VA-TF1 Update

On October 8th, VA-TF1 was activated to deploy a 16-person Mission Ready Package-Water Rescue (MRP-WR) in preparation for Hurricane Michael striking the US. The MRP-SW includes 6 boats, three trailers, four pickup trucks, basic rescue tools, medical equipment, and enough supplies for the team to operate and remain self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. The team members are all fully trained members of the VA-TF1. Additionally, nearly all are trained to operate in fast moving water and flood water. 

VA-TF1 deployed early on October 9th and arrived at a staging location in Alabama where they remained in staging when the hurricane made landfall on October 10th. The team deployed to Panama City in Bay County, Florida on October 11th. Team members remained engaged in Bay County through October 13th where they performed wide area searches and detailed searches of damaged structures. While performing this work they provided various assistance to the citizens affected by the hurricane, including access to EMS/medical care, access to essential services and supplies, contact information for disaster recovery, etc. Access and progress in many areas was slowed by debris and blocked roadways. 

On October 14th the team was relocated to Jackson County, approximately 40 miles north, northeast of Panama City where they continue to work today. The team is conducting wide-area searches including detailed searches of damaged structures. Access to many areas remains difficult but the team is working with federal and state resources, as well as contractors to gain access to all areas and provide the citizens with access to essential goods and services.

 

Malfunctioning Laptop Computer Causes Herndon House Fire

On Monday, October 15 at approximately 12:58 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 13100 block of Weather Vane Way in the Herndon area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single-family home with smoke showing from the roof and fire showing from a second-floor window at the rear of the home. Crews quickly located the fire in a bedroom. The fire was rapidly extinguished. Fire damage was limited to the bedroom. There was no extension to the attic or other parts of the home. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

There was one adult occupant home at the time of the fire. The occupant was awakened to the smell of smoke and heard a crackling noise. She discovered a fire on top of the mattress in the bedroom. She self-evacuated the home and called 9-1-1. There were smoke detectors present, however, it is unknown if they sounded.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in a second-floor bedroom. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning laptop computer.

A total of three adults were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damage as a result of the fire is estimated to be $93,750.

 

Fairfax County Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems Training (FASST) Lab Open House

On Thursday, October 11, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) proudly celebrated the grand opening of its Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems Training Laboratory (FASST Lab) in the new Public Safety Headquarters. The laboratory came to fruition a few years ago, in a reclaimed modular classroom using donated materials and labor. It now provides, in a beautiful new setting, a multi-faceted community fire prevention education program. 

The FASST Lab allows FCFRD Fire Prevention staff to effectively and affordably connect with community leaders, property owners and managers, building maintenance personnel, and fire protection system installers to collaboratively build and maintain a safer community. The minimal cost program is saving property owners and managers thousands of dollars annually, while significantly reducing faulty alarm responses. It is a win/win program for the community and the fire rescue service.

 

Sons Of The American Revolution Honor Two FCFRD Personnel

The Sons of The American Revolution (SAR), Fairfax Resolves Chapter, recently presented their Public Safety Commendation awards to two members of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

On Tuesday, October 9, Mr. Vern Eubanks, President of the chapter, stopped by Station 8, Annandale, to present Captain II Carlton Burkhammer (EMS Officer 407, B-Shift) with the Emergency Medical Services Award. He also presented Technician Duane Lawrence (Station 8, B-Shift) with the Fire Safety Award.

Congratulations Captain II Burkhammer and Technician Lawrence on these well-deserved awards. The nomination letter for each recipient is below.

EMS Award-Captain II Carlton Burkhammer

Captain Burkhammer is a 30-year veteran of the Fire and Rescue Department and currently serves in an advanced life support (ALS) capacity as an EMS Supervisor. Captain Burkhammer is well regarded for his medical knowledge and skills and is highly sought after to serve on department and regional committees. Captain Burkhammer is the department’s subject matter expert on hostile/active shooter events and has developed department wide EMS training, best practices in the event of these events. Captain Burkhammer was responsible for researching, selecting, training and outfitting the department with ballistic gear. Captain Burkhammer was selected to draft a grant proposal to outfit additional units with ballistic gear to further enhance the department’s ability to safely operate in this environment. Captain Burkhammer is an asset to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and to the EMS Division.

Fire Safety Award-Technician Duane Lawrence

Technician Duane Lawrence has been a member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department since 2002. Tech. Lawrence was promoted to his current rank in 2009, and since 2011 has been assigned as the Driver of Engine Company 408 B-Shift in Annandale. Tech. Lawrence demonstrates on a daily basis the attributes of a model Apparatus Technician, one of the most respected positions in the Fire and Rescue Department. He is meticulous and dedicated in ensuring that Engine 408 is prepared daily to operate properly and safely to serve the citizen’s and visitors of Fairfax County. Tech. Lawrence in driving one of the busiest Engine Companies in the County, and in an area that is regularly traffic congested, operates the apparatus with a high degree of safety in mind for the citizens and his crew. Since his start with the Fire and Rescue Department, including up to his present position, he has never been involved in a collision or accident. He has a thorough knowledge and understanding of hydraulic principles and can be counted on to solve any water supply issue or challenge on the fire ground. Tech. Lawrence has mastered a complete memorization of all streets, hydrant locations, and Target Hazards in our first due area, which enables him to insure we will arrive at any emergency incident in our area regardless of traffic or road conditions in a timely and safe manner. He has transferred his knowledge and skills to other shift members by serving as a mentor and role model, training numerous shift members to be back-up Drivers on Engine 408 and preparing them to succeed in placing for promotion on the Apparatus Technician’s test.

Fire Prevention Month Podcast

Recently Bill Delaney, FCFRD Office of Public Affairs and Life Safety Education, sat down with host Jim Person of The County Conversation podcast to discuss Fire Prevention Month and Fire Prevention Week. They talked about how to prevent fires, fire safety and more. Please listen and hopefully learn more about keeping you and your loved ones safe.

 

Fairfax County Public Safety Career Fair Fast Approaching!

The Public Safety Agencies of Fairfax County would like to invite you to learn more about career opportunities available at the Fairfax County Public Safety Career Fair on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Along with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, the Sherriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety Communications and Police Department will have personnel on site discussing employment opportunities available at each agency, demonstrating what we do every day, discussing the training opportunities available, and answering any questions you may have.  

This is a unique opportunity to not only learn about the careers available through Fairfax County, but to learn why Fairfax County is a great place to work in public safety. Guests will be able to apply for positions on site or sign up for “Job Alerts” that will notify them as soon as a position is made available. The event will be from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Government Center located at 12000 Government Center Parkway. See you there!

It Is Fire Prevention Week! LOOK For Places Fire Could Start

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere!”

Please take a moment to watch the video from the NFPA to learn how to LOOK for, and identify, potential fire hazards. You will also learn how to take care of them.

 

In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Stop by your local station that day to meet your firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety.