(Updated 4/5/21) The Arlington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be teaching people how to respond to life-threatening situations until help arrives.
Over the course of a free, 2.5-hour class, anyone who lives, works or volunteers in Arlington can learn skills such as how to stop severe bleeding and provide psychological first aid. The class, “Until Help Arrives,” is part of a national campaign to teach the public how to help during emergencies from car accidents to active shooter situations.
The next hands-on training course is Saturday, April 10 from 10 a.m.-noon at 1429 N. Quincy Street, a site the county had used for drive-thru and mobile COVID-19 testing. The next virtual training will be on Apr. 29 from 6:30-9 p.m.
There has been an uptick in interest during the pandemic, said Lucía Cortés, Engagement Liaison for the Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management. That’s not to mention the recent spate of mass shootings in the United States.
“We’ve actually seen a significant increase in class interest over the past seven months, with enrollment increasing by 100% while increasing our class frequency to at least once per month,” Cortés said. “Over 160 people have attended our virtual trainings.”
Attendees will learn how to recognize violent activities, respond safely, provide immediate rescue tactics to the injured, and report them to 9-1-1, according to the county.
According to Until Help Arrives, the program emphasizes five steps for civilians to take during an emergency while waiting for medical assistance:
- Call 9-1-1
- Protect the injured from harm
- Stop any bleeding
- Position the victim so they can breathe
- Provide comfort
“The County’s CERT program was created in the wake of 9/11 by concerned residents wanting to assist their communities during emergencies,” Cortés said. “Since 2004, nearly 1,000 community members have completed ArlCERT training.”
Photo via Arlington County
A thief stole a man’s motorcycle while the rider was suffering a medical emergency, according to Arlington County police.
The incident happened just after noon this past Friday, on the 200 block of N. Glebe Road in Buckingham. Police say a man rode his motorcycle to a pharmacy, then suffered “a minor medical emergency” while inside.
Medics arrived and started to treat the rider on scene.
“After being checked by medics, he realized his motorcycle was missing and reported the theft,” according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
A witness also “reported observing the suspect allegedly approach the motorcycle and begin to tamper with it,” police said. The suspect’s description was broadcast on police radio, and the stolen motorcycle — which had a distinctive color pattern — was soon spotted.
“A Virginia State Trooper located the suspect in the area of I-66 at exit 73 pushing the motorcycle,” per ACPD. A 21-year-old man from Falls Church “was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle. He was held on a secured bond.”
Separately, two other auto crimes of note were included in the most recent ACPD crime report.
First, nine Hondas were broken into and stripped of airbags overnight Friday into Saturday, near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2021-03130069, 4700 block of 20th Road N. At approximately 7:14 a.m. on March 13, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined an unknown suspect(s) forced entry into nine Honda vehicles and stole the airbags. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Second, a suspect broke into five vehicles “with a metal object” at an apartment complex near the I-395 and S. Glebe Road interchange. The suspect, a 24-year-old Baltimore man, was arrested on scene.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Significant), 2021-03140038, 2300 block of S. 24th Road. At approximately 4:20 a.m. on March 14, police were dispatched to multiple reports of a male suspect breaking into vehicles with a metal object. Upon arrival, officers located a suspect matching the description provided by the reporting parties and took him into custody without incident. The investigation determined the suspect allegedly damaged five vehicles and destroyed the entry door and window to a residential building. [The suspect] was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Destruction of Property (x5), felony Destruction of Property, and Tampering with a Vehicle.
The Arlington County Fire Department is taking new measures that could help save some critically injured or ill patients.
The department announced yesterday that it is rolling out a new “whole blood” program this month, in which medics will be trained to administer blood transfusions in the field for people suffering life-threatening bleeding.
By administering blood in the field, patients will receive critical care for blood loss significantly faster, ACFD said, noting that it can otherwise take up to 30-45 minutes to receive blood when a patient is transported to the hospital. The department says that 20-30 people per year are likely to benefit from field blood transfusions in Arlington.
The program is being rolled out to other Northern Virginia fire departments, as well. Public safety officials, meanwhile, are urging residents to give blood to ensure the region has an adequate supply.
