Winlock and Toledo benefit from stellar police and fire services

Recently, the Winlock City Council approved the contract for the Toledo Police Department. Since the contract was approved for another year, the Town Crier decided it was time to let the residents know what exactly they are getting for their money.

First, we have a police force in Winlock and Toledo where the officers have an amount of experience that is seldom seen in one community. John Brockmueller, who is the police chief, has more than 30 years in law enforcement, as do Sam Patrick, Steve Dawes, Ronald Pumphrey, and Randy Pennington. This means we have over 150 year of training just in our little local area.

We also have a couple of people who are newbies but who come from families who have served our community for years: Nathan Summers and Jared Pennington. We also have two officers who have 1-5 years of experience. They are Andrew Scrivner and Jeff Allen. This adds up to a lot of experience for the area, and we, the public, are the ones who benefit from this.

Randy Pennington recently spoke with the Town Crier about the services available locally, and he enumerated some of the emergency equipment local authorities possess.

"We have air bags to lift vehicles or debris," he explained, "anything a human cannot lift; We also have Compressed Air Foam, which makes water better at the time of a fire; We have the Jaws of Life, struts and rams along with a K12 special saw that cuts right through steel; We also have a new Cascade system which refills air bottles for firefighters and two attack tankers that each hold 2,500 gallons for rural fire-fighting."

Pennington explained of the relationship with the community, "We are a unique department. We tend to get cooperation from the community, because we are a part of the community."

It was noted by Pennington that having experience as a paramedic has personally benefited him in his law enforcement career. Additionally, Sam Patrick worked as an EMT, Pennington added, serving as part of a special transport for premature babies.

"We are the first fire department in the county to use paramedic protocol," Pennington stated.

In Winlock, with the new contract, officers are available 20 hours a day. Winlock also has a full-time staff of paramedics and EMTs and has a contract with American Medical Response ambulance service, which helps give a quick response time for ambulance calls.

A few of the awards local law enforcement and emergency personnel have received include at least three state level awards for life saving or valor, two awards of only seven ever awarded by the state for specific life-saving events, at least five Golden Heart awards for successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims, and one Golden Hour award for successful resuscitation of a trauma cardiac arrest.

It is further notable that many of our local law enforcement and emergency personnel have also gained experience and expertise while serving in the military.

Winlock and Toledo are two very well served communities. Hats off to our police officers and firefighters. We appreciate your experience and hard work!