i-Women’s 2018 International Conference: Save The Date And Call For Presentations

SAVE THE DATE: Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is pleased to be hosting the i-Women’s 2018 International Conference on May 27-29, 2018.

Call for Presentations! Would you like to be a part of our 2018 International Conference? Please submit your proposal to: executivedirector@i-women.org

Sessions can be either: 90, 120 or 240 minutes in length. Deadline for submitting your proposal is August 31, 2017.

i-Womens Conference



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 Beautiful Day For Roof Operations Training

By: Lieutenant Jon Stern
Fire Station 11, Penn Daw, B-Shift 

This week our station, Fire Station 11, Penn Daw, B-Shift conducted training on accessing a variety of commercial building roofs. Often times these roofs can be challenging due to an assortment of reasons. A big one, which you can see in the photos below, is some have a tall parapet wall that can be misleading when viewed from the ground. Once on top, you can see the big drop off below (approximately ten feet in this case) to the roof.

The training also serves a dual purpose of allowing our firefighters to familiarize themselves with the buildings in the area they may one day have to respond to during an emergency. For example, this particular building we trained on we now know there is a significant parapet wall and we will need to grab a small ladder to access the roof safely from the large ladder.

Knowledge gained by training before the emergency incident can save time, improve performance and potentially prevent unnecessary harm to those we serve and firefighters alike.


A Practical Field Trip For High School Firefighters

On Monday, May 1, the High School Firefighter Program went on a field trip to Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center.

The main purpose of the field trip was to practice Hazardous Material (HazMat) decontamination procedures. What better place to practice than the fire station that houses the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department HazMat Team!

In addition, the class got a tour of the station as well as all of the equipment by members of C-Shift. For the last several weeks, the high school firefighters have been learning about all things HazMat that will eventually lead to a certification in Haz Mat.

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.

Training To Rescue Our Own

A great morning to train! Right now, at Fire Station 39, North Point, firefighters are conducting Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) training.

When your Fairfax County Firefighters are fighting structure fires, a group of firefighters are designated as the RIT. The RIT crew then stands by outside at the ready to go into the burning structure if a firefighter becomes incapacitated or trapped. Basically, the RIT are the firefighters who may have to rescue their fellow firefighters.

As you can see in the photos below, the firefighters are training for a variety of situations they could potentially encounter when rescuing a downed firefighter.

Attention To Detail

By: Lieutenant William Schnaekel
4th Battalion Relief, C-Shift

When not responding to emergency incidents, your Fairfax County Firefighters spend a large portion of time training and preparing to handle a variety of emergencies. This is accomplished in an assortment of environments to include classroom and hands-on.

Recently Fire Station 38, West Centreville, C-Shift took advantage of an apartment unit being remodeled to conduct some nondestructive, hands-on training at a local apartment complex. We explained our intentions and asked the property manager for permission to conduct the training – which was kindly given.

The crew used this unique opportunity to perform several different tasks that will prove very useful in the event of an actual fire at this apartment complex. Firefighters were challenged to estimate the length of fire hose it would take to reach the apartment and then physically deploy the line. They also judged ladder lengths and would then grab the correct ladders and place them to a bedroom window and the balcony.

While this type of training may not seem exciting, it served a valuable purpose in allowing our firefighters the chance, under non-emergency conditions, to become familiar with the complex, the layout of a typical apartment, the length of ladder needed to reach windows/balconies and the length of fire hose needed.

For us this was an invaluable training and attention to detail that could save time, and potentially lives, if a fire were to occur in that complex one day!