Frequently Asked Questions

How do I volunteer with VB Rescue?

First, review the Volunteer Application Process on the Virginia Beach EMS website. It covers important information about membership requirements and the application process. Once you have reviewed the relevant material, simply click the Apply Here button. From there you can complete the application online.

Do the rescue squads require any training to become a member?

No prior experience or special training is required to join, just a willingness to learn and a passion for helping others. We provide the rest.

What training is required to be part of an ambulance crew?

The minimum training level for our crews is certification as Virginia-EMT. Our personnel also complete modules in hazardous materials awareness, incident management and emergency vehicle operations. All of these are provided to our members free of charge via classroom or online delivery. New EMTs also complete a field orientation internship prior to full qualifications.

I am already a Virginia-certified EMT. Do I still need to attend training through VBEMS?

No, you do not need to repeat your EMT course. You will need to complete orientation modules to familiarize yourself with local protocols, equipment and procedures. All members must complete a field orientation internship prior to full qualifications. If you are already an ALS provider, orientation will be tailored based your level of experience.

Do I have to pay for my training?

The basic EMT course is provided free of charge by the City of Virginia Beach, as long as you volunteer for one year as a released Attendant-in-Charge.

How long is the EMT class?

EMT training involves approximately five months of classroom and practical instruction.  BLS Academies are a mix of online learning, in-person skills workshops and some ambulance ride-time.  Academies are Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.  Once your application is approved and you complete the prerequisites, you will then be eligible to register for an upcoming EMT Academy.

When is the next EMT class?

Contact us at (757) 385-1999 for EMT class schedules. We run several classes each year, so there is seldom a delay before another one starts.

I had fingerprints done where I work, do I need to do them again to join VB Rescue?

The Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) requires fingerprints to be taken to conduct a comprehensive background check.  Specific information as to when you will be required to have your fingerprints taken will be provided as part of your membership onboarding process. This background check is at no cost to the applicant.

I’m in the military. What happens if I have to transfer out of the area?

We review these situations on a case-by-case basis, but do require an official set of orders. In general, we are quite flexible with military personnel. We also hope you will one day transfer back and join us again.

I’m in the Navy and stationed on a ship. Can I still join even if I go to sea often?

Many of our members are active duty or former Navy. It’s not easy to volunteer while on sea duty, but it can be accomplished. Our rescue squads are flexible in terms of duty requirements for seagoing members. We simply ask that our members maintain good communications with supervisors for planning purposes.

Is there any obligation?

While the EMT course has no upfront tuition, anyone who attends our EMT course is obligated by contract to remain as an active member staffing ambulances for 12 months following release as an Attendant-in-Charge. Failure to complete this commitment will result in being in default for the contracted amount of the EMT Course (currently approximately $1,500).  Virginia Beach EMS is an Accredited BLS Training Site and the cost of the course is comparable to the cost of attending an EMT course at a local community college.

Can I pick the rescue squad I want to join?

Yes! Members pick their own station. If you don’t have a place in mind, then a good squad to start with is the one nearest your home.

What are the duty requirements for a volunteer EMT?

EMT’s are required to stand 48 hours of duties monthly. This is typically done in 12-hour shifts (6:00 am to 6:00 pm, or, 6:00 pm to 6:00 am). Some variations may be possible with shift start/end times, but most folks follow the 6-6 pattern.

How are duty shifts assigned?

Each month a schedule is posted that includes dates/shifts assigned to you from dates/shifts of availability you have submitted the prior month.  For example: Your May shifts are chosen from the list of available dates/shifts you submitted by the 10th of April.

When on duty, where will I be assigned?

Most duties will be at in your rescue squad area (some squads have more than one station). However, you may be assigned to an ambulance anywhere in the City of Virginia Beach. Once on duty, you can expect to be dispatched to calls all across the city.

How long does the application process take?

The process can be completed in under one month, depending on when you can schedule a health screening and complete your prerequisites.

I have a couple speeding tickets on my record. Will that prevent me from joining?

A couple speeding tickets over several years doesn’t necessarily cause a problem. However, we can’t make a decision without seeing your official driving transcript. Please look at the Volunteer Requirements and Disqualifiers on our website for specific restrictions. The initial step of your application review includes VBEMS obtaining a current Virginia DMV report for review.  Official Virginia DMV transcripts are obtained by VBEMS at no cost to the applicant.  If VBEMS determines that an out-of-state DMV transcript is needed, the applicant must obtain it at their own expense and provide it to VBEMS for review.    If you are in doubt about your eligibility, please submit an application so we can evaluate your DMV record.

I’m a high school student and will graduate in June. When can I join?

You must have a high school diploma to join. Seniors who will graduate soon may apply during the spring semester. However, they will not be approved until they graduate and attain 18 years of age.

Is there a maximum age to be a volunteer?

There is no maximum age. As long as someone is physically able to perform the job of an EMT, they can staff an ambulance. There are a number of support functions for volunteers as well. If someone feels they are no longer comfortable on the ambulance, they can apply their talents elsewhere within the rescue squads.

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