Chesterfield County Fire and EMS would like to share some of the amazing accomplishments and contributions that Alicia made during her life. The positive impact she made on her family and friends, our organization, our community and everyone she encountered will live on forever. We miss you Alicia!
She was an experienced member of the department’s SCUBA Rescue Team and a member of the elite Virginia Helicopter Aquatics Rescue Team (VA HART), a joint initiative between the Virginia Army Air National Guard and Chesterfield County Fire & EMS.
In recent years she actively prepared for greater leadership responsibilities, completing a long-term acting lieutenant assignment at the Bon Air Fire Station, and was a candidate for promotion to the rank of lieutenant.
During her tenure with the department, she was honored with numerous citations and awards.
In May 2013, Alicia was part of a team that safely extricated multiple victims from a crash involving three vehicles.
In November 2013, she and her teammates acted quickly and decisively to remove multiple victims from a vehicle that was fully involved in fire following a head-on collision with another vehicle.
Alicia participated in life saves in April 2018 and January 2020, performing advanced medical care on patients experiencing cardiac arrest.
In October 2018, she and two other members of Scuba Rescue 7 rescued a victim trapped on the roof of their car in rising, swiftly moving flood waters. They each were recognized with a Bronze Valor Award for their efforts by the Retail Merchants Association.
A 2004 Radford University graduate, Alicia was a licensed dog trainer who served as an operational K9 handler for the Virginia Search and Rescue Dog Association.
She shared her love of the outdoors as Southeast Region Event Coordinator for SheJumps, a nonprofit that aims to increase the participation of women and girls in a variety of outdoor activities.
She was an Auxiliary Instructor for the US Naval Sea Cadets Program and supported Race Across America and Race Across the West as a driver and paramedic.
She worked as a whitewater raft guide for RVA Paddlesports and Riverside Outfitters, and as an instructor in search and rescue with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Alicia was also an active swift water rescue instructor teaching multiple classes during her off-duty time across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia as a valued instructor with Rescue 3 International, a global organization that provides technical rescue training.
On Saturday afternoon she was working with Rescue 3 International doing what she loved, training a group of fire and EMS professionals in the complexities of swift water rescue techniques.
The training session was being conducted on the Nantahala River outside Bryson City, North Carolina; an area that was very familiar to Alicia.
After conducting a safety briefing with the students she entered the water wearing full protective equipment and for reasons still unknown, became unresponsive. She was carried a short distance downstream by currents where she was removed from the river by individuals nearby who began resuscitation efforts. Despite the valiant efforts of those on scene, along with first responders and hospital staff, Alicia was pronounced dead a short time later at Swain Community Hospital in Bryson City.
According to Chesterfield County Fire & EMS Chief Loy Senter, “Alicia’s untimely passing weighs heavy on our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her fiancé, her two sons, extended family, and many friends. Her coworkers continue to support the needs of the family while at the same time providing uninterrupted emergency services to the community Alicia loved where she grew up and lived. While she will always be remembered for her devotion to duty and unparalleled service to others, her legacy will be the inspiration she provided to countless young women considering careers in the fire service or the pursuit of causes bigger than themselves.”