RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — When there’s an emergency, first responders are on it. However, one volunteer group is not too far behind them to help them get the job done.

The Metro Richmond Flying Squad is a group that runs only on donations–and is made up of 30 emergency volunteers.

Steve Korb, Chief of the Squad, said he saw a need for more support.

“Unfortunately, the number-one cause of firefighter fatalities is because of stress and over exertion,” he said. “In the rehab area, they have a chance to come in and get back to normal limits, which allows them to go home healthy and safe and be able to live a nice long life.”

The Squad responds to active scenes and gives out refreshments, provides a place to rest and makes sure crews get medical attention.

As the hotter months approach, Korb said their volume of calls increase.

“We’re there to take care of their needs,” he said. “Main goal is to get the firefighters’ core temperature down as quick as we can because when their core temperature rises it allows the skin to absorb more of the toxins.”

Some calls they responded to this year include the eight-day search for two missing women in the James River after a group of 12 people fell over Bosher’s Dam on Memorial Day. They also responded to the massive fire that damaged Fox Elementary School in February.

“Calls come in at any time of the day, 24 hours a day, so you always have to be ready to go,” Korb said.

He added the squad is named after a group of nine firefighters who tackled the most dangerous fires across Richmond.

“They were the elite. Handpicked by the fire chief themselves, and there were two crews that began running about 1965 up to about the late ’70s. So we kept the name to try to preserve some of that history,” he said.

Korb and Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch cut the ribbon to their new headquarters on Bainbridge Street Saturday, June 11. According to Korb, the 100-year-old building was a former fire station that closed down in 2010. The station moved into another location on Semmes Avenue, and the squad purchased the building from the city.

“Having a building like this will allow us to actually staff here, where we can be on the scene and operational within about 20 minutes,” Korb said.

He added the group’s response has stretched to other areas this year. They’re looking for more volunteers as they cover Goochland, Henrico and Hanover Counties.

To become a volunteer, you can apply here.

A member of the Metro Richmond Flying Squad cuts the ribbon to the group’s new headquarters. (Credit: Metro Richmond Flying Squad)