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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com October 16, 2012 at 9:45 am 4,266 47 Comments

IAFF: Only We Fight Fires in Arlington — IAFF Local 2800, Arlington’s firefighter union, wants residents to know that their members are the only ones who fight fires in Arlington. The union is trying to draw attention to a web page set up to clarify the differences between professional Arlington County firefighters and members of local volunteer firefighting organizations, who have been soliciting donations. “You may be wondering ‘are my fire and rescue services provided by volunteer firefighters?'” the union wrote. “The answer is no.” [IAFF Local 2800]

Wag More Dogs Gets New Mural — Wag More Dogs, the Shirlington dog grooming business that had to whitewash its doggy mural after losing a legal battle over signage restrictions with Arlington County, has a new mural that no one will interpret as a form of advertising this time around. The mural, painted by itinerant artists Zack Weaver and Rob Fogle, depicts two birds sitting in a hot tub on a tree. During the two weeks it took to create the mural, Weaver and Fogle lived in their truck (dubbed the “Art Cream Truck” and decorated with a painting of a well-endowed green-skinned woman) which they parked outside the dog park. [Huffington Post]

GOP Candidate Goes Against Chamber-Supported Tax — Republican County Board candidate Matt Wavro and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement have both come out against a 12.5 cent per $100 commercial property tax surcharge levied by Arlington County. The surcharge, which is used to fund transportation improvements, is supported by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. [Sun Gazette]

Post Endorses Kaine — The Washington Post editorial board has endorsed Democrat Tim Kaine over Republican George Allen in the race for U.S. Senate in Virginia. [Washington Post]

  • GC2

    Kind of makes you wonder what the ACFRA did to really piss off the union? That is good information, and I was not aware of the separation of the two groups. I would like to hear a rebuttal by ACFRA.

    • Taylor

      Agreed… I would love to hear a rebuttal from the volunteer groups. The IAFF letter makes it sound like the volunteers are a bunch of poseurs trying to capitalize on the public’s goodwill towards firemen. On the other hand, I know there’s a longstanding turf war in Northern Virginia between volunteer and career firefighting organizations, with a lot of nastiness on both sides, and I’d love to hear the other side of the story.

      I’m not sure who, if anyone, to side with in this disagreement.

    • Sandy

      I think I have one of those mailings from Cherrydale at home, unopened. I’ll have to read it. The main bone of contention from the fire department seems to be that the solicitation implies that the money is needed to directly supplement your fire safety service. I kind of doubt it is that directly worded. Usually these things say they are seeking money to “continue their mission” or something, and if you look into what their mission is they usually make it pretty clear they are strictly a supporting group to the main FD.

      • DCBuff

        I did open the mailer. My impression is that they want to renovate the historic firehouse on Lee Hwy, among other uses for the money.

  • daniel

    I read the IAFF page…wow. Someone is not happy.

    • Home Dog Howie

      It appears the crackdown on international pharmacies has interrupted the supply of ED medications at the professional firehouses.

      • Rob


  • YTK

    “a new mural that no one will interpret as a form of advertising this time around. The mural, painted by itinerant artists Zack Weaver and Rob Fogle, depicts two birds sitting in a hot tub on a tree.”
    Probably a very nice mural but it only underscores the ridiculous mural laws promulgated by our Streetcar-Totin ‘ County Board.

    • Beth M.

      I’m no fan of the cigar/whale mural either. Both are ugly. I still can’t understand why the owner of this place couldn’t just accept the compromise and have “welcome to Shirlington Dog Park” lettered above the original sign with the logo dogs on it.

    • Arlbirder

      …are the birds holding hands and gazing into the sunset?

      • drax

        The birds should smoke a whale.

  • SomeGuy

    Any painting referred to as a “doggy mural,” particularly in the context of having been “whitewashed,” had the potential to be a lot more exhilarating than it actually was.

    • SomeGuy

      I.e., the “Art Cream Truck” guys could have used some imagination.

    • YTK

      nyuk nyuk nyuk

    • Novanglus

      So now, no one can open a store there that sells trees, hot tubs, water, tires, birds, or bird feed, unless they repaint the mural to show frolicking dogs!

  • Mick Way

    Thanks IAFF I’ve wondered about those organizations for years.

  • Garden City

    It would be nice if someone with knowledge of the Arlington firefighting world would weigh in and talk about the relationship, division of duties, etc. between the VFDs and ACFD. I grew up in a semi-rural area with one city paid department and all the outlying areas covered by VFDs and the relationship between the city “professional” department and the VFDs was good, with active, interlocking mutual aid agreements and joint training exercises. But in an area with a paid, professional department that seems perfectly adequate to cover the county’s fire and EMS needs, what are the vollies for?

    • Fireman

      You pretty much described it correctly. Decades ago, Arlington passed through the transition phase of career/vol services. Now it is completely career who respond to 911 due to the high volume of emergencies in the most densely populated county in the USA.

  • DB

    I live on the edge of the county very close to Bailey’s and Fairfax Co.. I’ve read that Fairfax also responds to fires in our area in the county. Can’t tell if this is true or not.

    • SHLady

      I have seen Fairfax EMTs respond to incidents at the Giant at Bailey’s, which I believe is in Arlington County (can anyone confirm?).

