First responders adopt innovative addressing system

In Clarke County, emergency first responders are revolutionizing rescue efforts with the
adoption of what3words app, an ingenious global addressing system.

Instead of relying on general locations after a 911 call, what3words provides three unique words that pinpoint an individual’s exact location, whether on a mountain or along a riverbank.

This precision saves critical time and ensures prompt assistance.

The system divides the entire world, including bodies of water, into 10-by-10-foot squares and assigns each square a unique combination of three words.

Designed specifically for first responders, what3words is available as a free app and functions in over 40 languages.

The beauty of this system lies in its permanence—the words assigned to each square remain fixed indefinitely.

Before embarking on any outdoor adventure, it’s advisable to download the app to your phone.

Don’t miss out on this invaluable tool for ensuring safety in emergencies: https://what3words.com/about.

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

Warren county public schools plan for traffic disruption

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Due to the closing of the Shenandoah Shores and Happy Creek intersection on Wednesday, February 14th, Warren County Public Schools has announced their plans.

They are asking that students be at their bus stops 5 minutes early to ensure prompt pick up.

The contractor is working with the transportation department to accommodate the morning schedule.

If the work is not completed by afternoon drop off, a second bus will be stationed across the tracks for student transport.

First Responders will be on site to help students cross the tracks.

Crash responder safety week

Traffic Update

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) would like to remind you that it is Crash Responder Safety Week.

Remember to slow down or move over for flashing red, blue & amber lights, it’s the law!

You play a role in providing first responders, law enforcement, VDOT crews & tow truck drivers need a safe area to work.

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

Middletown mourns passing of former Mayor and volunteer firefighter

Our thoughts are with the Middletown community as Former Mayor Neil Stallings passed away over the weekend.

He served as Mayor from 1972-1976 and was a member of the Middletown Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company for over 50 years.

He was an instrumental part of the current EMS system used by the Company and was an instructor for 12 years, imparting his wisdom and technical knowledge to the next generation of first responders.

Stallings was dedicated to educating and helping young people in the community and he was able to guide numerous students in his role as a counselor at Laurel Ridge.

The official town announcement is found here.

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

Blood type can now be added to ID cards in Virginia

Virginians can now choose to indicate their blood type on driver’s licenses and ID cards to help assist first responders in the event of an emergency.

Residents will have the option to place their blood type on cards when they renew or replace a license or ID card online or through any in person DMV customer service center.

The blood type will be displayed with a small icon on the front of your license or ID.

Proof of blood type is not required by the DMV, it is the responsibility of the individual to self-certify and make sure the correct blood type is selected.

The decision to add blood types to identification cards was originally introduced by Virginia Senator George L. Barker as a state senate bill.

DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey supported the decision stating, “The law was intended to aid individuals and first responders when every second counts in an emergency. DMV is proud to provide Virginians with options.”

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

FCSO officer named guest speaker at Distracted Driving Summit

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The 10th Annual Distracted Driving Summit by Drive Smart Virginia is getting ready for their event in Blacksburg this September and recently announced one of their guest speakers.

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Warren Gosnell was added to the list of special guests to speak at the event.

Lt. Gosnell was chosen thanks to his 26 years of experience in law enforcement with an emphasis on traffic safety and enforcement.

The summit will focus on how Virginia can reverse the trend of an increase in distracted driving cases around the state since 2020.

While the event is aimed towards police officers and first responders, it is open to any community member who would like to attend.

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

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.

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

Va Senators vote for fire department funding

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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.

Winchester plans emergency response exercise

The City of Winchester will hold a full scale emergency exercise on October 1st.

The training exercise will take place at John Handley High School from 8 am to noon and include the city’s public safety departments, public schools, and supporting agencies.

The simulated scenario will involve an active threat at Handley.

The goal is to assess first responders and school staff’s readiness in the event of a threat.

On that date, there will be increased traffic around Handley, John Kerr Elementary, and Quarles Elementary.

There will also be numerous road closures in those areas.

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

News Makers Magalis and Cline on National Night Out

National Night Out is Tue. Aug. 2 and is a chance to meet and greet first responders and explore equipment.

We spoke with Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis and Captain Crystal Cline about the event in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Kahle tells us about some of the history of National Night Out in Front Royal.

Crystal tells us what to expect this Tue. Aug. 2.

They both have some great news about this year’s event as they try every year make it bigger and better.

Click here for their interview.

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