The Colonial Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad annual awards dinner and installation of officers ceremony began with recognition of long-time squad member Carlton Hudson. Hudson was awarded the chief’s service award and medal in recognition of his 61 years of service to the squad. Hudson’s induction to the VAVRS Hall of Fame in September 2013 was celebrated with a reading of the plaque presented to him. It was noted that Hudson had served on the squad before it ever had a building, that he still serves on the building committee, and that he had held every office except for treasurer and chaplain. He organized the first Junior Rescue Squad in Colonial Beach, has been involved with the purchase of every ambulance, and is the oldest active life member of the VAVRS.
Chief Wesley Melson followed this award with a summation of the squad’s activities for the year, which included responding to over 1,000 calls involving over 36,000 man hours and ambulances travelling just under 90,000 miles. Two video presentations followed, one in honor of Hudson, the other in honor of squad member Pat Fitzgerald.
Guest speaker for the event was Pat Ivey, author of EMT: Beyond the Lights and Sirens. Melson noted that it was Ivye’s book that had influenced his life as a young squad member and encouraged those who had not read it to do so.
Ivey noted that she had never been to the Colonial Beach Rescue Squad, but that in the short time that she had been there that evening that she felt like she was coming home. She told the members that they “epitomized what a community rescue squad is”.
Ivey continued her speech by discussing her fear of becoming a rescue worker until her own son had been lost overnight. She said that at that time she decided to pay back what others had done for her in finding him and she became an EMT. She said that during her time as an EMT and later as an instructor that she kept a journal mainly writing about peripheral things on the calls such as the looks on peoples faces and the smells you encountered. She indicated that her impetus for writing the book came from her cardiac tech instructor when he said one night that “most people don’t know what you do”, referring to the work of EMTs. Her book was an attempt to change that. Her second book was a compilation of stories of her EMT stu