A Special Reunion

By: Lieutenant (ret) Karrie Leigh Boswell
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

You run many calls in a fire service career. You meet many families. Some you never ever forget. I was so happy I got to spend time recently with one of those families, along with the firefighters, at Fire Station 1 in McLean.

Five years ago, nearly to the day, a then three year old Ms. Delaney Saslav fell into a pool. She stopped breathing, and her heart stopped beating. Firefighters and paramedics from Fire Station 1 were sent to help bring her back. Thankfully, the crew working that day was able to do just that.

Mom and Dad, Jill and Andy, always tell us we are their heroes. The opposite is true for us. Delaney and her family are our heroes. To see this little girl running, laughing, and playing with her little brother Ian in the fire house this day was a heartfelt and humbling experience.

Several of the firefighters who were on that call five years ago, including this retiree, were in attendance. We were all so glad we got to see Delaney and her family before they leave for another part of the country. You inspire us every day Delaney, and you always remind us of how precious life is. Since Delaney will always have our hearts, the crew presented her with a little heart necklace to wear around her neck as a reminder of that. She was also presented other mementos to remember us by. 

Thanks For 20 Years Of Emergency Medical Care!

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to formally recognize and congratulate the following personnel who have completed 20 years of service as an authorized Advanced Life Support (ALS) provider (medic/paramedic). These providers have been approved to wear the ALS 20 Year Pin on their uniforms.

20 year EMS Pin

ALS 20 Year Pin

Thank you for providing emergency medical care to Fairfax County residents and visitors for the last 20 or more years!

  • Deputy Chief Andrew L. Duke
  • Deputy Chief William A. Garrett
  • Deputy Chief Daniel V. Gray
  • Battalion Chief James J. Masiello
  • Battalion Chief Michael C. Schaff
  • Battalion Chief Jerome I. Williams
  • Battalion Chief Cheri E. Zosh
  • Captain II Carlton G. Burkhammer
  • Captain II George O. Gonzalez, Jr.
  • Captain II Mark Guditus
  • Captain II Glenn D. Kaplan
  • Captain II Robert A. Konczal
  • Captain II Matthew M. Lopez
  • Captain II Natalie D. Robb
  • Captain II Wayne P. Wentzel
  • Captain I Cynthia L. Brown
  • Captain I Tim E. Fowler
  • Captain I James B. Johnson
  • Captain I Peter B. Masters
  • Captain I Jeffrey A. Tolle
  • Captain I Marcus D. Williams
  • Lieutenant Svenja E. Leyden
  • Lieutenant James T. Morris
  • Volunteer Joan M. Bliss

Paramedic Students Gearing Up For Final Exam

By: Lieutenant Christopher Zach, NREMT-P
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
EMS Training

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s VCU paramedic students are nearing the end of their initial education program. The foundation has been laid, now they are refining that knowledge by continually running real-time scenarios to prepare them for their field ride along with Richmond Ambulance Authority, and ultimately, the National Registry test. Up until this point, the students had practiced EMS scenarios in the comfort of the Fire Academy, but that was about to change.

Last week, the students were brought to one of Fairfax County’s offsite training facilities for two very unique training opportunities. The first of which took place in what is called “Practical Plaza,” where there are mock occupancies set up in order to run scenarios in a realistic environment. Some of the occupancies include a coffee shop, a convenience store, bar, bank, and even a pizza shop. Behind the mock store occupancies is even an alleyway. Students acting as patients were moulaged and acted as the live interactive patient, while others acted as bystanders or family members/coworkers who were intended to be both helpful and distracting to the call.

The students were also taken to another county training site, where they have a “maze house” that is laid out like an apartment building with tight corners that are difficult to maneuver a stretcher through. In addition to demonstrating proper EMS interventions, the students also had to figure out the best way to both arrive to, enter and exit a scene with their equipment and cot. They were able to respond to the location in an ambulance provided by the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department. They quickly learned how important unit position is, as well as how time consuming it may be to retrieve a piece of equipment that was not initially brought into the incident and located back on the ambulance.

The VCU students have been doing scenarios for a while now, but placing them in new and realistic training environments, as well as adding the logistical elements to the scenarios, greatly increased the complexity and learning experience. By the end of the week they had really learned how much more there is to successfully running an incident beyond just the patient care.