Recent News Releases
May 19, 2015
CONTACT: John A. Vithoulkas, Henrico County Manager
PHONE: (804) 501-4386
McDowell selected Southeast’s top fire chief
Anthony E. McDowell, chief of the Henrico County Division of Fire, has been chosen as the 2015 Career Fire Chief of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs.
McDowell, who has led the Division of Fire since October 2012, was selected from 15 nominees and will receive the award June 20 at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Birmingham, Ala.
“Henrico County is thrilled that Tony’s excellent public service has been recognized by his peers in the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Henrico enjoys a high quality of life in part because of the work and dedication of the men and women of the Division of Fire. As chief, Tony leads from the front and by example. He is driven by a passion for helping others and is guided by a commitment to his faith, his family and his community.”
McDowell will be the fourth recipient of the regional award since it was established in 2012. His selection also will serve as a nomination for Career Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. A winner will be announced at the group’s annual conference Aug. 25-29 in Atlanta.
The Division of Fire provides fire protection and prevention services and is the primary provider of emergency medical services in Henrico. The department manages 20 fire stations and a training facility, and covers an area encompassing 244 square miles. It also operates a regional hazardous materials team and provides technical rescue, ground search and water rescue. The agency has 549 employees and an annual budget of more than $51 million, and it responded to more than 43,000 calls for service in fiscal year 2013-14.
McDowell joined the Division of Fire as a firefighter in 1997 and rose to fire lieutenant and fire captain before becoming battalion chief of administration in 2011 and chief in 2012. In addition to his work for the county, McDowell has served as a member of the board of directors of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, vice president of the Central Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and a member of the Virginia E-911 Services Board. He also is the founding director of the Virginia Fire Officer Academy, which has trained hundreds of current and aspiring fire service officers.
A division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs provides leadership to career and volunteer fire service officials, managers of emergency services organizations and others in 10 states plus the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
May 8, 2015
CONTACT: Veta Herbaugh, Executive Assistant, Henrico County Board of Supervisors
PHONE: (804) 501-4208
Varina District meetings to focus on Varina’s past, present, future
Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson will hold three Community Conversations meetings in May and June to discuss the history, present conditions and plans for the district in eastern Henrico County.
The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 at Elko Middle School, 5901 Elko Road; 7 p.m. Monday, June 1 at Dorey Park Recreation Center, 2999 Darbytown Road; and 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2 at Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nile Mile Road.
For information, call (804) 501-4208.
May 7, 2015
CONTACT: Dr. Patricia Hill, Prevention Services Manager, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
PHONE: (804) 222-8194, ext. 3023
Henrico to present ‘Little Black Dress’ May 21 to promote awareness of depression
Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services and JLP Productions will present “Little Black Dress,” a play that seeks to help individuals who may be suffering from depression, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21 at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Road.
The event is free and open to the public.
Based on a true story, “Little Black Dress” encourages audiences to think about ways to help or get help for someone who may be experiencing depression, a misunderstood and potentially life-threatening illness if it is not treated.
Health and wellness information will be available from various groups, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Jason Foundation, Safe Harbor, Full Circle Grief Center and NAMI Youth MOVE, a youth-led organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
May 5, 2015
CONTACT: Lt. Shawn M. Sears, Animal Protection Unit, Henrico County Police Division
PHONE: (804) 727-8801
Henrico to offer rabies vaccinations for pets
The Henrico County Police Division will provide rabies vaccines for dogs and cats from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 16 at the Henrico County Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road.
Pet owners must register and pay at the cashier’s office in the Administration Building before seeing a veterinarian on the first level of the adjacent parking deck.
Each vaccine costs $10 and must be paid in cash. A rabies tag and certificate of inoculation are included. Pets from all localities are welcome. Cats must be in carriers.
Under Virginia law, dogs and cats 4 months of age and older must be vaccinated for rabies.
Henrico dog licenses will be available for $10, for a one-year license, and $15, for a three-year license. Officers will be available to discuss license options and vaccination requirements.
For information, call the Animal Protection Unit at (804) 727-8801.
May 1, 2015
CONTACT: Linda Leigh, Executive Assistant, Henrico County Board of Supervisors
PHONE: (804) 501-4208
Fairfield meeting May 13 to discuss new voter ballots, police equipment, Wal-Mart
Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Wednesday, May 13 to discuss Henrico County’s new voter ballots, police equipment and various development projects, including a Wal-Mart that is proposed along Nine Mile Road.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave.
