2017 Kevin Sperka Memorial Award

Brandon Propst

This year’s recipient of the Kevin Sperka award is Brandon Propst.  Brandon, is a student at Buffalo Gap High School, an EMT and Captain of the Junior Squad at Staunton Augusta Rescue Squad.

His interest in joining a local rescue squad started before he turned 16. He always had a love for helping people and he knew that he wanted to go to college after high school to pursue a career in the medical field.

Brandon happened upon a Staunton Augusta Rescue Squad recruitment event run by Chrissy Snyder, in downtown Staunton.  After speaking to Chrissy, he grabbed an application.  His application was accepted and so began his affiliation with EMS and Staunton Augusta Rescue Squad.  Brandon was quoted as saying: “I am so glad that I have the opportunity to be a part of the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad. They are like my second family.”

It has been over a year since Brandon joined SARS and he has made such a difference in the agency in that short period of time.  This past February, Brandon became certified as a National Registry EMT, after completing his training at CSEMS.

He currently holds the office of Junior President and captain of the Junior EMT team.  Additionally, he serves as the Historian for the Virginia Association of Junior Volunteer Rescue Squads (VAJVRS).  One of the biggest differences Brandon has made at SARS is his drive and determination to recruit more junior members.  When he started at SARS there were very few junior members.  In just over a year, the number of junior members has tripled.  As President of the Junior Squad, Brandon tries to make SARS a fun place to be.  He does this because he wants new junior members to stick around and enjoy being at SARS as much as he does.  As Brandon sees it, “The juniors will be the future of SARS.”

Frequently, senior members of SARS ask Brandon: “When are you going home?” As is turns out, Brandon is a fixture at SARS and can frequently be found there doing station duties, training or running calls.  This past January, Brandon received the SARS award for “Most Volunteer Hours as a Junior Member” at the annual banquet.

To quote Brandon: “The reason that I go to SARS every chance I get is for the experience and to learn.  Every call is different and every call presents an issue that may need to be solved differently, this is exciting to me.”

Award Background:

The Kevin Sperka award is offered annually to an outstanding young member, less than 25 years old, of one of the Council’s member agencies.  The award is in memory of Kevin Sperka, member of the Glasgow Life Saving and First Aid Crew, who died of cancer at the age of 21. It was established as a memorial to Kevin for the work he did with the Glasgow crew and his community, and to encourage other young rescue squad personnel to learn, work, and provide quality services to their communities.