It is back to school for most college students! Do you have a college student in the family? If there was a fire in their dorm or off campus housing, would they know what to do? Chances are good that your college student would not know what to do as the last fire safety training they received was probably in elementary school.
Fires on and off campus are a legitimate concern. Please share the below 90 second video from the U.S. Fire Administration with your favorite college student. Included are safety tips that can help prevent a fire as well as what to do if there is one.
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.
Technical Rescue Team School time again! The topic this week is confined space rescue.
On Tuesday, students were working on rescuing a person who fell down a shaft. This class is for #FCFRD members who passed an entrance test and seek to eventually be considered for the team. Watch how they do it!
There are a lot of reasons to close your door. We do it to stop the spread of fire. You can do it to save your life.
By: Battalion Chief Bill Betz
Battalion 401, B-Shift
Recently, units from the First Battalion on B-Shift participated in training at the Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Herndon. Personnel completed various activities as part of the training geared towards self-survival and victim water rescue.
All personnel swam two laps of the pool giving unit officers the ability to evaluate the swimming skills of each member. This is valuable information to have ahead of being called to a water related emergency as the officer now knows who their strong swimmers are and who to place in the water for victim rescue.
Personnel then participated in backboard training with the lifeguard staff from the pool. They learned the actions lifeguards take to secure a victim to a backboard when they are suspected of a spinal injury from a pool mishap.
Finally, personnel donned structural firefighting gear and walked off the pools edge into the water to feel the impact of falling into water while wearing the protective clothing. Firefighters conduct a variety of tasks inside and outside a structure while operating at a house fire and many of the residences have swimming pools. A firefighter falling into the water with gear on poses a significant safety concern due to the added weight as the gear tends to pull firefighters under the water. The training today was conducted to provide firefighters with techniques on how to react and exit a pool should they face this situation while operating on an incident scene.
Thank you to the staff at Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club for hosting, and participating in, the training!
Why is it important to learn how to Stop the Bleed? It is important as a person can die from severe uncontrolled bleeding in as little as five minutes.
When a traumatic bleeding emergency occurs in Fairfax County most often a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker or bystander is on scene immediately after the traumatic bleeding injury has occurred. You have the power to learn some simple steps and effective bleeding control techniques that could preserve someone’s life until your Fairfax County firefighters/paramedics arrive. Below are steps you can take to help “stop the bleed.”
First call 9-1-1 to get Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units on the way. The sooner you call 911, the faster professional help will arrive.
Remember, your safety is the number one priority! You cannot help someone if you get injured. Be sure the area is safe before you decide to help.
Next expose the area that is bleeding and with a cloth or bandage use both hands to apply firm, steady pressure to the area that is bleeding. If you don’t have a bandage or cloth immediately available, apply firm and steady pressure with your hands. This will still help to slow or stop the bleeding.
If bleeding has not stopped, and there is one available, apply a commercially made tourniquet at least 2-3 inches above the injured area and tighten until bleeding has stopped. If bleeding has not stopped then place a second tourniquet above and next to the first tourniquet. Remember a tourniquet will not work if placed on top of a knee or elbow so be sure to avoid these areas.
If a commercially made tourniquet is not available, be very cautious in attempting to make an improvised tourniquet. Thin items such as phone chargers, extension cords, shoelaces, and rope are to narrow to be used as a tourniquet. In addition to not working, those items can cause severe damage to the nerves of the injured limb.
Below is an info-graphic from our friends at the Department of Homeland Security. A downloadable and accessible version is available by clicking here https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed
Are you heading to a local swimming pool this weekend? Perhaps your family is going to the beach, a river or lake to vacation and participate in a variety of water activities? With that in mind, your Fairfax County Firefighters and Paramedics ask that you take a moment to review the helpful water safety tips below from our friends at the American Red Cross.
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 beach with life guard, 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.