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Work with system

I would like to respond to the article written by Pattie Davidson in the Bedford Bulletin in which she stated Big Island responded to an emergency call in the Bedford area and that we need a more modern paid first responder system. Personally, I don't think anyone would argue with her statement. Until that time comes we need to work with the system we now have in place.

I am a 19 year old member of the Bedford Life Saving Crew, which is all volunteer as are many squads in our area. I have been a proud member for three years, two of which I served as a junior member. Bedford Life Saving Crew is made up of caring individuals that give back willingly to our community. Bedford Life Saving Crew alone answers anywhere from 150 to 200 calls a month.

The volunteers of Bedford Life Saving Crew all have families and jobs like everyone else. We make time in our busy lives to give back to the community. Members miss out on special times with their family as they run to meet the needs of a citizen in trouble.

The emergency response system is set up so that a squad is toned out when they receive a 911 call. The dispatcher will tone our squad several times and if that squad is not available to respond, they tone out another squad until the call is answered.

When a call goes out, all available people head to the crew hall. We understand the urgency of every 911 call and start preparing for what we are about to face. Yes, we come from home, work, an outing with our family, the middle of a child's birthday party, or from our bed in the middle of the night. Making our way through to the squad, having to obey all traffic laws and are not able to exceed the speed limit even though we are responding to an emergency 911 call. Remember when you see us with a flashing light or in the rescue unit please allow us to pass safely and in a timely manner as every moment counts in an emergency.

Once at the squad we get organized and prepare to meet the call of duty. It is a great thing that we have citizens that are willing to do this for our community and the surrounding communities so that we can all have confidence that someone will respond to our emergency call. You can further aid and expedite our response time by placing at least a four inch reflective numbers on your mail box or house so we don't pass you by and waste precious time.

I'm sorry for those who have to wait in an emergency situation not knowing what to do to ease the pain and suffering of a loved one and having to count on their neighbors to respond and help in their time of need. I understand that sometimes it seems like an eternity before help arrives.

One day every community may have paid responders, but until that time we need additional volunteers. Contact your community rescue squad and ask how you can become an emergency response volunteer. If you are undecided and would like to explore the idea, just give us a call and we would love to have you do a ride-along with our volunteers. This will give you some insight into what we do on a daily basis.

There are many ways in which you can serve and help. If you do not think you can deal with some of the traumatic situations, keep in mind that we need qualified people to drive the rescue units. If your heart moves you, then join to help provide and instill confidence that our 911 calls will be met by devoted caring citizens in our community.

Ashley L. Bryan

Bedford Life Saving Crew

Asking for help

I am writing this letter to you to ask the people of Bedford County for help. My name is Alvin Gable and I volunteer for Stewartsville Rescue Squad. I also work part-time for Bedford Fire and Rescue Department as a Medic /Fire Fighter. I started volunteering in 1978 in Hanover County and joined Stewartsville Rescue after moving here in 2002.

In a previous letter a citizen had written about the length of time it had taken to get help when she had called 911. When a medic unit did arrive it was not from her local rescue squad. Well I am about to tell you this happens a lot and it will continue to happen. This situation will get worse unless the board of supervisors keeps in the budget the request for the extra help that Chief Jones and the Bedford County Fire and Rescue Dept has asked for.

As you might guess, most volunteers have daytime jobs. What that means is that is an average member can run from 6 p.m. to usually 3 a.m. An average call can take two to three hours which would make volunteers late for their jobs if they go on a call after 3 a.m.

The County now has paid personnel on four medic trucks during the day Monday through Friday. The Stewartsville and Forest trucks respond from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Montvale truck responds from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and the Moneta truck from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. As you can see, there is a big gap in coverage from 3 a.m. until the paid trucks begin at 6 a.m.

We also have problems with having enough Advanced Life Support (ALS) personnel in some parts of the county when the paid staff in not in service. What does this mean to you? Well if you have a heart attack at 3 a.m. anywhere in the county/city you may get a medic truck that responds from the other end of the county with members from three different squads and arrives an hour after the 911 call was made.

Don't get me wrong, Bedford has come a long way in the last year since the Supervisors approved the Fire and Rescue Department hiring career staff and billing insurance companies for services. Chief Jones is only asking for three 24 hour ALS positions to man a response unit that would respond to any ALS call in the county. This would get help quickly to someone who needs it until a medic unit can get on scene. All of the counties that boundary Bedford already have these systems put in place.

Now I know times are tight, but this can save lives and how much are your loved ones worth? As I stated before, this situation will only get worse due to the fact that fewer and fewer people are volunteering. The people who are volunteering have less and less time to run calls. So what can you do? Call, write or email your supervisor. Tell them to give the Fire and Rescue Department the funding to add this staffing.

