Tag Archives: WWFD

Mock DWI scenario taught Webster Thomas students a sobering lesson

27 May

Anyone who happened to drive by Thomas High School Wednesday morning might have been alarmed to see dozens of firefighters, police officers, EMTs and their emergency vehicles swarming around what appeared to be a horrific accident that had just occured in front of the school.

But they needn’t have worried. The realistic accident scene was actually a very carefully arranged and pre-planned mock DWI scenario. It’s organized annually by our local emergency responders as a training exercise, and hosted by the school district during prom and graduation party season as a serious, real-life lesson for our students.

The scene imagined a two-car accident occurring just down the street from the high school, at the corner of Five Mile Line Rd. and Publisher’s Parkway. About 700 juniors and seniors watched from bleachers in the parking lot as School Resource Officer David Herrle described what happened.

It was prom night, and the young driver of one of the cars had had too much to drink. The other driver, distracted by the friends riding with him, didn’t see the drunk driver bearing down on him as he made the turn. He was t-boned.

Somebody called 911, and emergency vehicles started arriving. First a police car, and then a second. Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, an ambulance, two fire trucks from West Webster, and two more from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department pulled up.

As the officers and firefighters surveyed the scene, they found that the distracted driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, had been ejected. He was lying on the sidewalk nearby, dead. Firefighters placed a sheet over him. Another student in the car suffered a broken ankle and, after getting out of the car, hobbled to the ambulance.

The drunk driver was unscathed, and with some assistance was able get out of her car. Her three passengers, however, had to be removed with the help of the Jaws of Life, an agonizingly long and fightening process if you’re trapped and hurt.

As the firefighters were removing doors and cutting the roof off the car, the young lady who was driving drunk was taken aside by a police officer, given a field sobriety test and arrested.

The whole scenario only took about 45 minutes, but for those who were taking it seriously, they might be among the most important 45 minutes of their lives.

Acerin Menough, a Thomas High junior, was especially surprised by how long it took to get everyone extracted. After the presentation, she told me,

It took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take. I thought it would take maybe like ten minutes for them to get everybody out of the cars but it took an entire block, like 45 minutes to an hour. That was pretty scary, knowing that I could be totally fine driving and then somebody could hit me, and I could end up dying because of it. But I also found it very interesting seeing how they opened the cars and how hard it was to get into the cars.

But Acerin was also bothered by how some of classmates were behaving. When I asked her if she thought everyone else would take it seriously, she said,

“Probably not. A lot of them weren’t paying attention or messing around on their phones, which is really upsetting, because this could save their lives. A lot of them just don’t care and they don’t understand the impact of that.”

Speaking as a mother, I hope the message being shared that day sunk in at least a little bit with everyone. But I know that’s wishful thinking. Young people these days tend to think they’re invincible. Bad stuff like that can happen to someone else, but never to me.

But I couldn’t help thinking back to one of these mock DWI presentations I watched many years ago when I was working at Thomas. In addition to the student actors, the school had brought in the mother of the driver who “died.” She was standing on the school’s front walk when a police officer told her that her son had not survived. As any mother would when given that news, she collapsed with grief. As I watched, I found it easy to imagine how devastated she was, to feel the searing pain of losing a child. I cried, too.

I don’t imagine many high school students read this blog. But if you have one, or know of one, perhaps you can present him or her with that perspective: you might think it’s OK to be cavalier with your life, cut corners and take chances. But think what the news of your hospitalization — or death — would do to your parents.

Thank you to all of the organizations who joined forces to stage this important demonstration: the Webster Police Department, Webster Volunteer Fire Department, West Webster Fire Department, Webster EMS, Northeast Quadrant ALS and Webster Central School District. Thanks also to Wilbert’s U-Pull It for donating the vehicles and Barth Towing for getting the vehicles to and from the accident scene.

The entire scenario will replayed at Webster Schroeder on Thursday June 2 in the back parking lot.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from the event:

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 5/24/2022)

Webster community mailbag

10 May

I was going to put this mailbag off for a couple more days, but I just heard news of a great fundraiser happening on Friday night, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

It’s a big kickball game hosted by Spry Middle School on Friday night May 13 at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, located on Ridge Rd. behind Town Hall. (Parking is off of Van Ingen Drive.) Three dozen Spry students will be playing, representing the school’s three houses (red, white and blue). Each house team will also include two Challenger players.

The kickball game is the culminating event of this year’s Spirit Week at Spry. Each year the school’s Student Council chooses a charity to benefit from a Spirit Week competition. Usually the game is basketball, but Challenger Miracle Field was chosen this year, so kickball seemed more appropriate.

The game will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and concessions will be available for just $1. There’s plenty of free parking. All proceeds from admission and concessions will benefit Challenger Miracle Field.

Make plans to stay around after the game. That’s when the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the house which has accumulated the most spirit points all week — including extra points for winning kickball!


I found out about ALL of the following events in the Webster This Week newsletter, published weekly by the Town of Webster. If you haven’t signed up for this great source of information yet, you should.

Remember that the Webster Public Library’s spring used book sale happens this Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14. Nothing is priced more than $1, and all paperbacks are just 50 cents.

Hours are Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back of the plaza, off of Van Ingen Drive.


Got stuff to shred?

Reliant Federal Credit Union is holding a free shredding event at their Webster branch, 870 Holt Rd., on Saturday May 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are no quantity limits, but everyone is asked to remove file folders, binders and plastic bags. And plan on taking your empty boxes back home with you.

While you’re there, you can take advantage of raffles and giveaways, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.


Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 131 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster, is holding a food drive this Saturday May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items will be used to support the Weekend Food Backpack Program and the church’s Little Free Pantry.


Also on Saturday May 14, the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester, 1040 Jackson Rd., will hold a Sunflowers for Ukraine paint and sip fundraiser event.

Artist Deanna Derhak will guide participants in painting an original sunflower composition using acrylic paint on a 12″ x 12″ canvas. All supplies are included, and yes, there will be wine available.

The event will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $40. Click here for tickets.


The Webster Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Vendor Fair and Craft Event on Sunday May 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Firemen’s Exempt building, 172 Sanford St. (on the south side of Firemen’s Field).

In addition to the great items for sale, there’ll be crafts, a raffle, 50/50 ticket sales, and a door prize of $100 worth of scratch-off tickets.

Admission is free and there’s lots of parking.


On the other side of town, the West Webster Fire Department is holding a Bike Helmet and Safety Rodeo on Saturday May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, designed for children ages 4 to 14, will feature a bike safety course, helmet fittings and bike safety checks. There’ll be lots of activities, and of course lots of fire trucks! Helmets will be provided on loan for anyone who needs one.

Registration is free. The West Webster Fire Dept. is located at 1051 Gravel Rd.


The Wine Walks are back!

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk of the season has been scheduled for Saturday May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Glass pickup will be at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Dr. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 (plus sales tax and fees) and are available here. For more information, visit the Webster BID website.


The Webster Lions Club will host a Sticky Lips BBQ fundraiser on Thursday May 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. at 1175 Ridge Rd.

Meals will be $15 each, and include a quarter charcoal-cooked chicken, smoked St. Louis ribs, mac salad, BBQ beans and cornbread. You can pay at the event of get pre-sale tickets online at www.StickyLipsBBQFundraisers.com.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/10/2022)

Training never stops for our volunteer firefighters

31 Jan

When an emergency happens, like a car accident or a house fire, we’re always grateful and relieved to see our local first responders show up to take care of things. But during our day-to-day normal lives, when nothing awful like that is happening, we don’t give them much thought at all.

But rest assured, they’re always thinking about us.

That point was driven home to me a few days ago when I saw a Facebook post from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department, about a joint training exercise they held last Saturday morning with the West Webster Fire Department.

The post read,

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) and the West Webster Fire Department (WWFD) held a joint water rescue training session at the Webster Aquatic Center this morning. Several topics were covered including rescue equipment, techniques to retrieve a victim, and how to secure a victim who has been injured. The training session was capped off with some practice on the Fortuna rescue boat and it was discovered just how precarious it can be when several people try to climb on at once! … We’re here for when you need us, Webster!

The two departments are hoping to schedule joint training sessions like this at least four times this year. The next one will probably be a large area wildland search once the weather improves. In the meantime, the WVFD and WWFD hold weekly drills within their own departments. Recent ones for the WVFD have included search and rescue techniques, driver training, advancements in technology, hazmat, air consumption and many more.

Here are a few more photos from the morning’s exercise:

Thank you to Sarah Mossey for most of these photos.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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New museum will exhibit WWFD history

12 Nov

A new museum is taking shape at the West Webster Fire Department on Gravel Rd., and it’s pretty neat.

The museum is located in its own bay on the north side of the station, specially designed for that purpose when the new station was built in 2019. It’s not a huge space, but it’s packed with old artifacts representing the WWFD’s long history.

I got a personal tour the other day from Al Sienkiewicz, one of about a dozen WWFD members who have been working on the museum for more than a year. Al gave me a quick lesson in the department’s history, including how it was created following a fire in 1925 which devastated West Webster.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 1935 Ford pumper engine. Surrounding the engine are displays of old communication equipment, nozzles, first aid equipment and more. Three mannequins illustrate the transition of turnout gear, from a long overcoat to today’s short coat, bunker pants and complete equipment ensemble.

The WWFD also has a 1974 Cadillac ambulance, which replaces the pumper in the museum for six months of the year.

There’s still a lot to do before the committee considers the museum finished … if they ever do. For example, they’re working on restoring a huge 1924 map of the fire district for one wall and figuring out how to best use another large, blank wall on the south side of the bay. They’ll be adding informational placards on some of the exhibits, and Al would like to create a display about the civil side of the department.

The museum isn’t officially open to the public yet, although many people got a sneak peek at the WWFD’s Fire Prevention Open House last month. In the meantime, they continue to collect items for more displays and fine-tune their current ones.

They’re still on the lookout for antique fire equipment to include in the museum, especially anything from the WWFD. If you come across something in your attic that you’d like to donate, drop them an email at info@westwebsterfd.org or call them at 585-671-4141.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.