Active Shooter Response: How BVRS Responds

"Active Shooter" situations are a hot topic in the first responder community. In short, an active shooter situation is an event where one or more assailants is engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a building or other space. Historically the standard response for these events has been for law enforcement to respond, secure the scene, clear the entire building, and only after law enforcement guarantees that the building is completely secure would EMS enter the building and begin treating injured people. This falls in line with the EMS mantra "scene safe-B.S.I" that has been drilled into our minds since our first EMT class. Unfortunately, waiting for the scene to be completely secure means that patients lay there suffering and dying. Study of these events shows that the more rapidly critical interventions can be performed after onset, the more lives can be saved, and at Blacksburg Rescue, that's what we are all about!

We have been refining our Rescue Task Force model for several years. Rescue Task Force is our solution to active shooter situations. We have partnered with local and regional law enforcement to create a safe method to access and treat patients. We have carried out successful RTF trainings with law enforcement in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford, and look forward to sharing this program with the EMS community. Yes, there is absolutely some risk involved in this response. There is risk in everything we do. When we start and IV, there is risk. When we extricate patients from cars, there is risk. Every time we open up the bay doors and respond to another 911 call from our community, there is risk. We mitigate each and every risk by identifying the problem, studying the potential outcomes, developing a means to respond, and training heavily to mitigate those risks.

The Journal of Emergency Medical Services recently published an article by William P. Fabbri, MD, FACEP entitled FBI's View to Improving Survival in Active Shooter Events. This article reinforces the Rescue Task Force concept we wrote about in May, 2013 Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad Partners with Police to Create Rescue Task Force. Each community is different, and no single approach can be applied to all public safety agencies. Nevertheless, we encourage our partners in public safety to look at all of the data surrounding active shooter response and develop an appropriate response to protect your communities.

If you are interested in learning more about the Blacksburg Rescue RTF Model, please contact Captain English for more information.

BVRS Featured in the May 2014 Edition of "JEMS"BVRS Featured in the May 2014 Edition of "JEMS"

New Station Groundbreaking

BVRS GroundbreakingBVRS Groundbreaking
Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad would like to formally invite each and every one of you to our official Groundbreaking Celebration! We have been working very hard with the Town of Blacksburg, WMA Architects, and Omega Construction to design our new home, and we are excited to kick off construction with our community.

The event will be held on October 25th, 2014 from 10am-1pm at our new location on the corner of Patrick Henry Drive and Progress Street in Blacksburg, VA. Parking will be available nearby (please do not park in the adjacent neighborhoods) and the site is easily accessible by Blacksburg Transit.

In addition to comments from Mayor Ron Rordam and other distinguished guests, the celebration will include ambulance and rescue truck tours, tours of the new station layout, children's activities including bouncy houses, coloring, face-painting, and food from Hethwood Market.

We hope you mark your calendars to join us for this monumental occasion. If you have any questions about the design and construction of our new facility, be sure to check out our web page at BVRS New Station.

For event updates and to RSVP, head on over to our Facebook page at The BVRS Groundbreaking Ceremony.

We are raising money to equip the new facility with furniture, training materials, and other equipment to enable us to serve the community. If you are able to support us, please click here.

Big Rig Rescue Training

Several of our rescue technicians recently attended Big Rig Rescue training through Central Carolina Community College. The two-day course, held at the Wake County Fire Training Center in North Carolina, was an excellent opportunity for our crew to practice how to respond to incidents involving large vehicles. BVRS handles these types of incidents as part of our technical rescue responsibilities in the Town of Blacksburg and surrounding portion of Montgomery County.

Trash Truck On CarTrash Truck On Car
Blacksburg sees a significant amount of heavy vehicle traffic on a daily basis. Route 460 is a major artery for truck traffic from the Port of Virginia to points west. With all of the growth and construction in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, and the surrounding areas, we are seeing more heavy vehicles in town than ever before. With this training we are better prepared to respond to incidents with heavy vehicles.

Under TrailerUnder Trailer
Trailer LiftTrailer Lift

If you are interested in seeing more about the Big Rig Rescue class, check out this video.

Creating an Emergency Supply Kit

September is almost over but there is still one more day left in National Preparedness Month. In honor of this, we would like to share FEMA’s Emergency Supply List to help you create an Emergency Supply Kit for your family. Creating an Emergency Supply Kit will help prepare you and your family for potential natural disasters as well as other large scale events.

FEMA’s Emergency Supply List (
Recommended items:
-Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
-Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
-Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-First aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
-Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
-Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
-Local maps
Additional items for consideration:
-Prescription medications and glasses
-Infant formula and diapers
-Pet food and extra water for your pet
-Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
-Cash or traveler’s checks and change
-Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from
-Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
-Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
-Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (When diluted nine parts water
to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to
treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not
use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.)
-Fire Extinguisher
-Matches in a waterproof container
-Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
-Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
-Paper and pencil
-Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

An Emergency Supply Kit is just one of many steps towards having a full Emergency Plan for your family. Will be sharing additional steps and suggestions on our blog and Facebook page. Feel free to check out FEMA’s site ( for more information in the mean time.

Jessica Bulloss
Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue

New Building

Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad has called 200 Progress Street home since 1957. The town and surrounding county has grown significantly since the 1950’s and so has our agency. As our community grew bigger we added more ambulances to cover emergency calls. We started by responding to calls from work or home, but for many years we have had 24/7 coverage by dedicated in-house crews. In addition to housing our crews and equipment, our facility has hosted countless hours of medical training for area volunteers and the community as a whole. If you spend much time around our crew you’ll quickly notice that we are more than a bunch of EMTs, we are a family. Our family is excited to be working with the Town of Blacksburg on the design and construction of a new rescue station, our new home!

The Town of Blacksburg is providing us with a new station at the corner of Progress Street and Patrick Henry Drive, just up the street from our existing station. Here are a few features of our new facility.
-A 10,000 square foot apparatus bay
-Four bunk rooms (to house our growing crews)
-Dedicated training spaces
-Improved meeting spaces for meetings, trainings, and community events
-Increased parking capacity
-Additional administrative space
-More storage for our training and technical rescue equipment

We will be talking more about this project right here on our blog, so be sure to follow us on Facebook!


Will Bulloss
1st Lt. Facilities
Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad

To make a donation click here.


Welcome to Blacksburg Rescue!

BVRS is pleased to be the sole provider of Pre-hospital Emergency Medical Care to the Town of Blacksburg and the northern portion of Montgomery County. Since our founding, we have been providing quality care to our neighbors. Our providers are all volunteers with State Emergency Medical Services certifications and our services are always free. Each of our members considers it a privilege to provide this vital service to our community.

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