Early on Tuesday morning units from the Fairfax County Fire Rescue Department were dispatched for a townhouse fire in Reston. Engine 611 was soon called to fill North Point Station 439 while Engine, Squad, and Medic 439 were busy. When command requested a 2nd alarm Tower 611 was dispatched to the scene, along with Battalion 601 (staffed by SVFC). By the time the tower crew arrived on scene the situation was fairly stable. Battalion 601 was returned to service, and the Tower crew was assigned to check the neighboring townhouse. Finding that task already completed by Fairfax units the Tower crew returned to the command post and was released.
Just after 7pm, as Crew 3 was sitting down to dinner, Engines 618, 611, Tower 611, and Safety Officer 618 were alerted, along with Engine 622B and Truck 606 (Ashburn), Engine and Rescue Squad 439 (Fairfax – Northpoint), Ambulance 625B (Sterling Rescue), Deputy Chief 601 (Leesburg), and Battalion 603 and EMS 601 (LCFR), were alerted for a structure fire in a fast food restaurant. The caller advised a small fire outside the structure with smoke in the building. Engine 622B was already on the road and arrived just before Engine 618. Engine 618 found a fire in the walls with heavy smoke filling the structure and began fire attack with Engine 622B, assisted by the crew from Tower 611. Units from 606 went to the roof to see if the fire had spread that far. Command called for a Level 1 Rapid Intervention Team, standard procedure for a working fire, bringing more units from Fairfax, Ashburn, and Leesburg. The visible fire was quickly extinguished and crews began the process of ensuring that the fire was completely out. Due to the complex structure of the building, particularly the facade where the fire was located, this was a long and involved process. Canteen 611 was dispatched to the scene to provide refreshment for crews as they worked. Once the incident was stable command began releasing units, leaving about half on scene to finish up.
With the time change on Sunday morning the men and women of Crew 3 spent 38 hours on duty. They relieved the career staff at 6pm on Friday evening, beginning with unit check outs, dinner, and in-house training. They awoke Saturday morning with a busy day ahead. The first call of the day came in for Engine 611 just before 8:30am for what became a cardiac arrest. As they sat down to breakfast a short time later they were interrupted for an outside gas leak call. Construction crews ruptured an underground natural gas line, bringing Engine 611, Ambulance 623, Hazmat 619, and Battalion Chief 603. Meanwhile Engine 618 and Tower 611 were at a local seniors community assisting with their fire drills. This exercise gives Sterling Fire an opportunity to learn about the fire alarm systems in the buildings and become more familiar with the layout. As they were departing Tower 611 was dispatched, along with Engine 303 from Dulles Airport, for a fire alarm near the airport. Engines 611 and 618 spent lunchtime at a local shopping center raising funds as part of our Bucket Brigade fund raiser. Engine 618 joined Tower 611 for another fire alarm, this time at a local extended stay hotel. After returning to lunch Engine 618 was dispatched for a medical call along with Sterling Rescue. After arriving on scene they found a patient with a medical emergency on top of a hill and unable to get down safely. Tower 611 was dispatched to assist with bringing the patient down. After clearing that call all three units met up with Battalion 601 and units from Sterling Rescue to do a photo shoot at the soon to open Station 624 (Rescue Station 635), scheduled to open on Saturday, November 9th. After being out all day units finally returned to quarters to begin making dinner plans. All three units met again at Station 611 for dinner, more in-house training, and station cleaning. Tower 611 was dispatched at 8:45pm for a carbon monoxide detector sounding in a residence. at 11:40pm Engine, Tower, and Chief 611 were dispatched, along with Sterling Rescue and Engine 404 (Fairfax – Herndon) for a reported natural gas leak in a townhouse. Engines 611 and 618 were dispatched just before 1:30am Sunday morning, along with Sterling Rescue, to assist the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office with an auto accident. The final call for the shift came at 3:23am, a fire alarm for Engine 618. Crew 5 relieved the weary Crew 3 at 7am on Sunday.
Crew 3 started a 23 hour shift at 0700 on Sunday morning. Over the next 23 hours they would respond to 5 EMS calls, including two cardiac arrests, two auto accidents, and two reported structure fires at Dulles Airport. During that time they also had one firefighter successfully pass his test for promotion to engine driver (the last big step in a multi-month multi-step process), collected money for our ongoing “Bucket Brigade” fundraiser, and spent a few hours at a local business’ fall festival.
One of the auto accidents involved three vehicles. When Engine 611 arrived on scene they found one car on fire and a second car with occupants still trapped in the vehicle. They extinguished the fire while Engine 618, arriving next, began removing two patients from the 2nd vehicle.
