Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Rosslyn Dog Park Now Open — “Thanks to the support of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and R-DOGS, there’s a new interim dog park on the western side of Gateway Park. Now that’s something to bark about!” [Arlington County, Instagram]

Arlingtonian Confirmed as U.N. Ambassador — “The Senate voted 78-20 on Tuesday to confirm Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.” The long-time Arlington resident “has promised to restore the U.S. role as a defender of human rights and will look to repair multilateral relationships that fractured under former President Trump.” [Axios]

Crashes on I-395 Yesterday Morning — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “The units from Station 9C ran a three vehicle accident early this morning on 395NB. Upon arrival, they discovered a trapped patient who was quickly extricated. Two patients were treated and transported with non-life threatening injuries.” [Twitter, WUSA 9]

YHS Students to Continue Athletics in College — “A dozen Yorktown High School athletes participated in recent college signing ceremonies to continue their playing careers at the next level.” [InsideNova]

Local Woman Sickened By New Puppy — “An Arlington mother and daughter are warning those interested in purchasing a new pet about a disease called campylobacter. Audrey Glitt was thrilled when her mother, Katrina Metzler, brought home a new puppy named Fernweh as a surprise — but shortly after the dog’s arrival, the excitement quickly faded to worry. ‘I think it was about, a week later after we had gotten her, I started getting really sick and I couldn’t get out of bed,’ said Glitt.” [WDVM]

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Brian Sicknick arrived at his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, escorted there by scores of local first responders, including many from Arlington.

The fallen U.S. Capitol Police officer, who was killed during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot, was laid to rest at the cemetery after lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

Arlington County Police Department motor officers were part of the procession from the Capitol to the cemetery. Arlington County firefighters and Virginia State Police troopers helped to salute Sicknick’s remains as the hearse arrived at the cemetery.

Photos from the procession route, as posted on social media, are below.

Photo (top) via ACPD

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A relatively slow snow day for public safety personnel got busier this afternoon after a pair of significant emergency incidents occurred within 15 minutes of one another.

First, firefighters responded to the grounds of Missionhurst, a church facility near Marymount University, for a report of a 12-year-old who had suffered a head injury after sledding into a tree. The call was soon upgraded from a standard injury response to a technical rescue due to the terrain.

“At 1:59 p.m. we received a 911 call for a child that struck a tree while sledding at 4651 25th St N.,” said Arlington County Fire Department spokesperson Taylor Blunt. “Initial crews arrived within four minutes and requested the technical rescue team due to the patient’s location at the bottom of a snowy hill.”

“Crews provided initial treatment and used a haul system to move the immobilized patient up the hill to an ambulance,” Blunt continued. “The patient was transported to a local trauma center with non-life threatening injuries.”

Soon thereafter came another significant incident: someone at a gym in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center near Crystal City had reportedly severed two fingers after getting them caught in exercise equipment.

“At 2:13 p.m. we received a 911 call at 2955 S. Glebe Road for a patient suffering from a partial amputation to their hand,” Blunt said. “Crews arrived within four minutes and provided bleeding control techniques to stabilize the injury. The patient was transported to a local trauma center in stable condition.”

The address corresponds to that of a Gold’s Gym and a chiropractic and physical therapy office.

File photo

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A widespread power outage is currently affecting parts of Arlington.

More than 3,500 Dominion customers were without power in the county as of 9:30 p.m. Affected neighborhoods include Ballston, Bluemont, Buckingham, Ashton Heights and Lyon Park, according to the power company’s outage map.

Residents near those neighborhoods might have seen their power flicker around 9 p.m.

The outage happened after a driver in a Toyota Prius slammed into a utility pole in the Buckingham area. On social media, the Arlington County Fire Department said it is “unknown” when power will be restored.

Update at 10:15 p.m. — Power has been restored to most customers, but about 500 in the Buckingham area, near the crash, remain in the dark.

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Deputy County Manager James Schwartz is retiring.

An announcement was made official by County Manager Mark Schwartz at Tuesday’s County Board meeting. Schwartz’s last full day with Arlington County will be February 5.

For the last six years, Schwartz has served as the Deputy County Manager overseeing public safety and technology, after just over a decade as the county’s fire chief.

Schwartz started at the Arlington County Fire in 1984 as a firefighter and served in multiple roles in the department. He led the county’s united command effort after the September 11, 2001 attack at the Pentagon. In 2004, he was appointed as chief.

Schwartz was the first person to rise through the department’s ranks to become chief since the 1970s. In 2015, he was named Deputy County Manager.

“This is an opportunity… to thank him from the bottom of my heart for all of his years of service,” said County Manager Mark Schwartz during the County Board meeting.

In a memo to fire personnel, ACFD lauded Schwartz’s leadership and dedication to serving the county and the region.

“Chief Schwartz was the architect of many local, NoVA, and [National Capital Region] initiatives that continue to improve public safety. While he does not have any immediate plans, Chief Schwartz will remain connected and invested in the department, county, and region,” the memo said. “ACFD is grateful for his leadership, dedication, and friendship over many years.”

“A big thanks to Jim Schwartz for his extraordinary service over the years,” said Board Chair Matt de Ferranti at Tuesday’s meeting. “If we were in the boardroom, we would all be standing and applauding.”

Photo courtesy of Arlington County

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(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) Traffic is light. Police dispatches are run-of-the-mill. Many residents are at home, watching their televisions.

In contrast to the chaos of two weeks ago, Inauguration Day has been uneventful in Arlington.

