Winchester Fire Chief Cathy Rigney came to Clark County in June 1986 looking for a job as a paramedic with the Winchester-Clark County Ambulance Service.
“I got the job and have been here ever since,” Rigney said. “In October 1990, we merged with the Winchester Fire Department.”
Over the years, Rigney has worked to prove herself as an emergency responder, being promoted through the ranks of the department.
Nearly 30 years after first arriving here, Rigney was promoted to chief of Winchester Fire-EMS in 2015, a role she serves today.
Winchester is now the place she proudly calls home.
WL: What is the most challenging part of your job and what do you like most about it?
CR: Keeping up with all the continuous changes that happen with emergency services is a challenge.
Our duties are constantly
changing with technology
and tactics for the services we provide. Instead of just a fire or EMS organization, we have become an all-hazards response. We now do fire, EMS, hazardous materials, special operations and rescues. We joke all the time that when in doubt, call the fire department.
That is also the part I like the most — when people call us for help with a problem or emergency and we
provide a solution.
WL: Where is your favorite place to go in Winchester-Clark County?
CR: Any place and anytime with my family. And, of course, the firehouse with my extended family.
WL: What is your favorite time of year or annual event in Winchester?
CR: Picking a favorite event is hard to do. I think there are a lot of great events that happen in our community. Each event has its own charm and personality.
I like Halloween Main-ia and the Christmas Parade the best, though. I love seeing the kids in their costumes for Halloween and the excitement for Santa during the parade. Plus, I love the fact Santa gets to ride on one of our fire trucks.
WL: What has been the biggest positive life change that has happened to you since you have lived in Winchester?
CR: When I first came to Winchester in 1986, it was for the need of a job. But not long after being hired, I quickly realized it was for the joy and satisfaction of helping others.
That sense of belonging to a community and helping out others in a time of need is something I have carried with me throughout my career here in Winchester.
I love being part of an emergency service that is so much bigger than just our community. §