I got into Fire and EMS service to help people in a time of need. There is nothing worse than for that pager going off at 5 a.m. on a work day and not being able to answer the call because I have to be up at 6 a.m. to get my children off to school and myself to work. Please help us so there will be someone there to help you in your time of need.

Alvin E. Gable

Captain Stewartsville Rescue Squad

Sheriff Brown wants more money

I just heard that Sheriff Brown has asked the board of supervisors for a 1.2 million dollar budget increase. This, along with the $5,132,887 that is already getting, comes to a total of $6,332,887. This doesn't include the nearly $4,000,000 from the Federal Government. Sheriff Brown worked for the Federal Government long enough to learn how to spend other people's money and give very little in return.

There are families in this county that could use financial help in the form of heat, medicine, medical care, less taxes etc.; far more than serving Sheriff Brown's ego.

I'm asking every taxpayer in Bedford County, which includes the city, to contact the Board of Supervisors, asking them not to increase the Sheriff's Budget at all, not now or never again until he shows in writing and itemizing how the money is spent. I want county citizens to see what is going on.

Also, in the near future the Board of Supervisors will be asked to hire one or more auditors from the Va. Association of Auditors. They will audit all departments from the top down. This should be money well spent and should more than pay for itself. It will also let the taxpayers know how their money is spent.

Below are the names, phone numbers, and fax numbers of each supervisor. Please let them know that you're in favor of the above. If you are undecided, look at your tax ticket.

District 1 Supervisor: Dale Wheeler, Rs. (540) 890-1954, Fax (540) 890-5667.

District 2 Supervisor: Charles Neudorfer, Rs. (540) 297-9321, Fax (540) 297-7098.

District 3 Supervisor: Roger Cheek, Rs. (540) 297-5045, Bs. (540) 297-2360, Fax (540) 297-7067.

District 4 Supervisor: John Sharp, Rs. (434) 525-6555, Fax. (434) 525-1362.

District 5 Supervisor: Steve Arrington (Chairman) Rs. (540) 586-4721, Bs. (540) 586-0110, fax (540) 586-4721.

District 6 Supervisor: Annie Pollard, Rs. (540) 890-7820, Fax (540) 890-7820.

District 7 Supervisor: Gary Lowry, Rs. (540) 586-4013, Bs. (540) 586-1045 x238, Fax (540) 586-7740.

Billy Hackworth


Two corrections

This letter is in response to a letter in the editorial section from B.C. Smith on March 12, 2008. The letter was kind and thoughtful that made me proud of the work that we do at our agency. However there were two mistakes in B.C. Smith's letter: I am a master's level therapist not a doctor (PHD) and I work at Bedford Counseling Center/Central Virginia Community Services not social services.

Robert White M.Ed.


Meeting of Marines

There are some of us former U.S. Marines who live in the surrounding area who have Mess Call at either Bob's Evan's or Cracker Barrel usually at 0800 every other Thursday.

Should any of you former U.S. Marines like to join about five of us former U.S. Marines, meet us and it will be a fine Mess Call (breakfast), of course separate bills, but let's hear the sea stories and if you have a cover with an emblem, wear it.

P.S. Thursday, March 20 at Cracker Barrel.

Dan Villarial


Todd Hammock, director of golf, (left) and Kyle Johnson, manager (center) at Mariners Landing, stand with Moneta Lions Jim Hunt, immediate past president, Pat Bailey, secretary and Del Bailey, treasurer and chair of the Eighth Annual Moneta Lions Club Golf Outing scheduled for April 14. Another main committee member is Lion Pat Maddox (not pictured).

Moneta Lions plan golf tourney

The Eighth Annual Moneta Lions Club Golf Outing is scheduled for April 14.

The tournament is a major fundraiser for the organization and will be held at Mariners Landing Golf and Country Club where Adam Witt is now the golf pro.

The Moneta Lions Club continues to help people in the area through eyesight and hearing preservation and other programs. Moneta Lions donate many hours of time in recycling eyeglasses and testing vision and hearing of local school children as well as conducting other programs at Staunton River Middle School, Body Camp, Huddleston and Moneta Elementary schools.

The club members have also worked with the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department to install smoke detectors in area residences. Members have also redecorated the CVAAA Dining Hall and meet with the clients once every other month. The outing will help raise essential monies for things over and above our time; equipment, screening, education and providing eye exams and eyeglasses for the needy.

