You may not know this: The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is an entirely student-run organization and is a fully functional volunteer rescue squad. The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad is on call 24/7, 365 days a year to help anyone who calls 911 on the Virginia Tech campus as well as the town of Blacksburg. Technically, the rescue squad reports to the chief of police, but Chief Babb is adamant about letting them handle their own business.
Connor Duda is the elected Chief of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad. In this position, he oversees all operations and administrative work. He leads two Captains, six Lieutenants, and approximately 35 members of the squad. He establishes an operating budget and monitors all expenditures. He has also taught classes in CPR and mentored those interested in becoming members of the squad. He works at this up to 30 hours a week.
And he loves it.
An Eagle Scout and Emergency Medical Technician in high school, Connor continued his interest in emergency medicine when he came to Virginia Tech.
Connor said, “Here, I became part of an amazing group of people that I consider to be my family away from home. Being the Chief of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad has been extremely rewarding, as I have been able to lead an amazing group of people. This position has helped me grow into the person I am today and has given me a unique college experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.”
Connor’s nominator wrote, “Connor impresses me constantly with his adept handling of complex situations. The Emergency Room hospital staff speak highly of Connor's work ethic. He is very clearly respected by his co-workers and by the rest of the rescue squad. The impact Connor and all of VT Rescue make is felt throughout our community. It makes me proud and it is comforting to know that if I call 911, Connor or someone under his direction is going to respond quickly and professionally, expecting nothing in return for their help regardless of the circumstances.”
Connor said, “To me, Ut Prosim means going above and beyond to help those in need. I believe that all of the communities that I have strengthened have also strengthened me. I have been able to give a lot to the Virginia Tech community through the VT Rescue Squad, but I have also learned a lot about how to be a better leader, student, and person from this community as well.”
Conner is a senior majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. He hopes to go to medical school and said, “As of right now, I would like to become a Doctor in Emergency Medicine. I also would like to continue with Emergency Medical Services as a volunteer.”
It is a pleasure to present the Aspire! Award for EMBRACE UT PROSIM AS A WAY OF LIFE to Connor Duda.