      • nom de guerre

        The Giant Food on South Jefferson Street is located in Fairfax County.

        • SHLady

          didn’t know that, thanks.

    • JohnB2

      Yes FFX and Alex often cover parts of ArlCo and vice-versa.

      • Garden City

        Also very common to see apparatus from Ft. Meyer at incidents in ArlCo.

      • drax

        The jurisdictions cover for each other. I once saw a FFX truck in an Arlington station. The firefighter explained that the FFX truck was there because all the Arlington trucks were out on calls, so it was covering from there.

    • DK

      Due to a mutual aid agreement between Arlington, Alexandria dn Fairfax, each jurisdiction responds to calls in any of the other jurisdictions. I used to be a volunteer at Bailey’s and our fire and EMS units were actually first due in some Arlington areas.

    • Blazemstr

      That is correct. U are very lucky to live within a region to which all neighboring jurisdictions have have a mutual written agreement that when there is an emergency, we will send the closest avail unit. We realize that early intervention = less damage to people & property. So don’t be surprised if you call for an ambulance and you end up with a Fairfax County Fire Engine & an Arlington County Ambulance or vice versa. We all work well together, even from different departments. I hope this answers your question.

  • Vincent

    Nice red oak acorns

  • NoVapologist

    The “turf war” between the volunteer and professional firefighters is pretty simple. The presence of volunteer resources undercuts the ability of the pro’s union to demand higher wages.

    • DCBuff

      No, not really. At least not in ArlCo.

    • Fireman


      Absolutely not. The IAFF2800 is not positioning itself for a fight with the vollies. Nor are the vollies in a position to influence our pay. The purpose of the letter is to provide the residents of Arlington County a true understanding of who provides fire/EMS services and that we would never solicit money. The $$$ the vollies collect and how they use it is not transparent and does not go toward the daily services the career members provide.

      • Fireman


    • drax

      That makes no sense whatsoever. But don’t let that get in the way of your attempt to blame a union for something.

  • meh..

    So who are the guys that pull up in the fire truck and walk around the median with their boots asking for money??

    • Anon

      Within Arlington, those are more than likely career (i.e., ACFD) firefighters who are collecting money for a nationally-recognized campaign called “Jerry’s Kids”, which benefits the Muscular Distrophy Association of America (MDA). All of that money goes directly to MDA.

      Firehouses and fire depts (both career and volunteer) across the country participate in the “Fill the Boot” campaign annually. Some dept’s have informal “competitions” to see which station/company/unit can raise the most money each year.

  • firefighter

    Higher wages….Haha…Arlington firefighters are the lowest paid in the NOVA region….thanks for the laughs though!

    • DCBuff

      Could you provide some sort of relatively independent analysis that shows this, that ArlCo FFs are the lowest paid in NoVa? I’d bet a donut that is not accurate.

      • Fireman

        It is true. In fact, Arlington County has put together a compensation study to address the issue. Furthermore, if you were to include the DC region, Arlington firefighters are by FAR the lowest paid in the region to include DC, MD, and VA.

      • drax

        I dug around the county’s budget section of its website, and I couldn’t find the one definitive study, but everything I saw seemed to point to it being true.

      • firefighter

        Furthermore, a paramedic in Fairfax makes about 17K more then a paramedic in Arlington with the same experience level.

    • Rob

      paid less than vollies? wow!

  • Spanish Chocolate Frosted Flakes

    “Spanish Chocolate Frosted Flakes”

    Who knew ??

  • ClarendonSkank


  • bobbytiger

    The Post endorsed Kane? Who could have seen that one coming?

  • ARLResident

    I just looked up the Art Cream Truck. The pictures of the inside look like the set of some movie about a serial killer. NSFW either.

  • steve

    Retire at 50, get paid to sleep, watch movies, cook etc.
    Its a hard life!
    Vollies do it for the love of firefighting!

    • Blazemstr

      Steve, retire at 50 (with a broken body, bad back, bad knees), get paid to sleep (do a little research on sleep deprivation and educate yourself…it help to cure ignorance), yes there are nights that you get to sleep through the night but they are few & far between….and after a nite with sleep deprivation… you have to go home to take care of your children so your spouse could go to work because our pay is low. Watch movies…if it isn’t busy and we decide to watch a movie….the 2 hour movie becomes a 5 hr movie because of tbe calls we get while watching a movie, but thats OK, it our Job & we love it. You forgot to leave out daily training and drills, community events we go to, our awesome Bomb Team, SWAT Medics (u get called in from home for), Hazmat Teams, and Technical Rescue Teams, and some of the best trained medic in the region…..all, and all of the weekends and holidays we miss that could be that last one with your loved one and our kids baseball or football games we miss, and for the cooking we have usually a one course meal that turns into 3 because of calls. But, we do it because we love it. When you can take one negative thing in a persons life and attempt to turn it as positive as possible and give someone safety and reassurance, that’s why we do it…and that is why they call us ” Professional Firefighters”. We on the other hand don’t want to just “Fight Fires” as you said. Your lack of knowledge really shows your ignorance. Next time think before you speak…try it sometimes. That is what knowledgeable people do.


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