More from ACFD:
Beginning this month, the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) will carry whole blood as part of a regional EMS initiative to bring lifesaving treatment to patients with major, life-threatening bleeding before arriving at the hospital.
ACFD estimates that 20-30 people per year in Arlington County will benefit from this treatment.
Life-threatening bleeding, such as from trauma or other medical ailments, is usually treated by rushing patients to the hospital to receive a blood transfusion. This transport of patients can delay treatment for the blood loss for upwards of 30-45 minutes in some instances.
Recent research has shown that not only is whole blood more beneficial for the patient than blood that has been split into components, but also that early administration is better for critical patients who need blood. Previously whole blood was only available on medevac helicopters.
Developed by a regional coalition of EMS experts from the Arlington County Fire Department, Loudoun County Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, and the Northern Virginia EMS Council, and partnering with Inova Blood Donor Services, the EMS field whole blood program will allow ACFD paramedics to administer this lifesaving treatment within the first few minutes of arrival at the patient’s side.
The Northern Virginia region will be the second EMS regional coalition to develop this program nationally and the first on the East Coast.
“The field whole blood program represents cutting edge EMS treatment and utilizes the most recent medical research and lessons learned from the military,” said Dr. E Reed Smith, the Arlington County Fire and Police Department Operational Medical Director. “With more than 2.5 million people in the Northern Virginia region, this is one of — if not the — largest field administered whole blood program in the nation.”
Dr. Smith added, “Heroes give blood. The Arlington County Fire Department wants to remind everyone that anyone can be a hero and encourages anyone who can donate blood to do so and join the ‘Whole Blood Brigade’.”
As part of the new program, the ACFD EMS Supervisor medical response vehicles have been equipped with climate-controlled compartments and special carrying containers that ensure the blood supply is kept at a proper temperature while it is stored.
ACFD Advanced Practice Officers (APO), the most advanced trained paramedics in the Arlington County Fire Department, received whole blood administration training in August and will be the operational leaders for blood transfusions by ACFD. In September, as the program is rolled out, the entire EMS force will be trained to assist when blood transfusion is initiated in the field.
With the logistics, training, and operations of implementing a new program now established, ACFD and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue will be the first two agencies in the Northern Virginia EMS Council to implement this program. However, any jurisdiction that is a member of the Northern Virginia EMS Council may tap into this program for their EMS agency.
(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) The Arlington County Fire Department has seen a reduction in calls amid the coronavirus pandemic, though its members have remained busy.
In a typical day, ACFD dispatches personnel to about 80 calls. Currently, the number of daily dispatches is averaging in the mid-60s, according to spokesman Capt. Justin Tirelli.
Calls for things like vehicle crashes, scooter accidents, and workplace slip-and-fall injuries are down sharply, with fewer people commuting to work. Dispatches for possible structure fires are about the same, Tirelli said, but there have been few actual fires over the past few weeks.
“Structure fires are often in places that are not occupied,” he explained. “Now that people are not leaving the house to go to work, they’re at home and they’ve been able to catch it before something happens.”
Medical calls are an key metric to track, a potential harbinger of a worsening outbreak. Tirelli said medical calls are actually down slightly, though that doesn’t tell the full story. Those who are calling are often exhibiting more serious symptoms.
“It could be because people are reluctant to call for help — waiting longer before calling 911,” he said, also noting that with COVID-19 “a lot of people don’t feel the symptoms until it’s very late in the game.”
Anecdotally, ARLnow has heard what seems like an increase in calls for COVID and flu-like-symptoms over the past week. This week alone, we’ve taken note of two life-threatening, CPR-in-progress calls at long-term care facilities. But it’s not just older residents calling for help due to possible COVID-19 symptoms — we also heard a call for a woman in her 20s, in an apartment building, experiencing trouble breathing.
Though slightly reduced in number, on net the medical calls have taken more personnel time due to the increased severity of the symptoms and the need for firefighters to protect themselves, Tirelli said.
“Our [Personal Protective Equipment] process is very methodical,” he said.