Arlington County Police confirmed this morning that its officers are remaining in the county, not needed for the unprecedented security presence in D.C. Instead they remain in Arlington, albeit on high alert.

Arlington County Fire Department personnel are, however, supporting their counterparts in the District today.

“It’s an all hand kind of a day,” said ACFD spokesman Taylor Blunt.

Blunt said the fire department responded to a regional call for mutual aid from the D.C. fire department, which is supporting the inauguration. Firefighters from Arlington, along with other Virginia and Maryland fire departments, are helping to fill D.C. fire stations and respond to calls in the District.

The fire department also has “additional resources” active in the county, should anything happen here.

Arlington emergency personnel are monitoring the inauguration activities in the county’s Emergency Operations Center, ready to respond to threats and incidents as needed.

At the U.S. Capitol, meanwhile, the American tradition of a transfer of power to the new administration is underway. Among those attending the inaugural ceremony is Arlington’s congressman, Rep. Don Beyer.

The newly-sworn-in President and Vice President will briefly visit Arlington this afternoon, as they and several former presidents — the Obamas, the Clintons and the Bushes — lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Firefighters Getting Vaccinated — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “As @ArlingtonVA moves into Phase 1b of the #CovidVaccine rollout, we would like to thank @ArlingtonDHS and @VDHgov for helping us provide the first round of Moderna vaccine to 67% of our workforce so far.” [Twitter]

Ideas for Plant-Based Dining — Here’s a new list of “13 vegetarian and vegan takeout options to kickstart 2021” in and near Arlington. [Arlington Magazine]

Man Brings Lots of Bullets to DCA —  “TSA officers at @Reagan_Airport stopped a man with 100 bullets in his carry-on bag at one of the security checkpoints last week.” [Twitter]

Reminder: Vote in the Arlies — If you haven’t already, vote for your favorite places, people, and businesses in the inaugural Winter 2021 Arlies. [ARLnow]

D.C. Dispatch Trouble for Crash Call — The fire department response to Tuesday night’s GW Parkway crash that sent two vehicles careening into the Potomac was delayed by cross-jurisdictional dispatch issues. [Twitter]

Downtown Stations to Close for Inauguration — “Metro will close 13 stations inside the security perimeter, with 11 stations closing on Friday and two additional stations on Saturday and continuing through the end of service on Thursday. During this time trains will pass through the closed stations without stopping.” [WMATA]

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(Updated at 11 p.m.) Two vehicles careened off the GW Parkway and into the Potomac River near I-395 earlier tonight.

The incident happened shortly before 8:30 p.m. First responders on the ground and in boats rushed to the scene and rescued at least of the victims. Two men were brought to local hospitals in stable condition, according to the Arlington and D.C. fire departments.

U.S. Park Police is investigating the incident; so far there’s no word as to how it happened.

Both vehicles — one of which is fully submerged  while the other is partially submerged on the riverbank — are expected to be pulled out of the water overnight.

Photo via Arlington County Fire Department

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(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Arlington ambulances have been ordered to avoid transporting patients to hospitals in the District, amid ongoing chaos around the U.S. Capitol.

The broadcast went out on Arlington County Fire Department channels just before 3 p.m.

ARLnow is hearing that additional Arlington police officers are heading to D.C., perhaps as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies. Video shows and at least one witness reports numerous emergency vehicles heading into the District.

As of 3:25 p.m., a convoy of more than dozen Arlington police and fire department vehicles — some unmarked — could be seen heading down Washington Blvd in Clarendon.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage declined to provide additional information about deployments today, beyond confirming her earlier statement that ACPD is assisting D.C. police under a mutual aid agreement.

“ACPD does not provide tactical information such as the number of officers deployed,” Savage said. “There has been no change to the deployment of officers to D.C. under the mutual aid agreement with the Metropolitan Police Department.”

The District has instituted a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz, via a spokeswoman, said Arlington has no plans for a curfew.

Just before 3:30 p.m., Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia State Troopers will be sent to D.C., at the request of Mayor Muriel Bowser. Maryland’s National Guard is also being deployed.

Arlington’s congressman, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), tweeted just after 4 p.m. that he is “in a safe location” on Capitol Hill.

Businesses, including Safeway (in the District but not in Arlington or elsewhere) and the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, are closing early due to the violence in the District. Metrorail service is ending early, at 8 p.m., while Metrobus and ART bus service is ending at 9 p.m., per the transit agencies.

As of 5 p.m., the Arlington County Board was discussing a possible response to security threats in closed session.

More via social media:

File photo (top). Matt Blitz contributed to this report.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Two women were rescued by firefighters this afternoon in dramatic fashion, after a gas leak was discovered in their home along Columbia Pike.

The rescues happened shortly before 3:30 p.m., after police were called to the house at the intersection of the Pike and S. Rolfe Street for a welfare check.

“Officers were conducting a check on the welfare. When they made entry to the residence they smelled gas, and called for the fire department,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Two adult females have been transported to local hospitals.”

Initial reports suggest that firefighters searching the house found the victims inside suffering from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. They were pulled outside and treated before being rushed to the hospital.

Eastbound Columbia Pike was blocked near the intersection with S. Rolfe Street during the incident. The Pike has since reopened, though S. Rolfe Street remains closed.

The house has been ventilated and police are now investigating the incident. Washington Gas crews are also on scene, investigating the leak.

So far there’s no word yet on the condition of the two victims.

A neighbor tells ARLnow that “two lovely [older] ladies” live in the home.

“God, I hope they are okay,” said the neighbor, who did not provide her name.

Matt Blitz contributed to this report. Map via Google Maps.

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