Rockbridge Emergency

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A cease fire may be in the works

Postby Truckie » 2009 Jan 26 10:31

Hello Juggler,
Thank you for your continued interest. And thank you for posting the news item. I hadnt' seen it.

Many have taken punches during this thread. The LFD has thrown a few and has taken a black eye a time or two.

Please endulge my comments on several points.

First, the minor. The title of the News Gazette article is, "LFD Wants To Settle Suit Out Of Court." The item heading should have read, "Lexington Desperately Wants The LFD To Settle Out Of Court." Yes, the LFD went before council and played their politics. However, make no mistake, the LFD is not the one begging for this suit to settle.

The LFD actually would prefer Judge Moon issue a ruling. The LFD feels that such will clarify serious issues, although conceding that other issues will be created. But, in the interest of YOUR, OUR and the PUBLIC SAFETY, and in the interest of satisfying the LFD's paramount goals, the LFD is seriously considering the City offer; an offer to meet all of the LFD demands if the law suit is dropped.
The LFD ONLY sued the City *after the City sued the LFD*. Mr. Ellestad has needed reminding of that circumstance on several occasions when he whines about being dragged into Federal court... to which he always humbly nods in acknowledgement. The court route was initiated by Mr. Ellestad and Mr. Mann i.e. The City of Lexington. There was no alternative as the LFD saw things.

The primary motivation of the LFD when filing the Federal suit was to improve, progress and solidify the fire / EMS services for the citizens it has the duty to serve. The LFD personnel are sworn and dedicated to the protection of the public; most of them truly care about the wellbeing of the community. High time had come to force the City's hand on many issues. Everyone should be thankful that the LFD refused to back down.

The secondary motivation was to call the bully out. Everyone outside of this "thing" appears to hold malice and the assumption that the LFD gives a dang about the money. The money is way down the list of reasons... this is about people, us and ya'll, and this is about the safety of the public.

The money was stolen from a donor, and the LFD, by the City. An act not only abetted by Mr. Raetz, a supposed "professional," but, reported to be initially suggested by Raetz to Ellestad. Those facts should enrage you folks, and for some of you it does. A crime was committed by your local government with the 100% cooperation of a private accomplice. No one seems to care about that outside of the LFD... and that fact floors me. Mrs. Osburg would care though, I can vouch for her.

The LFD detractors have berated us. The City etal have spun this and us. Detractors have chosen to not investigate the real picture; have chosen to attack us on this forum and elsewhere; have chosen not to support the progression of fire / EMS. These antagonists have chosen not to ask questions of our politicians or hold them accountable... yet had the nerve to scream at the LFD "how could you!?"

The City was making rash, inappropriate and heavy-handed demands... and doing so less any concessions or concern for anyone or anything outside of itself. The public should be grateful that a "bunch of ignorant rednecks" (not a quote from this forum) thought enough of them and of this job, the public safety and their responsibilities of all of it, to stand up to the thug on the block. The LFD stood up for principle and service to the citizens. The LFD charged head-on into the bully pushing his extortion... and it did so for YOU and for the progression of your emergency services.

The LFD knows the flaws of the area fire / EMS system. These flaws are serious and dangerous, both for you and for us. A City official once overtly commented concerning EMS, "as long as that ambulance goes down the street, I don't care what's inside." The City cares what it looks like, that the public sees it pull up (eventually) but, they obviously do not (did not) care about its capabilities once the apparatus stopped in the street... in front of your house, I might add. The City thinks (hopefully thought or will have thought) that its obligation is only to ensure that an ambulance or fire Engine comes and goes. The "appearance of service" to the public is both self-serving and extremely dangerous to the LFD personnel... but, especially detrimental for YOU, those you love, the community and your property.

The LFD's motivation for all of this mess is to address and begin to repair the problems. Prior to filing the Federal suit, the LFD begged the City, "fix these problems." After being sued by the City, such pleas progressed to "we'll gladly give you the money and all else you want, just help us." The City was not interested in fixing a thing... it only wanted the money. So, backed into a corner with no hope from the City to fix serious issues *for your and our protection,* a law suit was "counter" filed.

Seems this tactic may be working... our hopes are up but, our skepticism remains ingrained.

(more to come)
Last edited by Truckie on 2009 Jan 29 09:37, edited 6 times in total.


Re: A cease fire may be in the works Part 2

Postby Truckie » 2009 Jan 26 15:08

Judge Moon instructed the parties to attempt to reach an agreement outside of a Federal decision. Judge Moon has not clarified his intention for issuing that order.

Those of us willing to ponder his directive opine that Judge Moon understands, no matter his ruling, there will be losers and long reaching impacts, likely some yet unrecognized. Many questions deserving resolution will remain and be returned to the courts. Other answered questions will filter out of Lexington and across the country, impacting communities unknown and in uncharted ways. Judge Moon also knows that there are some shady practices that will be exposed if this goes to judgment. He nor the City want such to come to light.

