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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

WHEATON VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD INC

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Emergency Medical Services & Transport, Fire Prevention, Health, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief, Search & Rescue Squads

Mission: The Mission of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad is to protect the public’s health and safety in partnership with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. We are a volunteer, not-for-profit corporation that provides emergency services to any person in need.

Results: We responded to 10,466 calls for service in 2018 supported by 90,278 hours of volunteer service.

Target demographics: anyone who calls 9-1-1 during an emergency

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 11,000 people who called 9-1-1 during an emergency.

Geographic areas served: Wheaton and surrounding areas of Montgomery County, Maryland

Programs: emergency ambulance transport, firefighting, and special rescue services.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Amanda L. M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only does WVRS serve its community but it cares for it as well. WVRS also changes lives by shaping people into members who forever love to help others. Its been a long time sunce I have had the pleasure of volunteering there, but I follow their activities regularly.

Comments ( 1 )

Gamunu Thank you Amanda. Past and present volunteers like yourself are our lifeblood.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful second family that supports the volunteers who in turn serve the local community through emergency response, community education and engagement in prevention. I am lucky to work with great people serving a great community.

2 Mallomar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The squad is like a family. Whenever I'm not sure where my son is, I know he's at the squad doing his shift, or more likely, "filling in" for someone. His life has been enriched working with this wonderful group of people.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had a great experience with this rescue station when they responded to a 911 call. My mom was having chest pain and they came super fast and were very professional and caring when they were helping her! So happy to have them in our neighborhood.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The committed volunteers of the WVRS have, for decades, demonstrated their willingness to risk their own lives in order to save the lives of others, and thus make our community a safer, better place. I've known a handful of current and former volunteers since the mid-90s and will always feel an abundance of pride in their public service as members of the close-knit WVRS family. I donated my first car to WVRS back in '04 and will continue to find opportunities to support this stellar non-profit in the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the squad in the late 1990's. Well-organized group of professionals who care about the community and taking care of people, in a selfless way. There are people there who have been donating one night a week and one weekend a month to Wheaton for decades.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined in 1994 as Senior in high school. Today I'm a proud life member of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. This organization was formative to my character/grit/outlook on the world. I firmly believe I wouldn't be as successful (at work, with my family) were it not for WVRS helping to mold me into a strong, confident, community member/leader.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WVRS is an amazing group of individuals with a single mission - to serve the public. As a volunteer with WVRS, I understand the difficulty of spending 12-18 hours at the station every single week. I understand how hard it is to spend the night away from your wife, husband, children - and not get enough sleep for work the next day. The members of WVRS don't volunteer for the money, the fame, or the glory of running calls "Chicago Fire" style. There is no money, there is no fame, and responding to a nursing home at 3am for a patient who fell out of bed is not glorious. Providing a service to the community and enjoying the friendships forged during your shift are why we do it.

Volunteer

Rating: 2

Sorry, I definitely did not have a good experience. After graduating high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my summer. I figured volunteering at the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad was an option to open doors and provide opportunities for my future. After a while waiting for some administrative processes to be taken care of, I was finally a probationary member.

I did not expect the level of hazing, nepotism, and sheer hostility provided by active members and officers at the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. I cannot speak for other probationary members that were on the same shift as me, but I definitely didn't feel welcomed ever at the rescue squad as a fellow member due to the hazing I had experienced early on in my training. From getting sprayed with soap water from a tank, getting beat up, and getting told to shut up in front of a patient, I thought that this behavior was normal to experience at a firehouse. As an eighteen year old, who has never done any volunteer work before, I was frightened for my future career in the medical industry.

I did tell the chief, Chief Dempsey, of the hazing that I had experienced. Unfortunately, I reported the incident too late so nothing could be done except for a report and warning that went into the files of the members that did the hazing.

Don't get me wrong, the organization is doing great things by providing the services they provide. But I do not believe they deserve the title of a great non-profit organization. Sorry.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Gamunu 07/01/2017

I am sorry you had this experience and I apologize on behalf of the WVRS. Hazing is totally inconsistent with our organizational value of providing a culture of inclusiveness, respect and accountability. I will share your comments with our Board of Directors when we next meet on July 11, 2017. Based on the information you provided in your review I believe an investigation was conducted and disciplinary action was taken according to the MCFRS code of ethics and on-duty personal conduct (https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/frs-ql/resources/files/swsj/policyprocedures/admin/frcadmin22-00AM.pdf). I am available to meet with you personally and discuss this or any other concerns you have. Sincerely, Gamunu Wijetunge President WVRS cell(240)535-5709

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at this department has been the best positive experience of my life. Starting in 2007 as a 16 year old cadet, I've moved through the ranks to become a squad driver. Making a difference with every 9-1-1 response. I love what I do but the people is what makes this a family.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WVRS is an amazing organization filled with caring individuals who serve their comunity with pride. Volunteering as a member of the rescue squad since 2014 has made me an overall better person.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the department since 2009. It has become a second family, the amount of great members from the community that volunteer at the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad is amazing. Everyone comes together for one reason, and that is to help and give back to the community. If you are looking for a place to give back or leave a legacy with others join us.

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When our old sponsor decided they didn't have room for an Explorer Post anymore, Wheaton VRS opened it's doors an adopted the Montgomery County First Aid Unit, Explorer Post 742.

Exploring is a co-ed, career based offshoot of Boy Scouts of America geared to youth ages 14-20. Our Post is an EMS Post, which is youth run and provides training to the Emergency Medical Responder level. The Post provides standby first aid coverage for public and private events, with the youth providing most of the care.

By opening their doors to the Post, WVRS helped keep a unique learning and community service opportunity running, which has introduced hundreds of teens to the EMS profession since it's creation at the Red Cross in 1962.

Review from Guidestar

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad directly and indirectly touches 1000's of lives daily. This happens through current, previous and life members. The core values established in inviduals when they are members follow them through their entire lives. Many go on to be Doctors, nurses, Fire Chiefs and parents all taking with them a lil part of the WVRS. I personally can not thank the WVRS enough for what it has done for me and how the organization and its members have touched me past and present. Thank you!!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad is the best. Fast and helpful in an emergency and truly nice people!

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Gamunu 06/21/2017

Thank you for your steadfast support Janet.

Review from Guidestar

4 Paula Galanakos

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This squad is my true second home. The highlight of my week is being able to come to the squad to volunteer, train, serve the community, and form lifelong friendships with my crew. My only regret is that I wish I had joined sooner! I enjoy every minute that I am fortunate enough to be at the squad whether it's running calls, cooking a meal with crew members, fundraising,or delivering presents on Christmas Eve, Rescue 2 is the place to be!! (Returning member from 2012) -Paula Galanakos

Review from Guidestar

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Caring for our community since 1955. One of the busiest rescue squads in the USA.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing group of people that provide their expertise and time to their community.

Review from Guidestar