The Sterling Volunteer Fire Company and Loudoun County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management want to remind all residents that home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. SVFC and LCFR, along with fire-rescue agencies in the metro area, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are teaming up to reduce the risk of home heating fires this December, January and February, when half of all home fires occur in the United States.
See this page for more information from Loudoun County.
Winter fires are preventable! For more heating fire safety advice, contact Joy Dotson, Public Education Manager at 703-771-5551 or via email at Joy.Dotson@loudoun.gov. or from NFPA and USFA’s “Put a Freeze on Winter” campaign, visit www.nfpa.org/winter.
Just after 8:00pm Tanker and Quint 618, Engine 611, Chief 611, Engine 439 from Fairfax, Engine 622 and TowerLadder 606 from Ashburn, Rescue Squad 615, Ambulance 625, and Medic 615 from Sterling Rescue, and Battalion Chief 603 from LCFR were alerted for a structure fire in a local retirement community. The caller reported a heater in the library was on fire. Units arrived to find moderate smoke conditions in the building, but the heater was no longer on fire. Crews checked to ensure that the fire hadn’t spread and began to ventilate the smoke so that residents could safely return to their apartments. Once this was completed crews picked up their equipment and returned to service.
A box alarm is a generic term for a pre-determined assignment for a large call like a structure fire. Others may know it as a “first alarm assignment”, and in Sterling it means 4 engine companies, at least two special services companies (at least one truck or tower, and a second aerial or rescue squad), plus a medic unit and various command units. Crew 4 started a busy night not with a box but with a chimney fire. Just before 9:00pm Engine 611, Tanker 618, Quint 618, and Assistant Chief 618, along with Ambulance 615 from SVRS were alerted for a chimney fire in Sterling Park. A few hours later those same Sterling units were dispatched along with Engine and Rescue 439 from Fairfax, Engine 622 from Ashburn, Ambulance 625 from SVRS, and Battalion Chief 603 from LCFR for a town house fire in Cascades near Fire Station 18. At almost the same time there was a reported attic fire near Fire Station 11. Engine 611 and Quint 618 diverted to that call and other units were diverted or dispatched to better handle both calls. Crew 4 ended their shift with a third box call with Quint 618 being dispatched to Ashburn for another reported structure fire.
Engine 611 and Quint 618 at the scene of the attic fire
The SVFC meets once a year to celebrate the past year and to officially swear in the elected and appointed officers for the upcoming year. Awards are handed out, speeches are made, and good food and good times are had. After an opening prayer by Chaplain Charlie Grant the members, families, and friends of the SVFC enjoyed a meal followed by a speech by the FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate.
The following awards were presented:
Recruit Firefighter of the Year: Thomas Sumner
Alan Dutton Memorial Firefighter of the Year: Chris Poplar
Officer of the Year: Mark Featherstone
Administrative Member(s) of the Year: Cindy MacRunnel and David Payne
The elected and appointed officers were sworn in, with the oath delivered by Mr. Fugate. The sworn officers included newly promoted Lieutenants Andy Brown, Tim Duckworth, and Chris Poplar.
Sterling Fire would like to recognize the volunteers from Leesburg Fire and Purcellville Fire for covering our stations, protecting Sterling in our place so we could have a night off.