On August 16-17, a delegation from the National Firefighters of Colombia visited Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Virginia Task Force 1 in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The purpose of the meeting was to exchange best practices.
As a thank you for hosting, Fire Chief Richard Bowers was presented with Colombian Coffee as a gift by the Firefighters of Colombia.
Master Technician Raul Perla (14-C), on behalf of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, Virginia Task Force One, presented Fire Chief Bowers with a plaque thanking him for the support he provided to the families of deployed team members.
The Chief always makes sure to engage the families and keep them up to date on their loved ones activities while they are deployed.
L to R: MTech Raul Perla (14-C), Lt Robert Schoenberger (RLF7-C), Fire Chief Bowers, Tech Juan Ayala (14-B), and Capt-I Matthew Tamillow (10-C)
By: Captain Matthew Burns
Fire Station 21, Fair Oaks, C-Shift
Recently, technical rescue team members from all three shifts, and all four technical rescue stations, spent time at the Lorton training site participating in the technical rescue monthly training drill. January’s structural drill focused on advanced torch work and crane operations/load rigging.
The torch work portion consisted of practicing with our cutting torches on steel I beams, 1 inch plate steel and steel cables. Our heavy rigging operations involved evaluating different types of material consisting of steel, concrete pipes, a car, a steel structural beam and estimating their weights prior to using a crane. The crane was then utilized to unstack and then restack the variety of materials in a new puzzle for the next crew.
It is important we keep our various skill sets sharp so that we are ready to respond locally, or afar, to a variety of unique emergency situations.
By: Technician Trisha Danula
Fire Station 39, North Point, B-Shift
Recently, members of VA Task Force-1 journeyed to our Lorton training complex to conduct a training exercise with our K9 partners. To assist with the training, Rescue Squad 21, Fair Oaks, A-Shift came down to set up a pendulum rope system that was integral to the training session.
We train with our K9’s on rope to get them acclimated in case on a deployment we need to hoist them to do searches.
The photo below is Firefighter/Medic Sally Dickinson and K9 Jessie. Jessie is a Live Find Detection Dog. She is a black lab.
The next photo is of Technician Trisha Danula and K9 Tuula who is a Human Remains Detection dog. Tuula is German Shepherd.
Virginia Task Force One (VA-TF1) will participate in a full-scale training exercise, April 24-26, 2015 throughout the metropolitan area. The operational exercise and training begin with an advisory team notification, simulating an international deployment to a natural disaster event. The exercise concludes April 26 with the team returning to VA-TF1 headquarters, 14725 Flint Lee Road, Chantilly. Continue reading