Additional Community Emergency Response Team Training For County Residents

CERTThe Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT trains county residents in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The CERT training classes below follows the FEMA curriculum, tailored to local disasters and hazards. Educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Emphasis on hands-on skill development and Fairfax County protocols and procedures. Instructor will provide syllabus with class schedule at first session. This training does not require any special physical strength or agility.

For more information and to register for the next class at the Fire and Rescue Academy, please click on the link below:

CERT 142 at the McLean VFD FS-01, Thursday’s- September 6,13,20,27, Oct 4, 11, 18, Final Oct 24 at FRA with Academy Class 141


FCFRD Going Above And Beyond The Patient’s Side

By: Dan B. Avstreih, M.D., FACEP FAEMS
Associate Operational Medical Director,
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department 

Recently, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units brought in a family of patients with vomiting and abdominal pain a few hours after eating a meal made with unknown wild mushrooms. The mushrooms had been picked from the ground in a courtyard near their apartment.  

There are a number of species of mushrooms that are profoundly toxic to the liver, the most common being  Amanita phalloides (the “Death Cap”). Knowing the mushroom species can be critical in the management of these ingestions. Unfortunately, there were no remaining mushrooms in the home.  

To help the Emergency Department (ED) and Poison Control staff, FCFRD crews combed through the courtyard field looking for other mushrooms, sending pictures to confirm the exact location and type of mushroom with the patients. Toxicology specialists identified it as a Chlorophyllum molybdites (Green Spored Lepiota) – which is a severe GI irritant, but luckily does not cause liver failure or death.  

Below is the picture that led to identification of the offending mushroom and of personnel from Station 8, Annandale, A-Shift arriving to the ED with the bag of mushrooms they found. 


FCFRD Responds To Overturned Dump Truck On Beltway

By: Battalion Chief Jeff Lewis

On Thursday, August 16 at approximately 10:37 a.m., units responded for a report of an overturned dump truck on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway at the ramp to Interstate 66 West.

Units arrived on scene to find an overturned dump truck. The truck was hauling a full load of fill-dirt and turned over after being involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Thankfully there were no serious injuries but there was a large traffic back-up on I-495 due to the closure of multiple lanes covered in dirt. Crews also had to mitigate a small fuel spill. After an extensive operation involving high capacity recovery vehicles the truck was righted, the area cleared and traffic reopened.

Crews Extinguish Truck Fire Adjacent To Merrifield Building

By: Battalion Chief Jeff Lewis

On Wednesday, August 15 at approximately 7:21 a.m. units from the Station 30, Merrifield, Station 13, Dunn Loring, and Station 18, Jefferson, were dispatched to the 2800 block of Hartland Road in the Merrifield area for a report of a box-type delivery truck on fire adjacent to a building.

The first arriving unit found a box truck on fire with flames impinging upon a tree-line adjacent to a towing and recovery storage lot. Complicating the situation was a significant electrical hazard involving what appeared to be high-voltage arcing between the front of the vehicle and metal objects in the ground. As the truck appeared energized an exclusion-area was established to ensure both firefighter and citizen safety until the electricity was turned off by the power company. As personnel prepared for the arrival of the power company, protective hose-lines were staged along with tools to open the box of the truck and extinguish the fire. Once the electrical hazard was addressed the fire was rapidly brought under control.

No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.


Training Academy Memorials Get Makeover As Part Of Eagle Scout Project

As his Eagle Scout Project, local scout Roy Rinehart coordinated meaningful makeover projects on the grounds of the Fire and Rescue Academy.

Roy undertook rebuilding the area around a tree given to the department after the Oklahoma City bombing to thank the Virginia Task Force 1 team for their assistance. In another location, out in front of the Academy, is a sapling tree given to the department by the City of New York. The tree is a cutting from trees that surrounded the Twin Towers.

Roy and many volunteers, installed benches at both sites made from condemned fire department ladders so people can sit and enjoy the areas. At the Oklahoma City area, they rebuilt the rock wall, re-did the slate patio and planted new plants.

Deputy Chief Andrew Duke, Chief of the Training Division, along with the help of the Apparatus shop built the benches. Fairfax County Firefighters and Paramedics Local 2068 donated $500 toward the project, while Jim Tolson (retired) also donated supplies and his expertise. Over 30 volunteers comprised of members and parents from his Troop 1547, and Roy’s friends worked to make this project a success. Also a special thanks to Mission BBQ for donating a meal, as well as Chik-fil-A and Home Depot who discounted their products.

Thank you, Roy, for using your Eagle Scout project to make a positive impact on our Fire and Rescue Academy grounds!


Station 40 Personnel Building Bonds With Road DAWG Campers

By: Lieutenant Robert Wells
Station 40, Fairfax Center, A-Shift

On Monday, Station 40, Fairfax Center, A-Shift hosted the Road DAWG (Don’t Associate With Gangs) summer camp students. There were 21 students who stopped by to talk, interact with firefighters and paramedics and participate in practical activities.

The kids were taught about trust for public safety officials, the importance of getting a good education, and respect for themselves and life. Other topics included the importance of the decision they make today and how it can impact their future. The history of the fire and rescue department and what the department does for the community. From there the students were shown around the station, observed firefighters climbing Tower Ladder 440, and then each student got to operate a fire hose line flowing water.

Every camper was fully engaged and appreciative of the chance to interact with the firefighters and paramedics of Station 40. Likewise, the personnel at the station enjoyed spending time with the kids and making a positive impact.

For more information about Road Dawg visit: