Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite

wind chill chartIt is COLD out there! If you need to be out and about in this weather, please dress appropriately and avoid prolonged exposure to the cold. Not dressing appropriately and staying outside too long in these cold temperatures could lead to serious cold related illness and injury such as Hypothermia or Frostbite.

Please take a moment to learn the Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia and Frostbite from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also learn what to do if you, or another person, are exhibiting signs or symptoms of either condition.


A condition in which the body uses up its stored energy and can no longer produce heat. Often occurs after prolonged exposure to cold temperature.

Early symptoms

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation

Late symptoms

  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

First Aid

  • Request immediate medical assistance.
  • Move the victim into a warm room or shelter.
  • Remove wet clothing.
  • Warm the center of their body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket; or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, or towels.
  • If conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature. Do not give alcohol.
  • Once temperature has increased keep them dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
  • If no pulse, begin CPR.


An injury to the body that is caused by freezing, which most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.


  • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
  • Numbness
  • Aching
  • Tingling or stinging
  • Bluish or pale, waxy skin

First Aid

  • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Unless necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes. Immerse the affected area in warm (not hot) water, or warm the affected area using body heat. Do not use a heating pad, fireplace, or radiator for warming.
  • Do not massage the frostbitten area; doing so may cause more damage.


Springfield House Fire Displaces Four

On Thursday, December 21 at approximately 8:13 p.m., units were dispatched for a report of a house fire in the 7400 block of Nancemond Street in the Springfield section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find a two-story, split level style single family home with heavy fire and smoke showing from the first and second floors. A second alarm was immediately requested to bring additional resources to the scene to aid in the control of the fire. Crews initiated an aggressive exterior attack on the fire before transitioning to an interior attack to extinguish it.

There were two occupants home who discovered the fire. Both occupants safely evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department. There were working smoke alarms in the home which activated after the occupants discovered the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in an enclosed porch located in the rear of the home. The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.

There were four adults that were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. There were no reports of civilian or fire-fighter injuries. Sadly, a family dog did perish in the fire.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be $293,975.


Tysons Elevator Rescue

On Wednesday, December 13 at approximately 6:37 p.m., units were dispatched for a person stuck in an elevator in the 1700 block of Tysons Boulevard in the Tysons Corner section of Fairfax County.

Units from Fire Station 29, Tysons Corner, arrived on scene, located the elevator and found it to be 35 feet below the 11th floor landing in a blind shaft. Contact was made with the occupant who reported no injuries. Power was controlled to the elevator and a Technical Rescue Operations Team (TROT) response was requested.

An elevator technician arrived and took control of surrounding elevator cars. A plan was devised to lower another elevator car down to the stalled car and remove the individual through the roof hatch. Several crew members went to the 12th floor and set up a lowering system for occupant removal. Two personnel went with the elevator technician to the stalled elevator car and made access to the individual through the roof hatch, secured him in a harness and safely moved him into the “rescue” elevator car.

The “rescue” car descended to the lobby where the occupant was assessed by EMS crews as a precaution.




Crew Reunites With Trauma Patient

By: Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Captain II Wayne Wentzel

On November 28, units from the 1st Battalion, B-Shift, had an opportunity to attend a Trauma Case Review at the Reston Hospital Center (RHC). The cases were presented by the RHC Medical Director of Trauma Services and were focused on three trauma patients that were treated and transported to RHC by our firefighter and paramedics that were in attendance.

This was an excellent opportunity for firefighters and paramedics to see how patient care is managed once the patient arrives at the emergency room through their outcome after the traumatic event. While RHC trauma doctors were reviewing the first case, a significant hand injury, they surprised everyone by having the patient speak to share his experience.

Crews had the unique opportunity to hear from the patient himself about the care he received from the fire and rescue personnel as well as RHC staff. It was rewarding to hear from the patient and how his road to recovery has been progressing.

The patient also had the opportunity to speak with the crew of Medic 404, Herndon, who treated and transported him to RHC. He was excited to meet the crew and was very thankful for all they had done for him in the short time he was in their care.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department paramedic units transport many patients to local hospitals daily and rarely get an opportunity to see how their work impacts the long-term survival of these patients. This was yet another great example of how hard work and dedication of fire and rescue personnel, along with the great partnerships we have with our regional hospital partners, can positively impact those we serve.

Hand Injury

Firefighter Goza (l) and Captain Robb (r) with the patient showing how his hand has healed from the significant traumatic injury he suffered.




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

The following individual has been promoted to Battalion Chief:

  • Hunter, Gregory

The following individuals have been promoted to Captain II:

  • Barnes, Felicia
  • Merrell, Richard
  • Reed, Tracey

The following individuals have been promoted to Captain I:

  • Loach, Jeffrey
  • Washington, Douglas

The following individual has been promoted to Lieutenant:

  • Santa Gadea, Javier

The following individual has been promoted to Technician:

  • Haynes, Gregory

The following individual has achieved a Proficiency Designation as a Master Technician:

  • Dedes, Stefan

Civilian Promotions

  • Hackett, Nancy has been promoted to Administrative Assistant IV
  • Shorts, Vicki has been promoted to Inspector III

Congratulations to all on their promotions! Best wishes and stay safe in your new assignments.


Home Holiday Fire Facts

It is that wonderful time of year when there are many holiday celebrations occurring. Please take a moment to review the below facts and video about home holiday fires from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association. 

•One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.

•Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires.

•A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.

•The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

•Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires.