Meet the Volunteers
The Pittsylvania County Public Safety System depends on many community fire and rescue agencies, which are manned and operated by volunteers. These dedicated citizens spend hundreds of hours completing training, responding on a moment's notice to emergencies around the clock, and fundraising to ensure that their department has what it needs.
When the average citizen calls 911, they have no idea who will show up to help them through their emergency. Whether it's a weekday morning, the middle of the night, or Christmas morning, Pittsylvania County volunteers are always ready to respond to an emergency. Here are a few of the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that sacrifice their time to provide quality and quick fire and EMS coverage.
The fire and rescue agencies across Pittsylvania County are always looking for new volunteers. If you want to help keep your community safe, please fill out the
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Emily Fowler, Paramedic with Blairs Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Late in 2020 Emily responded to a call for someone choking. Soon after the crew arrived, the patient went into cardiac arrest, and Emily jumped into action and began performing CPR, ultimately bringing the patient's pulse back.
"It was pretty awesome because that doesn't happen very often," she said. "That's the greatest accomplishment a medic can have is getting someone's pulse back."
As a paramedic that responds to calls as a volunteer with Blairs and as a career EMS provider with Pittsylvania County Public Safety, Emily is always running through scenarios in her mind and planning how she could help her patient in different situations.
"You need to be confident in your skill and know what to do in the event that something turns for the worst with your patient," she said. "You need to know what to do and not have to think about it."
Jordan Keatts, Building and Grounds Lieutenant for Cascade Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Jordan began volunteering with a local fire station about four years ago. Knowing that there weren't enough volunteers and holding a deep desire to help people motivated him to join.
"I'm always doing something for the fire department or I'm running a call… if the call comes out, I'm leaving my dinner table to go run it if I'm available."
Chief Eric Clark described Jordan as "our go-to guy for many things" at the department.
Earlier this year the Cascade station went from a first responder to a transport agency, meaning that it can now transport patients in an ambulance. Jordan, along with three others from his department, is now in the midst of the Rescue Academy with the
so that he can become a certified EMT.
Bryan Fox, Chairman of the Board at Mount Cross Volunteer Fire & Rescue and Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Commission:
Carolyn Jarrett, Chief at Brosville Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Carolyn Jarrett moved her way through the ranks of the Brosville Volunteer Fire Department over the last two decades, and three years ago she became the first and only female chief in all of Pittsylvania County. Many of her department members had been encouraging her to run to be chief for years.
"My peers, my fellow firefighters, they've got to have a lot of confidence in me to think that I can do that," she said.
Despite all the administrative work, financial decisions, and fundraising, Jarrett still responded to 360 calls in 2020, which equates to just under one call per day.
"I'm still there and putting in as much as I can. I tell my members that I'm not going to ask them to do anything that I would not do."
Tim Maness, Assistant Chief at Callands Volunteer Fire and Rescue
When Tim was asked to become the chaplain of Callands Volunteer Fire and Rescue in 2012, he stepped into that role with no intention of becoming a volunteer to run calls. But the more that he worked with the volunteers at the station, the more he saw the need for more volunteers.
"At that point I began to pursue training to fill other roles in the department," Tim, now a firefighter and Emt, said.
In the years since, Tim has maintained his role of chaplain, while also taking on positions like EMS Captain and now Assistant Chief. He invests his time and has completed the necessary training "so I could be involved in every facet of the department." And actually responding to fires and medical emergencies has helped him to be an even better chaplain.
"I go into the fire with them. I understand. I've been there, I've been on the tough calls."