Representatives of the Office of Voter Registration and Elections, the Police Division and the Department of Planning will join Thornton for the discussion and will answer questions.
For information, call (804) 501-4208.
April 28, 2015
CONTACT: Anthony E. McDowell, Chief, Henrico County Division of Fire
PHONE: (804) 501-4901
Henrico Fire now carrying plasma through partnership with VCU Health System
An emergency medical unit of the Henrico County Division of Fire has begun carrying fresh blood plasma to administer to trauma patients through a clinical research trial conducted with the VCU Health System.
The partnership makes Henrico Fire one of the first ground-based ambulance services in the United States equipped to treat patients with plasma. Richmond Ambulance Authority also is carrying plasma as part of the study, which is expected to last about three years based on patient participation.
Plasma is the liquid part of whole blood that contains vital proteins and the clotting factors that slow bleeding.
VCU Health System and other research institutions received grants from the Department of Defense to study the benefits of prehospital administration of plasma to trauma patients. The effort follows advancements in combat medicine and is expected to confirm that patients experiencing hemorrhagic shock who receive plasma before they arrive at a trauma center have lower rates of mortality and illness. It also is expected to show that early administration of plasma may reduce the total amount of blood products needed during treatment.
“Trauma patients typically receive plasma once they get to the hospital,” Henrico Fire Chief Anthony E. McDowell said. “Through our partnership with VCU Health System, we are able to give patients the blood products they need much sooner, and at a time when a few moments can mean the difference between life and death.”
A command vehicle based at the Glenwood Farms Firehouse 7, off East Laburnum Avenue, began carrying two units of thawed plasma April 21. The bags, which represent a combined 660 milliliters — nearly 1½ pints — of fluid, are picked up each morning from VCU Medical Center. The units are kept in specialized coolers that maintain their temperatures between 1 and 9 degrees Celsius (33.8 and 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in accordance with standards of the AABB, formerly the American Association of Blood Banks. Any unused units are returned for the hospital’s emergency use.
“We chose the Glenwood Farms station to participate in this important research project because it’s centrally located along the Laburnum corridor,” McDowell said. “Henrico Fire is hopeful that, as the study proceeds, we may be able expand this effort to more firehouses.”
Since the study began one week ago, Henrico Fire has not had an opportunity to administer plasma to a trauma patient. On average, Henrico Fire responds to 35,000 calls per year for emergency medical services. Crews typically administer saline to keep trauma patients’ blood pressure stable until they can be treated at a trauma center.
Henrico Fire spent nearly three years preparing to participate in the clinical trial. So far, 22 paramedic supervisors have been trained to administer plasma and work with ambulance crews to ensure that rapid transport to a hospital and overall patient care are not compromised.
The plasma study is part of an ongoing effort by Henrico Fire to tap U.S. military expertise to improve the delivery of emergency medical services. Since 2004, Henrico Fire has participated in joint military training exercises that emphasize rapid removal of critically injured patients, adopted military protocols for patient care and gained access to equipment and training opportunities that generally are unavailable to suburban departments.
The Henrico County Division of Fire is participating in a clinical research
trial to study the benefits of prehospital administration of plasma in trauma
patients who are experiencing hemorrhagic shock. Capt. Vernon Crumpler
holds a unit of plasma, which is kept in a specialized cooler in a command
vehicle based at the Glenwood Farms Firehouse 7.
April 24, 2015
CONTACT: Barbara Herzog, Director, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates
PHONE: (804) 501-1671
Henrico CASA seeks volunteers for training as child advocates
Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will offer a training program beginning Saturday, June 6 for volunteers who would work in the court system on behalf of abused or neglected children.
The free, nine-session training course will include classes at the Henrico CASA office in suite A of the Hungary Spring Office Park, 3001 Hungary Spring Road. A swearing-in ceremony will follow Wednesday, June 24 at the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer advocate must apply by Friday, May 22, be at least 21 years old and have regular access to a computer. Applicants will be interviewed, fingerprinted and undergo criminal background and reference checks. For information, contact Jeannine Panzera at (804) 501-1673 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available at henricocasa.org.
Henrico CASA is a private, nonprofit organization that has worked closely with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for 20 years to serve children in the community. Working typically 10 to 15 hours per month, volunteer advocates gather information on a child’s circumstances to supplement information provided to the court.
The training program prepares volunteers to interview children and others involved in their cases, submit reports to judges and assist case attorneys. Henrico CASA volunteers worked 8,000 hours and served 316 children in fiscal year 2013-14.
