The SVFC recently purchased new electric spreaders and cutters, used primarily for vehicle extrication. The hydraulic tools they replaced were so old that parts were no longer available to repair them. While these new tools perform the same function the maintenance and operation are different. The dealer representative (and his family) spent Saturday evening with members of the SVFC while we disassembled the last of three Volkswagen Passats donated by Volkswagen of America via Lindsay Volkswagen in Sterling. Donations from our supporters, primarily via our ongoing annual fund drive, allow the SVFC to have the tools to serve our community.
Post by: Pat Evinger
Crew 5 took advantage of beautiful fall weather on October 26 to hone their rescue skills on three vehicles donated by Al’s Towing. Al’s also graciously offered their Sterling facility as a location to complete the training. Members completed operations during three scenarios: vehicle on its tires, vehicle on its side, and a vehicle resting on top of another vehicle. The training reviewed the equipment carried on SVRS Rescue 615, stabilization tactics, and tool application during vehicle rescue. Many thanks to SVRS Technician Mike O’Brien who coordinated with Al’s Towing and served as a resource for Rescue 615.
On Saturday morning the men and women of the SVFC headed to Leesburg to spend the day at the Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Training Academy. Various scenarios at the burn building were planned. While training happens every day at SVFC it’s usually smaller groups from 2-15 people. This opportunity for this many folks to train together, in the more realistic environment of the burn building, is not one that comes along often.
The day started with safety checks, briefing the plan for the day, and training crew assignments. The day consisted of scenarios (house fire or apartment fire, for example), and crews rotated throughout so by the end of the day they had performed many roles and were required to perform many different skills. Each scenario covered the basics of hose line advancement, search and rescue, ladder placement, and many other skills needed on the fireground. Command also added various obstacles (no entry from the ground level, etc.) to force crews to adapt and overcome, using more advanced skills, and not be complacent.
Our associate members, whose duties do not include firefighting but primarily focus on administrative and support roles, were also out in force. They staffed the canteen unit, keeping operational crews hydrated and fed. It also allowed some of them to see first hand what the operational folks do in the field.
At the end of the day folks were tired and sore, but had a great day working together to improve their skills and provide better service to the Sterling community.
Special thanks to our partners at Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue for staffing the Sterling Park station and helping to staff the burn building, allowing more SVFC members to participate in the drills. Thanks also to the staff at the training academy for their support.
Photos by Associates Anand Kumar and Chris Newcomer:
On Sunday morning members from Sterling Fire joined firefighters from Dulles Airport and surrounding areas for a mass casualty drill. Airport personnel are constantly training for events like this, but often on their own. In the event of an actual disaster organizations from throughout the area will respond. The drill on Sunday gave everybody the opportunity to work together and practice the skills that may be required.
You can learn more in this report from WUSA9: Training for disaster at Dulles Airport. Watch the video to catch a glimpse of SVFC in action, along with others from Dulles Airport, Loudoun, and Fairfax county.
Volkswagen, via Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles, donated three brand new Passats to the SVFC. These were new cars that could not be sold to the public and are typically recycled or donated to schools and training facilities. The SVFC is excited and grateful for the opportunity to partner with Volkswagen. These Volkswagens will provide a rare and valuable opportunity for our first responders to gain first-hand knowledge training with modern cars, their modern construction, and safety equipment.
See other photos from the donation ceremony here:
Read about the ceremony via the Washington Post by clicking HERE.
Members of the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company spend many hours each year in training learning new skills, reviewing old skills, and teaching others. Over the last two weeks many senior members spent time taking a class that most newer members took at the academy. Liquid Petroleum Gas Emergencies is a class that is required for new members, but was not required when many of our members completed their initial training. In order to meet current standards many Captains, Lieutenants, Technicians, and even an Assistant Chief, joined some senior firefighters to complete this class. One day of class was spent in the classroom, and the second day was spent at the Loudoun County Fire Rescue Training Center in Leesburg at the LPG prop.
On Thursday evening the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue family gathered in Sterling for their semi-annual graduation ceremony, where recent graduates of the Firefighter I-II and EMT programs are recognized, along with various individuals for outstanding efforts. The “Fall 2012″ graduation was held in Sterling so many SVFC members were out to support our own. Crew 4, staffing Engines 611 and 618, as well as Tower 611 as part of their normal duty shift, were there. Other volunteers staffed Quint 624, and many others attended on their own. The SVFC Color Guard opened the ceremony with the presentation of the colors. During the national anthem, performed by a member of the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad, Engine 611 was dispatched for an EMS call. A few minutes later Engine 618, and Tower 611 and Captain 611, were dispatched, along with units from Ashburn and Fairfax, for a reported chimney fire. After another few minutes Quint 624 was responding to an oven fire, along with Engine 611 and units from Fairfax. 17 minutes after the first call Rescue 615, partially staffed by SVFC, was en route to a medical emergency. As the ceremony continued the following members of SVFC were recognized:
Firefighter I-II students:
- Taylor Dunbar
- Daniel Fielden
- Damien Iasimone
- Asad Khan
- Alexander Krosse
- Flavius Lucaci
- Max Muchmore
- Valerie Perez
Emergency Medical Technician
- William Ermini
- Jonathan Wallace
Also, Chief Bill Graham was awarded the Outstanding Fire Instructor Award, recognizing his service and dedication to instructing students and improving the fire rescue system.
Congratulations to all the graduates, and thanks to all the members of SVFC who taught classes, participated in drills, asked questions, and helped those recognized above on their journey.
Photos by: David Payne
Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company is staffing Sterling Fire apparatus during the day today to allow many of our members to attend specialized training at the Fire Alarm & Sprinkler Systems Training (FASST) Lab in Fairfax County. We appreciate their support and thank them for allowing us to improve our service to our community.
On Sunday, April 29th members of the SVFC traveled to Pipetown, state-of-the-art training facility at Washington Gas’s Operations Center in Springfield, VA. Pipetown is used by Washington Gas to train field operators, line supervisors and emergency responders in a live, controlled, environment. Crews from Sterling learned how to safely respond and mitigate a variety of emergencies they may face in Sterling when dealing with natural gas.
On Saturday, April 30th the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company took the opportunity to spend the day at the LCFR training center burn building. While crews are constantly training on duty nights opportunities to train with live fire as a company are rare. Crews spent the day running multiple scenarios covering many basic firefighting skills: hose line advancement, searching for victims, ladders, ventilation, etc. It’s also an opportunity for members to train for promotions, allowing them to act in the role of a higher rank while under the supervision of a mentor or instructor.
The SVFC would like to specifically thank Leesburg VFC and Purcellville VFC for covering our stations in Sterling for the morning allowing the duty crews to participate in the training, and for training with us in the afternoon. Thanks also to Arcola Pleasant Valley VFD for participating in the training and for assisting our canteen unit with rehab at the training center.
Photos of the day, taken by David Payne, are available by clicking HERE.