The City wants this monkey off of its back... the LFD likewise, although not nearly as eager. The motive for the City is because this venture is expensive and time / resource consuming, it wants the money and it wishes to hide some issues that it rather not have exposed. Many think the City is concerned that it will lose this case, thus losing each of the aforementioned. Tough City talk says that it thinks not... however, their eagerness and sweaty brows tell another tale.

Before all this got rolling toward Judge Moon, and even before the City stole funds and sued the LFD, the LFD made requests of the City. These requests were chiefly for the improvement of its fire and EMS service. The City scoffed and literally turned a blind eye, it was stricken with deafness.

Since those days, the LLSC has seen mismanagement of its funds, to the point of probable theft. I won't point any more fingers... but, let's just say that City leaders continued their blind and deaf stance... preferring to keep things quiet from all others. The City answer to these underlying issues was to seize the LLSC funds and legislate it into a Department of the City... a probable illegal act on the part of the City, and of the LLSC. Apparently, a "corporation or entity" cannot be disolved in that fashion. The LLSC, battered and unknowing, relented and complied. When the same was demanded of the LFD less provocation or any other valid reason (outside of Dottie's money), the LFD stood up and made the noise... and the citizens, grateful or not, will be the eventual beneficiaries.

Footnote: The LLSC illegally complied with the City's illegal demands and ordinance. The only thing the City accomplished, or even desired to accomplish, was to seize the LLSC coffers for its own. EMS service was not improved, actually it worsened. Serious and overt issues concerning the LLSC and EMS service remained unaddressed.

The LFD was very vocal about the deficiencies within the City's EMS service. The LFD was criticized for initiating it's ALS - EMS Program; a program initially placed for the protection of LFD personnel. The City's volunteer EMS service was not capable of protecting its own fire department.

Lexington now has a "Department of the City" with its new and illegally created/legislated EMS Department, i.e. the LLSC. Yet, even though the City has officially taken on the responsibility of EMS, it still did not give a hoot how well the horse ran; obviously giving no respect or concern to the liabilities they had just legislated unto the City.

The bottom line is this, the City took the money and ran! Just as the LFD knew and predicted would occur. The LFD WAS NOT going to let this happen twice and pulled on the gloves. The citizens deserve better... your fire department stood up for you.

Disclaimer: this is not a total knock on the volunteer personnel of the LLSC but, is a total disdain for the system and the lack thereof. The Crew has some well intentioned folks.

The "offer" spoken of in the news item is the City agreeing to the demands of the LFD. If the City had done so during the infancy of this thing, no one would be where we find ourselves today. Years of progression would not be now lost and funds needlessly squandered... however, if the serious emergency services problems move toward resolution, this money, albeit out of our pockets, will prove well spent.

The City has put a lot of spin on this situation. They have demonized and misrepresented the LFD. As said prior, the LFD is not motivated by the money, the City bears that tag. The money issue only provided the avenue to pursue and force the LFD's true agenda, that of fixing serious flaws in your protection... a venture that will take years, and sorrowfully, can't afford to take that long.

At this time, I cannot comment on the agreement. Partly because of the obvious. Mostly because the key points are known but, the details yet worked out.

I will comment on the part of the agreement, which is already public. Over the past four years, the LFD has requested the City appropriate for a career fire chief. Through these legal wranglings with the City, that request has now become a demand. Lexington needs a progressive fire chief. A person who can command an emergency incident, bring discipline and structure to the area services, deal with the Feds, capable of writing grants, well versed in suppression and EMS responsibilities, deal with the City, the County, other fire/EMS agencies, two universities and all the other pressures... and do so with the delicate touch of dealing with volunteer personnel. This is a unique and HUGE job, which will require a very unique and patient person.

Come what may, hiring a fire chief is way past due. And some have asked, "what's in a name?" Meaning, there are some who would like to "title" this position as an "emergency services coordinator" or some ilk of other nomenclature. A "FIRE CHIEF" is what the LFD and the area requires and merits. A "fire chief" carries command, legal and political weight that no "emergency services coordinator" would ever realize.

There are four other scopes of the LFD demand of the City. We can discuss them as they become public. One of the remaining items is fairly big. The other three, not so much.

What does the LFD have to relinquish?
The LFD will have to turn over its current and future funds to City control.
The LFD will have to officially become a "Department of the City."
Both of these circumstances have legal issues that will have to be worked out. To reiterate, seems that a municipality cannot just "take over" an entity... and an entity, a corporation, cannot simply disolve and give its assets away. These are matters for the lawyers to bilk another $30,000 out of our pockets... however and as said many times here, this will prove money well spent in the long term.
Oh yeah, and the LFD will have to fire (no pun) its attorney and drop the Federal law suit.

