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Per state regulations, all of our members are at least EMT-Basics. All of our members are also required to maintain American Heart Association CPR certification. We encourage our membership to seek higher certifications if they feel comfortable. Because of this, over half of our members have advanced life support certifications.
BVRS is very proud of its emphasis on training. We encourage our members to seek as much training in their areas of interest as possible. Since most of our members have to take time away from their “real” jobs to obtain EMS related training, we try to lessen the cost of training by providing the financial costs of classes.
Like all medical providers, EMS providers are required to take continuing education classes throughout the year. BVRS offers at least 10 classes a year that help our members collect the hours needed. We draw from a large pool of instructors that include doctors from both the hospital and the community, flight medics, and our own members who have specialized training. We also send many of our members to Rescue College, Convention and EMS Symposium each year.
Because of our emphasis on training, BVRS owns many different training tools. It is not odd for our members to be found with a room full of mannequins and tools practicing for real life emergencies.
Since we function within the Town of Blacksburg, BVRS does at least one training a year to simulate a large scale disaster within the town. These drills help us prepare to interface with other public safety entities as well as the transportation and public works departments.
Every new member and every member that advances to a higher level of care must go through a rigorous precepting program. This program is a combination of hands on skills and demonstration of a full understanding of our operational protocols. Only after a probate or preceptee proves that they are competent and comfortable with providing patient care, are they allowed to practice in the back of an ambulance.
BVRS provides its own Heavy Technical Rescue. This means that we extricate patients from crushed vehicles, collapsed buildings, and collapsed ditches. We also rescue people from falls that require rope skills. While HTR training is not required for all of our members, we do encourage everyone to find their own niche in HTR.
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