FREE Training Classes For Community Emergency Response Team

CERTThe Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area. CERT trains county residents in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The CERT training classes below follows the FEMA curriculum, tailored to local disasters and hazards. Educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Emphasis on hands-on skill development and Fairfax County protocols and procedures. Instructor will provide syllabus with class schedule at first session. This training does not require any special physical strength or agility.

For more information and to register for the next class at the Fire and Rescue Academy, please click on the link below:
CERT 145 at the Fire and Rescue Academy, Monday and Wednesday – March 27, 29, April 1, 3, 8, 10, 22, 24

In addition, a class is being held on Fort Belvoir but is open to all. Arrangements can be made with a background check for access to Fort Belvoir for those who do not have routine access:
CERT 147 at Ft. Belvoir, Thursdays – March 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16


Firehouse Foods: Eggnog French Toast

By: Kendall Warner, Intern
Office of Public Affairs

On the latest edition of Firehouse Foods, newly promoted Battalion Chief Jenn Svites shows us how to make her Eggnog French Toast.

Battalion Chief Svites has been cooking since she was an eight-year-old. She received her first Betty Crocker Cookbook when she was 11. Since then she has perfected many family recipes, cooked for many shifts at different fire stations, and created her own spin on classic recipes like her Eggnog French Toast.


All ingredients are based on taste preference, Chief Svites does not use exact measurements and encourages you to make the recipe your own!

Bread of your choosing (Chief Svites uses Brioche because it’s dense and absorbs the eggnog wash well)
Eggnog of your choosing (If you are lactose intolerant, try eggnog made with milk alternatives)
Nutmeg to preference
Cinnamon to preference
Eggs (Chief Svites uses 3 large eggs for half a gallon of eggnog)

Drizzle with caramel sauce
Powdered sugar

Try different toppings, sauces, fruits, and anything to make it your own!


Promotion Blog Graphic

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is pleased to announce the following uniformed and civilian promotions.

The following individual has been promoted to Battalion Chief:

  • Bittinger, Randal

The following individuals have been promoted to Captain II:

  • Cerzullo, Keith
  • Cox, Matthew

The following individuals have been promoted to Captain I:

  • Carver, Thomas
  • Gundert, Richard
  • Schoppa, Kimberly
  • Smith, Jay

The following individual has been promoted to Lieutenant:

  • Reakoff, Kurtis

The following individual has been promoted to Technician:

    • Cubbage, Charles

Civilian Promotion:

    • Aceto, William has been promoted to Engineer V

The following individual has achieved a Proficiency Designation as a Master Technician:

  • Defriest, Gary

Congratulations to all on their promotions! Best wishes and stay safe in your new assignments.

The Play (Training) Is Under Review: Paramedic Students Learn From Real-Life Scenarios And Video

By: Lieutenant Christopher Kroboth
EMS Training Section

Paramedic students closed out the Respiratory section of their Paramedic training with two weeks of real-time, real-life scenarios. One uniqueness to the Fairfax – Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) paramedic program is that the students act as patients while their fellow students “respond” to their emergency. This helps the students appreciate the patient perspective and brings life and new insight into the post-scenario discussion, also known as “the debrief”.

The students who are playing the “patient” have to moulage themselves – figure out how they (as the patient) will present, breathe, act and speak to the “responding” student based on their complaint/problem – as well as know how to respond to the treatment choices and actions of the “responding” crew. The diseases reviewed in the training scenarios ranged from severe asthma and congestive heart failure to pulmonary embolism and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Using live role-players also greatly enhances the student’s learning by allowing students to practice patient assessments and history taking on live “patients.” The student “patients” wear IV pad trainers on their arms so their classmates will have to “start IV’s on them”, draw up and deliver simulated medications, and even hook them up to different airway devices. By requiring the student learners to actually do this in real time, every treatment and action they call for teaches them the power of timely decision-making, crew resource management, and gives them the complete picture of team performance with patient care.

The students who are not directly involved in the training scenario, are tasked with filming it from start to finish so that the “responding” lead student in the scenario can watch their performance later that day and critique themselves.

This is a model our EMS Training Section staff took from the professional sports industry of performance self-reflection. It has really helped the students appreciate how they operate under stress, and allows them to compare what they thought happened to what really did happen.




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