While most students look forward to going home for the holidays, a few do look forward to staying behind. The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad operates 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365 days-a-year ⁠— including all breaks.

When class is in session, the student-run, all-volunteer rescue squad is staffed to full capacity with around 40-45 members. Over breaks, the squad has a rotating staff of about five-to-10 members who stay in Blacksburg to serve the on-campus community. At least four members are on duty at all times.

Every member serves some “break duty” throughout the year and many serve on multiple breaks, as well as during the summer. While there is a decrease in call volume during this period, the squad still stays busy with other responsibilities, including serving at Athletics events, teaching classes, and performing administrative work.

“The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is proud to be there for the campus community and our regional emergency medical services partners 365 days-a-year. During Winter Break, on-duty members will be planning ahead for our operations next semester and use the time to work on projects around the station. Off-duty members will enjoy some well-deserved rest,” said Sarah Guida, rescue squad chief.

Since the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad’s inception in 1969, the squad has strived to provide the best possible emergency medical care to the Virginia Tech community. It is the oldest volunteer collegiate rescue squad in the country and the first in the commonwealth of Virginia.

Along with responding to approximately 1,200 emergency calls each year, the squad provides emergency medical services at major university and Athletics events; administers a full CPR/AED, first aid, Stop the Bleed, and EMT-Basic course schedule for the campus community; and manages Virginia Tech’s Public Access Defibrillation (AED) program.

Learn more about the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad.

— Written by Christy Myers

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