New Apparatus Coming Soon...
June 3rd, 2014 - Wintergreen Fire and Rescue has had the pleasure of accepting the chassis for our new Tanker. Next stop is the truck body manufacture in South Dakota. If all goes well, we will have the finished product by Christmas. Check back soon for more information and updates!
TJEMS Award for Outstanding Pre-Hospital Educator
May 29th, 2014 -
Mike Riddle, Chief of EMS Operations, Wintergreen Fire & Rescue
1) For the first 12 years of his professional life Mike Riddle worked as an Architectural Technician.
His job was to manage many details and to pull pieces of a project together in a way which was both
structurally and aesthetically pleasing. If you think about it, this isn't all that different from the job of
an EMS instructor. Every student has their own detailed list of things they need to learn. Teaching
methods that may work well for one student, might not work at all for another. Therefore, certain
elements of instruction end up getting tailor-made to maximize effectiveness. In the end, everything
has to come together to form a strong agency with cohesion and organization.
Mike somehow manages to pull together a very diverse group, which includes both staff and volunteers to be certain the product we deliver meets expectations.
2) Mike continues to be an excellent instructor, largely because he continues to be a student. Since
accepting the position of Chief of EMS Operations Mike has constantly been enrolled in lengthy and
difficult courses. This helps him stay grounded. Mike always listens completely to his students before
offering answers or suggestions. His calming nature makes students who are in a panic relax enough to
allow the information they need to sink in. His public speaking is excellent and he continuously involves
the audience so he can monitor their progress.
As the Chief of Operations, Mike has many responsibilities which don't involve training. Nevertheless, Mike logged nearly 400 hours of classroom time in 2013. Topics range from Community CPR to ACLS and everything in between. Not included in these hours are the many hours Mike spends working with the staff Technical Rescue Team as they prepare for high-angle emergencies encountered on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As Chief of the Department, I can't recall ever approaching Mike with any idea on which I met resistance. Mike is a can-do type of person and rarely if ever fears the unknown.
3) Mike has enhanced the classroom by realizing that the classroom itself is becoming a dinosaur in our
industry. Gone are the days when all the volunteers could find time in their schedule to be in class on
the second Tuesday of every month. With second and third jobs competing for precious time, training
has to be 100% convenient if high levels of volunteer involvement are expected. Our agency still has
monthly training, but for those who can't make it, Mike creates an online course which the members
can complete at home and verify by passing an online quiz. Mike will also meet with members one-on-
one to review any questions.
For the newer volunteers, who need more attention than a monthly drill Mike has created a "new members academy" which puts all of the pieces together and compresses them into two weekends. He runs this academy a few times per year.
Beginning in 2014, Wintergreen Fire & Rescue instituted a new SOG which requires a video tutorial before any new piece of equipment can be placed in service. Once the tutorial is released via email to all staff and volunteers, 72 hours must pass to allow all three shifts to view and ask questions before the equipment is actually put in play. Mike has been a major player in this initiative.
As if that isn't enough, Mike is just genuinely a very nice guy.
Wintergreen ISO Score Update
May 11th, 2014 - Months ago the Wintergreen Fire Department announced to its constituents that we were being audited by the Insurance Safety Office (ISO). ISO is a private risk assessment company which establishes strict quality benchmarks and metrics from which your insurance company bases their premium. Our department had not been audited for 10 years. ISO scores range from 10 to 1, with 1 being the best. There are currently no Class 1 departments in Virginia. Going into the audit, our score was a 4. According to the ISO website, if we were to slip backwards just one point, it would cost the average homeowner 5% of their insurance premium. If we were able to improve a point, it would save 2%. 2% isn't a huge number, but it still represents roughly $55,000 in save premium for our owners. When the audit began late last year, we vowed to keep the results transparent by posting the results on our website. We are ecstatic about our new score of ISO Class 3. Of the 776 departments scored in Virginia, only 19 have a score of 3 or higher. One example of another Class 3 department is Fairfax County. We're currently ranked among the top 3% of all Virginia Departments.
It will take approximately one year for all insurance companies to "discover" our new rating. If you would to help jump-start the process you may email our rating letter to your agent. To download the PDF click here.
Could we ever achieve Class 2? Who knows, we never expected to be able to claim Class 3. If we ever do achieve Class 2 status, the premium savings for each owner would average 8%. None of this would be possible without your support. We sincerely thank all owners who continue to support us.
New Response 174
April 3rd, 2014 - The new Response 174 is a half-ton extended cab Chevy Silverado. 60% of the rear seat was removed to make room for a full compliment of ALS gear. This vehicle will become the primary ALS response vehicle for Wintergreen Station 2. 174 is now far more capable of pulling the ATV trailer, the Special Events trailer, and the Forest Fire Support Trailer should a need arise. The truck, as well as all of the items we purchased to outfit it as an emergency vehicle were Made In America.
Rockfish House Fire
March 25th, 2014 - Wintergreen along with Rockfish, Faber, Lovingston, Nelson Rescue, and the county paid rescue crew were dispatched for a structure fire involving the back of the house. Upon arrival, heavy smoke showing from the front and heavy fire from the rear. All occupants were out of the house with no injuries. An exterior attack was initiated and the fire was knocked down within 15 minutes. Crews stayed on scene working hot spots to completely extinguish the fire for another 2 hours.
Wintergreen Fire Dept & Rescue Squad Documentary
This video tells the story of the dedicated men and women of Wintergreen Fire and Wintergreen Rescue. Most of the footage contains real calls with real patients and scenarios. The producer Riley Hanlon from James Madison University spent just 14 hours with our crews to create a power snapshot of a "day in the life of" Wintergreen. The testimonials are real.
Piney River House Fire
February 13th, 2014 - Wintergreen Fire and Rescue were dispatched to assist Piney River Fire Dept for smoke in a structure. Attack 5, Medic 29, and Medic 151 responded to the scene. Upon arrival, incident command found a single story structure, with flames showing. Piney River Vol Fire, Nelson Sheriff's Dept and Lovingston Vol Fire Dept were also on location. All occupants were able to exit the home safely before the fire.
Wintergreen Drive MVA
January 21st, 2014 - Wintergreen Fire and Rescue were dispatched to Wintergreen Drive just above the lookout for an MVC. Engine 2, Response 173, Chief 1 and Chief 2 responded. Upon arrival, command found a single vehicle over the embankment. Moderate damage was found to the front of the vehicle. Driver had self-extracted and was uninjured. No fire hazard was present. All units returned to service after turning the scene over to WPD.
Happy New Year!!!
We at Wintergreen Fire & Rescue wish everyone a happy and healthy 2014. It's the time of year when we all take stock of what's really important and resolve to do things better in the year to come. To assist you with this, we have included a link to a 60 second video which illustrates the importance of driving attentively. The video was filmed in New Zealand and is by far the most powerful public service announcement I have ever seen.
It's only 60 seconds of your time, please watch.
For other stories, see our Story Archive.