April 22, 2015
CONTACT: Will Jones, Senior Public Relations Specialist
PHONE: (804) 501-4348
Student Government Day puts Henrico students in charge
More than 100 students from Henrico County high schools on Wednesday got a firsthand look at their local government and public schools administrations as part of the 58th annual Student Government Day.
The program matched 108 students from all nine high schools with elected and appointed officials, including members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent, judges and department directors. Students spent the day learning how Henrico general government and Henrico County Public Schools work on behalf of residents and others to provide services and address needs of the community.
“Student Government Day creates an interactive, real-world learning experience for our high school students,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “They have an opportunity to interact with local leaders and see exactly how decisions are made and services are provided. Like the Henrico Citizens Academy, Student Government Day promotes civic engagement and underscores how our community becomes stronger when officials and residents work in partnership.”
Student Government Day began Tuesday at Hermitage High School with a ceremony in which 31 students swore the oaths required for their respective positions. All students spent Wednesday with their designated departments and agencies. Some toured Henrico’s Jail West and registered to vote.
For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center, the day ended with a student-run, simulated work session and meeting of the Board of Supervisors, which included discussions of the Virginia Capital Trail project and the county’s internship program.
The Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond sponsor Student Government Day.
CONTACT: John R. Cejka, P.E., Traffic Engineer, Henrico County Department of Public Works
PHONE: (804) 501-4393
Henrico prepares for heavy traffic during NASCAR races April 24-25
The Henrico County Department of Public Works will temporarily alter traffic patterns on roads around Richmond International Raceway (RIR) to accommodate fans attending the NASCAR races Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25.
Motorists are advised to expect heavy traffic and delays in the area on both days, especially from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., before the races, and from 10:15 p.m. to 1 a.m., afterward.
Henrico Police officers will direct motorists before and after the races. Race fans and other motorists are encouraged to check traffic updates on message boards along interstates and other roads approaching RIR. Police also will post updates on its Twitter account, @henricopolice, and its Facebook site.
The following traffic patterns will be in effect Saturday, April 25 during peak hours:
- Carolina Avenue between Laburnum and Azalea avenues will be one-way outbound after the race. Access to businesses along Carolina Avenue will be maintained from Laburnum Avenue.
- Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road from the Henrico/Hanover county line to Azalea Avenue will be one-way southbound from about 1 p.m. until the race starts. Sections of Meadowbridge Road farther north in Hanover County will continue to accommodate two-way northbound and southbound traffic at all times.
- After the race, Laburnum Avenue from Carolina Avenue to Mechanicsville Turnpike will be one-way eastbound. Eastbound Laburnum Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Carolina Avenue will be closed until race traffic disperses. Two-way traffic will be maintained on Laburnum Avenue west of Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road.
- After the race, beginning at about 10 p.m., Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road north of Azalea Avenue will be one-way northbound to Atlee Road in Hanover County. Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road will be restored to two-way traffic when race traffic disperses.
- After the race, three lanes of Azalea Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Henrico High School will be routed westbound; one lane will be routed eastbound. This change will require all median crossovers on Azalea Avenue from Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road to Henrico High School to be closed from about 10 p.m. until race traffic disperses. Police will assist motorists turning from Azalea Avenue onto Thrush Lane and Pony Farm Drive.
While the traffic modifications are in effect, median crossovers on Laburnum Avenue will be closed from North Avenue to Mechanicsville Turnpike, except at Alma Avenue, Pilots Lane and Austin Avenue. Only right turns will be permitted to and from Laburnum Avenue. Police will be at these intersections before and after the race to assist motorists turning onto or crossing Laburnum Avenue.
On-street parking on major routes to RIR will be prohibited each day. Parking will be available for $6 on Saturday, April 25 at the Richmond Coliseum parking deck at 501 N. Seventh St. in downtown Richmond. Free shuttle bus service to and from RIR will begin at 1 p.m.
The Henrico Police Division recommends the following routes for traffic approaching the raceway:
- From the east (Hampton Roads area) — Follow Interstate 64 west to Interstate 295 north (Exit 200). Follow I-295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike west (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
- From the east (U.S. Route 360) — Follow Route 360 west (Mechanicsville Turnpike), cross I-295 and continue west to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
- From the east (local traffic) — Follow I-64 west and take the Laburnum Avenue exit (Exit 195). Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
- From the north — Follow Interstate 95 south to the I-295 south interchange (Exit 84A: “Rocky Mount NC-Norfolk”). Follow I-295 south and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
- From the north (local traffic) — Follow U.S. Route 1 (Brook Road) to Azalea Avenue. Turn left onto Azalea Avenue and proceed to the raceway.
