Stop The Bleed

By: Lieutenant Bruce Stark
Fire Station 19, Lorton, A-Shift

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. A person can die from severe uncontrolled bleeding in as little as five minutes.

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 version is available by clicking here https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed

Stop The Bleed

Girls Fire and Rescue Academy Students Off To A Great Start!

By: Captain I Tracey Reed
Fairfax County Fire and RescueGirls Fire and Rescue Academy

The first session of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Girls Fire and Rescue Academy is off to a great start!

Six girls, ages 14 and 15, are attending camp Monday through Friday this week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The purpose of the Academy is to build the girl’s confidence in their unique abilities, push them beyond their comfort zone, and to learn the value of supporting others rather than putting them down.

Fire Chief Richard Bowers kicked off the Academy on Monday, personally welcoming each student and offering a few remarks. Monday also included a field trip to the McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center to learn what happens when a person calls 911. They met, and spoke with, the people who answer and process those calls.

Students then toured the Wellness and Fitness Center where the importance of fitness and proper body mechanics were taught by the center staff. The girls watched Technician Black complete the work performance evaluation that all Fairfax County firefighters complete annually. They went through the Candidate Physical Abilities Test which is one step in the process to become a firefighter. Their favorite part of the test was the maze!

We finished the day by learning how to put on our firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE).

Tuesday, and for the rest of the week, the girls started the day with physical training. On this day the workout involved a Tabata Circuit and walking the stairs while wearing PPE. Staff and students talked about motivation and worked on developing a playlist of motivational music for Wednesday’s workout! The rest of the morning was spent learning CPR. Our afternoon session consisted of learning how to stop bleeding with tourniquets, using EpiPen’s, inserting intravenous and intraosseous catheters, learning how to intubate, and teaching students how to apply moulage for realistic emergency medical training.

Today (Wednesday) students will be engaged in engine and truck company operations evolutions, including fire hose lines, the maze trailer, ladders, tools, and forcible entry.

On Thursday, students will be learning more about the Fire Marshall’s Office and our Urban Search and Rescue Team. The girls will run through technical rescue operations evolutions – ropes and knots, lowering systems, and vehicle extrication.

Friday will consist of hazardous materials operations evolutions, a firefighter’s role in community outreach, and opportunities to continue learning through the High School Firefighter Program, the Explorer Program, and volunteering in the community. The week will conclude with the girls and their families having dinner at a fire station.

We appreciate all the support we have received from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department members and leadership, Local 2068 Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics, Fairfax County Professional Fire and Rescue Officers Association, Fairfax Hispanic Firefighters Association, Apple Federal Credit Union, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Women’s Employee Group and the Progressive Firefighters of Fairfax County.

Most of all THANK YOU to the girls for going outside their comfort zone and trying something new!

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.