News Briefs

Touch a Truck

VDOT at Touch a TruckSept. 19, 2019: Recently, the Virginia Department of Transportation's Salem District’s Christiansburg Residency participated in the Fifth Annual New River Valley Touch-A-Truck event.

It featured dump trucks, police cars, a helicopter and more for local children to experience up close.

VDOT’s snow blower, tandem dump truck, loader truck and motor grader – all with snow plows – were a big hit.

Children had the opportunity to explore these vehicles safely, blast the horns and sirens and ask the drivers questions about their job.

There were other activities at the event, including arts and crafts, remote controlled trucks and face painting.

The New River Valley Home Builders Association organized the free annual event to provide a fun way to get children’s imaginations in gear so they can learn about the careers that involve these vehicles.

They praised VDOT for supporting their event, which featured 50 organizations, 53 vehicles and 4,000 attendees.

VDOT's Salem District Received National Guard and Reserve Award

Award ceremonyJuly 29, 2019: To recognize employers who support National Guard and Reserve employees, each state’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) committee grants a series of Department of Defense awards.

Recently, Virginia’s ESGR committee awarded the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Salem District their highest award, the Pro Patria Award, recognizing leadership and personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

“Receiving the ESGR Pro Patria award was quite an honor," said District Materials Engineer Travis Higgs.

“It helped me realize how VDOT’s support creates an avenue for talented individuals to pursue a career of choice, but also allows them to be available to aid when called upon to defend our country.”

The nomination was made by citizen soldier Donald Martin, who works in the district Materials office.

Emergency Encouter

July 16, 2019: The day started like any other shift for Northern Region Operations Safety Service Patroller Adrian Guziewski.

But within 45 minutes, he was faced with a life or death situation.

Responding to a seemingly-routine call for a pedestrian on the highway, he encountered a despondent woman who was trying to climb over and jump off of the jersey barrier on Interstate 495 East (Capital Beltway Outer Loop) onto Interstate 395 below.

The Springfield Mixing Bowl is a busy and chaotic location, and Guziewski's previous experience as a police officer in Poland kicked in.

He pulled the woman away from the edge and radioed in his exact location, all while soothing the woman, who didn't speak any English and only communicated with Guziewski in gestures.

Virginia State Police arrived and took over, and Guziewski quietly finished his 12-hour shift -- until his co-workers got wind of his good deed.

A tweet from @vadotnova spurred interviews with WTOP Radio, Fox 5, and even TVN 24 in Warsaw, Poland.

Page last modified: Sept. 19, 2019