18 December 1996 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes
- Representatives of the Fairfax County Fire Department were the guests at
the December meeting.
- The department provides the following services to Fairfax County
- Basic service includes fire and fire prevention.
- Emergency medical service:
- The fire department categorizes emergency medical service as either:
- Basic Life Support that includes CPR, treatment of bleeding, broken
bones, etc. There are 19 of these units within the county.
- 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.
- 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
- The level of emergency health services is as good in Fairfax County
as anywhere else in the country.
- Hazardous material service that handles chemical leaks and spills. The
Oakton Fire station serves as the base for the hazardous material group.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- The average response time for these calls was 5 minutes and 9
seconds. The county goal is a 5 minute response time for fires.
- 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.
- There were 7 non-residential fire calls, with a corresponding loss of
- 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.
- Mechanical break downs cause most non-residential fires.
- There were 33 automobile related fires.
- The fire department believes that most automotive fires start
because of gasoline and oil leaks, even though it reports them as of
- Many of the fires occur as a result of car repairs. The fire
department hypothesizes that loose hoses might leak.
- There were 96 outside (non-structural) fires.
- The fire department responded to 478 vehicle accident incidents.
- There were 2439 calls for emergency life support services.
- 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.
- 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.
- The county has a six minute response time goal for emergency life
- Council members asked the fire department representatives several
- 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.
- 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.
- There is a "golden hour" to bring trauma victims to a hospital for
further treatment before adverse conditions start to appear.
- 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.
- 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.
- The county does not charge for the use of its helicopters nor for any
emergency service it provides.
- The Land Use and Transportation Committee reported on the results of
its 2 December meeting.
- 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
- 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."
- The Council adopted the recommendation with the change of "dispose"
- On 9 December Carol Hawn presented the committee's recommendations
regarding proposed transportation enhancement projects at a county public
- The recommendations were:
- 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.
- Connect the Horse Pen Creek Stream Valley Trail to the Fairfax County
Parkway Bike Trail.
- Carol reported that there were only two other speakers other than
herself. She spoke to Sully Supervisor Mike Frey after the hearing.
- Mike indicated that the Board of Supervisors would continue to go
with those previously approved items that the county had not yet implemented.
- 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.
- The Sully District Council will hold its next meeting at 7:30 p.m., 22
January, conference room 7, Fairfax County Government Center.
Sully District Council Minutes
Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes