To the citizens of Madison County,
Almost a year ago, the Madison County Rescue Squad and the Madison County Board of Supervisors entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding concerning the joint provision of emergency medical services in Madison County. The new Memorandum of Understanding replaced an existing agreement that had been in place for 22 years. The terms of both agreements involved and addressed the cooperative provision of emergency medical services by the Madison County Department of Emergency Services and the Rescue Squad.
During the past year under the new agreement, volunteers of the Rescue Squad have run dozens of calls for emergency services in response to motor vehicle and other accidents and other medical emergencies in Madison County. Every volunteer had received the required training and certification from the Commonwealth of Virginia. While the Rescue Squad operated under and followed the directions of the County’s Emergency Services management under the new Memorandum of Understanding, on Aug. 12, 2021, without any prior discussion, the Rescue Squad leadership received an email communication from the Board of Supervisors terminating the agreement. As a consequence of the decision, after 58 years, the Madison County Rescue Squad will no longer be able to provide emergency medical services to the citizens of Madison County. All emergency medical services, including transports to area hospitals, will be provided by the Madison County EMS Department.
Over the 58 years of service, the number of county residents who have given their time and energy as Rescue Squad emergency volunteers and auxiliary members is almost beyond comprehension and belief. These unselfish individuals have undertaken these efforts, sometimes at risk to themselves and while away from family and regular activities. They were called out in the middle of the night, on holidays, and in every kind of weather that is common to Central Virginia. Many interrupted their work day and sacrificed financially to assist their fellow citizens and travelers moving through the county over our local highways. Members of the auxiliary worked countless hours preparing meals for fundraisers and working in the community. It has truly been an all-volunteer effort.
The Rescue Squad leadership would also like to recognize and thank the citizens and friends of Madison County who reached out with their financial and other support. This support by the community allowed our citizens to have a volunteer organization that gave rise to pride in our community and recognition from similar organizations from around Virginia. Most of all, it allowed our volunteers to assist people suffering from injuries and health problems and to save lives, our core mission.
The Rescue Squad has been raising funds for a new Emergency Services facility for several years now. As our termination as an emergency services provider takes effect, we will provide information to interested citizens about decisions regarding donations which had been given in support of the new facility. All funds appropriated to the Rescue Squad by Madison County for the specific purpose of the new building, totaling $600,000 and any accrued interest on that sum, will be transferred back to the county. Additionally, squad leadership will listen to public input as it winds down its activities and will make decisions in conjunction with the remaining membership about the organization going forward.
While this is not the outcome we would have desired, it is now the reality. As we deal with that reality, we wish the best for those individuals who will continue to provide for the safety and welfare of the public confronted with emergencies and we can only hope that all of those people and organizations will be as successful in carrying out their mission over the next 58 years as the Madison County Rescue Squad has been over the previous decades.