HENRICO, Va. --Ed Farrish and Don Unger reflects fondly on their days with the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad in the 60s and 70s.
“We did a lot of practice back then, because basically we were on the job training,” says Ed.
From cuts to car accidents, 62-year-old Don and 75-year-old Ed showed up to serve the people of Henrico during an emergency for free.
“We had white shirt. White pants. And white coveralls and the milkman hat,” says Don.
“I’m in my 45th year,” says Don. “Things have changed. With the 911 system now we go anywhere the system needs us,” says Don.
And once a first responder, always a first responder. These life time members are still pulling shifts.
“Because we love it," says Ed.
Combined, Don, a full-time investment advisor and Ed, retired from the food industry, have 98 years volunteering with the Rescue Squad.
“A lot of people take off a half a day to go fishing or golfing or play tennis. I look forward to the rescue squad,” says Don.
During our interview, when dispatch beckoned, Ed and Don leaped into action.
“The main thing is getting there safely. Because if you don’t get there safely then it is another call,” says Ed.
The volunteers race to the scene.
“We’re going to be there in about 30 seconds,” says Don.
President of Tuckahoe Andrew Slater, who wasn’t even born when Ed and Don started volunteering, is awed at his colleague’s dedication.
“They’re legends around our station. They’re role models for our younger members. They truly embody the ethos of our organization,” says Andrew. “Our organization is all-volunteer. Always has been always will be.”
Back at the scene their elderly patient was not seriously hurt.
“The lady fell. Put a nice hole in the wall. We checked her out and she did not want to go to the hospital,” says Ed.
Knowing people are in need keep them coming back.
“Like I said, I’m 75 years old. How many people get to do this when they’re 75,” says Ed.
After nearly a century of service the dynamic duo of Ed Farrish and Don Unger remains driven.
“I’m happy and we’re ready for the next one,” says Don.
Volunteers with The Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad do more than just save lives. The organization saves taxpayers in Henrico more than one million dollars responding to emergencies and helping the full-time fire department.
If you know of someone who should be featured in the “Heroes Among Us” segment, email Reporter Greg McQuade.