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Jefferson College of Health Sciences Partners with Local Fire & EMS


Fincastle, VA — The Fincastle Rescue Squad, Jefferson College of Health Sciences Emergency Services Program, and the Botetourt County Department of Fire & EMS have joined together in an effort to provide for more opportunities for paramedic students to get a unique rural EMS experience as well as working toward recruiting students as volunteers and assisting with covering calls for service.

Friday, August 21, 2015, marked the inaugural date of the staffed EMS unit known as “Medic 459.” This unit is staffed by a combination of a Jefferson College of Health Sciences paramedic student, a Jefferson College of Health Sciences Preceptor, and a driver from either the Fincastle Rescue Squad or the Department of Fire & EMS. Chief of Fire & EMS, Jeff Beckner spearheaded this effort to help find another mechanism to potentially recruit paramedic students to Botetourt County as volunteer fire and EMS providers.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, and I’m extremely excited to see the program take shape,” said Chief Beckner.

While paramedic students are nothing new to Botetourt County, this concept is. Medic 459 is a unit housed at the Fincastle Rescue Squad building and is an additional resource added into the system on Fridays throughout this fall. Jefferson College of Health Sciences will be working hand-in-hand with Fincastle Rescue and Fire & EMS to ensure a preceptor and a student are scheduled while Fincastle or Fire & EMS will provide a driver to make the full crew.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Fincastle and Botetourt to give our students more opportunities for providing care and enhancing learning experiences,” said Jefferson College of Health Sciences Emergency Services Program Director John Cook.

The Fincastle Rescue Squad is graciously hosting the program and is welcoming Jefferson College of Health Sciences, their employees, and students with open arms. Fincastle Rescue Captain Terry Schodowski expressed her excitement, pointing out that Fincastle is hopeful to gain several new energetic, already EMT  certified providers through their recruitment efforts with the program.

Medic 459 will be staffed on Friday’s from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. while college is in session.


Left to Right: Jason Ferguson, Deputy Chief; Jeffrey Beckner, Chief; Matt Rickman, Preceptor; Terry Schodowski, Fincastle Rescue Captain; David Breslin, Paramedic Student; John Cook, Jefferson College of Health Sciences Emergency Service Program Director



For more information, contact

Jason Ferguson, Deputy Chief of Fire & EMS

(540) 473-8329