Friday, Governor Ralph Northam announced the recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Fire Service Awards. Established in 2002, the Governor’s Fire Service Awards honor excellence in Virginia’s Fire Service and are facilitated by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, in partnership with the Virginia Fire Services Board.
Fire Chief John Butler was honored alongside Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Chief Keith Johnson with the Excellence in Virginia Fire Services Award for the implementation of its Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACT R) program, which delivers blood via 911 resources to entrapped trauma patients. Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System and Fairfax County Fire Rescue Department, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia EMS Council, Inova Health System, Inova Trauma and Blood Donor Service, launched a novel prehospital blood program called the Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACT R) program. FACT R is a groundbreaking program that offers lifesaving training and supplies to first responders, enabling a dramatic increase in the level of care they can provide in the field. The idea of this program came after answering a joint response requiring on the scene blood transfusion to be administered, which ultimately saved the lives of the trapped victims. This innovative program is the first of its kind with this level of capability nationwide.
Additionally, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Firefighter Christopher Puzzanghero was honored as Virginia Career Firefighter of the Year. FF Puzzanghero’s connection to the department dates back to high school when he spent time as an explorer and volunteer. Now with more than a decade under his belt in the fire service, Puzzanghero actively seeks out training locally and nationally, using his own time and money to perfect his craft. In addition, he is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with his crew, battalion, department, and the rest of the fire service. As an adjunct instructor for Recruit and Field training in Fairfax County, the Department of Fire Programs, and a private fire services training company, he strives to go above and beyond from the newest recruit to the most tenured firefighter to provide the best service possible. He has shown on many occasions to make tactful decisions under pressure and his department is better and safer for his dedication. His valiant response efforts were on display June 7, 2017, when he took quick action to save a fellow firefighter who had fallen into an interior basement on a structure fire.