At the end of this month of December, the Glade Spring Life Saving Crew will have been officially closed one full year — their building sold off, signs gone and no more traces of the former rescue squad, as if they never existed.
I’m Bill Garrison and a former board member of the organization and public relations officer. Last year, we were going through rough times and were limited by what we could say along with the lack of support. The Washington County Board of Supervisors failed to support the crew; our own district representative refused to support us, even though we had a very good response record.
The word had it that someone within the crew had taken drugs; however, after our closure we had a few former members that sought employment within law enforcement with agencies such as local sheriff’s departments, Virginia State Police, Virginia Corrections and local law enforcement around Virginia Beach. Other former members had found local employment with other types of jobs, some within EMS and some retired.
What we do know is that many in the community miss the life-saving crew and all the public events once held that helped so many of Glade and the surrounding area at the crew hall. The Glade crew donated thousands of dollars of supplies and equipment back to the community and county to make sure citizens would never be without proper equipment such as rescue, EMS and water rescue equipment.
It’s always chatter when I talk with the former members that each day we miss helping the folks of Glade area. (We served 36 years.) The final night of service, as we were being closed by Washington County, Virginia, I and my crew were working a two-vehicle wreck in the heart of Abingdon.