- From the west — Follow I-64 east to the I-295 south interchange (Exit 177). Follow I-295 south and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
- From the west (local traffic) — Follow I-64 east to the Laburnum Avenue/Powhite Parkway exit. Take the Laburnum Avenue exit, turn left and proceed to the raceway.
- From the south — Follow I-95 north to the I-295 interchange south of Petersburg. Follow I-295 north and exit onto Mechanicsville Turnpike (Exit 37B). Follow Mechanicsville Turnpike to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
- From the south (local traffic) — Follow I-95 north to the I-64 east interchange (Exit 75). Follow I-64 to Route 360 east (Mechanicsville Turnpike). Follow Route 360 east to Laburnum Avenue. Turn left and proceed to the raceway.
April 10, 2015
CONTACT: Barry R. Lawrence, Clerk Henrico County Board of Supervisors
PHONE: (804) 501-4318
Henrico supervisors to hold public hearing April 14 on proposed fiscal 2015-16 budget
The Henrico County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday, April 14 on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-16.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., one hour earlier than usual, in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center’s Administration Building, 4301 E. Parham Road.
Residents may provide oral or written comments on the $1.1 billion plan, which would guide operating and capital spending for the year beginning July 1. The general fund, which supports the operations of Henrico’s general government, including the divisions of Police and Fire, and Henrico County Public Schools, would total $785.8 million. That would represent an increase of $18.4 million, or 2.4 percent, over the current year’s plan.
The proposed budget recommends no change to the real estate tax rate of 87 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Residents are encouraged to register in advance to speak at the public hearing. To sign up, call Board of Supervisors Clerk Barry R. Lawrence at (804) 501-4318. For information on the proposed budget, call Director of Finance Gene Walter at (804) 501-5200.
Copies of the proposed budget are available for public inspection at Henrico libraries, the Office of Management and Budget in the Henrico Government Center and at henrico.us.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote April 28 to adopt a budget for fiscal year 2015-16. The board typically meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center.
April 7, 2015
CONTACT: Barbara Herzog, Executive Director, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates
PHONE: (804) 501-1671
‘Superhero’ runners needed for April 25 race to benefit child-advocacy programs
The Henrico County and Chesterfield County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organizations will hold their sixth-annual Superhero Run on Saturday, April 25 to support local programs for abused and neglected children.
The event, which includes a 5-kilometer race and a half-mile Kids’ Fun Run, will be held at St. Joseph’s Villa, 8000 Brook Road, in recognition of April as national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Helped by their “superhero” volunteers, the private, nonprofit CASA organizations work with local courts on behalf of abused and neglected children.
“Henrico and Chesterfield CASA are excited once again to hold the Superhero Run and help increase awareness of the special needs of abused and neglected children in our community,” said Barbara Herzog, executive director of Henrico CASA. “We are grateful for the many sponsors who support this special event.”
The 5K race is open to all ages. The cost is $30 for runners 13 and older and $20 for runners 6 to 12. The Kids’ Fun Run is open to children 12 and younger at a cost of $10. Parents may accompany their child at no cost. All fees will increase by $5 beginning Friday, April 24. To register, go to casarun.com.
All participants are encouraged to run in the costume of a favorite superhero character. Prizes will be awarded in each age group to the top finishers and for the best costumes.
Activities will begin with the Kids’ Fun Run at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K race at 9:30 a.m. and a post-race fair. The event was inspired by The Superhero Foundation, a Texas-based organization working to prevent child abuse.
For information, call (804) 501-1671 or send an email to email@example.com.
April 1, 2015
CONTACT: Nicole Gore, Coordinator, Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
PHONE: (804) 222-8194, ext. 3006
Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition to host April 30 forum on youth
The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition will hold its third-annual It Takes a Village Community Forum on Thursday, April 30 to discuss ways to promote good health and wellness among youth in Henrico County.
The forum will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Strawberry Hill Ballroom of the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. The event is open to the public and intended for youth, parents, professionals and others interested in making a positive impact on local youth.
The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition also will recognize an outstanding youth, a community champion and a prevention professional for their support to the organization. The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition promotes health and wellness in Henrico and focuses on reducing substance abuse by youth.