Our Mission

 

Wintergreen Fire and Rescue in a Nutshell

Wintergreen Fire and Rescue's mission is to provide the best possible pre-hospital care and fire suppression for the citizens of Wintergreen and our neighbors in the surrounding Nelson and Augusta Counties.

This five-minute video tells the story of the dedicated men and women of Wintergreen Fire and Wintergreen Rescue. Be a part of this great team as a volunteer. Learn more HERE.



Both the Wintergreen Fire Department and the Wintergreen Rescue Squad began in the 1970s when the resort was in it’s infant stages.

Wintergreen's first fire engine

The Fire Department was known then as the Wintergreen Fire Brigade and kept it’s only fire engine in a shed at Golf Maintenance.

One of the first rescue transports at Wintergreen

The Rescue Squad had one transport vehicle which was a Chevy Suburban, typically kept at what is now the Food and Beverage loading dock. Both departments were initially staffed with only volunteers, however the demand for service quickly lead to a career/volunteer department.

In the late 1980s, the mountain station was completed. It has been expanded twice, with the most recent expansion taking place in 2007 to accommodate a ladder truck. In the early 1990s, a need was identified for a second station in the valley, which was built in the Stoney Creek community in Nellysford. Stoney Creek grew quickly and in the late 1990s the size of that station was doubled. The stations are owned and maintained by the Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA).

The Rescue Squad is a nonprofit 501c3 organization comprised of approximately 30 volunteers. The organization meets on the second Tuesday of every month. Volunteers are trained from the level of driver all the way up to Paramedic. Every ambulance which responds from Wintergreen Rescue will have at least one volunteer on board. Frequently, during ski season when call volumes are high, ambulances will be staffed with all-volunteer crews.

The Fire Department is a non-profit 501c3 organization comprised of approximately 10 volunteers. Volunteers complete much of the same training as career staff. Typically, volunteers meet emergency apparatus at the scene and provide critical support.

Wintergreen Fire & Rescue is a department within the WPOA. Employees are required to be fully cross-trained for both fire and advanced medical emergencies. The full-time and part-time employees are utilized to provide 24-hour fire and rescue coverage for both Wintergreen Stations. Wintergreen also provides EMS coverage for all of Nelson County as a sub-contractor. The Nelson County assignment is handled by a separate crew of medics who are utilized to staff a station on the Route 151 corridor and a station on the Route 29 corridor. Wintergreen Fire & Rescue staff are assigned to over 2,500 incidents per year.

Both fire and rescue departments have a volunteer Board of Directors responsible for administrative and business aspects of the agencies. Operationally, Wintergreen uses the “strong chief” model, whereby the chief, employed by the owners association, is responsible for all operations of the staff and volunteers.

Combined, the Wintergreen Rescue Squad and Wintergreen Fire Department operate 21 pieces of equipment. This equipment is complex as a 95’ Aerial Platform truck or as simple as an SUV used for rapid response. Because of the extreme terrain, almost all of the equipment has to be specialized and is therefore more expensive. The capital needs of both departments are funded by private donations. Operating expenses are paid by the Nelson and Augusta counties, and by Wintergreen Resort. All staff expenses are paid by WPOA.

Wintergreen continues to expand this model volunteer/career emergency services system. The Insurance Safety Office has rated the Wintergreen Fire district a “3”, which many moderately-sized cities have yet to obtain. The Wintergreen Rescue Squad was named “Outstanding EMS Agency” for the Thomas Jefferson Council in 2006, 2009, and 2012.

A 40-ft rope training tower and a 48-ft smoke maze trailer were completed in 2013. Training will continue to be a high priority for both agencies. In the future Wintergreen could become a training destination for many of the courses required of EMS and firefighting professionals but are rarely offered in central Virginia. This may include training in basic life support, advanced life support, firefighting, and technical rescue classes.

January 2016