BROOKNEAL, Va. -

It's a day Wayne Rudder hoped he'd never see.

A day when the town of Brookneal would no longer have its own rescue squad.

"We just kept anticipating that things would get better and times would change, but it never happened," said Rudder, president of the Brookneal Rescue Squad, which made a tough decision this week to stop answering calls at the end of June.

The decision was largely driven by a lack of volunteers.

"A lot of the people who worked here are having to commute further to work," explained Rudder.  "A lot of the older ones are not able to run like they used to."

According to numbers from Campbell County Public Safety, the Brookneal Rescue Squad received 822 calls for service last year.  Despite their best efforts, they were only able to respond to 34 of those emergencies.

Rudder says he believes his agency would have more volunteers to help answer calls, if the state's training requirements weren't so strict.  In Virginia volunteer medical technicians must complete 154 hours of classroom instruction and clinical rotations before they can serve with a rescue squad.

"It makes it really hard to spend our time getting qualified to do the job, rather than just get out and help somebody," Rudder said.

Brookneal's rescue squad serves southern Campbell County, along with parts of Halifax and Charlotte Counties.  Local leaders are working to make sure there will still be someone to help when emergencies happen in those areas.

"Between Campbell County's career staff and the five other volunteer agencies in the county, they will still be supported completely," said Campbell County public safety director, Tracy Fairchild.  "There will be no lapse in service."

The rescue squad will stop answering calls June 30.  After that all of their assets, including their building and emergency vehicles, will be sold.