At around 3:50am on October 31 Engine companies 6, 23, 18, and 1, TowerLadder 6, Truck 1, Ambulance 6, and LCFR Battalion Chief 602 were alerted for a house fire on Raleigh Place in Ashburn. Truck 1 arrived on the scene with nothing evident. Chief 6 arrived and established command as Engine 618 arrived and laid out a supply line from the nearest hydrant. Crews from Truck 1 and E618 investigated while Wagon 1 prepared to supply water to E618. No hazards were found and Chief 6 released all units except Truck 1 and E618 while they completed their investigation, with the help of Captain 18, and packed up hose and equipment.
Due to drought conditions in Loudoun county water use is restricted. Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Crew 4 took advantage of this time to train on drafting, a skill used very little in the Sterling area. Drafting involves sucking water from a static source, like a pond, when hydrants are not available. The SVFC would like to thank the folks at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, for allowing us to draft from the pond on their property.
At 01:41am Engine 618 was alerted for a transformer fire in Countryside. They arrived on scene to discover a power meter sparking and the house it was attached to on fire and immediately asked dispatch to upgrade the assignment to a house fire. This brought Engine and Tower 611, Chief 11, Rescue Engine and Tower 606 (Ashburn), Engine 623 (Ashburn), and Ambulance 25. Rescue Squad 615, LCFR Battalion 602 and Assistant Chief 606 also responded. Engine 618s crew was able to knock down the bulk of the fire and arriving units made sure all occupants were out of the house. The fire hadn’t spread to the rest of the house and once Dominion Virginia Power made sure the power was turned off crews began a thorough search to make sure that the fire was completely out.
Members of Sterling Volunteer Fire Company had the unique opportunity over the weekend to participate in an Advanced Mayday and Firefighting Survival course. Lt. Jason Carlo, Technician Tim Duckworth, Firefighter Becca Welsch, and Firefighter Bryan Knight attended the class which was taught at the old Lorton Prison by the Northern Virginia chapter of FOOLS (Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society). Day 1 consisted of practicing ventilation using different saws on a variety of roof types, forcible entry, wall breaches, ladder bails, and rope bails. Day 2 consisted of training in tag line searches, large-area searches, heavy lifting (cribbing and airbags), and RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) combat drills. It was an intense course but fun was had by all. Special thanks to Firehouse Subs for providing lunch on both days!
On Thursday morning Capt Mark Featherstone and Firefighter Jeff Brown payed a visit to a local preschool for a quick fire safety demonstration. Capt Featherstone talked with the kids about calling 911 for help. He then told them about crawling to stay out of the smoke and heat and having a meeting place for the family. Firefighter Brown demonstrated “Stop, Drop, and Roll” and put on his firefighting gear so the kids could see and hear what a firefighter might look like when they’re coming to rescue them.
On Saturday, October 6th the Sterling Volunteer Fire Department hosted our annual Open House, in conjunction with SterlingFest. The events were kicked off at 10:00am with the Knights of Columbus parade and continued throughout the day with vendor booths, games, and fun for everyone. Sterling Fire, along with our sister organization, Sterling Rescue, hosted many friends, family, and neighbors throughout the day. In addition to static equipment displays and information tables there were activities for the kids (of all ages), kitchen fire safety demonstrations, a vehicle extrication demonstration, and a visit from a medevac helicopter.
The Sterling Volunteer Fire Company would like to thank all those who came out to see us, and specially recognize those who support us financially during our annual fund drive every October.
Above photos by: Heather Brown
Above photos by: Bryan Knight
“Practice Your Escape Plan!” is the theme of Fire Prevention Week 2007. It’s not enough to have a home fire escape plan. To escape safely, you’ve got to make sure that everyone in the home has practiced the plan.
According to an NFPA poll, the majority of Americans have a fire escape plan, but most haven’t practiced it. From October 7-13, fire safety advocates will be spreading the word that when it comes to escape plans, practice is key.
Click on the banner above to visit the NFPA Fire Prevention Week page, where you can find information to help keep your family safe.