Thompson.

After nearly 8,000 calls last year, they're always welcoming more volunteers.

Part of their training involves navigating cones in an ambulance.

They also work with a life-sized dummy named “Rescue Randy.”

He weighs about as much as an adult patient and he is used to train volunteers to safely lift and move a patient that they would have to respond to out on a call.

Though it may seem intimidating, for Thompson, who has been here seven months, she says mastering the trade has been made easy. "Even if you're tired it's still rewarding. It's still a wonderful feeling know that you made a difference," Thompson shared.

It's saving lives that keeps people like her and Sander going day after day.

"The rain, the snow, and the difficult conditions, make me more vested in volunteering here," concluded Sander.

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