Letter to Our Community
Dear Neighbors and Friends:
We are writing to update you on recent developments at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. These include significant investments in new emergency response vehicles, enhanced recruitment and retention initiatives, and major changes in our annual fundraising efforts.
Changes in Fundraising and Community Outreach
This month, our Board of Directors voted to eliminate the requirement that active volunteers with fewer than 10 years of service solicit door-to-door donations. While our annual Fund Drive solicitation program has been an important part of our fundraising efforts for many decades, we believe it is time to move to a more modern development program that includes a broad mix of contributions from residents, local businesses, foundations and philanthropic organizations, and Squad members and alumni. Over the past several years, we have moved to a year-round development campaign, which has increased our overall level of donations. We wish to thank all who have generously contributed in the past and appreciate the continued financial support.
On the operational side, relieving this obligation on our active personnel will allow them to devote more time to staffing apparatus, training, and other readiness efforts. Hundreds of hours previously devoted to door-to-door solicitation will now be spent on our efforts to improve our emergency service to the community.
What does this mean for residents? Residents in our response area will no longer be visited by a uniformed BCCRS volunteer soliciting donations at the door. Rather, residents will receive one or more fundraising letters or brochures in the mail. If you would like a uniformed volunteer to come to your home to make a donation, provide feedback on our services, or for any other reason, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay connected with our community, we will send one or more newsletters to local residents (which provide far more substantive information than can be conveyed in a brief conversation on the doorstep). We plan to use more modern communications methods, including our website (www.bccrs.org) and social media (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram) to keep in touch with our community and other stakeholders. We also look forward to meeting people and answering questions at community events that we support, including this year's Rescue Day at BCCRS (Saturday, October 6, 2018), the Rescue 1 Run 8K race, National Night Out, community parades and public events. Requests for BCCRS personnel and/or units to attend such events can be sent to email@example.com.
New Ambulances to Upgrade Our Fleet
In May, we placed in service two new state-of-the-art ambulances to serve the residents, businesses and visitors to the Bethesda and Chevy Chase communities. The units, which cost approximately $325,000 each, will run as Ambulance 741 and Medic 741 and serve as the Squad's primary units for responding to medical emergencies. Each new unit features all LED and computer-controlled lighting, solid-state wiring, suction and oxygen systems. The interior is designed with our patients and providers in mind, featuring double-wide benches and easy-access medication drawers to make medical interventions faster.
Recruitment and Retention Initiatives
Recruiting, training and retaining volunteers are essential to providing high-quality emergency services. This year, we launched two professionally produced recruitment videos, one focusing on EMS personnel (EMTs and paramedics), the other on firefighters/rescuers. Both videos feature active volunteers in real-world operational scenarios. Please check them out on our website – www.bccrs.org.
Late this year, we will begin internal renovations to our building at 5020 Battery Lane to provide improved quarters for volunteers who live at the rescue squad. Historically, live-in volunteers have provided much of our volunteer staffing, and these upgraded living quarters should increase our recruitment and retention of live-in members.
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If you have questions or comments about these developments, or on any other issues, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Directors