- Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia and the 41st largest city in the United States with a population of over 440,000.
- The city’s history dates back more than 400 years when the first English colonists who ventured to the New World stopped at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on April 26, 1607. They spent three days here, erected a cross, and moved on to form the colony of Jamestown.
- The city has a council-manager form of government and has one of the lowest crime rates for a city of its size in the nation per the FBI.
- Virginia Beach is home to a civilian workforce of 225,000. The MSA’s civilian labor force is substantially larger, which allows businesses to draw from a pool of more than 810,000.
- The Virginia Beach MSA is home to 12 major military installations representing all branches of the US Armed Forces. The major employer is the Department of Defense of four military bases in the city employing over 32,000 military and civilian employees with a combined annual payroll of over $1.8 billion.
- We operate the nation’s largest volunteer-based rescue system. Ten volunteer rescue squads work together with around 75 career staff to provide emergency healthcare services. Over 550 active volunteer members run calls, help on specialty teams, and help behind the scenes. VBEMS has received numerous awards, as well as local, national, and international recognition for the services and volunteer strength we have.
- Our annual budget is over $12 million. Tax dollars and grants fund Department operations including fuel, insurance, the public beach lifeguard contract, training, salaries, and some equipment. The rescue squads purchase and maintain their own equipment and ambulances through fundraising, grants, and donations. Each year more than $9 million worth of volunteer hours are donated to the City of Virginia Beach by EMS volunteers. More than that amount is provided in equipment, supplies, grants, and facilities by our 10 volunteer rescue squads and other partners.
- In 2019, VBEMS responded to 48,290 calls for service. We operate using a tiered response system with an average of 13.5 ambulances staffed during the day.
- Specialty teams include the SWAT Medic Team, Bike Team, Disaster Preparedness, Marine Rescue Team, Dive Team, Sandbridge & Little Island Lifeguard Service, Search & Rescue Team, Duty Field Supervisor Program, Recruitment and Retention Team, and the Support Services Team.
- The system’s fleet includes 37 ambulances, 12 zone cars, 3 supervisor vehicles, 2 MCI trucks, 5 boats, 5 UTV ambulances, & numerous support vehicles.
- Our providers are trained to the National Registry standard from EMT through Paramedic. We have over 500 Basic Life Support (BLS) providers and over 130 Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers. VBEMS partners with Tidewater Community College to provide student internships. We offer extensive initial and continuing education programs, as well as in-house EMT training with several classes each year.
Our programs include:
- Rapid sequence induction
- Surgical cricothyrotomy
- 12-lead EKG with transmission
- Transport ventilator
- Video laryngoscope
- Electronic EtCO2
- Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), MDT, CAD, & AVL
- Public access defibrillation
- 800 MHz radio/data system
- Community vaccinations
- STEMI program, stroke program
- Medical-friendly shelter
- EMS speaker bureau
- Community outreach and CPR
Patient care equipment utilized in the field includes Physio Control LP15 monitor defibrillators.
VBEMS works closely with the Council of Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads, the Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation, the Virginia Beach EMS Association, Virginia Beach Association of Rescue Squad Volunteers, our local healthcare facilities and health department, the Tidewater EMS Council, as well as related regional healthcare and public safety boards, committees, and teams.