Exploring Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad

Frequently Asked Questions

Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad is excited to have you learn more about our application process. Read more to find out why our process takes 2-3 months and what you need to do to start your new adventure with Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad!

It is the mission of SVRS to provide the highest level of emergency medical care and technical rescue services to those that require our assistance. We do it with dedication, excellence and compassion.

Yes, SVRS has been staffed by volunteers since it was founded in 1964. Today, SVRS is still an all-volunteer organization. We are part of the Loudon County Combined Fire Rescue System. This means that we serve the citizens of Sterling and the surrounding area as part of the overall County Fire and EMS system. Volunteer or paid, all responders in Loudoun County are required to meet the same training and certifications as required by Virginia and National standards. Volunteer EMS personnel work under the direction of the Loudoun County Medical Director and receive the same level of training and certification as paid members of the Combined System. What this means is that if you have been trained and certified as a Paramedic, EMT, Rescue Technician, etc., you will have the opportunity to utilize your skills. All operational members, whether they are paid, or volunteer, practice under the same protocols and guidelines.   Start Today by filling out this form.
We asked members why they decided to become volunteers and received a variety of answers. Many said they were looking to serve their community or gain experience in the medical field. Here are just a few of the answers we received from our volunteers:
  • “To do something worthwhile. I cannot think of a better way for one person to make a difference in our community."
  • “To enter medical the field”
  • “To provide patient care and engage in a fulfilling endeavor.”
  • “I thought it would be fun. I had heard of some friends who did EMS and I wanted to check it out.”
  • “I wanted to start helping people when they are in most need. I wanted to learn and experience what to do in medical emergencies.”
  • “I wanted to get into the medical field, learn new skills, be part of a team, and help people.”
We also asked members why they continued to volunteer. While similar to the reasons to why they joined, many said it was also because they felt a strong sense of camaraderie, teamwork and commitment to the mission.
  • “The people we run with, the patients we serve (you really never know what you’re going to see/encounter)”
  • “I like running calls and I like being around the people on my crew”
  • “Responsibility to community and learning experience”
  • “Friendships I’ve formed”
  • “I’m committed to my crew and to my community”
  • “Providing essential EMS for the community and leading the next generation of EMS providers”
  • “The sense of performing a duty for the community”
  • “I enjoy it - I like the camaraderie”
  • “Habit :-). Seriously, it’s part of my life”
  • “For my community and for my crew”
  • “I have a wonderful crew and the surprise element of every call keeps it interesting”
  • “The people and the training opportunities”
  • “Crew 3 is my family, I enjoy helping others”
  • “I really enjoy learning about patient care and the medicine aspect of it. I also really like that everyone on my crew is so willing to teach me about the field and their experiences.”
  • “I like being able to serve the community and I enjoy the camaraderie and relationships I’ve built being a member of SVRS.”

EMS Volunteering has the potential to take you to places that may seem like a distant dream. Members can progress their careers, skills and capabilities with Sterling or another volunteer agency. Some of the professions that volunteers have achieved after getting their start as a volunteer in EMS include:

  • Firefighter
  • Paramedic
  • Registered Nurse
  • Physician Assistant
  • Doctor
  • Medical Director
  • Commander of United States Park Police Helicopter Division
  • Police Officer
  • Assistant Commander of Aviation/Chief Flight Paramedic with FCPD
  • Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Medical Team Lead
  • Battalion Chief
  • Assistant Chief
  • FBI SWAT Medic
  • Special Agent with the United States Department of Homeland Security

Sterling Rescue requires many different skill sets to help run and achieve the overall mission to provide emergency medical support to the citizens of Sterling and surrounding areas. The duties of volunteers include operational personnel who are first responders directly involved in responding to emergencies staffing ambulance, medic and Heavy Rescue units. We also have a separate administrative team that supports the general organization. We need help with both Operations and Administrative teams.

No. Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad fully staffs ambulance and medic units. In short, operational members serve as emergency vehicle operators, emergency medical technicians and ultimately independently functioning clinicians. You will have the opportunity to run calls front and center. All Operational members are required to work towards and earn (at least) their EMT certification. If you are over 21, then members are also required to earn their EVOC certification and be able to drive response units.

Yes! SVRS continues to need good people to staff our units and otherwise prepare to meet the needs of the community. In many ways volunteering for the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad represents the best in community service and taking care of others around you.   Start Today by filling out this form.

Meet our Leadership

SVRS has an Administrative and an Operational Command structure in place.

The administrative team is comprised of the following elected positions:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Board of Directors

The operational organizational structure is comprised of:

  • Chief (elected)
  • Assistant Chief(s) & Deputy Chief(s)
  • Captains, Lieutenants, Medics (EMT-I and EMT-P), EMTs, AEMTS
Station 15
104 Commerce Street
Sterling, VA 20164

Station 25
46700 Middlefield Drive
Sterling, VA 20165

Station 35
21130 Pacific Boulevard
Sterling, VA 20166

See our stations and get more information.

Operating out of our three Fire/Rescue stations, SVRS responds to more than 7,500 calls annually. There is plenty of work to do!

