On October 31, 2019, Derek Thompson was at work when he collapsed. Coworkers called 911 and started CPR. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters and paramedics arrived, treated, and defibrillated him. They then transported Derek to the hospital.
The great news is Derek survived! He is alive today thanks to all the great work by the links in the Chain of Survival – coworkers, 911 call takers, FCFRD personnel and the medical team at the hospital.
Recently, the Thompson family had a reunion with the FCFRD crew via Zoom. The shift was thrilled as it is not often that FCFRD personnel hear back from survivors. Watch video below.
On Tuesday, July 7, at approximately 1:13 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services were dispatched for a reported hotel fire in the 8600 block of Woodlawn Court in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene to find a four-story hotel with fire evident from the roof. A second alarm was requested. Crews worked simultaneously to evacuate the hotel and extinguish the fire. The fire was contained to the roof. There were no reported firefighter or civilian injuries.
The hotel was occupied with approximately 108 occupants at the time of the fire. One occupant was outside when he noticed fire on the roof. He notified the manager on duty, who then called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present but did not sound due to the location of the fire.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was natural in nature and started on the parapet wall on the roof. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike.
108 occupants were displaced because of the fire. Hotel management was assisting all occupants with alternate accommodations. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $100,000.
It is going to be hot and humid for the next several days. With that in mind, everyone needs to remember a potential danger that can impact young children. Did you know that a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees in ten minutes? Or that the temperature inside your car can reach 110 degrees even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees?
Needless to say, leaving a child unattended in a vehicle for even a minute is not acceptable. Unfortunately, every year, young children are left alone in a vehicle that quickly heats up with the end result being injury or even death. Some cases involve kids getting into unlocked vehicles unbeknownst to parents and quickly succumb to the heat. Make sure your car is locked when you are not in it so kids are not able to gain access.
Below are some important tips from kidsandcars.org. As well, please watch the very short video from noheatstroke.org showing how fast a car can heat up.
- “Look Before You Lock” ‐ Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat. Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop‐off. If your child does not show up as scheduled; and they have not received a call from the parent, the childcare provider pledges to contact you immediately to ensure the safety of your child.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
- Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
- Use drive‐thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.
If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Thousands of people are injured each year in the United States due to fireworks.
In addition, improperly discarded used fireworks caused two significant house fires last year after Independence Day celebrations. This year, there have already been two house fires caused by improperly discarded fireworks! See below video for more information on these preventable fires.
Please watch video below as members of the FCFRD Fire and Hazardous Materials Investigative Services Section share tips on how to prevent this type of fire. In addition, they review the dangers of using fireworks and discuss how to use legal fireworks safely.
For more information visit: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/fire-marshal/fireworks-and-indoor-pyrotechnics
House Fires July 2019
Firework Sparklers Disposed Into Trash Cause McLean House Fire
Improper Disposal Of Used Fireworks Cause Annandale House Fire
House Fires 2020
Improperly Discarded Fireworks Cause Franklin Farm House Fire
Improperly Discarded Fireworks Cause Centreville House Fire
Seven Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and three Fairfax County Police Department, personnel received their National Registry Paramedic certification on Thursday. They received certification after ten months of intense training. The training was a joint effort between the department and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Fire Chief John Butler was on hand to offer words of encouragement and to congratulate the paramedic students on their tremendous accomplishment.
Congratulations to the following Firefighter and (now) Paramedics:
- Lieutenant Jamal Hudson
- Technician Juan DiMartino
- Firefighter Ruth Ballard
- Firefighter Melissa Cary
- Firefighter Heather Funkhouser
- Firefighter Jonathan Hughes
- Firefighter Linda Lee
Even though they have successfully certified, these students will intern for approximately six months in the field with a preceptor before being fully turned over to practice as a paramedic.
The below video was from the modified graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 18. Unfortunately, no family or friends were permitted attend due to the Covid-19 virus.
The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Thousands of people are injured each year in the United States due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible fireworks:
- Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
- During the use of permissible fireworks, minors should be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Adults should always supervise activities involving the use of permissible fireworks. Parents often do not realize there are more injuries from sparklers to children under five than from any other type of fireworks. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
- When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
- When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one fireworks device at a time, then back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- Avoid buying or handling fireworks that come packaged in brown paper as this can often be a sign that the fireworks are commercial or display-type fireworks made for professional fireworks shows. These fireworks can pose a serious danger to consumers and the public.
- Read the directions on fireworks packaging.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
Don’t forget the safety of your pets during firework’s season!
- Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
- If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
- Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
- Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
For an expanded list of fireworks safety tips, as well as information on fireworks safety-related publications, reports, videos, news, and recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Information Center online.
A list of legal and illegal fireworks for Virginia can be found at: http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/safety/fireworks.htm
On Sunday, June 13 at approximately 9:46 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 13100 block of Rounding Run Circle in the Franklin Farm area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single family home with fire visible from an attached garage. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire. There was no extension of the fire to the interior of the home. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.
Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. The occupants noticed smoke and fire coming from the garage. One occupant attempted to extinguish the fire without success.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the garage. The fire was caused by improperly discarded fireworks.
Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $80,000.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue urge all residents to treat the disposal of used fireworks the same as fireplace ashes. Please place into a metal container, douse with water, place a metal lid on top and place container away from the house.
This is the second house fire this year caused by the improper disposal of fireworks. The first was on April 6, 2020. More: Improperly Discarded Fireworks Cause Centreville House Fire.
On Friday, June 5 at approximately 9:02 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 7600 block of Pollen Street in the Lorton area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene of a one-story, single family home with fire evident from the roof. Crews found fire on a deck with extension into the attic. They quickly extinguished the fire. Firefighters rescued a missing cat. The unharmed cat was delivered back to the homeowners. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.
Three occupants were home at the time of the fire. One occupant in the kitchen heard popping noises and, upon investigation, discovered the fire outside on the deck. All occupants self-evacuated and then called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present and sounded after the fire was discovered.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the deck. The cause of the fire was improper disposal of smoking materials.
Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $80,000.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urges all residents who smoke to “Sink It or Soak It!” and prevent careless fires! Please keep in mind the below safety tips as it relates to the proper disposal of smoking materials:
- Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
- Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.
As part of CPR and AED Awareness Week, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue firefighters and paramedics would like to remind all residents that Hands-Only CPR can save lives. According to our friends at the American Heart Association, most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.
As a bystander, don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.
Watch the brief video below to learn how two easy steps can help to save a life in the event of an emergency.
On Thursday, June 4 at approximately 9:33 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 14000 block of Marleigh Lane in the Clifton area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire evident from the roof. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire. One firefighter was transported to a hospital for evaluation. There were no civilian injuries reported.
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. A neighbor observed fire from the roof and called 9-1-1. It is unknown if smoke alarms activated.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated was natural in nature and started on the roof. The cause of the fire was a lightning strike.
Two occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was not needed. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $92,500.