JUNE 29: COVID-19 Update for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Personnel

Every week the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) will be posting information regarding COVID-19 impacts to personnel. The following information is up-to-date as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 28:

TESTING: 

This includes those who have received testing at the site designated for first responders and those who have shared their results from testing conducted at a private physician.

  • Known FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19: 23

  • FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 1

One FCFRD member is currently COVID-19 positive. Twenty-two of the 23 COVID-19 positive personnel have fully recovered.

All personnel are closely monitored by a nurse at Fairfax County’s Occupational Health Center.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue works with the Fairfax County Health Department to notify the public or any applicable persons if there is any concern of exposure.

QUARANTINE: 

  • FCFRD members currently in quarantine: 6

This number is in addition to the personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.

FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus.

FCFRD COVID JUNE 29

 

 

 

Join Team FCFRD

Join our team of outstanding paramedics and firefighters who engage in excellent patient care and use cutting-edge technology. As a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department team member, you will:

  • Learn that you can do it!
  • Find that you are stronger than you think.
  • Create life-long relationships built from teamwork.
  • Learn to save lives.
  • Give to your community.
  • Have unique educational opportunities including in-house and in-service CEUs.

Contact fire.recruitment@fairfaxcounty.gov or 571- 536-4985 to speak to a recruiter. Find more information at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire-ems/recruitment

Apply online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/fairfaxcounty search Firefighter.

 

 

Grilling This Weekend? Learn How To Avoid Becoming A Statistic!

Going to do a little cooking on the grill this weekend? Did you know that grill fires cause an estimated $37 million in property loss each year across the United States?

According to our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration:

  • Almost half of home grill fires happen between 5 and 8 p.m.
  • Fifty-seven percent of home grill fires occur during the months of May, June, July and August.
  • Patios, terraces, screened-in porches and courtyards are leading home locations for grill fires.
  • Seventy-nine percent of all home grill fires involve gas grills.
  • “Mechanical failure, malfunction” is the leading factor in the start of grill fires. Leaks or breaks of containers or pipes are often to blame.

How to dispose of coals if you used charcoal for grilling:

  • Before going to sleep or leaving the area, douse the fire with water and make sure the area is cool to the touch.
  • Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals.
  • Place the container outside and away from anything that can burn.
  • Never empty coals directly into a trash can.
  • Store the charcoal starter fluid out of reach of children and away from heat source

Please take a moment to watch the video below to learn how to grill safely.

 

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

lightning

June 21 – 27 is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. With the summer storm season upon us, it is important to be aware of the dangers posed by lightning and the steps to take to avoid getting hurt.

Each second, about 100 bolts of lightning hit the earth’s surface all over the world. Lightning is very dangerous as each single bolt can carry up to one billion volts of electricity! People can be hurt by as little as 42 volts of electricity, so just imagine what one billion can do. Approximately 2,000 people worldwide are killed each year due to lightning strikes while thousands more are injured. Don’t let one of these be you!

It is important to know the steps to take to stay safe during a storm where lightning is present. Remember that it is not possible to have thunder without lightning because thunder is a direct result of lightning. So always live by the rule; when thunder roars, go indoors! Follow these simple tips to avoid being hurt by lightning or stuck in its path.

  • Hear thunder? Then lightning is close enough to strike you. When thunder roars, go indoors! Nowhere outside is safe!
  • No building close by to shelter in? Get into an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or thunder to go back outside.
  • Plan your day around the threat of weather to avoid being caught outside when storms hit. Storms typically hit in the late afternoon and evening during the summer but always check the weather for the area you will be in!
  • Avoid contact with water during a thunderstorm. Electric currents from lightning can travel quickly through water.
  • Stay away from concrete floors and walls. Lightning can travel through any metal bars in the concrete.

 

Congratulations New Paramedics!

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.

 

JUNE 22: COVID-19 Update for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Personnel

Every week the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) will be posting information regarding COVID-19 impacts to personnel. The following information is up-to-date as of 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 21:

TESTING: 

This includes those who have received testing at the site designated for first responders and those who have shared their results from testing conducted at a private physician.

  • Known FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19: 23

  • FCFRD personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered: 22

One FCFRD member is currently COVID-19 positive. Twenty-two of the 23 COVID-19 positive personnel have fully recovered.

All personnel are closely monitored by a nurse at Fairfax County’s Occupational Health Center.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue works with the Fairfax County Health Department to notify the public or any applicable persons if there is any concern of exposure.

QUARANTINE: 

  • FCFRD members currently in quarantine: 4

This number is in addition to the personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.

FCFRD continues to fully staff all stations and apparatus.

FCFRD COVID STATS JUNE 22

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks

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

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all Fairfax County dads for everything you do every day! A great day to check your smoke alarms to make sure they are working!

To all of our Fairfax County Fire and Rescue career, volunteer and civilian dads – some who are working today – we thank you for your service and hope you enjoy your day!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

Pre-Demo Home Provides Premiere Training

Over the past two weeks, units in the 6th Battalion have had the good fortune of conducting training on a pre-demo home. The owner of this house is tearing it down and building a new one on this site. So before demolishing it, he “donated” it to FCFRD and allowed us an opportunity to conduct realistic training on it. Crews worked on individual skills and scenarios as well as complex, full scale incident scenarios. Note that we did not actually set fires in the house. We used theatrical smoke to mimic realistic smoke conditions that would be found in an actual fire.

These rare training opportunities are extremely valuable to the firefighters and paramedics of FCFRD. It allows us to practice and enhance individual and team skills in a variety of situations. This will increase our safety as well as benefit the Fairfax County residents who may need our help one day.

Have a home or building you will be demolishing? Please consider allowing FCFRD firefighters and paramedics to train on it prior to demo day. Call the FCFRD Training Division at 703-631-8121 and ask to speak with someone about the Acquired Structures Program.

 

Not Your Typical Fence Repair As Neighbors Help Neighbors

By: Captain Timothy James
Fire Station 16, Clifton, A-Shift
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

On Tuesday, June 16, units responded for a house fire in 7100 block of Wolf Den Road in the Clifton area of Fairfax County. The home is located in an area that does not have a fire hydrant close by.

To prepare for fires in an area like this, we have already identified a variety of locations close by that could serve as a water supply source and “fill site” – ponds, streams or nearest fire hydrant. On this day, a pond on a property located in the 11500 block of Yates Ford Road, had been identified as the closest water supply source. A tanker relay was established to get water to the fire trucks on scene – a kind of mobile fire hydrant if you will.

After the fire was extinguished, my crew and I on Engine 416 stopped by the home with pond to thank the owners for their help. We noticed a wooden fence around the pond had been accidentally damaged in the process of establishing the fill site.

The owners of the property, George and Martha, who had lived there since 1970, where fully aware of our process of utilizing their pond for fire suppression efforts.  They were happy that their pond could be of service. We thanked them for understanding and playing a critical role in helping their neighbors and insisted that they allow us to help them repair the fence.

George had actually planned on doing the fence repairs himself. The crew went to work digging a hole for a new post and eventually completed the fence repair. We had a wonderful time! Martha even gave us some homemade cookies!

As for myself, growing up in Washington, D.C., I had never dug a fence post. So I learned something new on this day! Wonderful to also see neighbors so willing to help neighbors in their time of need!