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Fire Station Open House to Include Fire, K-9 Demos

by ARLnow.com October 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm 4,262 8 Comments

Among the eight fire station open houses in Arlington being held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, the open house at Fire Station No. 6 may be the county’s most elaborate.

Located on the Arlington-Falls Church border at 555 N. Washington Street, the station’s open house will include a mock structure fire demonstration, an auto extraction demonstration and a K-9 demonstration.

From a press release:

The Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department (FCVFD) and the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) will co-host its annual Fire Prevention Week open house on Sat, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. All activities will take place at Fire Station No. 6, located at 555 North Washington Street (VA Route 29) on the Arlington-Falls Church border.

This is the Department’s largest public education and fire prevention event of the year, focused on providing the citizens of the community with important safety information. Hundreds of citizens, including many local families, attend the event yearly to learn about the department’s operations, training, and equipment, as well as to learn how to take steps to prevent fires and other hazards.

A silent auction with donated items from local businesses will be held during the open house. Proceeds of the silent auction will go towards training and equipment for FCVFD personnel.

Fire Prevention Week is an American tradition inspired by the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred during the second week of October in 1871. Each year, the National Fire Protection Association and its members promote a special fire safety message. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out!”

Several activities are planned which will include both FCVFD and ACFD personnel:

  • Station Tours
  • EMS Demos (Advanced and Basic Life Support)
  • Engine/Truck/Aerial Demo
  • Mock Structure Fire Demo
  • Auto Extrication Demo
  • K-9 Demo

While firefighters are a critical part of a safety team, all residents must take an active part in safeguarding themselves and family members by thinking through a home escape plan in the event that fire strikes. Incidents such as the Chicago fire are rare today, but in 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage. Every household should have a plan and each occupant should know at least two ways to escape in the event of a fire. Practice the plan and establish a meeting place outdoors at a safe distance from the dwelling.

Many fires build up over minutes or even hours, eventually reaching a point where they spread very rapidly. A smoke alarm can alert residents who can put their escape plan into practice before a fire causes serious injury or property damage. Many homes where fires occur have smoke alarms, but they are old or in need of batteries. Fire Prevention Week is a good time to test your smoke alarm. Install new batteries at least once a year and replace alarms that are more than ten years old.

Recently, there have been stories in the news about smoke alarms not working properly. Two types of smoke detection technologies are in widespread use. Each one has a different reaction time, based on the type of fire:

  • Photoelectric devices react faster to slower, smoldering fires that have larger particles – for example, a cigarette in a couch cushion or mattress.
  • Ionization devices react faster to rapidly-spreading fires that have smaller particles – for example, a grease fire on a stove or wastepaper basket fire.

Additional recommendations from the Arlington County Fire Department

  • Have at least one alarm on every level of the house and one in each sleeping area.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.
  • Test all home alarms monthly and replace the batteries twice a year when the clocks are changed.
  • Families must familiarize themselves with the dangers of smoke and fire and exit plan and to teach children what to do if the alarm sounds.
  • Plan and practice home fire drills so every member of the home understands how to get out quickly if the alarm sounds.
  • Write the date on the battery with a permanent marker as a reminder when the battery was changed.
  • In addition to smoke detectors, all homes should also have carbon monoxide alarms.

  • JimPB

    Instruction and interesting.

  • James B.

    Looks like fun! :’D

  • Joe

    The address is actually 6950 Little Falls Road.

