We are honored to have the Round Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department join us once again at our festival. The department responds to all emergencies along our stretch of the Appalachian Trail. We asked RHVFRD's Richard Ganey about the connection between the fire department and the Trail.
What section of the A.T. does RHVFRD cover?
At Station 604 in Round Hill, our primary area of responsibility on the A.T. is from Snickers Gap/VA 7 trailhead up to David Lesser Shelter. However, we would likely be called to any emergency response from Ashby Gap/VA 50 all the way up to North of Keys Gap/VA 9.
What are the most common injuries you've needed to respond to on the A.T.?
Hypothermia and hyperthermia are the two most common emergencies, with trauma from falls coming next in frequency.
What specialized equipment does RHVFRD have on hand to respond to these situations?
Along with members' familiarity with the A.T. corridor, we have Stokes basket set-ups for challenging carry-out evacuations and UTVs that provide faster mobility in some situations. We have some specialized medical equipment to address environmental injuries and can coordinate with Technical Rescue teams if we need additional support.
How are you personally involved with the A.T.?
My wife and I are PATC members and maintain a section of the A.T. south of Bears Den, from Spout Run down to Sam Moore Shelter. We also maintain the shelter itself.
We're both avid hikers, on the A.T. and its side trails, and we passed on our passion to our children. Our daughter solo-hiked from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park up to Great Barrington MA over a three-month period. I've also done many long trail runs on the A.T., in preparation for ultra events such as the JFK 50 miler (which runs partially along the AT treadway up in MD).
I am a PATC-trained, US Forest Service-certified chain sawyer and participate in A.T. sawyer operations in the NoVA area. As a Wilderness EMT, I also periodically provide on-site medical support for PATC training and maintenance activities on the A.T.
What do you think the A.T. brings to our greater community?
The A.T. is a wonderful natural resource available to us to enjoy nature and outdoor exercise for our physical and mental health. The A.T. community of PATC, ATC, hikers, trail runners, etc. is a community of great people with a common passion for the Appalachian Trail. I would encourage all to join Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and look into how you can further enjoy the Trail and help preserve the A.T. for future generations.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Congratulations to Hillsboro on becoming an A.T. Community!
Round Hill AT: Join us in bringing together local friends and family to get outside. Let’s discover our amazing backyards — from national treasures like the Appalachian Trail to new local and regional parks.