Community Champions

Bernice Elliott Human Resources Assistant, North Carolina MENTOR
Grant Recipient, Vass Fire Department

When Bernice Elliott hears the number 20 called out through the scanner in her house, all activity stops. Someone needs help. She is the only licensed EMT in the all-volunteer Vass Rescue Squad, a job that consumes 20 to 30 hours of her week. That’s above and beyond her full-time position as Human Resources Assistant and Direct Support Professional in the West End office of North Carolina MENTOR and the work of being a single mom to three children, ages 18, 15 and seven.

Bernice, who spends evening hours and often weekends at special trainings, is working toward becoming a volunteer paramedic. She is already certified as a rescue technician in helicopter transport and in general ground search, invaluable skills in this small, rural community.

Her colleagues also enjoy supporting Bernice’s efforts, such as a recent drive to collect stuffed animals for children who are served by the rescue and fire squads.

The Vass Fire Department will receive a $500 grant from The Foundation in honor of Bernice’s volunteer spirit and hard work.