Life Years Added 2020 – “Rising to the Challenge”

By: Dr. Weir and Dr. Avstreih
FCFRD Office of the Medical Director

There are many ways that the frontline men and women of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) make a difference in the lives of the community which we serve.  Some are simple, some are profound. One of the most significant is the years of life added when emergency medical care leads to a patient in cardiac or respiratory arrest walking out of the hospital with a good neurological outcome.  Sometimes this final status cannot be determined for days, even weeks – which is why this number could not reported until today.

2020 was an unprecedented year.  Despite these challenges, the Life Years Added number, too, is unprecedented.

The final tally for 2020:

4189 Neurologically-intact years of life added.

130 Individual patients.

We are grateful to every Officer, Technician, Firefighter/EMT, and Firefighter/Paramedic for your efforts in rising to the challenge – on behalf of the mission, the patients and community that we serve. 

Fire Investigators Seek Public’s Help Identifying Persons of Interest

On December 19, 2020 at approximately 12:58 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported building fire in the 9300 block of Lee Highway in the Fairfax area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and found the contents of a storage room on fire. The storage room is located in the lower level of a parking garage for office buildings 9300 and 9302 Lee Highway, Fairfax. Crews quickly extinguished the fire. There were no reported injuries. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $11,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying three persons of interest who may have information on the fire (see photos below). One person was seen skateboarding in the garage from approximately 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on December 18, 2020. Two other individuals were seen skateboarding and hanging around a bench in the garage from approximately 8:00 p.m. on December 18, 2020 to 12:45 a.m. on December 19, 2020.

The first person of interest is described as a white male, approximately 5’7″, with a thin build and shoulder-length black, curly hair. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black pants, tan shoes. The second person is a white male, approximately 6’3″, with a medium build. He appears to walk with a limp. He was last seen wearing a black winter hat, plaid flannel jacket over a white shirt, and tan pants. The third person of interest is a white male, approximately 6’0″, with a thin build and black hair that may have been in a ponytail. He was last seen wearing a light and dark grey baja style hoodie, blue jacket, light grey pants, and white sneakers  

During the same evening, two motorcycles in the parking garage were pushed over, which damaged a car. Fire Investigators are interested in information regarding the motorcycles, any other vehicles that may have been damaged, and anyone who may have found their property missing around that time frame. Any related information may assist in the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Lieutenant Michael Adams with the Office of the Fire Marshal, Fire Investigation Section at (571) 221-1031 or Michael.adams2@fairfaxcounty.gov. Your tips can remain anonymous!

JANUARY 11: 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, January 10:

TESTING:

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: 144

• FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 127

One hundred and forty-four personnel are currently COVID-19 positive. One hundred and twenty-seven of the 144 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.

QUARANTINE:

• FCFRD members currently in quarantine: 29

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

FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus.

Unattended Cooking Cause of Rose Hill House Fire

On Friday, January 8 at approximately 11:05 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 3900 block of Ivanhoe Lane in the Rose Hill area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single family home with smoke showing from the front of the house. Crews found a fire in the kitchen with extension to the second floor and attic. They worked quickly to extinguish the fire. One cat was located, and removed, by firefighters and delivered unharmed to the owner. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

Two occupants were home at the time of the fire. One occupant discovered a fire on the stovetop. Both occupants tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire. The occupants safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival. There were no working smoke alarms in the home.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen on the stovetop. The cause of the fire was food left unattended on the stovetop, which ignited the nearby combustibles.

Two occupants and two pets were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross services were offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $60,000.

Volunteer Fire And Rescue Departments Hosting Blood Drives

It’s National Blood Donor Month! Several Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Volunteer Fire Departments are partnering with Inova Blood Donor Services to hold blood drives in their fire station parking lots.

Inova Blood Donor Services is taking all precautions as it relates to COVID-19. There will be plenty of space to spread out and use appropriate social distancing. To help protect our firefighters and paramedics, access to the fire station is prohibited.

List of days, times and location are below. To register to donate, please go to the Inova Blood Donor Services web site.

Monday, January 25, 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department/ Fairfax County Fire Station 22. 7011 Backlick Rd., Springfield, VA 22150. Sign up HERE.