Tirelli said there has been no shortage of ambulances in the county and “we’ve been able to manage really well” to meet all needs without issues, thanks in part to some smart planning and actions.
Two-and-a-half weeks ago the county opened a telemedicine line in its dispatch center, to steer those with medical concerns but no symptoms to other resources. More recently, ACFD deployed what it’s calling an “Omega unit” — an SUV staffed by an EMT and an APO, the county’s most highly-trained paramedics. The Omega unit evaluates (in full protective gear) those with minor COVID-like symptoms, while keeping ambulances that can transport patients in service for life-threatening emergencies.
As we go through the COVID-19 pandemic ACFD continues to adjust our response to ensure the best service & safety for our community & first responders. Yesterday we deployed a new non-transport unit, ALS113 staffed with and EMT-B & Advanced Paramedic Officer. pic.twitter.com/zaUubffiAz
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) April 17, 2020
“Medical matchmaking,” Tirelli explained, “using the right resources for the right patients. That reduces both unnecessary ambulance calls and unnecessary ER visits.”
Even though hospitals are doing their best to isolate COVID-19 patients, “the emergency room is not a safe place to be right now…when there’s a very contagious virus like this,” he said.
The fire department expects that Arlington’s COVID cases have not peaked yet, Tirelli said, and the department remains ready to handle a future surge of calls. A second Omega unit can also be deployed, if necessary.
One thing residents can do to help keep firefighters safe and ready to respond to the most serious calls is to dial the right number for help depending on the situation.
“If someone is not having an emergency, the best place for medical advice is the Health Department hotline: 703-228-7999,” Tirelli said. “If they are having an emergency they should call 911.”
Arlington Covid-19 hotline is answering questions until 7. Call 703-228-7999 to discuss symptoms, testing and related issues. Only call 9-1-1 during an emergency. pic.twitter.com/HI88iJGTbE
— Ready Arlington (@ReadyArlington) April 22, 2020
A medical emergency might have been the cause of a fatal crash last night on I-395.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 10 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the highway, near the Pentagon.
The driver of the car, a 54-year-old Maryland woman, was later declared dead at a local hospital. All northbound lanes of I-395 were closed as a result of the crash, which is being investigated by Virginia State Police.
More from VSP:
Virginia State Police Trooper T. Karbowski is investigating a fatal crash in Arlington County. The crash occurred Dec. 3, 2019 at 9:51 p.m. on Interstate 395 at the 8 mile marker.
A 2008 Nissan Altima was traveling north on I-395 when it ran off the left side of the interstate, sideswiped the Jersey wall and then struck an impact attenuator.
The driver, Eddy A. Hernandez-Torres, 54, of Adelphi, Md., was transported to a nearby hospital where she was declared deceased.
A medical emergency is being investigated as the cause of the crash. The Arlington County Fire Department assisted at the scene.
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 4, 2019
INCIDENT: Traffic Collision
LOCATION: NB 395 at Exit 8B Washington Blvd
IMPACT: ALL LANES closed at this time, extended Police and Fire presence expected. Please seek alternate routes pic.twitter.com/3yU7I5dxL9
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) December 4, 2019
Photo courtesy Dave Statter
An elderly resident who lives in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood was rescued by an attentive mail carrier, neighbors, and first responders after falling at home and not being able to get up.
The man survived on his kitchen floor for five days by drinking Coca-Cola that was within arm’s reach, we’re told.
Jared Agnew, a neighbor, said a mail carrier who goes by “E” was the first one to notice something was amiss last Friday (Aug. 2) on the 3000 block of N. Trinidad Street.
“She asked if anybody had seen [the resident],” Agnew said. “His door had been open for a couple days and E noticed that the mail hadn’t been moved.”
Agnew said after E asked around, one of the neighbors called police, who responded to investigate the open door. Officers subsequently found the man on the floor and called for paramedics, who took the man to a local hospital.
According to the Arlington County Police Department:
At approximately 12:45 p.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances after a neighbor observed the door to a residence left open and mail piling up. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male in need of medical assistance inside the residence. The male was transported to an area hospital by Arlington County Fire Department medics.
