Volunteer Rescue Squads Short on Money: State cuts cause concern - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Volunteer Rescue Squads Short on Money: State cuts cause concern

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Volunteer rescue squads across the state are dealing with a monetary crisis. A proposed cut in state funding is just the latest challenge. Donations are down, and costs are rising. Now one local rescue squad is considering billing for ambulance rides. Many volunteer and paid EMS services already charge for transport to the hospital. 

Not so for the Forest View Rescue Squad, which serves parts of Chesterfield and Richmond. But Operations Manager Walter Stephens says the free rides could soon be a thing of the past. 

"We can see that our operating expenses can only sustain us for so long. That's why we have investigated the revenue recovery so that we could sustain our organization long-term," said Stephens. 

A decline in donations, fueled by the recession, has contributed to the problem, as have rising costs of fuel and equipment. Now, the proposed shift of state money away from the Four for Life fund. That fund provides training at no cost to both volunteer squads and paid fire and EMS personnel. 

"Last year, our agency was responsible for hosting 290 training classes and training 3,050 people," said Kenny Fernier. 

Kenny Fernier is with the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads, the group that coordinates the training. He says if the four for life funds are not restored; training classes would have to be scaled back or eliminated. 

"In some localities, the training we provide is the only training that they get," he said. 

"We depend on that money on a monthly basis," said Stephens. 

Stephens says if forest view does decide to start charging for ambulance service, nothing else will change for the people they serve. 

"We're still out there to answer the calls no matter what when you dial 911. It just means that we may ask for insurance information when we show up on scene," Stephens said. 

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Congress settles for stopgap to avoid government shutdown

    Sunday, April 30 2017 2:54 AM EDT2017-04-30 06:54:17 GMT
    Sunday, April 30 2017 2:54 AM EDT2017-04-30 06:54:17 GMT

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>

    President Donald Trump seems destined to serve his 100th day in office without House passage of a Republican health care bill or enactment of a budget financing the government for the rest of this year.

    More >>
  • Hanover's Sam Rogers drafted by Rams

    Hanover's Sam Rogers drafted by Rams

    Saturday, April 29 2017 11:58 PM EDT2017-04-30 03:58:56 GMT

    Former Hanover High School and Virginia Tech star Sam Rogers was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday. 

    More >>

    Former Hanover High School and Virginia Tech star Sam Rogers was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    1 dead after two-vehicle crash in Hanover County

    1 dead after two-vehicle crash in Hanover County

    Saturday, April 29 2017 8:49 PM EDT2017-04-30 00:49:34 GMT

    One person has died after a two-vehicle crash in western Hanover County Saturday night.

    More >>

    One person has died after a two-vehicle crash in western Hanover County Saturday night.

    More >>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Teen with cerebral palsy denied prom tickets

    Friday, April 28 2017 10:36 PM EDT2017-04-29 02:36:27 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:00 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:00:47 GMT
    Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)Ashley Hamblin already has her dress picked out, but may not be able to wear it. (WSMV)

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>

    She has her dress, her date, and an extensive hair and makeup plan. It’s all in anticipation of her high school prom, but a Middle Tennessee teen was denied tickets.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly