Winchester Emergency Communications Personnel deemed First Responders

The City of Winchester’s Mayor John Smith made a proclamation naming Emergency Communications Personnel of the Winchester Police Department as first responders.

In the proclamation, Mayor Smith acknowledged the importance of the role of Emergency Communications Personnel including their crucial dissemination of information to firefighters and police officers.

He also reminded residents that this personnel is the first point of contact for community members who may be experiencing a stressful emergency and of their substantial contributions in apprehending criminals, suppressing fires, and treating patients.

The Winchester Police Department hopes that this proclamation will continue to other agencies around Virginia to acknowledge the significant contributions of Emergency Communications Personnel.

To view the proclamation, click here.

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Va Senators vote for fire department funding

frederick county fire marshal's office

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine voted yesterday to pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act.

This legislation will continue funding grant programs that support fire departments and firefighters across the state.

The timing of this vote came at a crucial time as two critical programs neared their expiration deadline of 2024.

The legislation reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program which provides firefighters and other first responders with the crucial protective gear, equipment, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public.

The votes also helped to reauthorize the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program which aims to help fire departments and volunteer interest groups increase or maintain the number of trained, front line firefighters.

Since 2015, over $8 million has been awarded from these programs to communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Numerous localities have already accepted funding through the programs including the Stephens City Fire and Rescue Company which received $21,068 earlier this year.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

13 acres affected by SNP wildfire

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

The Shenandoah National Park reports the effects of a wildfire that started around 2 pm on Thursday and lasted till 11 pm that evening.

National Park Service firefighters and a crew from the United States Forest Service got the blaze under control in the Big Meadows area.

Several trails in the region and Rapidan Road remain closed while crews continue to clear remnants of the wildfire.

A power line in the impacted area left Big Meadows Wayside, Campground and Picnic Grounds and Lewis Mountain temporarily without power.

Those areas, which opened for the season Mar. 24, have reopened with power restored.

In all just over 13 acres were affected by the wildfire which remains under investigation.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

South Warren Firefighters save the department thousands of dollars

A social media post from Warren County Fire and Rescue (WCFR) announced that Firefighters have saved the department thousands of dollars.

South Warren Fire Station 3 Firefighters saw the need to get equipment to emergency water situations faster.

So Firefighters build a trailer that can carry a motorized boat, a raft and two kayaks along with all equipment needed for a rescue.

The new trailer allows first responders to move all equipment faster and more efficiently to any flood, water and ice rescues.

Thanks to the staff’s ingenuity they have saved the department thousands of dollars according to the post.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here. 

Fire Fighter volunteers are at a critically low level

frederick county fire marshal's office

An email from the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association (VFCA) indicates Fire Fighter volunteers are at a critically low level across the United States.

The lack of volunteers hampers any Fire Departments ability to meet community needs.

In an effort to bolster volunteer recruitment a statewide public service(PSA) campaign has been launched.

You’ve Seen Us is a video campaign that features some local firefighters.

Some cuts from the video that was shot in May in Winchester is included in the campaign.

So the announcements will include some Frederick County and Winchester fire fighters as well.

More information on volunteering is available at

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WCFR battle an early Thur. morning fire

thanksgiving safety tips

An early Thursday morning fire heavily damaged a home under renovations in the 100 block of West Strasburg Rd.

Crews from Warren County responded to find flames on the second floor and through the roof.

A firefighter did sustain minor injuries but did not need to go to the hospital.

Crews from Strasburg, Millwood assisted in suppressing the fire.

The call came in around 1:30 a.m. with crews remaining on the scene until 10:30 a.m. Thur. morning.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Page County Firefighters battle massive blaze

page county election coverage

Firefighters from Stanley, Luray and Shenandoah spent much of Tuesday Apr. 27 night fighting a large fire on a Page County farm.

The fire may have been caused by a spark from a wood grinder.

The fire involved pallets and machinery on Dairy Drive on Leakesville Road.

Firefighters resorted to dumping dirt on the fire to extinguish it as water was not sufficient.

Stanley Fire Chief Terry Pettit reports that the damage is likely to exceed $250,000.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.