Low Participation leads Brookneal Rescue Squad to Disband

After more than four decades of service to the community, the Brookneal Rescue Squad announced today it is disbanding at the end of the month.

For years, the Brookneal Rescue Squad has been working to save lives in their community. For squad president Wayne Rudder, today's announcement is bittersweet, saying that "This is something that is very emotional for all of us. We didn't take it lightly."

Rudder says volunteer participation has been diminishing, due to ever-increasing time demands on volunteers, as well as increased training requirements. After 44 years, he says, the writing was on the wall. Rudder continued, "We've got a nice building, good equipment, but it's just -- the demands on volunteers, the time, it's just so hard now, we just couldn't continue."

Finding, training, and keeping volunteers active is a problem at rescue squads across the country. Campbell County Public Safety Director Tracy Fairchild says the need for volunteers is greater than ever. Last year alone, Campbell County responded to over ten thousand EMS calls, and is on track for more in 2014.

Campbell County's paid EMS staff, along with 5 other volunteer agencies, will continue to provide service to Brookneal, to help make the transition as smooth as possible. For Wayne Rudder, he says community businesses in Campbell, Halifax, and Charlotte Counties kept his squad going, something for which he is extremely thankful, saying that the work done in keeping his crew going is a community effort.