Firefighters Complete Extrication Rescue Training

By: Technician Jason Peterson
Fire Station 19, Lorton, B-Shift

Recently, approximately thirty Technical Rescue school personnel and thirty Hazardous Material team members completed two weeks of extrication rescue training. This also served as the first module of the Technical Rescue school class.

The class consisted of two modules of auto extrication, with the second module comprised of heavy extrication training on tractor trailers, cars in limited access scenarios, as well as transit and school buses, all offering a high degree of challenge and teamwork.

Tip Of The Fire Helmet

We love receiving letters from those we serve highlighting exceptional efforts by our fire and rescue personnel.

A tip of the fire helmet to personnel from Fire Station 5, Franconia, and Fire Station 37, Kingstowne, B-Shift for their quick recognition, and treatment, of a significant medical emergency back in September. Below is a letter of appreciation recently sent by the patient.

Job well done Firefighter Ray and Technician Bartman (Medic 37) as well as Firefighter Smith, Firefighter Perreault, Tech Vogtembing, Paramedic Firefighter Coppersmith and Captain Curriden (Engine 5).

A tip of the fire helmet

A Very Special First Birthday

By: Captain II Bill Lynch
Station Commander – Fire Station 13, Dunn Loring

Over the weekend, firefighters from Fire Station 13, Dunn Loring, went to a very special birthday party. What made this party a little more special than most was the fact that Jim was able to attend his daughters first birthday! On October 21st, Jim went into cardiac arrest. 911 was called and Engine and Medic 13 responded. For over 25 minutes he remained pulse-less, eventually responding to cardio pulmonary treatments.

Thanks to the training and efforts of the firefighters and paramedics on B-Shift, Jim was able to celebrate his daughters first birthday.

Jim was presented with a Fire Station 13 challenge coin and Charlotte was given a Fire Station 13 uniform patch for her baby book. 13 is definitely a lucky number for this family!

Happy Birthday Charlotte and we wish you both many more. This is why we do what we do.

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

February is Heart Health Month.

Unfortunately, heart attacks do happen. It is important that you and your loved ones know and recognize the warning signs of a heart attack as every second counts! Please take a moment to review the below tips from our friends at the American Heart Association.

If you think you or a loved one are experiencing a heart attack, call 911 as soon as possible!

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Common heart attack signs

Paramedic Students Train In Unique Learning Environment

By: Lieutenant Christopher Kroboth
EMS Training Section

The classrooms we all grew up in ranged from desk mounted chairs arranged grid style to stadium style arenas with 100-200 students. No matter how they were setup, they all revolved around a single instructor lecturing “AT” us. This lecture style and mode ofParamedic Students Train In Unique Learning Environment teaching has minimal retention by the student. Research by the National Training Laboratory (World Bank, n.d.) shows that the amount of new information learners retain depends on how the information is presented. Here are retention rates for seven common ways of teaching new information:

  • Lecture 5%
  • Reading 10%
  • Audio-Visual 20%
  • Demonstration 30%
  • Discussion 50%
  • Practice by doing 75%
  • Teaching others 90%

It is for this reason we use round tables in our classroom to have students sitting group style to help the facilitation of discussion and interaction. We have the groups take certain topics and “teach-back” the material to their classmates after doing research and designing the learning tools and examples. This follows the “see one, do one, teach one” path and helps them close the loop.

Innately, the profession of Paramedicine is filled with skills and hands-on practices which we parallel our learning topics with. We always close a topic with a full scenario that is designed to mimic that topic in a real life emergency. Toward that end, one group of students portray the patient and act out the disease or emergency while we have another group of students “run” or respond to the scenario. Our goal is to try and maximize the relatability and relevance of each topic to an experience. We try to harbor the group and team mentality to better forge the learning process as well as the social and safety aspects of the paramedic profession. In another article we will discuss other components of a classroom that can help set the stage for optimal learning.



World Bank. (n.d.). e learning pyramid. Retrieved from the World Bank Web site DEVMARKETPLACE/Resources/Handout_ e- LearningPyramid.pdf

USA, Center for Applied Linguistics. (2010). Adult Learning and Retention: Factors and Strategies. Retrieved January 07, 17, from Cultural Orientation Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics. (2010). COR Cen- ter Web site:

Paramedic Students Take Part In Live Exercise

On Thursday, January 5, paramedic students took part in a live exercise designed to practice their trauma assessment skills. This skill set is an important one to develop and refine for any student aspiring to attain paramedic certification.

Watch below to learn more about one small piece of the ten month training our firefighters receive to become paramedic certified. The video below was originally broadcast live on Facebook.