#MeetFCFRD: Technician/Paramedic Paul Serzan

Growing up, Technician/Paramedic (Tech) Paul Serzan spent summers with his aunt and uncle on their farm in Connecticut. Both were volunteer firefighter/EMT’s and Tech Serzan loved riding with them to calls. It inspired him to help others and pursue a career in the emergency medical (EMS) and fire service.

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Tech Serzan earned his Associates Degree in Pre-Hospital Medicine. He served as a paramedic for three and a half years. In addition to his passion for EMS, Tech Serzan was always interested in the fire service. However, in New Jersey the fire department and ambulance services are separate. He began applying for jobs within the fire service but not many departments were hiring. Eventually, Tech Serzan began to look at opportunities out of state. He had heard about Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) and was interested in their urban search and rescue team. Tech Serzan applied and, two days later, received an invitation to come to Fairfax County and take the written exam.

Tech Serzan started with FCFRD as a member of Recruit Class 124 in September 2007. Throughout his career he has operated as a certified paramedic. His first assignment was at Fire Station 2, Vienna. He has since served at stations throughout the county including Fire Stations 19, 23, 41, and 39. He is currently at Fire Station 14, Burke.

In 2012, Tech Serzan accomplished one of his career goals and became a member of the department’s urban search and rescue team (USAR). He serves on the team as a canine handler and medical specialist. He served with his first canine, Angus, until November 2020 when Angus retired. While Angus enjoys his retirement, Tech Serzan has been hard at work training with his new partner, Vader.

In addition to being a member of the USAR team, Tech Serzan has been a member of the Technical Rescue Operations Team (TROT) since 2015. He also shares his knowledge and passion for EMS with others as an adjunct professor at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy.

Tech Serzan says he loves being a part of such a progressive fire and rescue department. He enjoys constantly collaborating with intelligent and driven individuals working to advance the department. While he loves where is now, Tech Serzan is also looking to the future. He just took the lieutenant’s test and hopes to become an EMS Captain within the department. He is proud to have a career where he can use his EMS, firefighting, and technical rescue skills to make a positive impact on the residents and community he serves.

Have you wondered what it would be like to #JoinTeamFCFRD? Contact our recruiters at fire.recruitment@fairfaxcounty.gov or (703) 246-3939 to learn more.


Promotion Blog Graphic
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is pleased to announce the following uniformed and civilian promotions.

The following individual has been promoted to Battalion Chief:

  • Wadley, Reginald

The following individuals have been promoted to Technician:

  • Brown, Jason

Civilian Promotions:

  • Benge, Tiffany has been promoted to Administrative Assistant IV

Close Before You Doze

Did you know: Because of synthetic materials, furniture and construction, fire spreads faster than ever before.*

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents how important it is to have working smoke alarms, escape plans, and a designated meeting place in case of a fire. Closing your doors is also important for your safety. Closed doors can reduce fire growth, limit damage to your home, keep temperatures down, and can even save your life if you become trapped.

If there is a fire in your home and you can implement your home escape plan to get out – get out! But if you can’t, a closed door could make a life-saving difference.

Our friends at the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) are working hard to keep firefighters, and residents, safer from fire. They have developed the Close Before You Doze campaign. Please take a moment to view the video below to learn more.

*NIST Technical Note 1455-1, February 2008

We Are Hiring! Join Our Team of Tactical Athletes!

We are hiring for upcoming experienced and non-experienced recruit classes! Join our team of tactical athletes who respond to complex fire and medical emergencies at a moment’s notice. There is no off-season for our firefighters and paramedics! Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department focuses on fitness and wellness training throughout your career and into retirement.

Do you know an aspiring firefighter/paramedic/EMT? Please share the link and video to make them aware!

Are you an experienced firefighter/paramedic/EMT seeking a department with a variety of career paths, career development and career advancement opportunities? A fire and rescue department that recognizes your prior experience and will train you in a shorter recruit school? Click on the link below to learn more and speak with a recruiter.

More info: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/recruitment

Radiant Heat From Welding Torch Causes Great Falls House Fire

On Thursday, July 22, at approximately 7:11 p.m., units responded to a reported house fire in the 9400 block of Brian Jac Lane in the Great Falls area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire showing from the roof. A water tanker task force was dispatched due to limited fire hydrants in the area. Crews quickly extinguished the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

No occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when a neighbor saw smoke coming from the rear of the house. Another neighbor called 9-1-1. There were working smoke alarms in the home at the time of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the ceiling above the metal I-Beam. The subcontractor was using an open flame torch near wood structural members in the ceiling. Radiant heat from the welding torch ignited the wood structural members in the ceiling.

No occupants were displaced as the house was undergoing a major renovation. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $93,750.

Don’t Wait – Check The Date!

Did you know that smoke alarms have a retirement date? They do and if your smoke alarms are ten years of age or older they need to be replaced.

Below is some great information from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association. Please take a moment to check the manufacture date on your smoke alarms TODAY!

Don’t Wait – Check The Date!

Accessible information can be found here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms.html

Develop A Home Escape Plan In Case Of Fire!

Having a working smoke alarm is just one important part of an overall plan to survive if your home catches fire. Another important part – a home fire escape plan.

Does your family have a home escape plan in case of fire? If not, you should.Home fire escape plan

Don’t know how to create a plan? We can help! Please take the time to go to our website to learn how to create a plan as well as use the worksheet provided to draw out your plan.

Once the plan is complete, take the time to test your plan by having a home fire drill. Also, please make sure you practice your plan at least twice a year.

Go here:

JULY 19: COVID-19 Update for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Personnel

Every week the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) will be posting information regarding COVID-19 impacts to personnel. The following information is up-to-date as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 18


This includes those who have received testing at the site designated for first responders and those who have shared their results from testing conducted at a private physician. 

  • Known FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19: 175
  • FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 173

Two personnel are currently COVID-19 positive. One hundred and seventy-three of the 172 COVID-19 positive personnel have fully recovered.

All personnel are closely monitored by a nurse at Fairfax County’s Occupational Health Center.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue works with the Fairfax County Health Department to notify the public or any applicable persons if there is any concern of exposure.


  • FCFRD members currently in quarantine: 0

This number is in addition to the personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.

FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus.

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Unfortunately, heart attacks do happen. It is important that you and your loved ones know and recognize the warning signs of a heart attack as every second counts! Please take a moment to review the below tips from our friends at the American Heart Association.

If you think you or a loved one are experiencing a heart attack, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible!

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Common heart attack signs

Know The Symptoms Of Heat-Related Illness

It is going to be hot again today and Saturday with temperatures expected in the 90’s and the Heat Index over 100! These conditions are potentially dangerous, and it is important that county residents know the warning signs and symptoms of heat illness and the appropriate responses.

Please make sure to stay hydrated! Consider doing work or outdoor activities early or late in the day. Make sure you wear sunscreen! Wear light clothing. If possible, make sure to stay hydrated and in shaded or air-conditioned places. Also check on your friends and neighbors. Please see links below for more information.

Heat safety tips: https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat

Seguridad del calor consejo: https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-espanol-calor