Community’s support for young firefighter appreciated by family

Dear Editor,

On July 20, 2019, I received a phone call that in the past, I would have been the one initiating.  Upon looking at the number that was displayed, my heartbeat began to race.  I answered the call and the voice identified himself as someone I had previously met during a dinner at a Washington D.C. firehouse on Capitol Hill. I knew he worked with my son.

The supervisor told me that my son (Levin) was OK, but he was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital as result of a 7th floor apartment fire that his guys responded to. He then proceeded to tell me that “Levin” was being intubated for smoke inhalation, extreme heat and possible airway burns for evaluation and that perhaps I should respond. He knew I would respond and he knew it was serious but, he also knew to keep the parent (me) calm.  I told him I would be in D.C. in about an hour or little more. He was shocked, yet not surprised, when I called him 75 minutes later requesting directions from downtown D.C.

When I arrived, I was met by a large contingent of D.C. Firefighters. Fast forward ahead: three days later, the steady flow of firefighters around the clock did not stop.   As standard procedure,  (Levin) was never left alone by a D.C. Firefighter during his entire time in the ICU, Burn Unit of three days.  

So, my purpose in writing this letter is to say thank you to the 1000 plus people who contacted me through text, email, phone calls and social media platforms.     

“Levin” whom I call “L.J.” and is known as “Gooch” by his fellow D.C. Firefighter family, did not only see support from his D.C. Fire family but Albemarle County, Louisa County and Goochland County as well. I could write pages of accolades that is deserving of the D.C. Firefighters and D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation but will keep this letter focused on folks in our community.

For your readers who do not know the history of where the story began for “Gooch,” they should know that it started right here in Goochland County when he turned 16 more than 11 years ago. He had great mentors in Mike Jarrel, Steve and Barbara Young and many others. “Gooch” earned his certifications as a firefighter and was a volunteer in Crozier/Goochland County for several years before starting his professional career in Albemarle County.  

This gentle reminder/flashback came over me when I was sitting beside my son in the ICU, Burn Unit with an inability to speak due to the tubes down his throat.  I received multiple text messages from Goochland Deputy Fire Chiefs Eddie Ferguson and Chris Brooks.  To have these men reach out to me to offer their help to feed and water my son’s dogs and offer to provide transportation from D.C. to his home from the hospital reflects the true heart of the members within the Goochland County Fire/EMS leadership. 

I know that I left so many other acts of kindness and support out of this letter but, from our family to all of Goochland and other friends and family, here is a huge “Thank You” for all of your support and prayers. 

I am proud to say that although I have lived in Goochland for only 17 years, we are still Goochlanders!  Welcome home “Gooch.”

Levin White Sr.


Creasey’s service to Goochland earns him couple’s vote

To the Editor,

I am sorry to see the Sheriff’s race is going the way much of the politics in our country is headed. The lack of civility has surfaced recently among the candidates for Goochland County Sheriff. My belief is the people of Goochland County deserve better and expect to receive factual information expressed in a civil way without unfounded statements and bitterness!

We would like to use this space to support Steven Creasey based on his many years of experience and the positive things we have witnessed Steven exhibit in serving the people of Goochland. The stories are many of the help Steven has provided to those in need, many of which did not fall within the category of his duties.

Steven’s qualifications go beyond his fine education in law enforcement and practical experience, but also speak to his intimate knowledge of Goochland and its people.

The Creasey family has been steeped in service to Goochland County in so many ways, it’s hard to mention all! Just a few that come to mind where members of his family have served are Fire and Rescue, Law Enforcement, County Administration, Board of Supervisors and being good neighbors.

We are planning to vote Steven Creasey in November as we believe he is the best person for the job and will serve our citizens well.

Hal and Shirley Ragland


Candidate’s rank is not what determines his leadership ability

Dear Editor:

In recent weeks there have been several letters concerning the Sheriff’s race in Goochland.  Interestingly almost all of them expound on why one of the candidates should not be considered for the position. Few give any valid reasons on why either of the other two candidates is a better choice in their opinion.  The phrase of choice seems to be “We need new blood in the county.”.  Do we really?  Is Goochland running rampant with corruption, crime and gangs like the localities the other candidates worked in? Has our county’s current police force done a poor job of dealing with, and keeping criminal activity out of Goochland? Is there a problem with the “chain of command”?  I think not, the facts speak for themselves.  A review of the candidates’ web sites and other information available on the web gives a clearer picture and comparison of the candidates’ qualifications, their values and what they perceive the needs of Goochland County and its citizens are. What follows are a few items I would urge you to consider as you decide who you will support and cast your vote for.

Sgt. Creasey is the only candidate for sheriff who has worked in the Sheriff’s office and is actively serving as a sworn law enforcement officer. He has been serving in the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office for over 24 years, and is familiar not only with the internal workings of the sheriff’s office, but also has an excellent rapport with and is respected within all the county’s departments and neighboring counties’ agencies. He has committed over half of his life to actively serving our community as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with Goochland Fire-Rescue.

The position of Sergeant is one with immense responsibilities in a small agency such as Goochland. Yes, he’s been a Sergeant for over ten years and other candidates consider this as a negative or a shortcoming; yes, he could have left for other opportunities, but he remained committed to his position and to the citizens of Goochland County, his home.  Goochland has a fairly small police force, unlike Richmond and Petersburg.  Opportunities for advancement are limited due to the size of the department and typically result from retirement or employees leaving. Goochland has one Chief Deputy, one Patrol Lieutenant and the remaining patrol force is comprised of deputies, corporals and sergeants.  Those who would place a person’s current title above their abilities for evaluation purposes are not what Goochland needs to be our next Sheriff. They also disregard the significant cost of adding substations and expanding the department to the levels they claim they will.  Their promises come with a MASSIVE price tag for the county budget and the taxpayers.

Both of the other candidates have worked for the Richmond Police Department or Richmond Sheriff’s Office at some point in their career. One candidate with experience in Richmond Sheriff’s Office was over 30 years ago, worked for less than a year and he has worked in the private sector since then.  The other candidate has big city Richmond and Petersburg Police Department experience. His web site lists a retired Petersburg Police Chief with an “endorsement” statement.  Information available shows this individual was terminated from his position as Petersburg Chief of Police under circumstances concerning allegations of corruption and missing funds from the city’s police evidence room.  A recent letter to the editor describes the candidate as a good leader for a “paramilitary public safety organization.” Read the definition, I personally don’t think that Goochland needs a more “militaristic police force.” 

I prefer to think of Goochland Police/EMS & Fire and safety as being collaborative well-run separate organizations who do an excellent job of serving all citizens of the county.

Given the facts above, readers would be well advised to further research the backgrounds of all candidates and see for themselves just who really is the best choice and most qualified to serve Goochland’s citizens as the next Sheriff. I would suggest that Sgt. Creasey is exactly who Goochland needs as Sheriff to insure an efficient and safe future for all citizens.  

R.E. Bridges


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