About Us

Our Humble Beginning

Southside Virginia Emergency Crew has come a long way throughout its history.  Our story begins in 1945 when  an article appeared in the February, 1945, issue of The Reader’s Digest concerning the activities of the Roanoke Life Saving Crew, organized and directed by its Captain, Julian S. Wise. The Petersburg Junior Chamber of Commerce reviewed this article during a meeting on April 5, 1945. W. Roy Smith, President of the Jaycees that year, appointed a committee to visit the Roanoke operation and to report their findings at the next Jaycee meeting. In a resolution, passed unanimously, the Jaycees promised sponsorship of such an organization. The original committee, augmented by K. E Morris, invited the mayors of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Ettrick, along with potential first aid instructors, presidents of local civic organizations, and area medical personnel, to attend an organization meeting at the Petersburg YMCA on May 18, 1945. At this meeting, the crew was formed and the name, SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA EMERGENCY CREW, was adopted.

Meet Our Team

SVEC is proud and fortunate to have so many talented members on our team.  Our everyday heroes hail from all walks of life and exhibit a strong passion for their craft.  We’d like to introduce you to our members responsible for the continued forward movement of our organization.

director of operations

Edward "Bubby" Bish, Jr.

Director Bish began his career at SVEC in 1967.  Throughout his tenure, Bish held many positions and served in different capacities.  In 2006, Bish was appointed Director and has been extremely instrumental in growing SVEC to the full scale EMS operation it is today.   Bubby Bish serves as the Director of Operations overseeing the administrative and operations divisions. 

Deputy Director of operations

Jennifer Lewis

Deputy Jennifer Lewis serves as the Deputy Director of Operations.  Lewis has held several positions within the organization to include her most recent role as Captain of “D” shift. Lewis has been very instrumental in structuring the employee onboarding process and creating the Scheduling Coordinator role allowing for efficiency in employee scheduling, shift coverage using demand analysis and shift cross coverage.


Brian Billings

Captain Billings serves as Captain of “A” Shift and oversees fleet maintenance and management. 


Mark Talbott

Captain Talbott serves as Captain of “B” Shift and oversees the management of our facilities and grounds.


Johnny Young

Captain Young serves as Captain of “C” Shift and oversees the management of facility inventory. Captain Young also chairs the Community Outreach Committee.


Ronnie Catron

Captain Catron serves as the Captain of “D” Shift and is the agencies Training Officer.  Captain Catron also chairs the Quality Management Committee.

Scheduling Officer

Jessica Goodman

Jessica Goodman is a certified field medic and serves as the Scheduling Officer for the organization.  Goodman also assist with administrative tasks of onboarding new employees.

Logistics Officer

Melissa Watley

Melissa Watley is a certified field EMT and serves as the Logistics & Supply Officer.  Watley also assists in obtaining specialized equipment, supplies and chemicals such as those needed for COVID-19 response.

Privacy Officer

Kenneth Evans

Kenneth Evans is a certified field medic and serves as the Designated Privacy Officer and provides guidance with regulatory compliance.  Evans also assist with IT support serving as the E-Services Administrator.

Volunteer Officer

John Campbell

John Campbell is a certified field EMT and serves as the Volunteer Major.  Campbell is charged with administering volunteer membership operations and programs and leading the membership at-large.