Yep, the proposed repairs will cost taxpayer money. Rest assured though, you'll sleep better and safer in the end.

Juggler, a cease fire is likely in the works. The LFD asks for everyone's help. Push area politicians to do the right thing.

On another note, the County should drop its political BS and become involved with this project. The County will reap trickle-out benefit from any move the City makes... but, that is no excuse for the County to simply hide and watch.



Postby Truckie » 2009 Feb 07 12:58

The LFD has officially agreed to enter into negotiations with the City. The goals of the LFD are to 1) outline a job description for a career fire chief and get her/him hired ASAP, 2) drive to repair serious deficiencies within the emergency services as to ensure the public and the community are well protected and 3) to solidify a progressive system and bring fire and EMS protection into the 21st century.

This is a path, which cannot be traveled over night... time is wasting however, and as I warned before, there's none to waste.

The LFD would like to make an apology (for the lack of a better word) of sorts. The LFD regrets that the time has come for the turning of our / your all volunteer system. Volunteers have proudly served the Lexington and Rockbridge community since the early 1700's... the third and final incorporation/charter from which the LFD operates today was in 1796.

A bit of trivia. The LFD is the OLDEST ALL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT in the Commonwealth. Possibly in the country but, this claim is not certified. This historical circumstance is BIG to the LFD and others that care about such things. Hiring a chief will reduce this stature to "an all volunteer staff"... and unfortunately for nostalgia and history sake, in years to come, this claim of pride, service and dedication will be forced to fall by the wayside.

A plea... the LFD needs the public involved! We (collectively) need our politicans pushed from all directions to do the right thing. Please get involved with this issue... feel free to ask questions, here, at City Hall and in the County's offices.

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Re: Lexington-Rockbridge Emergency Services

Postby Juggler » 2009 Mar 04 12:11

ROBERTA ANDERSON of the News-Gazette on February 25, 2009 wrote:Lexington OKs Paid Fire Chief Position

It’s official.

Lexington will hire a full-time paid fire chief.

City Council last week approved a memorandum of understanding that includes a commitment by the city to hire a director of emergency services who will serve as fire chief, captain of the Lexington Life Saving and First Aid Crew and coordinator of emergency services. The position will be filled as soon as practical after July 1 from a field of candidates selected from outside the Rockbridge region.

The memorandum also states that the Lexington Fire Department will dismiss the civil lawsuit that it has filed against the city in federal court, and that the department acknowledges that it is a department of the city and is to be operated in accordance with state law and city ordinances.

The wording of the memorandum was agreed to by a negotiating committee that included Councilmen Jim Gianniny and Frank Friedman and the fire department’s chief, David Clark, and engineer, Ronnie Williams. The memorandum has been unanimously approved by the fire department membership and must now be integrated into the language of its bylaws, Gianniny said. The rescue squad has yet to meet and discuss the issue.

City Manager Jon Ellestad said both the fire department and rescue squad need administrative leadership at this time. “I think this is something that is needed to support the continuation of volunteerism, not to undermine volunteerism,” he added.

“I’ve consistently said I want the volunteers spending their time training and fighting fires,” Gianniny said.

Ellestad did acknowledge that adding a department head staff position to the budget next year will be challenging. He noted upcoming expenses, particularly those associated with security at the new courthouse, “are not inconsequential.”

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Rockbridge Co Virginia Scanner Feed is Online!!!

Postby ShenValleyFire » 2009 Mar 23 23:17

Here is the scanner feed that I have.

It covers Rockbridge as well as surrounding Counties. The Scanner will mostly run from 6am to Midnight (Hours will vary).

Kristopher L. Bageant, Sr
SVFire1 - Shenandoah Valley Fire - Owner / Lead Photographer
VA13 - 1st Responder Wireless News - Virginia Sr. Incident Dispatcher


Fire Chief

Postby Concerned1 » 2009 Jun 18 07:42

Ok Folks, what’s the deal with the new position. Let me see if I understand this.

The Chief will be paid by and report to the City of Lexington, but the volunteers are the ones this position reports to. The volunteers provide the office space and other incidentals of the position. The Fire Chiefs staff will change each year come election time? How can the Chief make changes when the firefighters asked for and initially supported the position? Sounds like if the wrong changes are made a lynch mob would be the end result.

The Chief is expected to oversee and correct a corrupt and malfunctioning Rescue Squad that does not want this oversight, another recipe for disaster. A good manager would look very hard at the pay per call procedure, get ready for the axe.

All this for the total salary of $50,000 per year. Folks, there are Captains and Lieutenants in the surrounding areas that make that much on shift work. Don't get me wrong, there will be applicants. The kind of folks that are after that special title. But a manager of any value will see that this is a recipe for disaster as there are too many tightropes to walk for the money and responsibility incurred.

I see no way that real change can take place when the Public Safety Administrator will essentially have no power to institute it. A special manager with the proper backing could do wonders for both organizations at a slow and deliberate pace. But only with the proper backing from administration and with the clear knowledge that some eggs will have to be broken and a paradigm shift will definatly need to take place.

Again with the salary, I guess you get what you pay for.

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Rockbridge Co, Va Scanner Feed

Postby ShenValleyFire » 2009 Jul 19 18:29

The Feed, Which is located in Buena Vista, Now Covers Fire and Rescue Channels for the Counties of Appomattox, Augusta and Staunton, Bath, Botetourt, Campbell, Halifax, Nelson, Pittsylvania, Rockbridge and Lexington and Buena Vista.

Feed is in Test Mode and still working out the bugs. Any Questions, Please email me at

Thank You and Enjoy!
Kristopher L. Bageant, Sr
SVFire1 - Shenandoah Valley Fire - Owner / Lead Photographer
VA13 - 1st Responder Wireless News - Virginia Sr. Incident Dispatcher


Answering Concerned 1

Postby Truckie » 2009 Sep 10 15:15

First, an apology for our delinquency. Much has been transpiring, yet little time or incentive to report on it. Also, trivial and trite as this appears and likely is, Stonewall effectively high jacked this thread with ShenValleyFire. I can only ponder that his move was done in the air of consolidation of information and preservation of band width... but, Alas, ShenValleyFire's input, and thread credit, are not the initial and intended spirit upon which this post was founded.

ShenValleyFire, the above should no way be construed as a shot in your direction. I have not indulged in your net endeavors as of yet but, certainly plan to. Thank you for your "hobby" and wishing successes your way.

Anyhow, I address Concerned 1 and his/her thoughts.

The new fire chief will be hired by the City and report to the City Manager. There is a committee charged with the selection of the candidates and shall conduct the candidate interview. Also, this committee is to recommend (strongly) to the City Manager to whom the position is to be offered.

This is legal mumbo: the fire chief will be the sole employee of the City of Lexington Fire Department, a bureau of city government. The official title is, "City of Lexington, Chief of Fire - EMS Department." He/she will be the director and commander of the City's fire and EMS services and agencies. The Lexington Fire Company, and Lexington EMS Services (LLSC volunteers), will comprise the volunteer staff of the City of Lexington Fire Department.

In the event that firefighters are hired by the City, these personnel will be employees of the City of Lexington Fire Department. The hiring of Firefighter/Medics is inevitable and should (i.e. needs to) occur in short order.

As far as unpopular decisions leading to a lynch mob? This could occur I suppose. Some eggs will be broken. Actually, such circumstance has been calculated. The thought, possibly hope, is that the weak eggs in the carton will be culled and the strong ones will prevail. A situation, in theory, which will work for the good of the system. However, the assumption that the Chief will have to be a well versed and a full thinker… is not an assumption at all, it is a fact. This chief will be required to be a unique and strong leader. The job challenge for which few will be able to rise.

The LLSC Captain is not participating in this process. The LLSC has not improved its services, and continues to stone wall the efforts of the LFD to supplement EMS care and “do the right thing.” Also, that position by the LLSC Captain continues to be abetted by the City Manager; a situation and stance with Mr. Ellestad that continues to cause conflict between the LFD and the City, and one detrimental to the safety of the community.
A reminder, the LFD is the premier and capable EMS provider for the City.
A reiteration: the LLSC has some good people within its ranks. The Captain is a good guy… but, obviously one with selfish intent and contempt for the job he should be doing.

I specify the “LLSC Captain” as he and a couple of cronies seem to be the sole dissenters. There is a LLSC representative attending this Chief process. This representative seems to be thinking this thing through and is being generally supportive and helpful. This Rep. is also assuring that the LLSC, as a whole, is beginning to wane with its backing of the good Captain’s position and rhetoric. Accurate and concise information is now reaching the LLSC staff, and their rising support for this process is encouraging.

Concerned1 wrote:All this for the total salary of $50,000 per year. Folks, there are Captains and Lieutenants in the surrounding areas that make that much on shift work. Don't get me wrong, there will be applicants. The kind of folks that are after that special title. But a manager of any value will see that this is a recipe for disaster as there are too many tightropes to walk for the money and responsibility incurred.
Again with the salary, I guess you get what you pay for.

This is spot on Concerned 1, and has been a point of great contention and debate between the LFD and Mr. Ellestad. The LFD has said from Ellestad’s first suggestion of this salary that, “you’ll get what you pay for!”

Since the posting of the position, Mr. Ellestad, although the LFD thinks woefully not seeing the light, has put in a considerable, albeit not generous, negotiation buffer on the salary. The LFD is cautiously optimistic that someone with talent can be persuaded to take an initial salary hit. The promoted expectation is that if productive, this Chief can reach Tier-1 pay grade in a few years. Hopefully the right person will see this and take the job.

There were applicants stating that they would come for the 50g salary. Ellestad was all over those applications, and culled applicants stating higher salary requirements. In contrast, the LFD wouldn’t give a man the second look whom said such foolishness. An applicant agreeing to that salary is either horribly misinformed, just looking for a paycheck and/or is entirely inept. Again, this job will be hugely challenging on many levels and paddling in uncharted waters. A wo/man willing to do so for 50g is the WRONG person for this job.

Concerned1 wrote:I see no way that real change can take place when the Public Safety Administrator will essentially have no power to institute it. A special manager with the proper backing could do wonders for both organizations at a slow and deliberate pace. But only with the proper backing from administration and with the clear knowledge that some eggs will have to be broken and a paradigm shift will definitely need to take place.

The LFD wholly agrees with you. There is vast mistrust of Ellestad and the City, mistrust to do the right thing. The signs of late are encouraging from Mr. Ellestad. So much so, the LFD is cringing, awaiting his let down. We hope another disappointment doesn’t come. But, that is only the “hope,” not the expectation or his history.

This "Chief" ball is landing perfectly into Mr. Ellestad's and the City's hands; it is their's to drop. And if they do, the reprocussions will be catastrophic and cost taxpayers a BUNDLE in the end. Penny wise and pound foolish? Stand by for the answers.


An account and example

Postby Truckie » 2009 Sep 10 21:23

I have debated sharing this on the Forum. However, the public is entitled to know. Also, the emergency workers involved merit our kudos.

This letter was sent to a City Councilman, and copied to me. The incident occurred on August 26, this is not ancient history.

This letter exemplifies how the Emergency Services System should function, and will function with the right players. This letter was written by an LFD Firefighter, pleading to the City to stop backing the foolish and dangerous policies/politics of the LLSC Captain.

Any names have been deleted.
The LFD Engine rolls out of its house. There are wrecked cars on the East Lexington Bridge. Traffic is blocked, people are likely hurt. The LLSC ambulance, staffed with Carilion personnel, is already high-tailing to the scene.

Medic Engine-92 pulls up to the crashed cars. The Carilion staff is on-scene a minute or so prior. Three EMTs and an EMT ALS provider (!), plus an Assistant Chief comprise the crew of the Lexington Engine Company.

Things go very smoothly at this scene of twisted metal, unleashed boiling and hazardous fluids, broken glass and shaken victims. The victims are attended to with compassion and professionalism. The traffic is controlled for the safety of all. The vehicle hazards are dealt with... life for this emergency is good. Your firemen and the Carilion staff working in concert for the best and efficiency of the system, and toward the good of the community.

This incident is handled and cleared up. The fire Engine and its fire / EMS staff are returning to quarters... as is the Lexington ambulance containing its Carilion staffing.

A sheriff's deputy is cruising the 500 block of Taylor Street. He's had a long day and is heading for home. He barely notices as a guy jogs down the sidewalk. Without determined reasoning, the runner face first collapses onto the concrete walk! This runner is down, and he's not making any inclination to get up.

The deputy quickly jams his brakes, his tires screeeeeeeching into the pavement with a steady grip. This jogger is a young man, about 26, and he's not breathing well, if at all. His limbs are twitching without conscious control. The sheriff calls for an ambulance and stands by, rendering assistance and awaiting the arrival of the troops.

EMS is dispatched and (the Medic) pins his ear to the voice in the air. The Engine crew is also listening to the communication with great concern. Both crews, the Engine and the ambulance, are traveling one after the other down the boulevard, thinking that, only seconds ago, they were simply returning to quarters.

The Engine crew decides that they'll ease on over to Taylor St., just in case a hand can be lent to the ambulance boys. (The ambulance Medic) initiates his ambulance response as he radios the deputy to ask, “what's up?”

"Looks like he may be having a seizure or something, he's not breathing real well," the deputy crackles back with a hurried voice.

The ambulance pulls up behind the sheriff's cruiser, warning lights blinking into the daylight. The Engine pulls up many seconds after the ambulance, no lights flashing... the firemen take it easy while on their way to assist... because recall, "the fire department isn't allowed to run EMS calls."

The ambulance crew is duly amazed as they set boots into the street. The deputy is on his knees beside the fallen, he is performing CPR! This 26 year young boy, only out for a Wednesday afternoon jog, has found himself collapsed on a public sidewalk and succumbing to cardiopulmonary arrest! A young life dying right here on our City streets (Councilman’s name deleted).