Photo by: Charles Frey
At 8:43pm on Wednesday as the volunteers of Crew 3 were applying wax to Tower 611 as part of the annual preparation for open house, Engine, Tower, and Chief 611, and Safety Officer 618 were alerted, along with a Medic from Sterling Rescue and units from Fairfax Station 404 in Herndon, for an inside gas leak in a local hotel. Engine 618 was at station 611 and responded in place of Engine 404. Engine 611 arrived and established command and began investigating with the crew from Tower 611. During the investigation an odor of gasoline was reported in the rear parking lot. Further investigation revealed gasoline in the sewer system. Chief 611, who had assumed command on his arrival, requested a full hazmat response, bringing Hazmat, Hazmat Support, and Tower 619 (South Riding), Engine and Medic 404 (Herndon), Engine and Tower 436 (Frying Pan) Rescue 439 (North Pointe), and Battalions 601 and 603 from Loudoun. In this case many of these resources ended up not being needed, but until everything is rendered safe a large number of resources are on hand to deal with any issues that arrive. Canteen 611 was dispatched to provide food and water for what could turn into an extended time on scene. Units began preparation for the hazmat investigation, began moving occupants across the street, and searched the building to ensure that everybody was out. Once Hazmat 619 arrived a plan was put in place, and further investigation revealed no additional hazards. After a careful process lasting almost 3 hours the original gasoline spill had been mitigated, units returned to service, and guests and staff returned to the hotel.
On Sunday morning Engine and Tower 611, along with Engein 623 (Moorefield) Engine 404 (Herndon – Fairfax), Engine and Tower 436 (Frying Pan – Fairfax), Rescue Squad 439 (North Pointe – Fairfax), Rescue Squad and Medic 615 (Sterling Rescue), and Battalion Chiefs 601 and 603 (LCFR), were alerted for a vehicle into a structure. The assignment is so large due to the potential for fire, building collapse, or any number of related emergencies when a vehicle strikes a structure. Engine 611 arrived first, with Tower 611 close behind, to find a single vehicle that had struck the front of the business. There was little apparent structure damage, but there were people injured. Medic 615 began patient care, while the Engine crew began initial stabilization of the scene to prevent further danger. Tower 611 arrived and completed a second round of stabilization and evaluation. Once it was determined that there was no immediate danger of further collapse most of the assignment was returned to service. Rescue Squad 439 specializes in building collapse, so they continued to the scene to provide a more thorough evaluation. Medic 615 transported two people to the hospital for further evaluation and the rest of the units returned to service.
Just after 11pm on Thursday, July 4th, Engine and Safety Officer 618, Engine, Tower, and Chief 611, along with Engine and Rescue 439 (Fairfax – North Pointe), Engine 622B and Truck 606 (Ashburn), Ambulance 625-2 (Sterling Rescue), Battalion and EMS 601, were alerted for a house fire in Cascades. Engine 618 arrived on scene to find a fire in a garage, mostly outside but working into the attic. They extinguished most of the visible fire from the exterior and then moved inside to extinguish any fire that had made it there. Tower 611 searched the house for occupants as well as for fire extension. Truck 606 worked on the 2nd floor to make sure that the fire hadn’t spread there. Units remained on scene ensuring that the fire was completely out and making efforts prevent further damage from the home by covering up the open parts of the exterior wall and roof.
You can see all the photos from that evening by clicking HERE.
Just after dinner on Sunday evening Engine, Tower, and Chief 611, and Engine and Safety Officer 618 were alerted along with Engine 404 (Herndon), Engine and Tower 436 (Frying Pan), Rescue and Ambulance 625 (Sterling Rescue), Battalion Chief 601 (staffed by our own AC 618), and EMS 601 for a house fire in Sterling Park. Since all the Sterling Units, and BC601, were together at FS 611 for dinner most of the assignment arrived on scene quickly. BC601 arrived to find a single family home with fire through the roof. Engine 618, the first arriving engine, began fire attack. Tower 611 arrived shortly after and make access for the attack crews and searched the home to ensure that all occupants were out. The fire was quickly extinguished, but units remained on scene for a few more hours doing extensive overhaul to ensue that the fire was completely out.
Photos by: David Payne
More photos available HERE.
At 6pm Crew 3 relieved the LCFR career staff on Engines 611, 618, and Tower 611 as rain swept through the area. While the weather kept crews in the area busy Sterling was fairly quiet, with Engine 611 getting dispatched for an investigation of smoke in the area around 6:30. The weather cleared overnight, and Engine 611 was out again at 12:30am for an auto accident call. The shift ended much like it started, with Engine 611 dispatched just before 5:30am for a broken water main. The career staff, back on duty at 6am, relieved the volunteer crew on the scene.
Just after 7pm on Tuesday evening Engine and Chief 611, and Safety Officer 618, along with Rescue 615 and Ambulance 6251 (SVRS), Medic and Rescue 439 (Reston), and EMS 601 (LCFR), were dispatched for an auto accident with entrapment on Harry Byrd Highway in Sterling. Tower 611 added on to the call to provide manpower for Rescue 615. Units arrived on scene to find a pickup truck on it’s side with the driver still inside. Arriving units quickly assessed the occupant while others began to stabilize the vehicle and prepare for extrication. Once these tasks were done the roof was quickly removed and the driver was further evaluated, treated, and transported to the hospital.