News Briefs

The Man In The Red Truck

Josh SmootMay 31, 2018: On a Sunday morning recently, congregants of the Amissville Full Gospel Church in Rappahannock County watched in panic as the pastor’s wife collapsed after her heart stopped.

Seemingly within seconds, two unnamed men – one in a red truck and another in a white truck – arrived and administered CPR, saving the woman’s life.

A reporter from the Rappahannock News investigated and found that the man in the red truck was an EMT and firefighter with Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

It was Josh Smoot, VDOT's Northern Virginia District’s manager of maintenance for specialty programs.

“It really didn’t register to me as being a heroic action,” he said. “This is just how my community functions. We help those in need without a second thought."

First Responders Plan For Emergencies

Emergency responder meetingMay 16, 2018: In the wake of a major traffic crash or other road incident, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) works side-by-side with local and state agencies to keep Virginia moving.

The partners often make response plans long before an actual emergency. “We’re building relationships so we can improve communication, coordination and cooperation,” said George Johnson, a VDOT incident management coordinator.

George led a March gathering of law enforcement, tow operators and emergency responders who serve Augusta County.

The stakeholders group reviewed detour plans, hazardous materials response and joint training for multi-agency incidents. Those plans were put to the test just one week after the meeting, when a tractor-trailer fire shut down Interstate 64 East on a subfreezing morning.

While firefighters battled flames, our safety service patrol assisted local and state police with traffic control.

VDOT’s interstate contract monitors salted the highway as soon the fire was extinguished.

Enlightening Young Minds

Joe Ludwig and studentsMay 14,2018: Construction engineer Joe Ludgwig of the Hampton Roads District took off his hard hat and put on his teaching cap to explain the many career opportunities available at the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Joe, who oversees construction of the Interstate 64 Peninsula Widening Project, took time to speak to sixth-graders at Hornsby Middle School in Williamsburg during their school career day. 

Joe shared highlights from his career and explained how his job on the busy I-64 corridor will benefit future drivers.

The attentive listeners asked great questions and gave Joe a passing grade!

Page last modified: May 31, 2018