The Moneta Lions Club would like to thank the many sponsors as of this writing. The Gold Sponsors this year include American National Bank & Trust, Conrad Brothers Marine, Downtown Moneta - Mayberry Hills, LaBarbera Family Chiropractic Center, Mary Lou McDonald – Realty World and Preu Enterprises. The Major Sponsors this year include Allstate – Thomas & Wyall, SML, At The Lake Boat & Mini Storage, Bob Riddick Roofing, C.B. Rental/Coldwell Banker, Conrad Brothers Marine, El Torito Mexican Restaurant – Westlake, Farm Credit of the Virginias, First National Bank Corp., Gifts Ahoy, The Glebe Retirement and Lifecare Communities, Good Looks Salon and Day Spa, Harvey Dentistry SML (William Morris, DDS), H & R Block – Westlake, Mariners Landing Resort Communities, Mariners Landing Golf and Country Club, M.L. Sutphin Insurance Agency, Moneta Farm Service, Radio Shack – Westlake, Runk & Pratt Healthcare Enterprises, Southside Electric Cooperative, Sunset Cay, Tacoma Mgt.- Taco Bell & Long John Silver), Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Virgil Naff Sea-Doo, Webster Marine Center – Mark Mills and The Willard Companies, Inc.

“The Moneta Lions golf tournament committee has coordinated a golf fundraiser that continues to make the event superior to the typical golf tournament fundraiser,” indicated Todd Hammock, director of Golf at Mariners. “We are very proud to partner with the Moneta Lions Club and to host such a worthy event. The Lions have chosen Monday, April 14th for the outing and have put together a great program.”

The format will be a handicapped Captain’s Choice. The outing is open to both men and women of all handicaps. The field this year is limited to the first 25 teams.

Prior to the shotgun start at 9 a.m. participants may warm up at the range and enjoy a continental breakfast sponsored by Conrad Brothers Marine. There will be an I/O Boat & Trailer and a Sea-Doo & Trailer and other hole-in-one prizes on the Par 3’s provided by Conrad Brothers Marine and Webster Marine Center respectively and refreshments on these holes provided by other businesses.

Among other prizes, participants will be competing for complimentary green fees at Westlake and Waterfront (Willard Companies), Mariners Landing, Ivy Hill, Ashley Plantation, Botetourt Country Club, Blue Hills Golf Club, Countryside Golf Club, London Downs Golf Club and as well as sportswear and equipment provided by others.

At 1:30 p.m. participants and Lions Club workers will enjoy a multi-entre buffet dinner at nearby Saunder’s Firehouse. During the dinner, sponsors will be acknowledged and prizes of all kinds awarded. The early registration fee by April 10 per golfer is $65. Contact the Baileys at 297-3519 or Mariners at 297-7888 for an application.

While this will be a great day for the golfers, the other additional real money for the Lions and their sight and hearing projects comes in the form of hole sponsorships, indicated Bailey. Businesses or individuals donate $65 and get their name on a sign located at the tee box of a hole.

The Moneta Lions Club would also like to thank those area businesses that have already signed up. Hole Sponsors at this time are: ACS Design, LLC, A J’s Restaurant, All-Size Storage, B B & T, Body Camp Store, Brenda’s Pack & Ship, Bryan Sicher, DMD, PC, Call Richard Handyman Service, Capps Home Building Center, Central Oil & Propane, Debbie Robbins – State Farm Inc., Dom Buccola Electrical Contractor, Drift-In Sunoco, Eastlake 122 Self Storage, El Torito – Westlake, Enirtep, Inc., Eric J. Smith, DDS, PC, Expert Title Services, LLC, Franklin Community Bank, George Cooper Agency – State Farm, Glenwood Fuel Oil Co., Inc., Haywood’s – Westlake, Jeff Persinger – State Farm, Kroger – Vinton, Lake Auto Repair, Inc., Lyons Team Realtors, Mayberry Drive-in-Diner, McCall Insurance Agency, Inc., Mary Lou McDonald – Realty World, Nationwide Custom Homes, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, P D & M, Inc., Phil Hager Insurance, Richard C. Morgan – State Farm, Roanoke Stamp & Seal, Sarah’s Place Antiques and Collectibles, Scott & Bond, Inc., Shop/Great Valu, Smith Mountain Landscapes Ltd. SML Chiropractic Center, SML Family Practice, Southlake Real Estate, Steve Chiminello/ Long & Foster, Sugg’s Appraisal Service, Sweet’s Heating & Air Cond., Team Coachworks, Inc., Tuck’s Tire & Auto, United First Financial, Updike Funeral Home, Vogel & Cromwell, Westlake Jewelry, Westlake Signs & Design Group, Westlake Veterinary Medical Center, Woods Towing & Service Center,.

If you wish to be a sponsor, call Del Bailey at 297-3519 or any other Moneta Lion.

Lion Del Bailey