Virginia Tech Rescue Squad member Ryan Johnson, a senior from Midlothian, Virginia, was named Collegiate Emergency Services Provider of the Year.

Johnson, an industrial and systems engineering major, received the award during the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation's annual conference in Baltimore on Feb. 28. His active participation on the rescue squad and level of training were noted during the award ceremony.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but the award says a lot about the hard work of the entire rescue squad. We have a group of people who are dedicated to making campus better. We always work to try and improve ourselves and the squad,” Johnson said.

The rescue squad received several other recognitions during the conference.

  • Virginia Tech was recognized as a HeartSafe campus, becoming only the second university in Virginia to receive such designation. The recognition reflected the rescue squad’s training efforts and its work to increase the number of Automated External Defibrillators placed on campus.
  • The rescue squad received a bronze commendation from the foundation’s EMS Ready Campus program. The program is designed to recognize excellence in emergency management and disaster preparedness of collegiate EMS organizations.  
  • The foundation recognized the squad’s website as the Website of the Year. The site was redesigned in 2014 and helps serve as a vital connection to the university community.
  • And, a team of rescue squad members won first place in the Advanced Life Support Skills Competition during the conference. They competed against teams from other universities and were judged by their ability to manage three different medical scenarios. Team members included Johnson; Priya Ganesh, a junior from Oakton, Virginia, studying biological science; Sarah Higginbotham, a junior from Fairfax, Virginia, studying human nutrition, food and exercise; and Brett Riddle, a senior from Chantilly, Virginia, studying biological science .

“The awards presented to the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad show just how much this group lives by Ut Prosim (that I may serve) every day. The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is a very unique student run volunteer organization that is made up of determined individuals,” said rescue squad captain Stephen Bennett, a senior from Covington, Virginia, majoring in forestry.

The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad has 45 students who volunteer on top of their academic studies and other activities. The squad has served the Virginia Tech community since 1969 and is the oldest collegiate rescue squad in Virginia and the second oldest in the nation.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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