Our volunteers come from all walks of life. Many volunteers work outside of the medical field when not volunteering. Amongst the team you will find those who are employed as lawyers, salespeople, bankers, researchers, office assistants, software engineers and many more positions outside of the EMS realm. That said, we also have members who work as nurses, medics, firefighters, EMT’s, doctors, police officers, agents and other first responder type jobs. The level of EMS experience within SVRS is significant and includes personnel who have experience as fire chiefs, commanders of EMS helicopter units, SWAT Medics, emergency room nurses, emergency room physician assistants, federal agents and much more. The entire SVRS organization benefits from a wide variety of experiences, trainings and perspectives required to meet the mission.   Start Today by filling out this form.

Night Crews run on the same night each week. Night Crew members are required to complete one 12-hour shift per week and one 24-hour shift every 7th Saturday (night crews only). Night shifts run from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Sunday Day Crew operates as a part of the Night Crew rotation and works from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.


Day Crew members may run any day of the week (Monday through Friday). Day Crew members must serve a minimum of 12 hours per week. Day shifts run from 6:00 AM to 6:00PM. 


All members attend one or two mandatory events each year (Open Houses in May and October). Additionally, attendance is expected at the monthly General Membership Meetings (GMM). GMM Meetings are typically held the first Thursday of each month from 7:00-900 PM.


Start Today by filling out this form.

All operational members of SVRS must eventually be certified by the VA OEMS Office as an EMT.


Classes are held at Loudoun County Volunteer Fire Training Academy in Leesburg, VA. Obtaining your EMT certificate is likely the most time-consuming portion of your volunteering. 


Additional trainings include, EVOC, Loudoun County AIC “BLS Challenge,” Hazardous Materials Awareness, NIMS Incident Command Trainings, SVRS Orientation, and LCFR Orientation (CPR, BBP).

First and foremost, everyone is expected to be a professional. Our behavior instills confidence in the community and provides the highest standards of care.


Volunteer positions are viewed the same as a career position and members are expected to follow department policies and procedures.


Volunteers are expected to stand duty as a part of a crew on a regular basis. We need you to be where you are scheduled to be on time and ready to work.


All Operational Members are required to complete one 12-hour shift per week and one 24-hour shift every 7th Saturday (night crews only).


Day Crew members may run any day of the week (Monday through Friday), while night crews run on the same night each week.


Administrative Members are required to work with the administrative coordinator to determine requirements.


Each duty crew must check the equipment for readiness; do their assigned cleaning chore (building and truck); answer inquiries from the public; members must attend monthly training meetings, and keep all certifications valid.

Sterling’s scheduling officer assigns personnel to Duty Crews based on two factors. First and foremost, department needs determine where staff are assigned; we are responsible to staff EMS units for the County. In doing so we will do our best to assign you to a preferred shift, but there are no guarantees and your assignment can change at any time. All changes are discussed and communicated

Administrative Members are required to work with the administrative coordinator to determine requirements. There are no set shifts. A minimum of 15 hours per month is expected from each administrative member.   Start Today by filling out this form.

Yes. Sleeping facilities are provided, and you may sleep at nights in between calls. You will be expected to bring linens or a sleeping bag to put on the mattress.

You will receive classroom and on-the-job training. SVRS will not put anyone in a position for which they are not properly trained and qualified. Preparation takes time; it will take approximately 12-18 months to become a released EMS provider in Loudoun County. Structured classes occur as well as many, many hours of training and knowledge transfer during duty shifts. Resources are available for everyone to succeed. Each person must demonstrate motivation, energy and desire to prepare for the mission at hand. If you put the time and effort into the position you will be ready.

Regardless of the type of membership that you pursue, being a member of Sterling Rescue offers many benefits, both tangible and intangible.

Tangible Benefits

  • Loudoun County retirement system
  • Exempt from automobile personal property tax (one car, in Loudoun)
  • Loudoun County Credit Union
  • Tuition Reimbursement ($2,000/year)
  • Wide range of training opportunities
  • Hands-on patient experience
  • Uniforms

Intangible Benefits

  • Satisfaction of helping your fellow citizens
  • Incredible sense of achievement
  • Meeting a diverse range of people
  • Becoming a member of the extended Sterling Rescue family

Regarding benefits, It is interesting to note that we have found that--

People start to volunteer because they “want to help the community” and “gain EMS experience.”

People continue to volunteer for the same reasons above and because they “feel a sense of commitment to the team.”

With time, the volunteer experience provides members more than can be tangibly measured.

  1. Attend a Volunteer Information Session.
  2. Complete and return your application.
Once you have applied you will be assigned a recruiter who will help to guide you through the following steps:
  • Complete a one-on-one interview with an Operational and/or Administrative member.
  • Complete a fingerprint card and return to the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services
  • Undergo a background investigation.
  • Operational Applicants: Complete a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) physical examination (at our facility and expense), which includes a treadmill stress test.
  • Once all requirements are completed, your application package will be forwarded to the Sterling Rescue Board of Directors, who will review and approve/disapprove your membership
Start Today by filling out this form.

Yes, call 571 354 7390 and leave a message. We will be in touch. You can also email:
[email protected]

Start Today by filling out this form.

See More About Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad