Bike Team *
The EMS Bike Team was organized in May 1996 and is commanded by Captain John Best as a means to deliver emergency medical services (EMS) in densely crowded or off-road areas where traditional ambulances cannot easily operate. With the large number of mass gathering events such as the American Music Festival, Boardwalk Art Show, July 4th Fireworks, and even just crowded summer weekends on the Boardwalk there is a distinct need in the City for this type of service. The mobility of the bikes allows the teams to quickly reach patients and begin treatment.
The EMS bike team currently uses eight 24-speed mountain bikes with front suspension. Each bike is outfitted with headlight systems, warning lights, rear gear rack and saddlebags to carry equipment. Each team consists of two bikes that together carry a full set of EMS equipment.
Each bike team carries a multitude of first aid equipment including bandages and dressings. They also carry diagnostic equipment like pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitoring equipment, and blood glucose monitors. In addition, each bike team is equipped with an AED to provide the ability to quickly provide a shock in cardiac arrest.
Members of the EMS bike team receive additional training on the use of the bikes and their equipment. Members come from all the City’s volunteer rescue squads.
Duty Field Supervisor *
Commanded by Assistant Chief Nick Askew, the Virginia Beach EMS Field Supervisor Team consists of specially selected and trained volunteer EMS providers who are all members of the City’s volunteer rescue squads. This position assists the Duty Shift Commander (EMS Chief 10) and other field supervisors in managing the Department’s operational resources on a minute-to-minute basis. In addition, these Captains provide command, control, and supervision at significant incidents. In parallel with the other field supervisors they are authorized to modify incident assignments, execute policy, conduct investigations, and initiate corrective actions.
Members of the Field Supervisor Team serve at the pleasure of the Deputy EMS Chief. They are chosen for their demonstrated technical, tactical, cognitive, conflict resolution, and administrative skills. They receive additional training in incident command and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), mass/multiple casualty incident response, and myriad other supervisory training programs. Their continuing education includes regular updates on the capabilities and techniques of all of the City’s emergency response system components.
Marine Rescue *
Commanded by Captain Jim Rose, the Virginia Beach EMS Marine Rescue Team was established in August 1991 to administer a water rescue program which provided for the immediate response and timely arrival of a specially trained and equipped water response dive team. The Marine Rescue Team was the first dive team in Hampton roads to have certified Public Safety Divers thru the nationally recognized Emergency Response Diving International agency. This team has the capability to respond to any and all requests for rescues above and below the water surface, which includes (but is not limited to): boats in distress, drowning/near-drowning victims, vehicles in the water, swimmers in distress, and ice/frozen water rescue.
Consisting of specially trained and certified divers, rescue swimmers and boat Coxswains, the team specializes in search techniques to locate and recover victims from hazardous situations in marine environments. The team is also provides proactive boat patrols along the oceanfront resort areas during the summer and for the numerous special events on and around the waterways of the City.
The Team has several all-weather rescue boats outfitted with state of the art side scan sonars along with a Zodiac boat used for rapid deployment, two jet skis and three response trucks.
- Rescue Boat 1 – 24ft Willard RHIB
- Rescue Boat 2 – 24ft Northwind RHIB
- Rescue Boat 3 – 25ft SAFE Boat
- Rescue Boat 4 – 15.5ft Wing Full-Inflatable
- Rescue Boat 6 – 20ft Sea Ark
The Virginia Beach EMS Marine Rescue Team continues to evolve with the most highly trained, motivated and skilled individuals utilizing the most advanced equipment. Our team consists of members who maintain a minimum certification of crewmember. Members then train towards becoming a boat coxswains, divers, or rescue swimmers. Our members must score a minimum of 12 points on the IARDS Watermanship test (https://www.diverescueintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IADRS-Watermanship-Test-2011.pdf)
No experience is needed to join; training is provided by the Marine Rescue Team. If you are interested in broadening your horizons and becoming a volunteer member of this elite, tightknit group of individuals please contact Captain Jim Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Virginia Beach EMS at (757) 385-1999.
Search and Rescue *
Also commanded by Captain John Best, the Search and Rescue Team provides specially trained and equipped search and rescue personnel to assist police in the search and rescue of lost or non-violent person(s); to apply special procedures and search techniques for locating and removing patients from hazards.
Virginia Beach Department of EMS Search and Rescue Team provide search and rescue and disaster response services to assist people and communities in times of need. This is achieved through the use of professionally trained personnel, certified K9s, and state-of-the-art equipment. We respond to requests from law enforcement, fire safety, and emergency management agencies at the local, state, and national levels. We will also respond to requests for assistance from recognized disaster relief agencies as well as government agencies in other countries. We are a resource for searches for the missing and exploited persons. As a rapid response, internationally deployable group, the team has worked on three continents performing Search and Rescue and disaster response operations.
Virginia Beach Department of EMS Search and Rescue Team incorporate a team of four K9 handlers to enhance our search capabilities for missing people. These dogs are able to follow scent left by lost or missing people over many miles and several days old. Handlers are skilled at interpreting how their dog’s behavior might be affected by wind conditions, ground currents, temperatures, and weather.
For training, K9 handlers incorporate specific scent problems over a variety of obstacles and terrains. Typical training incorporates having the dogs track two to three old scents in a variety of conditions. In order to keep these dogs operationally ready, handlers must train these dogs at least 3 to 4 times a week.
The EMS Search and Rescue Team are available for:
- Lost person searches
- Missing person searches
- Evidence searches
- K9 scent tracking
- K9 evidence searches
- Low angle rescue
- Drowning victims
- Event contingency planning
- Recovery of evidence
- Cadaver searches
- Public relation events
- Incident base support
- Communications assistance
- Search management support available upon request
Special Response Team *
Commanded by Captain Bill Riggs, this special team is tasked to respond to a variety of incidents and offer logistical support to providers in the field. The team does not focus on patient care, meaning that non-EMTs and administrative members may provide operational support. The team maintains two vehicles and offers a variety of services, including:
- Mass-casualty incident (MCI) treatment supplies:
- Able to treat up to 250 patients depending on the nature of their injuries
- Backboards, stretchers, and patient moving equipment
- Rehab equipment, to support providers on prolonged incidents
- Personal protective equipment
- Incident command support equipment
Members of the team participate in large scale training exercises with our partners in the military, local, regional, and federal government. The MCI team also supports several aspects of provider training for new providers in the BLS academy and for active volunteers. Each team member receives training on truck equipment and operations, emergency driving, incident command, and safety.
SWAT Medic *
Commanded by Captain David Leydet, the SWAT medics assist the Virginia Beach Police Dept. SWAT team with various tactical operations.
EMS department paramedics with a minimum of 3 years experience passed a rigorous screening and physical agility test to be selected. After attending the Police Academy, Basic SWAT School, and CONTOMS (Counter-Narcotics & Terrorism Operational Medical Support) training, the SWAT medics went into service.
The SWAT medics train 16 hours each month with the SWAT Team and must maintain a high degree of physical readiness to pass the bi-annual physical agility test.
SWAT medics are called out on every SWAT mission and operate as part of the SWAT Entry team. They are called out on approximately 100 missions each year.
Examples of Mission Types:
- High Risk Search Warrants
- Hostage Rescue Situations
- Barricaded Suspects
- Sniper Situations
- Armed Fugitive Suspect Arrests
- Civil Disturbances