Rescue Squad

Virginia Tech Rescue Squad Ambulance, members of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad performing a routine training exercise, Oct. 12 2022, Oct. 12 2022

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad (VT Rescue) partnered up with various organizations in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to VT Rescue, the event was the first of its kind at Virginia Tech, and featured representatives from the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, the Women’s Center of the New River Valley and Hokie Wellness.

The event was held on the second floor of the Squires Student Center and allowed anyone who was interested to inquire about resources available to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

Participants could also participate in various activities like painting, ribbon making and button crafting. Purple ribbons were made at the event to represent domestic violence awareness.

Ana Montoya, the public outreach lieutenant for VT Rescue, said the driving force in organizing the event was not only to provide resources to students but to also let others know that EMTs are a support system for anyone experiencing abuse.

Montoya also said EMTs can serve as the first line of contact for survivors and can help transport victims of assault to their preferred facility or as a resource for mental health.

Survivors can also receive help from a variety of other local organizations.

“There is help and support that is confidential to help understand what is happening to them and what is going on,” said Patty Hall, the sexual violence program coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley. “If they’ve been assaulted, it’s not their fault and they don’t have to deal with this alone.”

A few of the resources available to victims at the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley include a 24 hour hotline, residential shelter and an emergency response program to get victims in contact with a forensic nurse and free counseling for victims of intimate partner and sexual violence.

As for the future, VT Rescue hopes that the event is the start of a new tradition. This year's initiative also serves as a potential springboard for more year-round involvement.

“Seeing it (the event) all come together, like, I get tears if that makes sense just because it’s like we can make someone’s day feel better, or even weeks or months, just because they feel like they are supported and understood,” Montoya said.

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