Constantly rewarding!” that’s how the first husband-wife-and-daughter team describes serving together on the Danville Life Saving Crew. Yvonne and Steve Parrish, who met in the emergency room when they were young EMTs and who have served together for more than two decades, are delighted that their daughter Peyton, a sophomore at James Madison University, has joined them.

All three are proud to be part of what they describe as an extended family–120 other dedicated volunteers who are bound together by the stresses of medical emergencies, long hours spent away from home and constant training. Such intense service is, as Yvonne explains, “a commitment.” For example, there have been many ball games when she and Steve needed to drag along their duty team or bring a rescue truck so they could see their children play. Nevertheless, because the Crew is family, people cooperate and help each other. Yvonne says, and her husband and daughter nod in agreement, “I love everybody here.”

Before becoming a Crew member, Steve recalls feeling useless at the scene of a horrible automobile accident. So, in 1977 when he was only 20 years old, he joined the squad. Now, certified as a paramedic, he has also served as Chief of the Crew. Yvonne had a similar experience. She too witnessed a horrible accident and began volunteering with the Chatham Life Saving Crew. She joined Danville’s Crew in 1992. Both are grateful for their Crew experiences, and as Yvonne points out, the benefit of their training extends beyond “the city/county limits.” For instance, they have encountered many situations, even on vacations, that called on them to use their medical expertise. Last summer at Myrtle Beach, a man fell ill and they gave him CPR until the medics arrived. Remembering the experience, Yvonne says, “It is so rewarding to be able to help someone in need at any time.”

Both Yvonne and Steve also have been able to use their skills to assist family members, and the emphasis on medical service has influenced their other two children. They have both chosen medical careers. Moreover, despite the inconveniences, Yvonne says, “We always have fun together.” Their times on duty are their “date nights.”

Yvonne, Steve, and Peyton emphasize that service on the Crew gives back much more than the stress it causes. Friendships and the satisfaction gained from helping are in Yvonne’s words, “a wonderful honor and privilege.” And Peyton hopes that the community will continue to appreciate the commitment of Crew members. They are willing to interrupt everything in their personal lives in order to reach out and save the lives of others. They care and many times that care is more than medical. It may be holding someone’s hand, giving a hug to say, “It will be ok,” or even offering to pray. “People do,” as Steve emphasizes, “want to help.”

Would you like to serve on the Danville Life Saving Crew? Call Executive Director Tommy Pruitt at 434.792.CREW (2739) or visit

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