Tuesday, January 19, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. at McLean Volunteer Fire Department/ Fairfax County Fire Station 1. 1455 Laughlin Ave McLean, VA 22101. Sign up HERE.

Saturday January 30, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department/ Fairfax County Fire Station 2. 400 Center Street South Vienna, VA 22180. Sign up HERE.  

Wednesday, January 13, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department/ Fairfax County Fire Station 14. 9501 Old Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA 22015. Sign up HERE. NOTE: One appointment left.

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Where To Find FCFRD On Social Media

Want to see what your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters and paramedics are doing on a daily basis? Please consider following us on some, or all, of our social media platforms! You will see everything from incident responses, behind the scenes and all content in between.

In addition, we also post content on the Fairfax County NextDoor site.

Click on the icon below to go to our social media channel for that platform:

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Make Bath Time A Safe Time For Your Child!

January is National Bath Safety Awareness Month. After pools, bathtubs are the second leading location where young children drown according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children ages 1-14 in the United States according to the World Health Organization.

Drowning prevention safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Never leave young children alone near any water, tub, or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of liquid.
  • Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another child.
  • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
  • Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.
  • Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

In addition, the Mayo Clinic Recommends the following:

  • Keep bathwater at around 100 degrees. You can get the exact temperature by purchasing a floating digital thermometer for the bathtub. Most come in fun animal shapes, like ducks and turtles for your toddler to enjoy as well.
  • Get a soft cover for the bath faucet. If there is a slip or a fall, this soft cover will help your child avoid a head injury. These also can come in fun animal shapes, with water coming out the spout of a whale or the nose of a hippo.

bathsafetyawareness2blog

JANUARY 4: 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, January 3:
TESTING:

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: 133

• FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 112

One hundred and thirty-three personnel are currently COVID-19 positive. One hundred and twelve of the 133 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.

QUARANTINE:

• FCFRD members currently in quarantine: 10

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

FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus.

Candle With Care New Year’s Eve And Day

Celebrating the New Year and using candles as part of the celebration? Please make sure you do so safely! Flameless Candles

While the use of open-flame candles can add ambiance to a holiday and provide “warmth” to a home, battery powered candles are a safer alternative and one our firefighters and paramedics highly recommend you use.

If you choose to use open-flame candles, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind residents that the improper use of candles can result in catastrophe. To avoid the dangers of fire while burning candles, please follow the safety tips listed below:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended. Blow out all candles before you leave a room or go to bed!
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
  • Do not burn candles near windows or doorways
  • Place candles in glass or ceramic containers
  • Place candles on a flat, sturdy non-combustible surface
  • Never leave candles burning when children or pets are present

Carbon Monoxide: Colorless And Odorless Killer

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

CO combines with hemoglobin in our blood and robs the blood of the oxygen our body needs. Early symptoms of exposure are similar to the flu and include headache, fatigue, nausea, and confused thinking (so victims cannot think clearly enough to get assistance). Without treatment, the victim will lose consciousness, and if no help is given will lose their life.

CO is produced by combustion. Common causes are:

  • Defective gas or oil furnaces and water heaters
  • Cracked chimney flues
  • Indoor use of charcoal grills
  • Use of a gas oven or range to warm a room
  • Running a car in an enclosed area such as a garage
  • Running of a portable generator inside, or too close to, the home
  • Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out

CO poisoning is preventable. Actions you should take to protect your family are:

  • Each year you should have a qualified technician inspect your gas furnace and appliances.
  • Never allow your car to run in an enclosed area, especially if it is a garage attached to your house.
  • Make sure your fireplace is in good repair and do not close the damper before the fire is out.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • Install CO alarms to give your family a warning if CO is building up in your house.

CO alarms should be located on every floor and mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the alarm goes off, everyone should get out of the house at once and call the fire department by dialing 911 from a neighbor’s house. Do not ventilate your house by opening doors and windows. When the fire department personnel arrive, they will obtain CO readings in different areas of your home to determine the source of the CO.

Another very important point to remember is that you still need a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and on every level of your home!

Carbon monoxide (CO) Poisoning Fact Sheet – Select a Language:

Co Alarms