Pittsylvania County is served by a network of 21 volunteer fire departments and 12 volunteer rescue squads. Each of these agencies are run from top-to-bottom primarily by dedicated volunteers, who are responsible for everything from fundraising to keeping equipment maintained to actually responding to calls. Whether it be for a medical emergency, a brush or house fire, or any other emergency, volunteers from various agencies are dispatched to respond to every 911 call.
Over the past several years, the number of 911 calls for emergency medical services has grown exponentially. For instance, the number of EMS calls per month in FY 2021 has increased by 100 just since the previous fiscal year.
At the same time, the number of trained volunteers with availability to respond to calls has declined. This decrease in available, trained volunteers can largely be attributed to increased, more rigid training requirements along with people having less time due to work and family requirements. The cost of equipment and operations has also grown significantly, meaning that these agencies have to put more time into raising money to keep the equipment running.