September 9, 2012
Area residents paused to remember and reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, during Sunday's 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at Franklin County Veterans' Memorial Park near the Letterkenny Chapel. The service was held under a tent by the park's Franklin County 9/11 Memorial, which stands as a tribute to those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001. G. Warren Elliott, former Franklin County commissioner, spoke about the progress of Franklin County Veterans' Memorial Park. Phases one and two, which are the physical construction, are complete.
September 6, 2012
Local law enforcement officials will be honored during this year's “Remembrance in the Park” ceremony at Hagerstown's City Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11, according to a city news release. Hagerstown, Washington County and state law enforcement, emergency services personnel, military members, elected officials and the public are invited to pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, at the ceremony that begins at 7 p.m. Trees will be planted in memory of four Maryland State Police personnel who were killed in the line of duty, including Officer Clinton Rhodes (Jan.
September 3, 2012
A task force evaluating the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co.'s future learned more Monday about problems in the company's past and heard from other organizations about how they handle their operations. Issues with Fairplay Fire Co. staffing levels and lacking certifications started years ago, according to Kevin L. Lewis, Washington County's director of emergency services. In remarks during a meeting at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, Lewis called the problems “ongoing, repetitive issues primarily based around staffing” after reading summaries of letters, emails and phone calls dating from the past five years.
August 22, 2012
The Fort Ritchie Community Center and Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services Inc. have entered into a partnership that will allow emergency medical personnel to have access to the community center's fitness area. Since the Fort Ritchie Community Center opened in 2008, Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services has placed medical personnel on standby at the center's events, according to a news release from the organizations. The Fort Ritchie Community Center returned the favor by allowing Smithsburg medical personnel to have free access to the community center's fitness area, according to the release.
July 11, 2012
Meritus Health recently presented its EMS Excellence in Care 2012 awards to providers at Community Rescue Service, a 911 ambulance organization in Hagerstown. Meritus Health trauma and emergency services staff recognized providers for a recent emergency call that involved its services in partnership with emergency services in Franklin County, Pa. Frederick County, Md., providers also were recognized for their service on a separate call. The award recipients were Shawn Wieczorek, EMT-Basic; Justin Ruppenthal, paramedic; Robert Buck, paramedic; Alyssa Sica, EMT-Basic; and Billy Woods.
June 29, 2012
The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hagerstown Hotel and Convention Center at 1910 Dual Highway. The organization's blood supply has reached emergency levels, and all blood types are needed. The family of Brigitte Heller, a Boonsboro woman who died Thursday after being injured June 14 in a car crash on Maryland's Eastern Shore, is asking people to donate blood in her memory. Heller was Washington County's Emergency Services director and a past chief of the Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue Co. The American Red Cross requests that donors sign up in advance at www.redcrossblood.org, but registration is not required.
June 25, 2012
With their mother in no shape for visitors and an outpouring of support for her and her family, Brittany Heller and Terry Doyle put Brigitte Heller's emergency services truck in her Sharpsburg Pike front yard on Sunday to give people another outlet to express their support and thoughts, Doyle said. People continued to stop by the vehicle, about seven miles south of Hagerstown, to gather, talk, hug and cry on Monday. “My mom worked all the time, and as sick as she is and everything, no one could really visit her at the hospital,” said Doyle, 32. Brigitte Heller, 51, is a Washington County emergency medical services coordinator who trains the county's volunteer emergency services crews.
June 20, 2012
A church opened its doors Wednesday to become a cooling shelter for people who need to get out of the heat. The Community Grace Church, 17 N. Washington St., is receiving support from the Franklin County (Pa.) Department of Emergency Services. The shelter will have cots, water and refreshments, according to a news release. Emergency services director David K. Donohue said the shelter will remain open until the period of exceptional heat and humidity ends, about three days.
May 13, 2012
Hagerstown Community College's emergency medical services program recently received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions. Accreditation assures students that their education experience meets rigorous standards, with national acceptance and transferability, and serves as a roadmap to future EMS practice. This ongoing review will strengthen and improve the effectiveness and the quality of instruction of HCC's program and afford the college new opportunities for clinical sites.
May 11, 2012
A person who was reported missing on the Appalachian Trail at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday was found uninjured following a brief search, Franklin County (Pa.) Emergency Services said. The Blue Ridge Fire Department was called at 9:34 p.m. to help search for a missing person on the Appalachian Trail between Washington County, Md., and Old Route 16 Street near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., according to an emergency services news release. Rescue workers were able to communicate with the man through a cellphone and were still trying to reach him at 11 p.m., a Washington County 911 spokeswoman said.