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.

Change Your Clock – Check Your Smoke Alarm

Change your clock and check your smoke alarmsRemember, that we move our clocks forward one hour tonight. Also remember that when you change your clock we want you to check your smoke alarm to ensure it is working.

Our friends at the U.S. Fire Administration recommend the following regarding the different types of smoke alarms out there:

Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Replace the batteries at least once every year.
• Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home’s electrical system
• Test the alarm monthly.
• Replace the backup battery at least once every year.
• Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Want to test your smoke alarm but it is just out of reach? Here is one safe way to do it:

High School Firefighter Program Students Adapt And Overcome

On Friday, March 3, the High School Firefighter Program students were provided practical training exercises on how to extinguish auto fires.

In one scenario, the students were presented with a little twist that required them to problem solve. The twist involved the fire engine access being blocked so they could not get closer to the auto on fire.

As you can see below, they did a good job finding a solution!

High School Firefighter Students Learn About Fire Behavior Firsthand

Today, the High School Firefighter students learned about fire behavior first hand by going into a live training fire.

The students were divided into two groups. One group donned their full protective gear and were required to have an instructor check to make sure the gear was correctly put on. Once that was done, the students were led inside the burn building where a safety briefing was conducted prior to the fire being lit. The second group stayed outside while another instructor explained to them what they should look for and why it is important. The groups then switched after the fire was put out.

Students inside the burn building saw how the fire can grow, how the heat builds, how the smoke can rise and bank down and travel in a building. 


The first portion of the training was captured live on our Facebook page. More photos below.

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A Tip Of The Fire Helmet

We love receiving emails from those we serve highlighting exceptional efforts by our fire and rescue personnel. Below is one received this past week with photo as well!

A tip of the fire helmet, and well done, to Master Technician Holland!

Good Morning, Chief Bowers and Captain Geffen:

Our school would like to take this opportunity to thank Master Technician Holland for visiting our school.  Our students who are members of the Willow Springs Girl Scout Troop 3604 were earning their First Aid badge.  Our school health aide taught the troop about asthma treatments, allergic reactions, and when to call 911.  Technician Holland followed up by talking about the role of a first responder and about the steps EMTs and firefighters take before, during, and after receiving a call of need from our school or school community. 

We would like for you to know how much we appreciate Technician Holland taking his personal time to do outreach for our students.  It certainly speaks to the fine character of Technician Holland

A tip of the fire helmet

Phyllis R. Wheeler
Willow Springs Elementary School
Educational Office Assistant