Congratulations Curtis Sheets!
November 9th, 2013 - Chief Curtis Sheets was presented with the 2013 Governor's award for Outstanding EMS Administrator. For those of you who know Curtis will understand why he won this award. Curtis' number one priority is to the citizens of Wintergreen Resort, Nelson County, and the staff/volunteers of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue.
The criteria for this award is any individual who demonstrates ability to organize, conduct, manage, problem solve and evaluate within his or her organization and, by exemplary leadership and administrative skills, improve the effectiveness, response and delivery of EMS.
As many of you in the fire and rescue service may know it is difficult to manage an agency where volunteers and career staff are working in the same station. One of Curtis' priorities is to maintain that seamless work environment. He is always looking for ways to retain volunteers not only for our agency but also for all the volunteer agencies in the county. He has made this daunting task appear effortless within Wintergreen Fire & Rescue.
One other priority for Curtis is to write grant applications to receive money for equipment to better serve our community. Just last year Curtis was able to secure approximately $115,000 in grants for new equipment making the most out of your donated dollars.
As most of you know the foundation to any agency is its people. Curtis has made it his objective to invest in his staff. Curtis is always willing to hear the needs of the staff and will do anything he can to fulfill those needs. He encourages and supports our staff in all training needs from Paramedic, Critical Care, Vertical Rescue and much more. It doesn't stop there, Curtis is also concerned with our health and provides means for us to exercise and evaluates the progress on a regular basis.
This of course only scratches the surface of Curtis' dedication to the agency and community. This award is well deserved and long overdue. Congratulations Curtis!
Please see the picture of Curtis accepting his award at the Virginia EMS Symposium.
VAVRS District 1 Meeting
October 27th, 2013 - Four times a year Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads (VAVRS), District 1 get together to conduct business of the district. District One consists of squads from as far North to include Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, East to include Charlottesville- Albemarle Rescue Squad, South to include Covington Rescue Squad, and West to include Highland County Rescue Squad.
The October 2013 business meeting was hosted here at Wintergreen Rescue Squad at Wintergreen Resort. This event included competitions, a fantastic meal, and the business meeting. The three competitions were EMT, Extrication, and an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC). Here is how the teams placed in these events:
EMT Senior Contest
1st Place: Stuarts Draft
2nd Place: Waynesboro
3rd Place: Staunton-Augusta
EMT Junior Contest
1st Place: Waynesboro
2nd Place: Stuarts Draft
1st Place: Waynesboro
2nd Place: Staunton-Augusta
3rd Place: Buena Vista
1st Place: Justin Strader - Stuarts Draft
2nd Place: David Price - Waynesboro
3rd Place: Steve Rohr - Staunton-Augusta
Man Miles: Staunton-Augusta
Activities Report: Stuarts Draft
Vice Presidents Award: Stuarts Draft
Thank you to the volunteers of the community and friends & family of the rescue squad for providing the wonderful meal and Wintergreen Resort for the Venue! We had approximately 100 attendees representing 14 squads from our district to attend. The picture below provided by Aaron Bunch of Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad shows all that brought ambulances positioned on the Founders Vision Overlook after the event. What a beautiful day!
Views Within Our First Due
October 21th, 2013 - Wintergreen Fire Department was called to a home on Brimstone Drive for "smoke in a structure". Engine 2 and Truck 1 marked on location reporting light smoke showing. Chief 1, as well as 3 additional firefighters arrived shortly after light smoke was reported. Crews discovered a sauna which had malfunctioned, resulting in temperatures hot enough to melt gauges and controls on the walls. Additionally, cedar boards near the heater were beginning to discolor.
While crews were waiting for ventilation fans to do their jobs, the firefighters were drawn to the view from the rear deck of the home. Collectively, the crew of 7 had over 100 years of experience at Wintergreen. Even with all of that exposure, everyone agreed that the beauty of Wintergreen is at times so stunning that it stops us in our tracks. Could their be a more awesome place to call your "first due"? Take a look.....
Photo by Captain Barry Eastep
Fire Prevention Month
October 11th, 2013 - Just 11 days in to Fire Prevention Month, and we could not resist driving down the street to visit the children at Tuckahoe School here at Wintergeen. A Shift spent the morning with about 20 kids, talking about emergency routes out of a home, how to stay low, and looking at all the cool stuff on the Engine and Ambulance. To check out the album of photos, visit our facebook page.
LOCKN' Music Festival
September 19th, 2013 - With just over 20,000 in attendance, the LOCKN’ festival was a huge success. Wintergreen Fire & Rescue (WFR) logged just over 1,000 patient contacts. Over 200 involved enough patient care to require a "run sheet". 17 persons were transported via ambulance to the University of Virginia and Augusta Health.
WFR provided staffing for 5 medical Tents, 3 golf carts (medical transportation around the event), 3 walking teams, dispatching, 1 on-site physician throughout the week/weekend and 3 Chief Officers. Having an on-site physician for 100 consecutive hours allowed us to treat literally 50+ patients who would have otherwise have been transported. This extended care meant our providers had to work side by side with the Doctors, often caring for 6 or more patients at one time. The training value and the rapport-building was enormous.
Staffing the event for 11 days, 5 of which were 24/7 coverage went off without a hitch. Thanks to our staff, and the roughly 40 members from surrounding agencies who assisted, our schedules stayed full and we were prepared for just about everything. We involved providers from Nelson, Amherst, Augusta, and Albemarle Counties. We also involved the Cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Lynchburg.
There’s no better way to forecast how your agency will perform at a natural disaster than to manage man-made disasters. From the bid-process, to supply and logistics issues, to staff management, this event tested every single element of our medical staff. Based upon feedback from the promoter, our performance was stellar. Wintergreen Resort was fully booked for lodging during the festival. Because of this WFR didn’t tap Wintergreen volunteers for the festival. Our Wintergreen staff, our volunteers, as well as the "County Crew" remained at 100% staffing levels throughout the 5 day event.
Special thanks to Lovingston and Piney River Fire Departments for providing 100 hours of fire suppression. There were actually 2 small fires which required their intervention. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police also deserve credit for their efforts.
By; Michael Barber
Midday Parkway Flyout
August 29th, 2013 - Wintergreen Rescue was requested by the Park Service Police to respond to Milepost 20 on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a possible stroke victim. Upon arrival crews discovered a minor car accident which may have been caused by a stroke. Crews quickly summonsed the help of AirCare 5 who rendezvoused with Medic 178 at Reeds Gap Road (Milepost 13). Other units were Montebello Engine 70 and Ambulance 79 on scene as well as Wintergreen Engine 2 and Chief 1 at the landing zone. The Reeds Gap landing zone is one of four established landing zones utilized by Wintergreen Fire & Rescue.
Super Spartan Race 2013
August 27th, 2013 - This past weekend we had a Super Spartan Race visit the resort. Over 5000 participants visited for the event. Over 8 miles of running with 20+ obsticles, it was by no means an easy race. With about 1 transport per 500 visitors, we considered it a great weekend. Treatment of minor injuries was the primary care needed. The participants are already looking forward to next year's race.
Congrats to Two of Our Staff
June 12th, 2013 - Congrats go out to two of our staff members: Jarrod Hill has completed his medic training through Central Virginia Community College. Nice job Jarrod, we can never have too many medics on our roster. R.W. Woody has completed the Virginia Fire Chief’s Association “Fire Officers Academy” making him the first of our staff to complete this week long program. This is one of the most respected leadership academies in the state and less than 100 persons per year are selected to attend. Students stay on the campus of Richmond University where they complete approximately 75 hours of instruction in 5 days. Chiefs Riddle and Sheets traveled to Richmond on June 7 graduation ceremony. R.W. requested permission to apply for this academy and of course we said “go for it!” Way to show initiative R.W.!
Frank Ott, A Founding Father
June 8th, 2013 - A founding father of what we now know as Wintergreen Rescue Squad ended his battle with cancer today at his home in Nellysford. Frank Ott was a lifetime volunteer member of both the Wintergreen Rescue Squad and the Wintergreen Fire Department. He mentored countless volunteers, served as an advanced life support provider, and stepped up for virtually any task.