The EMS and Engine crews go into action in one full, coordinated, cooperative and easy swish. A fireman takes over CPR from the fatigued deputy. (Carilion Medic’s name deleted) defibrillates this kid right there on our concrete slab. The firemen continue CPR, they retrieve the equipment, the drugs and the ambulance cot, and they help (the Medic) to put each to its intended use.

(The Medic) scurries back into the ambulance. He is working hard to get organized in the hopes to revive a young life. A big needle is bored into the shin bone of this collapsed kid in which to deliver life saving drug therapy. This victim is quickly loaded into the ambulance. The two Carilion staff plus two EMS-firemen, one of them ALS trained, load the ambulance rear to care for and treat this victim. Another fireman hops into the driver's seat and swooshes all off toward the Emergency Room.

Each of these seven emergency workers, plus a deputy sheriff, is working toward a common goal... that of saving the young life of a stranger. No one, not these emergency workers, nor the on-lookers, and especially not the victim... cares that a Fire Engine has pulled up to render aid and life-saving treatment. And as a matter of fact, (the Carilion Medic) is quite grateful that one has.

The hard work continues in the back of the ambulance. This young man is given life saving drugs and defibrillated once again during the couple of blocks ride toward the ER.

Because, and only because the system worked today as it should... there is a little luck in this story too, having (the Deputy) happening to be motoring by in his sheriff's cruiser... this boy arrives at the ER with a pulse.

The LifeGuard Helicopter is summoned to the ER to whisk this boy off to Roanoke. He's still in trouble yes but, he is alive. His life altering ride is taken inside a Lexington ambulance attended by firemen. Then, a second ride within a helicopter... instead of a cream colored hearse. The Reaper has been foiled with a little luck and hard work from (the Deputy), and directly because of the valiant efforts and talents of YOUR Fire Department and the Carilion staffed ambulance from Lexington.

This is a true account (Councilman)... this happened Wednesday afternoon upon the streets of our small town... where things like this "just don't occur." But..... the sorrowful problem is that things such as this really do happen. All too frequently, these things are happening.

I will dare say, and with great confidence, if this young man... a man with a previous heart condition, had found his fate and collapsed at one minute after 6 p.m., his outcome would have been much different. He likely would have remained in Lexington and taken that cream tinged limo ride in lieu of the helicopter to Roanoke Memorial.
(note: 6 p.m. is when the Carilion staff goes off-duty and the volunteers of the LLSC assume EMS coverage).

Yes, God looked out for a young life today on the streets of Lexington... as He has done several times in recent memory. This time, He put a deputy there to summon help and begin immediate CPR. He put a well staffed paid ambulance, and a well staffed, and volunteer, Engine crew only blocks away.

God ensured this boy his best chances at survival with Advanced Life Support personnel riding both emergency vehicles... and God allowed this to happen before 6 p.m. Because God knows that aft 6, he would have to set this young man on fire to get him the appropriate amount and qualified help... and as you know, there are no Medics staffing the ambulances after 6 p.m., and the Firefighter / Medics of the LFD are not allowed to help.

Yet here, another account and example of the "system" working as it should. Cooperative, cohesive and for the survival of our community, and of the persons contained herein. There are many times where the system has not... has not and is not allowed to function... and lives have suffered from this political constraint.

Why won’t Mr. Ellestad do the right thing for the protection of our community? Isn’t that his job? We’re tired of fighting these politics. The community is suffering, its people are paying the price.

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Fighting Fire with Brains

Postby Amy Probenski » 2010 Apr 23 17:29

Watch this, remember, and maybe we'll need one less emergency run.

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Re: Lexington-Rockbridge Emergency Services

Postby Wise One » 2010 Apr 27 10:31

Thanks for posting this one, Amy. It looks like smart advice indeed ... using your sharp noodle instead of raw instincts to deal with danger.

I talked this over with a guy who knows more about fire than I do and he had only one criticism.

The wet rag is fine if there is nothing better, but it brings its own hazards. Too dry, and it will catch on fire and fail to extinguish the fire. Too wet, and it will drip water into the oil, flash to steam, and cause the same explosion we see in the video.

Best would be to use a regular pot cover for the burning pan.

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."


Howdy... it's been a while

Postby Truckie » 2011 Apr 25 19:13

Good evening friends,

Our apologies for the hiatus. I see that Stonewall has switched my avatar too... my how things change when one leaves for a time. Of no matter however, the fire Truck didn't fit so well. The new avatar may better represent me.

A lot has happened in the City since my last post. I don't know where to really start. In the interest of shortening this post, I will be very general. At this juncture, I am asking the members of this board to field questions concerning the events.

Much has been written in the local media over the last months. Some of the information has either been manipulated or plainly omitted. However, the gist of what has transpired, and is transpiring, has been represented.

