EMPOWERED TO SAVE, INSPIRED TO SERVE​

Exploring Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad

History

The history of the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad begins in 1964 and extends to the present. Driven by the spirit of volunteerism and powered by the hard work, dedication and selflessness of hundreds of volunteers, Sterling Rescue has transformed from a small rural ambulance capability to a modern emergency management organization, staffed and equipped with the latest advanced life support expertise and technology.

The current Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad was founded in 1964 as a result of the Sterling Park Jaycee’s “Grand Project,” first proposed by John A. Costello, Charter President of the Sterling Park Jaycees.

Don Kelly was the Charter President, and Jake Burkowski was the Charter Captain. The first ambulance was a used ’59 Chevrolet Carryall, housed at Arlyn Black’s Shell Station. On Feb. 27, 1965, SVRS ran its first call, a motor vehicle accident.

The organization continued to grow in response to the needs of the community. In 1966, SVRS purchased its first new ambulance, a 1966 Chevy Carryall. In the early years, volunteers responded to calls from their homes, parking the vehicles at their houses. In November 1967, the organization moved into its first headquarters at 304 N. Sterling Blvd. On May 7, 1968, a fire destroyed the 1959 Carryall Ambulance.

The community continued to grow, and technology became more complex. A modern station was needed to house Sterling’s rescue and fire suppression. On January 7, 1971, Station 15 was dedicated at 104 Commerce Street in Sterling Park. It was a single-floor station, housing both rescue, and fire capabilities. Sterling Rescue had a modern headquarters for its operations. The narrative at the time was “Finally a headquarters building we’ll never outgrow!” The needs of the community, advances in emergency medical services, and fire support practices and equipment would eventually result in an increase in requirements beyond what could be envisioned at that time. In 1971, “Sterling 1″ was placed in service. Sterling 1 was a GMC/Swab Crash Truck – the most advanced piece of equipment in Loudoun County at the time.

The 1980's & 1990's

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Eastern Loudoun County experienced an explosive growth, and the volunteers were increasingly responding to calls in new areas north of Route 7. A small sub-station was built in the Sugarland Run area to house equipment for volunteers responding to calls from their homes, reducing the response time for calls in the new areas of the community.

The community continued to grow. The number of volunteers grew, and the call volume increased. To reduce the response time, the volunteers began sleeping at the stations. With this change in operational practice and the increase in complexity of emergency medical services, more space was needed.

 

In 1989, a renovation added a second floor and bay support areas to Station 15, including sleeping areas, training room and much needed storage. Bunks were added to the bay of the Sugarland Run Substation.


Volunteers slept right next to their trucks, ready to respond to the next call.

The 1990’s saw the development of the Cascades area of Sterling, north of Route 7 and west of Sugarland Run. Cascades was a planned community, and the community design provided for a fire and rescue station.

Station 25, at 46700 Middlefield Drive, was built and placed in service on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1997.

Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad’s headquarters moved from Station 15 to Station 25, where it remains today.

Old ambulance car

With Sterling built out to the Potomac River in the north, the development began to the west. Station 35 was built as an element of Kincora, a planned community, in a public/private partnership between Loudoun County and the developer. Station 35 was opened in November 2013. This large, modern station supports the western side of Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad’s area of responsibility.

Today, Sterling Rescue has a large cadre of volunteers, spawned from the foundation of the hundreds of volunteers who have served our organization in the past, now with the latest training and equipment, but still reflecting the spirit of its founders.

The Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad is a modern emergency medical service, on duty as you read this, with dedicated volunteers, men, and women who are empowered to save lives through their training and experience and inspired to serve their community, ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

1964

Jake Burkowski

1965

Frank Leathers

1966

Jake Burkowski

1969-1971

Elliott Erwin

1972-1975

Mickey Caylor

1976-1977

William Bennett

1978-1981

Leo C. Kelly

1982

Raymond Cerniglia

1983-1986

Fred Gansel

1987

Robert Brendel

1988

Raymond Cerniglia

1988-1993

Byron F. Andrews, III

1994

Fred Gansel

1995

Rick Laughlin

1996

Michael Gammill

1997-1999

Byron F. Andrews, III

2000-2001

Tom Groel

2002

Robert Lindblad

2003-2017

Byron F. Andrews, III

2018-2019

Alfred Pacifico

2019-Present

Kathleen Harasek

1964

Don Kelly

1965

Paul Captain

1967

Bill Swick

1967-1968

Frank Leathers

1969-1972

Robert “Hap” Arnold

1973

Jeff Washburn

1973

Bob Poole

1973

Hap Arnold

1974

William Bennett

1975

Chuck Goodman

1976-1977

Mike Conway

1978

Marion Hutchens

1978

Joseph Saitta

1978-1979

Fred Gansel

1980-1981

David Maddis

1981

Greg Holmberg

1982-1983

Dan McCord

1984-1985

Robert Halsall Sr.

1986

Michael Gammill

1987-1990

James Grant Sr.

Past Statistics

Year