Scuttlebutt 2/15

Feb. 1, 2015
Fairfax Firefighters Sponsor Coats for Kids Drive

Fairfax Firefighters Sponsor Coats for Kids Drive

The Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department (FXFRD), in cooperation with Operation Warm, FOCUS-North America, Office of Public Private Partnerships, Apple Federal Credit Union, Progressive Firefighters of Fairfax County and Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics-Local 2068, distributed new winter coats and sneakers to area children.

The coats were made in America and are tagged “Firefighters Coats for Kids.” This was the second year “Made in America” coats have been featured in the annual giveaway. For the first time, FOCUS-North America partnered with FXFRD, providing more than 2,400 pairs of new sneakers.

The department coordinates distribution with Fairfax County Public Schools, the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Family Services and local shelters. They were hoping to reach a record number of children this year.

Operation Warm is a non-profit organization partnering with organizations in 40 states helping to provide new winter coats to children who cannot afford them. More than 100 fire departments are now participating in the annual coat giveaway throughout the country. FOCUS-North America’s mission is to help and serve those less fortunate with food, shelter and clothing.

This is the eighth year the department has sponsored this community event.

Scott Safety Hosts Annual National Junior Firefighter Academy

Scott Safety, a global manufacturer of respiratory and personal protective equipment and safety devices, hosted the fourth annual National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Academy. The day-long event, which is sponsored by the NVFC’s National Junior Firefighter Program, in partnership with Scott Safety and Tyco International, took place at Scott Safety headquarters in Monroe, NC. More than 60 junior firefighters and program advisors participated in this year's Academy program.

“The Academy provides an excellent way for youth and advisors to share ideas, learn new drills, and make connections with firefighters from other departments,” said Greg Gatlin, former firefighter and manager of major accounts for Scott Safety. “We really enjoy participating in the NVFC National Junior Firefighter Academy. It’s a great opportunity for Scott Safety and Tyco to give back to our customer community and help juniors learn more about the important work and role of fire and emergency services.” 

One of the highlights of this year’s Academy was a visit from the Carolinas HealthCare System MedCenter Air helicopter, where the crew demonstrated emergency life-flight operations. 

Cadets participated in equipment demos, a Scott Safety facility tour and hands-on drills, including: 

• Vehicle Extrication – Cadets were shown proper techniques in lifting a vehicle off of a victim.

• Thermal Imaging – Using a Scott thermal imaging camera, cadets learned how to search a building as they worked in teams to find a simulated fire in a dark room.

• EMS – Cadets practiced proper EMS techniques in patient removal from a simulated traffic accident. 

• Forcible Entry Drill – Cadets studied techniques for forcible entry and how to rescue a victim. 

• Combat Challenge – Cadets participated in a modified mini combat challenge drill that tested their strength and teamwork skills.

Fitch Receives Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award

Joseph “Jay Fitch, Ph.D. was presented with the 2014 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). This is NAEMT's most prestigious award and recognizes a lifetime of commitment and contributions to emergency medical services. This award is generously sponsored by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

 “Jay Fitch embodies the passion and dedication of our nation's EMS that has – and will – inspire future generations,” said Severo “Tré” Rodriguez, executive director of NREMT. “My predecessor, Rocco, would be proud to have Jay be given this prestigious award. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to our nation's EMS.”

Spanning nearly 45 years, Fitch began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Virginia, became a police officer in Missouri, emergency medical technician in Washington, D.C. and later, one of the first certified Paramedics in South Carolina. In 1979, he advanced into management, operations and consulting positions, where he left his mark with improved systems, enhanced clinical performance, and program design. Currently, a partner and officer with varied EMS groups, Fitch is widely recognized as the pioneer of Fitch & Associates, a company started in 1984 to provide management and information services to healthcare, government and professional associations.

 Named after the inaugural recipient and founding NAEMT member, Rocco V. Morando, the Lifetime Achievement Award was first presented 30 years ago in Mississippi. This year's presentation in Nashville, TN, was made during NAEMT’s General Membership Meeting. This signature event, held during the NAEMT Annual Meeting, celebrates accomplishments and recognizes the contributions of members toward the success of the association and the betterment of the EMS profession.

“I have worked with Jay for decades and with every year, gain more respect for the vision, talent and dedication he brings to our EMS profession,” said NAEMT President Don Lundy. “He’s never lost sight of the importance of EMS to our communities, and has worked tirelessly to help strengthen infrastructures and mentor leadership – all to make EMS systems work better. It is a distinct pleasure to announce Jay Fitch as the recipient of the 2014 Rocco V. Morando Lifetime Achievement Award.”

This Month in Fire History

Feb. 2, 1973 – Eagle Grove, IA: Coast to Coast Hardware store fire kills 13

Feb. 3, 1971 – Woodbine, GA: Thiokol Chemical Co. fire kills 29

Feb. 6, 1851 – Australia: “Black Thursday” forest fire damages 50,000 square miles

Feb. 7, 1904 – Baltimore, MD: Great Baltimore Fire causes $50 million in damage

Feb. 10, 1863 – First fire extinguisher patent issued to Alanson Crane

Feb. 17, 1957 – Warrington, MO: Katie Jane Nursing Home fire kills 72

Feb. 26, 1993 – New York, NY: World Trade Center bombing/fire kills 6 and injures 1,165

Courtesy NFPA

For details on fires that occurred 100 years ago this month, turn to Paul Hashagen’s “Rekindles” on page XXX.


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