Frank filled the room with his energy, even when the room was big enough to hold a half dozen fire trucks. He loved everything about Wintergreen and the greater Nelson County community. He was active with several non-profits and served on several boards and commissions.
Frank's family always came first, but we were always a close second. He left quite mark on our agencies and our hearts. He will be missed.
TRT and VSP Training
May 28th, 2013 - On Tuesday the Virginia State Police and the Wintergreen Technical Rescue Team trained for a few hours practicing various scenarios. Members of Montebello Fire & Rescue as well as a few members of the Lynchburg Fire Department also participated. Wintergreen and Montebello share resources along the 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail which passes through their respective run areas. A few of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue part-time employees are full-time employees of Lynchburg Fire.
A number of different skills were sharpened during the day. The helicopter arrived with multiple pilots. They too were looking for training opportunities and the ridge-top landing zones at Wintergreen can provide conditions which while certainly are not unique, are challenging.
The first scenario simulated what is needed for the helicopter to touch a skid down on the roof of a vehicle trapped in swift water. If you watch this video closely you will notice that only one skid touches the ground. The pilot held the front of the right skid on the ground while a member of our team boarded the helicopter. Next the helicopter would fly a quick loop and then do it all over again.
The second scenario involved a "jungle extractor". As the name would imply, this device is lowered through a small opening in a tree canopy to lift a patient and provider in a seated position.
The third scenario involved hoists using the standard "Stokes Basket" in a horizontal rig.
Throughout all scenarios communications between the ground crew, the hoist operator, and the pilot were critical. No failures were noted. It was a good day!
The Tech Rescue Team of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue would like to thank everyone involved in our bi-monthly training.
Rescue Fleet Photo
April 21th, 2013 - Took out our newest additions for a fleet photo today. Squad 1, Medic 178, Medic 176, and Response 173. Photo was taken from the bucket on Ladder 1, looking over the Blue Ridge Overlook, a top Devils Knob Loop.
Blue Ridge Parkway Mutual Aid with Augusta County
April 17th, 2013 - Wintergreen Fire and Rescue was called to assist the Augusta County Sheriff's office at Ravens Roost in recovering a safe for an ongoing investigation. Squad 1 responded and set up a haul system to get the safe back to the top of the 100-125 foot tall cliff.
Technical Rescue Team - Crabtree Falls, Montebello, VA
April 8th, 2013 - At approximately 18:00 the TRT (Rope Team) of Wintergreen Rescue was requested to assist Montebello Fire & Rescue with a fall patient at Crabtree Falls. This location is certainly not unfamiliar to either agency. As one of the tallest falls East of the Mississippi River, Crabtree attracts thousands of visitors each year. There is an “upper and lower falls” each of which are rather tall, a difficult to reach. Not even ATVs can assist on calls at Crabtree. All equipment must be hiked in. Typical hikes will be 1-3 miles and require a lot of manpower.
Sadly, this hiker suffered fatal injuries when she fell. She had to be placed in a basket and hauled back up the rock face so she could be hiked to a waiting ambulance from Montebello Fire & Rescue. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident. The patient was an 18 year old student from Liberty University.
A total of three units and approximately 10 persons responded from Montebello Fire & Rescue.
A total of two units responded from Wintergreen with a total of 9 persons.
The total call time was approximately 3 hours.
New Staff at Wintergreen Fire & Rescue
April 5th, 2013 - We would like to welcome 4 new staff to the family at Wintergreen Fire & Rescue. They will be filling 1 On-Property Shift, and 3 County Crew positions.
Caleb Marden, Firefighter/EMT-E (C Shift, On-Property)
Chris Gaudreault, Firefighter/Critical Care Paramedic (B Shift, County)
Ryan Ferro, Firefighter/EMT-E (B Shift, County)
John Maywalt, Paramedic (C Shift, County)
For other stories, see our Story Archive.