BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad was one of the first EMS teams to respond to the deadly shooting in downtown Blacksburg late Friday night.
When the radio call came in, the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad was ready to jump into action.
Cameron Buck, public information officer for the volunteer rescue squad, said dozens of squad members headed to the supply closet to start packing up.
“I mean just an overwhelming amount of adrenaline for everybody,” he said.
They grabbed their rescue vests and MCI bags. Inside the MCI bag was equipment to stop a patient from bleeding, like trauma dressings and gauze.
Eighteen squad members hopped into five ambulances and rushed to the scene at the Melody Hookah Lounge. With all the sirens and lights, Buck said the job grew more intense.
“Since there were so many people around and walking the streets, it was a very surreal moment,” he said.
The squad members who helped transport the victims to a hospital are all in their 20s. With a Patrick Henry High School student killed and four people injured, including a Virginia Tech student, Buck said it made the job even tougher.
“I’m 22 years old and it’s hard seeing people the same age as me who have the rest of their lives live for. But it’s really hard to see that. It really hits home and it can really happen to anyone,” he added.
Afterward, Blacksburg and Virginia Tech Rescue Squad members returned to the station and took a moment to breathe.
“We were just kind of in a state of shell shock where we were like, ‘What just happened?’ It happened so fast,” Buck said.
Buck said Blacksburg is their home and the squad will always have the passion to protect it.
It was a team effort to handle the shooting. The agencies include the Blacksburg Police, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Tech Police, Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, Virginia State Police, New River Valley 911 Center, the FBI and the US Marshals Service.