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18 December 1996 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes

  1. Representatives of the Fairfax County Fire Department were the guests at the December meeting.

    1. The department provides the following services to Fairfax County residents:

      1. Basic service includes fire and fire prevention.

      2. Emergency medical service:

        1. The fire department categorizes emergency medical service as either:

          1. Basic Life Support that includes CPR, treatment of bleeding, broken bones, etc. There are 19 of these units within the county.

          2. Advanced Life Support that includes IVs, defibrillation, and the administration of drugs under doctorís orders or their protocols. Department personnel undergo training equivalent to paramedics.

          3. Each fire engine has a trained "paramedic" on the staff so that in case of emergency there will always be someone who is available even if there is a delay with the life support vehicle (ambulance). When you request an ambulance the department may first dispatch a fire engine to ensure coverage.

          4. The level of emergency health services is as good in Fairfax County as anywhere else in the country.

        2. Hazardous material service that handles chemical leaks and spills. The Oakton Fire station serves as the base for the hazardous material group.

        3. Technical rescue service that handles high angle rope rescues, trench collapses, confined space rescues, and Potomac River rescues in coordination with the National Park Service.

      3. The representatives provided statistics regarding their performance in the Sully District. Sully has the largest population in Fairfax County with over 120,000 residents. Sully covers 62 square miles out of the countyís over 400 square miles. Five stations, not necessarily within Sully, are on call to service Sully.

        1. For the first six months of 1996, there were 617 fire alarms, 442 false alarms, and 197 fire calls. A breakdown of the 197 fire calls follows:

          1. There were 51 residential fire calls, resulting in a loss of $275,000, compared to a reported loss of $1,500,000 last year. These statistics are highly dependent on the values of the structures involved. One fire at an expensive property can skew the data.

            1. The average response time for these calls was 5 minutes and 9 seconds. The county goal is a 5 minute response time for fires.

            2. The departmentís analysis indicates that most residential fires start because of the failure to clean lint traps, grease traps, or fireplace chimneys, or the mishandling of fireplace ashes.

          2. There were 7 non-residential fire calls, with a corresponding loss of $122,000.

            1. The average response time was 4 minutes and 5 seconds. Because the most non-residential structures are closer to fire stations than most residences, the average non-residential structure response time is less.

            2. Mechanical break downs cause most non-residential fires.

          3. There were 33 automobile related fires.

            1. The fire department believes that most automotive fires start because of gasoline and oil leaks, even though it reports them as of undetermined origin.

            2. Many of the fires occur as a result of car repairs. The fire department hypothesizes that loose hoses might leak.

          4. There were 96 outside (non-structural) fires.

          5. The fire department responded to 478 vehicle accident incidents.

        2. There were 2439 calls for emergency life support services.

          1. There were 994 calls for Basic Life Support. These calls typically result from vehicular accidents. The average response time was 5 minutes and 12 seconds.

          2. There were 1445 calls for Advanced Life Support. These calls typically result from disease, illness and infection. The average response time was 5 minutes and 14 seconds.

          3. The county has a six minute response time goal for emergency life support services

    2. Council members asked the fire department representatives several questions.

      1. For those areas of the county without water, the department has three 2500-gallon water tankers, located in Clifton, Great Falls and Gunston. As each pump unit can carry several hundred gallons, when tankers are not yet at the scene of a fire, the pumpers at the fire scene rotate to and from the closest hydrant.

      2. Fire hydrants in operation have their tops painted with reflective paint to enhance their visibility. Citizens can adopt a hydrant during the winter months making sure that they remove any snow around the hydrant, thereby saving fire fighters precious moments when they first arrive.

      3. There is a "golden hour" to bring trauma victims to a hospital for further treatment before adverse conditions start to appear.

        1. If there is doubt whether the victim can make it to the hospital within the hour the fire department may dispatch a helicopter. For some emergencies, such as chest stab wounds, the fire department will automatically dispatch a helicopter.

        2. The county has two police helicopters that it calls first. If the police helicopters are not available, then the department can call for support from Fairfax Hospital, or the National Park or Maryland Police depending on the location of the incident.

        3. The county does not charge for the use of its helicopters nor for any emergency service it provides.

  2. The Land Use and Transportation Committee reported on the results of its 2 December meeting.

    1. At the 20 November meeting of the Sully District Council the Fairfax Land Preservation Trust made a presentation about the Timberlake parcel. At that time the council deferred consideration of the proposal to the committee and asked it to make a recommendation back to the council at this meeting.

      1. The committee recommended the following statement. "The County should purchase property sufficient to connect existing stream valley parks, or if not able to purchase the limited property as described above, to buy the whole parcel, but either keep the parcel in low or passive recreation uses or dispose of the non-environmentally sensitive land."

      2. The Council adopted the recommendation with the change of "dispose" to "sell."

    2. On 9 December Carol Hawn presented the committee's recommendations regarding proposed transportation enhancement projects at a county public hearing.

      1. The recommendations were:

        1. Place signs directing riders on the Fairfax County Parkway Bike Trail from Route 29 to go north on West Ox Road and west along Fair Lakes Parkway rather than directly on the Parkway.

        2. Connect the Horse Pen Creek Stream Valley Trail to the Fairfax County Parkway Bike Trail.

      2. Carol reported that there were only two other speakers other than herself. She spoke to Sully Supervisor Mike Frey after the hearing.

        1. Mike indicated that the Board of Supervisors would continue to go with those previously approved items that the county had not yet implemented.

        2. He suggested that the question of Bike Trail signage might be resolved by working with VDOT. He didnít think that the county would go forward with a bridge over the Parkway to resolve the gap between the Horse Pen Stream Valley Park trail and the Fairfax County Parkway Bike Trail.

  3. The Sully District Council will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m., 22 January, conference room 7, Fairfax County Government Center.

Archived Articles

Sully District Council Minutes

Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes

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