Karen Vaughan, a lifetime member of the Fieldale-Collinsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, received an award for her 25 years of service with the squad as part of Fire and Rescue Day on June 24.
She was officially presented with the award on June 28.
“It was a big honor. I really appreciate it,” Vaughan said and explained that she decided to volunteer because she really wanted to be able to help people.
“I’m a people person, so being able to help the citizens in my community has always been a priority,” she said.
Throughout her tenure with the squad, Vaughan said the amount of people she’s been able to help has stood out the most for her.
“They find a way to come back and thank you,” she said.
Vaughan said several things have changed dramatically since she started with the squad in 1997.
“When I first started, everything was on paper. You had carbon-copied patient reports, and now, of course, as technology has grown, everything is on computers. So, that’s a big transition, going from paper to computers,” she said.
Vaughan added the required skill sets have also changed because more protocols have been added and different levels assigned to training. She previously received an intermediate Advanced Life Support (ALS) provider certification with the squad.
Though she also works in the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Center as a dispatcher and shift supervisor, Vaughan said the two don’t really interfere with one another.
“We have set shifts here at the 911 center. We work 12-hour shifts. Then Fieldale-Collinsville is strictly volunteer,” she said.
However, she believes her volunteer work helps her with her day job.
“We do here at the 911 center what is called EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatching), and being a lifetime member of the rescue squad, and knowing the medical terms and what people are actually talking about when they call, it does help a lot while at work because you’re familiar and you kind of know it” the health circumstances a caller may be facing, she said.
Because of her job, family, and continuing education, Vaughan has been unable to run calls as in the past.
“I haven’t been as active lately,” she said. “I have a family now and was going through college for my master’s degree. I had to take a little step back, but I am a lifetime member there. Life has kind of pulled me away from that some.”