Residents are most well-acquainted with what may be uncommon or unusual in their neighborhoods and communities. Suspicious circumstances can be reported for police investigation by calling the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.
Agnew said he was told by police at the time that the man had fallen on Monday and, unable to get up, had survived by drinking Cokes on the floor near him.
Captain Ben O’Bryant, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said the elderly adult male was in relatively good condition when he was transported to Virginia Hospital Center.
The man was not at home when an ARLnow reporter visited his house on Tuesday, but a bottle could be seen on the ground inside the house.
Medical Emergency at Yorktown — A student suffered a serious medical emergency at Yorktown High School this morning. Police and medics rushed to the scene, CPR was performed and the student was reportedly revived. He was taken to a local hospital.
Arlington Tourism Website Wins Award — “The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International… on Jan. 22 presented the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS) with a 2018 Adrian Award for the StayArlington tourism website.” [Arlington County]
Best Bowls of Soup in Rosslyn — A new list exhaustively details “where to go for a good bowl of soup” in Rosslyn, “because it’s everybody’s favorite cold-weather lunch.” [Rosslyn BID]
Gymnastics Competition at W-L — “The annual Barbara Reinwald Invitational girls high-school gymnastics meet was held Jan. 19 at Washington-Lee High School. The high-school meet, which has been held for decades, included 11 teams and was won by the host Washington-Lee Blue team.” [InsideNova]
Chef Geoff Winning Happy Hour Fight — Chef Geoff Tracy is poised to withdraw his lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia, which seeks to overturn restrictions on advertising happy hour specials and prices, after the state legislature overwhelmingly passed bills that would remove those and other happy hour restrictions. [Tysons Reporter]
A man on a scooter fell and was injured after suffering an apparent medical emergency while riding.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. on Fairfax Drive near the Ballston Metro station.
A witness said she saw a man and woman riding Bird scooters down the street when the man started having what appeared to be a seizure. He fell onto the pavement and started foaming from the mouth, while his companion yelled for passersby to call 911, according to the witness.
Firefighters responded to the scene and the man was quickly put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. He was conscious and talking to first responders, witnesses said.
A firefighter cleared both of the scooters from the Fairfax Drive bike lane as the man received medical treatment. One lane of traffic was blocked by the emergency response.
Two left-hand lanes of southbound I-395 are blocked due to a driver suffering a medical emergency.
The incident happened on the main line of the highway between Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road, around 2:15 p.m.
More via Twitter:
Driver reportedly swerved across lanes of traffic, stopped car and crawled out onto highway
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) October 1, 2018
INCIDENT: Road Closure
LOCATION: SB I 395 at Glebe (Exit 7)
IMPACT: Due to police and fire activity the two left-hand lanes of SB 395 are currently closed. Expect delays. pic.twitter.com/SQPIfQov3R
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) October 1, 2018
Update at 3 p.m. — Lanes have reopened.
Update at 6 p.m. — The disabled train has been cleared and medics have left the scene. Residual delays remain, according to Metro.
Earlier: A Silver Line train is disabled at the Clarendon Metro station at the height of the evening rush hour after a rider suffered a medical emergency.
Initial reports suggest that a passenger suffered a seizure on the train, leading another passenger to push an emergency stop switch. The passenger was taken off the train and is being tended to by medics, according to scanner traffic, but the train is now disabled.
Metro is warning about delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines as a result of the incident.
Orange/Silver Line: Expect delays to Vienna & Wiehle-Reston E due to a disabled train at Clarendon.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) May 10, 2018
Blue Line: Delays possible to Franconia-Springfield due to congestion from delayed Orange/Silver Line trains.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) May 10, 2018
Police and medics responded to Williamsburg Middle School Friday afternoon after a student suffered a serious medical emergency.
“There was a medical emergency in a 6th period class and CPR was performed,” an Arlington Public Schools spokesman confirmed. “The student was transported to the hospital and was accompanied by an assistant principal.”
So far there’s no word as to the cause of the medical emergency nor the student’s current condition.