From junior kindergarten to senior year, St. Christopher’s boys are encouraged to develop a strong sense of service and community. For alumnus Evan Knight '19 and senior Reynolds Short '20, that means responding to emergencies with the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia increases
, both Saints faithfully continue to help people in need. Short, who began working with the squad in October 2019, is training to be a squad leader and finds deep satisfaction in his work. “I think it’s a very tangible way to give back to your community,” he said.
Short’s service has a family connection, as his father volunteered with Tuckahoe Rescue when he was in high school. “It’s interesting that now I work with guys on the squad who also rode with my dad.”
Short, who has not responded to any confirmed COVID-19 emergencies, has gone out on calls where the infection is strongly suspected. The rise in virus cases has prompted extra safety precautions with protective masks and goggles and decontaminating rescue vehicles on a daily basis.
It’s a particularly risky time to be a first responder. Alumnus Evan Knight '19, now a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, aided one confirmed COVID-19 case and suspects several others.
Knight has volunteered since his junior year at StC and is now a squad leader. He believes his service is a good way to help the public and a valuable leadership opportunity, but he admits to questioning whether he should continue his work, given the risks to others around him.
Since VCU relocated some students from dorms to make room for expected hospital patients, Knight now lives with his parents, who are both in their 50s. “It’s been on my mind. Should I keep doing this? What kind of steps should I take? I don’t want to bring it home to them,” he said. Ultimately, he decided to continue his service with the squad, as he believes it’s important work.
Knight draws a direct line from his experience at StC to his first responder volunteer work. He believes that the support he received from the school was critical to allowing him space and time to become so involved with the rescue squad.
Being a Saint also helped shape his sense of duty. Knight points to Upper School History Teacher Stuart Ferguson’s “Leaders in Action” course as being especially influential. “That class was super, super helpful in getting some leadership experience,” Knight said. “I can apply what I learned in that class to the work I’m doing on the squad now.”