BETHESDA, MD.--The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, Inc., responded to 75 calls for fire, rescue and emergency medical assistance during the historic blizzard. The calls included vehicle collisions, a partial roof collapse, medical emergencies, faulty carbon monoxide detectors, and persons stranded in a malfunctioning elevator.
“We experienced a steady demand for emergency assistance throughout the blizzard,” said Chief Edward G. Sherburne. “Thankfully, the vast majority of residents heeded the advice to stay indoors, which made our job much easier,” Sherburne added.
Sixty-three (63) B-CC Rescue Squad volunteer paramedics, firefighters, and EMTs were on duty for a combined 1,600 hours at the Rescue Squad’s station from Friday evening until Tuesday morning. Because travel to and from the station was difficult for volunteer personnel, many stayed in the station throughout the storm, working 12-14 hour rotating shifts. In addition, because so many volunteers were on duty, the Rescue Squad was able to put extra ambulance and paramedic units in service and to “upstaff” units with more than the normal complement of personnel. “The volunteer model allows us to upstaff for significant incidents like Superstorm Jonas, providing a “surge” capacity of increased emergency service to our community when it matters most,” said Chief Sherburne. “I could not be more proud of the dedicated service and commitment of our volunteers.”
Now in its 76th year, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad is a community-supported non-profit organization that provides professional fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Maryland, area, as well as Upper Northwest Washington, D.C. The B-CC Rescue Squad operates a fleet of ambulances, advanced life support (paramedic) units, heavy fire/rescue squads, and incident command units. The Squad responds to all types of emergency incidents, including injuries, illnesses, heart attacks, vehicle collisions, house fires, and many others.
Relying on 150 professionally-trained volunteers, the Squad staffs seven “night crews” that respond to incidents during evenings, nights, and weekends and supplement a paid staff on weekdays. The Squad’s fleet, with a replacement cost of more than $3 million, includes seven (7) ambulance/medic units, two (2) heavy rescue squads, one (1) medic chase car, as well as utility and command vehicles. In addition, the Squad's volunteer staffing saves County taxpayers an estimated $3 million annually.
The B-CC Rescue Squad is registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the Squad are tax-deductible as allowable by law.