Public Safety Occupational Health Center Dedicated To Lieutenant (ret) Patrick J. Morrison

In a ceremony on Monday, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department dedicated the new Public Safety Occupational Health Center (PSOHC) to Lieutenant (ret) Patrick J. Morrison. He, along with countless others, was instrumental in making the PSOHC a reality for our Fairfax County firefighters and paramedics to include cancer screenings and behavioral health resources.  

Speakers included Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Bulova, Supervisor Cook, Supervisor Hudgins and former Chairman Hanley, as well as U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Firefighters and Paramedics Local 2068 President Ron Kuley and IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. 

FCFRD Deputy Chief Danny Gray presented a plaque that will hang in the lobby of the PSOHC. The center currently serves all Fairfax County public safety personnel to include Police and Sheriff.




Free Training Prepares Residents For Potential Disasters

CERTCommunity Emergency Response Team, or CERT, is a training program that prepares residents to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. Through CERT, residents can learn about disaster preparedness and receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.  With this training, volunteers can provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims before emergency first responders arrive on scene. In Fairfax County, CERT training is administered through the auspices of the county fire and rescue department.


This free CERT Basic training class follows the FEMA curriculum, and is tailored to address potential local disasters and hazards. The instruction is adapted to conform to Fairfax County preparedness and response protocols and procedures. The training consists of a combination of lectures followed by hands-on demonstrations and drills to develop the students’ skills in the areas of emergency preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. The Lead Instructor will provide prospective students with class preparation information and a class schedule (syllabus) at least one week prior to the first class meeting. The text and study guide (Participants Manual) will be issued at the first meeting. Students are also provided basic personal protective equipment for the training that they may retain upon completion of the course. This training does not require any physical strength or agility.

Class days:  April 30, May 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 2018.  Mondays Wednesdays, 7:00 – 10:30 pm.  At the Fire and Rescue Academy. For more information and to register, please go here:{F05862F0-A510-46C2-BC42-865D2805E780}&t=CERT-137-at-the-Fire-and-Rescue-Academy





Unattended Charcoal Grill Causes Reston House Fire

On Saturday, April 14 at approximately 9:04 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 11900 block of Grey Squirrel Lane in the Reston section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single family house to find a significant volume of fire showing from the rear of the home on all three levels. Crews quickly used fire hose lines to knock the fire down from the outside. This was immediately followed by an interior attack to extinguish the fire.

Three occupants were home at time of the fire. The fire was discovered by a juvenile occupant prior to the sounding of any smoke alarm. All occupants safely evacuated the home prior to fire department arrival. There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started under the deck in the rear of the home. The fire was caused by an unattended charcoal grill located under the deck in the rear of the home.

Two adults and one juvenile occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined by the occupants. Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $202,500.



Field Training Section – Setting The Standard For Training And Cancer Prevention

By: Lieutenant Marc Davidson
Fire and Rescue Academy

Two times a week, staff at the Fire and Rescue Academy are running live fire training evolutions to maintain tactical proficiency for all our fire and rescue stations and shifts. Coordinating this monumental task are members of the Field Training Section (FTS).

In lay person terms, the FTS is the group responsible for the department’s operational fire continuing education. The learning does not stop after recruit school and the FTS ensures all fire and rescue personnel are proficient in the basics as well as up to date on the latest trends.

Just as importantly, the FTS set the example and thoroughly decontaminate their gear after every fire training day. Personal Protective Equipment, radios, hand lights, face pieces, and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (firefighters air pack) all get cleaned.

Why is this important? This is important as firefighters have a higher risk for certain cancers than the general public. Getting the carcinogens off of our gear and the clothes we wear is an important preventive measure. We want to win the battle on the incident scene as well as the battle against cancer.

School Community Members Honored For Helping To Save A Life

On Friday, April 13, members of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue gathered with the Belleview Elementary School community to honor five individuals who helped to save a life. The life they helped save was a faculty member at the school. Happily, he was on hand to join in the festivities.

On February 6, the faculty member collapsed while tending to the Kiss and Ride area. It was quickly determined that he had no pulse. CPR was started while the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) was retrieved from the school. The AED was applied, indicated “shock advised” and a staff member applied the shock.

At that point Medic Unit and Truck 411, Penn Daw, arrived and took over patient care. Once moved to the medic unit another shock was delivered and the patient was beginning to regain consciousness as the unit arrived at a local emergency room.

Due to the fast actions of parents and teachers, the faculty member walked out of the hospital six days later!

Members of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue were honored to recognize the following individuals for their quick actions: Kerry Kaminski (parent) who called 911; Lindsey Ahart (parent) who was sent to retrieve the AED; Lisa Demmel (PE Teacher) who brought the AED and used it properly as trained; Elaine Hourigan (parent and nurse) who performed chest compressions; and Katie Pluntke (Assistant Principal) who performed rescue breathing.

The quick actions of parents and staff, along with the availability of an AED in the building, greatly enhanced the faculty members’ chance of survival. This was a wonderful example of community members, knowing CPR and how to use an AED, working in concert with our paramedics and firefighters to help save a life!

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials In Potting Soil Cause Herndon Apartment Fire

news update graphicOn Wednesday, April 11 at approximately 3:22 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 700 block of Tamarack Way in the Town of Herndon.

Units arrived on the scene of a three-story, garden-style apartment to find fire showing from the balcony of a second floor apartment. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire. Damage was limited to the balcony with the apartment receiving smoke damage.

The fire was discovered by a passer-by and the Herndon Police Department. The building did not have an automatic fire alarm or sprinkler system. The fire was discovered prior to the activation of the smoke alarms.

Two occupants and one pet were displaced as a result of the fire. One occupant was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. There were no reported firefighter injuries. American Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the balcony of the apartment. The cause of the fire was the ignition of potting soil by improperly discarded smoking materials. Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be $12,500.

An Honor And Privilege

Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Battalion 401/B-Shift
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department

On Thursday, April 12 Engine 404, Herndon, B-Shift and I had the honor and privilege to meet and talk with US Army Captain Gavin White and his wife Karissa. Along with personnel from Fairfax County Police, Engine 404 participated in a motorcade escorting them to their newly renovated home in Herndon.

While serving our country Captain White sustained significant injuries, including losing both legs, due to an IED explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan. Captain White then spent two years at Walter Reed Medical Center where he had over 60 surgeries as part of his recovery.   

The 9/11 charity Tunnel to Towers Foundation completed the renovation of the home and held the ceremony for the White family. Tunnel to Towers Foundation was started in honor of fallen FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who died on 9/11 in the south tower collapse of the World Trade Center. The Foundation, founded by Firefighter Siller’s family, builds “smart homes” all over the country for the most catastrophically injured Veterans.  

Captain White and his wife were presented with their new home on Thursday in a homecoming ceremony. The home was remodeled to accommodate Captain White’s needs.  

Thank you US Army Captain Gavin White for your service to our country!