Girls Fire and Rescue Academy Students Off To A Great Start!

By: Captain I Tracey Reed
Fairfax County Fire and RescueGirls Fire and Rescue Academy

The first session of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Girls Fire and Rescue Academy is off to a great start!

Six girls, ages 14 and 15, are attending camp Monday through Friday this week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The purpose of the Academy is to build the girl’s confidence in their unique abilities, push them beyond their comfort zone, and to learn the value of supporting others rather than putting them down.

Fire Chief Richard Bowers kicked off the Academy on Monday, personally welcoming each student and offering a few remarks. Monday also included a field trip to the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center to learn what happens when a person calls 911. They met, and spoke with, the people who answer and process those calls.

Students then toured the Wellness and Fitness Center where the importance of fitness and proper body mechanics were taught by the center staff. The girls watched Technician Black complete the work performance evaluation that all Fairfax County firefighters complete annually. They went through the Candidate Physical Abilities Test which is one step in the process to become a firefighter. Their favorite part of the test was the maze!

We finished the day by learning how to put on our firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE).

Tuesday, and for the rest of the week, the girls started the day with physical training. On this day the workout involved a Tabata Circuit and walking the stairs while wearing PPE. Staff and students talked about motivation and worked on developing a playlist of motivational music for Wednesday’s workout! The rest of the morning was spent learning CPR. Our afternoon session consisted of learning how to stop bleeding with tourniquets, using EpiPen’s, inserting intravenous and intraosseous catheters, learning how to intubate, and teaching students how to apply moulage for realistic emergency medical training.

Today (Wednesday) students will be engaged in engine and truck company operations evolutions, including fire hose lines, the maze trailer, ladders, tools, and forcible entry.

On Thursday, students will be learning more about the Fire Marshall’s Office and our Urban Search and Rescue Team. The girls will run through technical rescue operations evolutions – ropes and knots, lowering systems, and vehicle extrication.

Friday will consist of hazardous materials operations evolutions, a firefighter’s role in community outreach, and opportunities to continue learning through the High School Firefighter Program, the Explorer Program, and volunteering in the community. The week will conclude with the girls and their families having dinner at a fire station.

We appreciate all the support we have received from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department members and leadership, Local 2068 Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics, Fairfax County Professional Fire and Rescue Officers Association, Fairfax Hispanic Firefighters Association, Apple Federal Credit Union, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Women’s Employee Group and the Progressive Firefighters of Fairfax County.

Most of all THANK YOU to the girls for going outside their comfort zone and trying something new!

Girls Fire and Rescue Academy Registration Opens Monday

Girls Fire and Rescue AcademyThe Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, is excited to announce its Girls Fire and Rescue Academy summer camp, taking place from July 17 – 21, 2017. The Academy is open to female students that are Fairfax County residents (ages 14 to 15) and is completely free of charge to participants.

The Academy will provide a unique insight into life as a Firefighter/EMT to encourage young women to consider the fire service as a career, either after high school or college.

Registration opens during the morning of Monday, June 19 at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/

 

Stay Safe Around Water

Stay safe around water

Sadly, there have been several near, and fatal, drownings across the metropolitan region recently. Please take a moment to review the helpful water safety tips below from our friends at the American Red Cross.

Our firefighters and paramedics do not want to meet you, or your loved ones, by “a preventable accident” today, tomorrow or ever.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

  •  Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

 

 

Our (Young) Hero

Ava, age 8, is a cancer survivor. Recently, she and her family ran their 5th Annual Team Ava – Alex’s Lemonade Stand! This effort is dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for children battling cancer.

To help the cause of this inspirational young lady Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center, B-Shift Lieutenant Ray Johnson organized a mini-parade in the community to help draw attention to Ava’s lemonade stand. Several units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department attended in force.

They also purchased some delicious lemonade and gave tours of the fire trucks to the community! It was a great event! Ava’s mom reports the stand raised over $800!

Ava is an inspiration and our hero!

Photos courtesy of Ava’s mom Jeannie

A Practical Field Trip For High School Firefighters

On Monday, May 1, the High School Firefighter Program went on a field trip to Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center.

The main purpose of the field trip was to practice Hazardous Material (HazMat) decontamination procedures. What better place to practice than the fire station that houses the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department HazMat Team!

In addition, the class got a tour of the station as well as all of the equipment by members of C-Shift. For the last several weeks, the high school firefighters have been learning about all things HazMat that will eventually lead to a certification in Haz Mat.

Never Too Early To Learn First Aid

By: Lieutenant Jason Buttenshaw
EMS Training, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Training Academy

It’s never too early to learn first aid. Webelo Cub Scouts from Den 4, Pack 698 visited the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Training Academy to take a brief tour and then learn valuable First Aid skills.

The Pack saw where recruit firefighters practice fire training scenarios. They then proceeded to the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) training section where they learned the skill of Hands Only CPR. After this they were taught simple first aid for injuries they may encounter when going on camping trips or similar outings. To top things off, the group also learned how to create fake injuries so that the recruits or paramedic students can encounter realistic injuries during training.

After a fun afternoon all the kids went home with either a burn, laceration, or bruising – all fake thankfully, and hopefully a few imaginations were captured with the prospect that maybe, just maybe, they too can become a Firefighter/Paramedic one day.

Home Smoke Alarm Basics

It is not uncommon for our firefighters to get asked a variety of questions about smoke alarms. Often, people want to know what type of smoke alarm you need and where in the home they should be placed. Our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association produced an informative, and short, video that answers these, and many other, questions.

Please take two minutes to increase your fire safety knowledge. Who knows, it could save your, or a loved ones, life one day.