Since our last chat, the City Fire Department and the Lexington Lifesaving and First Aid Crew (LLSC) have been consolidated into a single agency. Accurately stated, the LLSC has been adsorbed into the Lexington Fire Department. The public may notice that there are "LFD" ambulances pulling up in front of your house. The name on the side of the vehicles is undergoing the name and color transition from the LLSC green, to the LFD red/gold striped.

The consolidation process has been long, and on-going. Many times, the trek has not been so pleasant. A year ago, the political attacks were vicious and coming from all directions. My heart felt kudos to the Lexington firemen who bit their lips and did the right thing.

The LFD is 19 months into its career fire chief. There are things to be said about this arrangement, some good, others not so much. But, at this point, you field the questions and I will get the answers.

There are career personnel on the way. The payroll is budgeted for FY 11-12. There are concerns here as well. Again, field the questions and I will get the answers. There is a back room consensus that a City misrepresentation is being perped upon the taxpayer concerning this.

The consolidation of the City fire and EMS services, as well as the introduction of career personnel, are major developments for this area. There is more to talk about... however, if these developments fail to generate interest/questions, I will refrain.

ps: hello WO. My kudos to you. Based solely upon our BANG debate, you finally got one correct :laughing: Turn off the heat source! A pot lid, a second frying pan, a cookie sheet is the way to control a stove-top grease fire. Improperly applied or rated fire extinguishers can spread the fire. A dish towel may only add fuel to the flames. But, if the towel is what you have, wet it, wring it a bit, and cover the pot. If you uncover the burning pot too soon, the grease vapors will re-ignite. Leave the pot covered and dial 911.


Citizen Invite To Learn About C.E.R.T /Disaster Preparedness

Postby Pselden » 2011 Jun 18 02:39

Hello, This newbie would like to invite all readers to a Community Gathering to learn more about C.E.R.T (Community Emergency Response Team) for an over view of disaster preparedness and the way neighbor can help neighbor during emergencies. The program will be offered Monday June 20th at the Mangus House Bed & Breakfast on Tye River Turnpike in the Vesuvius Community at 7pm.

The Emergency Management Coordinator for Rockbridge County and Resident Volunteer members of C.E.R.T will present an introduction and awareness that offers citizens a chance to learn more about preparing to handle life safety issues during times of emergencies or disasters. Refreshments will be served inside the recently procured HDT Technology Tent which is AIR CONDITIONED.

Come see what is takes to have PEACE OF MIND that your family is well prepareded to handle situations during disasters so you can offer a helping hand to neighbors. It comes down to having a PLAN/ Getting a KIT/ and staying INFORMED.

Hope to see ya there! Say you read this invite on the Rockbridge FORUM and receive a special gift as a thank you for attending. :wink2:


A Time To Remember A Time To Prepare

Postby Pselden » 2011 Jun 25 15:31

A TIME TO REMEMBER, A TIME TO PREPARE will be the theme for the month of September 2011.
The month is designated as National Preparedness Month and it so happens to be the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Event that happened in New York City That brought the Towers of the World Trade Center down.

With all that is occurring in the world right now, Please Let Me Encourage our readers to get involved with preparing themselves, their families, friends, business associates, church members, club buddies,
school classmates, partners and organization members. Seek out a bit of Preparedness Information to insure you have the RIGHT STUFF stocked up in case of an emergency or local disaster.

Learn the threats to your community. Not all are "mother natures" doing! Some can come from ruthless mankind. Gain PEACE OF MIND knowing your family has thought out the PLAN/ Gathered the right KIT and make it a point to STAY INFORMED. An easy free formal learning process can be conducted by attending a class conducted by your local Emergency Management Coordinator : The Class Know As C.E.R.T. ((Community Emergency Response Team)) enhances your knowledge of FIRST AID, FIRE PREVENTION, ANIMAL EMERGENCIES, SPECIAL NEEDS FOR THE DISABLED OR ELDERLY.

Hope to see your there. Remember preparedness is everyone's responsibility. You need to know that you may have to shelter in place or survive on your own for a period before FIRST RESPONDERS (Police Fire and Rescue) can get to ya. Don't be a victim. YOUR CONFIDENCE can translate into a neighbor helping a neighbor.

Preparing to have Food and Water on hand is important. Having a few comfort items won't hurt! :chew:



Postby Pselden » 2011 Jul 25 14:46

Preparedness Education

Preparedness Education in an emergency could be the difference between life and death. Emergency Essentials has a wide variety of books and videos to help to know what to do before, during, and after an emergency. Emergency Essentials also gives you insight about Preparedness Education with the following articles: Be Prepared, Disaster Preparedness for your Home in Three Easy Steps, and Emergency Preparedness at Work and School.