  • Rich

    Who provides Fire and EMS in Arlington County?
    As citizens of Arlington County, you may be wondering “are my fire and rescue services provided by volunteer firefighters?”  The answer is no.   The Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) and its 330 members, is a fully tax-funded entity providing Fire, EMS, Haz-Mat, Technical Rescue, Fire Prevention, and all other related emergency services 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.   There appears to be some confusion about this fact, which may be due to several factors.
    In Arlington County, volunteer firefighters provided all of the firefighting services until 1940.  At that time, it was recognized that the growth the county was experiencing was outstripping the volunteers’ ability to provide service.  Thus was formed the Arlington County Fire Department.  During the post-World War 2 era, Arlington experienced rapid population and infrastructure growth.  This resulted in a commensurate increase in demand for fire services which drove the expansion of the department.   This increased demand has continued up until today, and has resulted in the creation of an all-hazards response organization consisting of 10 fire stations, 330 uniformed personnel, and approximately 30 staff personnel.   As the Arlington County Fire Department gradually assumed all responsibility for Fire and Rescue service delivery, the role of the volunteer organizations has all but disappeared.  Arlington has also contracted with the City of Falls Church to provide fire protection service to the city.  Fire station 6 (Falls Church) is staffed 24/7 with Arlington County Firefighters, and is owned and maintained by the City of Falls Church.
    What is the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Association?
    ACFRA is the parent organization of the volunteer fire corporations in Arlington.  http://acfra.org/  According to their website, “seven volunteer companies make up the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Association.”  In fact, only 3 volunteer companies (Cherrydale, Arlington, and Falls Church) exist as corporations in Arlington, and have no role in the day-to-day operations of the ACFD.
    What is the role of volunteers in Arlington, and why do I receive fund raising letters from the volunteer organizations?
    Although the past contributions of the Arlington volunteer fire departments are honorable and deserving of respect, today the volunteer organizations that remain exist mostly as private corporations.  They do not own any of the operational fire stations in Arlington County, or the City of Falls Church.  All of the apparatus operated by Arlington County Professional Firefighters is owned by Arlington County, or the City of Falls Church, and is entirely paid for by your tax dollars.  Despite claims to the contrary by the volunteer organizations, your contributions are not necessary to ensure the continuation of Fire and EMS service delivery, as these services are 100% tax funded.  As well, because volunteer fire corporations are private organizations, they have total discretion as to how donated money is spent, and they are not subject to public record.   Although the volunteers have purchased several pieces of fire apparatus, they are not necessary or integral to the operations of the Arlington County Fire Department.  On occasional weekends, volunteers may place a basic life support ambulance in service, but they may not respond independent of ACFD units, and can only transport patients with non-life threatening conditions.
    Volunteer firefighters and equipment do not supplement the staffing of the Arlington County Fire Department.  This is due in part to the fact that, as members of private organizations, volunteers are under no obligation to respond, and therefore their participation is entirely discretionary.   Fire apparatus in Arlington are fully staffed by professional firefighters, to accepted National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. 
    True or False:  All firefighters in Virginia receive the same certifications; therefore they are all the same.
    False.  Although firefighters may receive the same level of state certification, i.e. Firefighter Level 1 or 2, the method by which they receive these certifications varies widely.  In Arlington, all professional firefighters are trained to the same high standard during a mandatory 22 week recruit school, conducted by academy staff with many years of professional fire and EMS experience.  Members of the volunteer fire associations in Arlington are trained by other volunteer personnel with limited operational and practical experience.  An analogy can be made to the aviation industry.  Although an individual may go to a local flight school to receive his initial certification, and therefore has the same initial certificate that an airline pilot has, one would not consider these two individuals as equally capable, since the airline pilot has been trained by the airline, and is operating in the system on a regular basis.  Certification is just that, and it does not deem individuals equal in knowledge, experience, and capability.
    What does all this mean to me?
    During the month of October, volunteer fire corporations mail solicitations for donations throughout Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, under the premise that these donations are necessary in order for them to continue providing essential fire and rescue services to you.  This is simply not true.  If you choose to donate to one of these organizations, there is no guarantee of how your money will be spent.  By contrast, as a fully tax funded municipal fire department, all aspects of the ACFD are accountable to you.
    The Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association is the only representative employee organization of the ACFD, and we do not solicit donations.  We simply want you to be aware that we are not responsible for any fundraising letter you may receive, and in no way are your fire and EMS services affected by your choice of whether or not to donate to a volunteer fire corporation.  
    Thank you very much for your support, and stay safe.

  • TheLocal

    Please be aware if you are solicited for a $$$ donation from any volunteer fire department in Arlington to read this first!


    • EPlaugher

      It seems the local union doesn’t appreciate activities from those not carrying union cards.

      • Banker

        If you count depositing donations given by citizens because they were tricked in thinking it would improve emergency response as an activity, then yes.

  • getoveryourself

    If you think the career staff puts on this Open House, I urge you to go count uniform names at the it.

    If you think volunteers do nothing in this county, I suggest you get your head out of your a$$


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