Beverly A. O’Connor joined the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad on August 15, 1995 as an Active Member. She joined and immediately registered for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course, where she successfully passed and earned her EMT license. A few years later, Bev continued her education and added to her credentials by becoming a certified IV-Technician. During her tenure as an Active Member, Beverly experienced all kinds of 911 calls to include delivering a baby boy in the back of the ambulance, as well as a lifesaving award for making CPR count on a patient in need. She was truly a lifesaver.
Beverly was well liked among the members and would spend countless hours going above and beyond for them. Her weekly duty schedule consisted of Tuesday days, Tuesday nights, and Wednesday days – and if you know how our duty shifts work, you’d calculate a total of 36 consecutive hours of rescue squad duty each week! While that is truly a significant amount of time to dedicate each week, Bev and her crews certainly found time to enjoy themselves while on duty. She and Sandy Mahoney would often carpool from their homes in Scotland to the rescue squad (we’re still not quite sure how Bev handled Sandy’s driving!) and every Wednesday entailed lunch at Courtney’s Restaurant with Jack and Frances Ann Cullison. Each Tuesday night was bingo at the American Legion, and Bev would have a friend finish playing her cards if she had a call. After an evening of bingo excitement, she stayed the night at the rescue squad building with Christy (Ridgell) Leach. They would always watch an episode of “Law & Order: SVU” and then head upstairs to bed. Bev and Christy shared the women’s bunkroom, where their late night chats would end as soon as the first one fell asleep.
On May 6, 2006, Beverly was selected as an inductee into the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association (SMVFA) Hall of Fame. Her nomination was submitted by the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad and the SMVFA Hall of Fame Committee selected her based on her years of service and duties to our squad. Only ten nominees are chosen each year and we were proud to have Bev recognized for her distinguished service.
Later that month, Beverly shared the news that she would be relocating from Scotland, MD to St. Petersburg, FL. Her rescue squad family was sorry to see her go and brainstormed ideas to make her send-off as memorable as possible. The best idea offered was to bestow Life Membership to Beverly prior to her departure, a title that is given to members who have reached 15 years of active service. Although Beverly was a few years shy of meeting the 15-year requirement, the membership unanimously voted to accept her as a Life Member of the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad. This recognition was presented to her during a farewell gathering that was held at the squad before she left. She was very surprised and deeply touched.
Beverly remained in touch through the years and always tried to keep up with the latest rescue squad news and events. Even though she was miles away, Bev was always with the Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad in heart. She celebrated our successes and mourned our losses although she was a thousand miles away. She also supported our fundraising efforts by sending thoughtful donations each year to be auctioned off in our Brown Bag Auction. Beverly was always one to be counted on.
Although it has been quite a few years since we’ve physically seen Beverly, there are traces of her throughout our rescue squad building that remind us of her every day. She was a wonderful woman and an even better friend. She will be sorely missed.