Checkout the website: for a $4.00 DVD to prepare your family. If you would like additional insight into Preparedness materials and things to consider for your family's well being send and email HEADER ASKING FOR INFO to I will be glad to communicate with you regarding preparations and an extensive training forum to be offered this fall. Meantime get ideas on supplies and and GROUP RATES from the mentioned website.

You all stay Cool....


Preparedness Giveaway >AUG 27th 2011

Postby Pselden » 2011 Jul 28 13:26

[b]COME VISIT WITH US AT THE BOOTH ON MAIN STREET LEXINGTON DURING DOWNTOWN LEXINGTON FESTIVAL AND RECEIVE A GIFT FOR YOUR "BUG-OUT BAG " .( an item to have in your) PLANNED EMERGENCY/DISASTER EVACUATION BAG AT HOME/IN THE CAR/FOR YOUR PET/ YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS SENIOR OR CHILD'S BAG.b] The Rockbridge County Emergency Management Office and the area Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will have educational materials to help you and your family or place of business PREPARE/ GET A PLAN/ and STAY INFORMED of emergency situations. Say you read about this offering on the Forum and get your "gift". :hello2:

Hope to see you there! :tiphat:



Postby Pselden » 2011 Aug 21 16:38

Here is a reminder to everyone that on 08/27th...Saturday Lexington is opening main street to vendors and crafters and organizations for the day so that they might display their messages and wares.
Please come by the display table for C.E.R.T>members of the Community Emergency ResponseTeam will help you evaluate your readiness in Being Prepared for a Disaster. Register for a free item for your emergency "grab-n-go" kit. Our members are your neighbors who want the community to be prepared for disaster such as Floods..Ice Storms..Hurricanes..Tornados..Thunder Storms..Power Outages..Chemical or Industrial Incidents or Transportation Emergiencies. EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS WILL BE AVAILABLE AND A FREE TO THE PUBLIC FALL CLASS WILL BE ANNOUNCED. Hope to see you there. :wink2: Say you saw this announcement on this site and get a special item just for my buddies here on the forum.



Postby Pselden » 2012 Jan 09 13:03

:pompom: New Year Greetings to All
Wishing you all a safe year. Would like to offer a few reminders throughtout the year which might have us all thinking about PREPAREDNESS. As a ROCKBRIDGE Residential Volunteer with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team )allow me to share with you all the tips I learn from various preparedness classes and various resource connections. The first for the New Year is a COMMUNITY EVENT being held 01/17/2012 at VMI's Leadership and Ethics Center. Citizens are welcomed to present their opinons on How To Create a Vision for a Healthier and Safe Rockbridge. While the coordinator is Katy Datz with the Free Clinic this does not mean only health providers and health professionals need to be in attendance. It is important that the SAFE concern about the condition of Rockbridge County be emphasised TOO! My connections have informed Resource Officers in the area and a call is in to the RedCross to have them participate.
PLEASE ATTEND THIS EVENT>refreshments will be provided express your concerns. See the ad in the News-Gazette 01/o4/2012 for further.
If you come to the event and introduce yourself to me You Might Just Receive an Item for Your Grab-N -Go Kit! :tiphat:



Postby Pselden » 2012 Sep 26 16:27

:pompom: Thought I would invite all our readers to a SPECIAL PRESENTATION on DISASTER READINESS to be held at the Stonebridge Community Center on Sunday Evening 6pm-8pm. This facility is located in Natural Bridge, VA and was the old Natural Bridge High School property.

The gathering is being sponsored by Stonebridge Community Church and we will discuss insight into Emergency Preparedness.

The book It's a Disaster...What Are You Gonna Do?"will be discussed. Will your preparations insure that your family has what it needs to "weather" the conditions it might face?

What supplies will insure your peace of mind? What conditions are likely to inpact your area?
Come to experience a thoughtful exchange of information and ideas with our friends and neighbors in mind.

Are your preparations suitable for a period of time that you might require for you to be self reliant?
Have you considered? adwquate food, water, first aid supplies, shelter tools and supplies, family communications, and secured important papers?

How will you be the most help to your family, neighbors and community BEFORE, AFTER and DURING an emergency? Families need to discuss having a plan, a kit and means to stay informed. How should you BE READY at work, on the farm, at school or ona family trip?

Disaster Readiness Should Be Everyone's Responsibility>>>Being Prepared Is Everyone's Responsibility.

The Invitation is open to all who want to BE READY. This is the close of National Preparedness Month
(September) "Pledge to Prepare Because You Care". Do alittle something each day during the remainder of the year to see that your family is prepared. Come and share your ideas.

Inquires can be made by contacting Marianne Moore (540-461-2742) Terri Robertson (540-817-0288)
of Peggy Selden (540-348-2003) RSVPs welcomed too!