Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thank you Actors!

On a chilly Saturday morning, 61 awesome victim actors came out to help out students of CERT classes 47, 48 & 49 realistically practice all the skills they have learned in the last several weeks. The Lorton Prison was the venue for this drill and the victims were spread over 3 multi-level buildins in disrepair. All victims were identified, triage and evacuated during the 3 hour drill. The students really appreaciate the efforts of the actors, who really outdid themselves.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hurricane Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week: Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for a hurricane.

Halloween Safety

With Halloween just around the corner, many people have already begun making plans to celebrate the event. Halloween is an exciting, fun-filled time for young people. Costumes, decorations, and candy are just a few of the memories the season brings to mind. Unfortunately, Halloween is also a time for increased accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate the numbers of deaths among young pedestrians between 5-14 years of age are four times higher on Halloween evening compared to the same period during other evenings of the year. Many Halloween-related accidents and injuries can be prevented if steps are taken to include safety in the mix. Here are some things you can do to help make this Halloween safe:

· When purchasing costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, make sure “Flame Resistant” is on the label. Although this does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source.
· Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. Purchase or make costumes that are brightly colored to be clearly visible to motorists. For greater visibility, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Children should also carry flashlights.
· Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping or falling. Make up a child’s face with cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.
· Welcome trick-or-treaters with bright porch lights and have exterior lights on. Make sure all pathways to your home are well lit.
· Make sure your yard is clear of things such as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flowerpots that could trip children.
· Candlelit jack-o-lanterns should be kept clear of doorsteps and landings, consider the possibility of using flashlights instead of candles to light them.
TREATS· Remind children not to dip into their treats until an adult has carefully examined all candy for signs of tampering, including small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages. A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from digging into their bag of goodies before they return home. Parents of young children should throw away gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys to avoid choking or hazards.
PARENTS - TELL TRICK-OR-TREATERS TO:· Be back home by a certain time. Set a time limit for your children to “trick-or-treat.” Also designate a specific route for them to take. Never trick-or-treat alone. Go with at least two friends for the entire evening. Have children call home if they need to. Provide them with a cell phone or change to make a call.
· Carry a flashlight and use it so that drivers can see you and you can see other people as well as hazards in the street.
· Cross only at street corners, never between parked cars, and never diagonally across an intersection.
· Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals. Walk- never run, across the street. Use sidewalks, not the street for walking.
· Do not accept rides from strangers.
· Do not take short cuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
· Do not go inside anyone's home.
ADULTS· Keep dogs and other pets away from doors so children will not become frightened.
· Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
· Call 9-1-1 immediately to report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department.
MOTORISTS· Motorists should avoid all unnecessary travel on Halloween evening and when driving they should drive slowly and be alert to small children crossing streets.
· Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle. Be on the alert for youngsters darting out into traffic whose vision may be obscured by masks,
· Stay alert! Many accidents occur when motorists are backing vehicles out of driveways, unaware of the presence of small children.
· Remember to SLOW DOWN and prepare for the unexpected.
PARENTS & KIDS· Schools, fire fighters, libraries, or civic groups in many communities organize "haunted houses" and other Halloween Festivities for families. To avoid trick-or-treating troubles entirely, organize a Halloween costume party with treats, games, contests, music, and scary stories. Make your Halloween party the place to be!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Call for Actor/Victims

The final exercise for CERT classes 47, 48 and 49 will be held this Saturday October 30th from 0730 hrs to 1330 hrs. To make this exercise as realistic as possible for our students we are looking for victims who can act out their injuries realistically. The drill is held at Lorton Prison and lunch will be provided to all participants. This is also and excellent opportunity for students to receive community service hours. Contact Kevin at for more details.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Be Alert For Deer, a seasonal reminder from Fairfax County Police

Police caution motorists to stay alert for deer in the roadways.
Virginia was ranked among the top10 states in the nation for deer/vehicle collisions in 2009. The vast majority of these collisions occur during the deer breeding season between now and early January. Motorists should pay close attention and remain alert at all times, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are active and are likely to be seen quickly entering roadways in herds. Police are posting a mobile sign board on roads where deer/vehicle collisions have been reported in recent weeks, such as Braddock Road and Pleasant Valley Road.
Safety tips for motorists include:
· Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
· Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
· Deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
· Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles; they may not work.
· If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle. Do not swerve to miss a deer. This may cause you to lose control of your vehicle, strike a tree or another vehicle or to overturn. If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, take the following precautions;
Slow down and grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
Take your foot off the brake at the time of impact so the front end of your vehicle will lift up and enable the deer to go under the car, rather than over it – reducing the danger of it crashing through the windshield or windows.
If the animal is injured or killed, report the collision through the county’s non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.
To learn more about deer activity in Fairfax County, check

Monday, October 25, 2010

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Annual Full Scale Exercise -VICTIMS

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) will be conducting its annual full scale
exercise on November 13, 2010. Each year VRE simulates a train related
emergency with VRE crew and passengers (volunteers). During this
simulation, local first responders test their skills in responding to a
situation on a VRE train. This year's exercise will take place in
Springfield, VA. We are looking for volunteers to be victims of this
simulated train emergency.

The emergency exercise will be held on Saturday November 13, 2010.
Volunteer victims need to arrive by 6:30 AM. The full scale drill will
last till 1PM.

The exercise will require that you are on board a stationary VRE train.
We will put theatrical make up to simulate injuries on select
volunteers. You will be given index cards (triage card) noting your
"injuries", if any. We ask that you dress in comfortable clothing and
covered shoes as you will be required to walk on uneven surfaces near
railroad tracks.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept children under the age of 10 years as
volunteers. We will require that each participant sign a "Release of
Claim" form in order to participate in the exercise. Volunteer victims
who are younger than 18 years will need their parent/guardian's
signature on the "Release of Claim" form.
Interested in joining us? Drop us a line at The
deadline to respond is November 5, 2010. Please put Volunteer Victim in
your subject line and provide us with the full name, email address and
emergency contact phone number for each of the volunteer victims. Please
note if the volunteer victim is an adult (18 years and older).

We will provide you with more details of the location, times and other
details on November 10, 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CDC Hurricane Health & Safety Tip

Tip of the Week: If the power goes out during a storm, make sure that you use flashlights in the dark instead of candles for fire safety reasons.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Community Emergency Response Team Final Exercise
October 30, 2010 - Call for Victim Volunteers

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a system of training citizens to respond to large scale emergencies within their own neighborhood when the resources of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue system have been overwhelmed. These citizens are trained in the absence of a fire department response to mobilize and organize a rescue team for their community.

We are in need of people to play the role of "victims" for this drill. As a victim you will be expected to play your role as realistically as possible. You will receive "make-up" to show "wounds" and will have fake blood placed on your clothes. As such, please dress for the elements (we have the drill rain or shine) as you will be waiting outside to be found, in clothes that you can get very dirty, stained, and possibly even torn. You must wear long pants and closed end shoes, due to the location, we can not make exceptions to this rule. Some of you may also be called upon to assist the rescuers in performing their duties. You may participate in any way you feel comfortable.

This is a very exciting opportunity to help your community. Live "victims" are essential to providing high quality training, and you'll learn quite a bit too! We'll even throw in lunch afterwards
You need to arrive at the Lorton Prison Complex, Youth Facility, 9845 Furnace Road Lorton VA 22079 (also known as Landfill Drive) by 7:30 am. We’ll have signs posted on the roads to direct you too. The drill should be completed by no later than 1pm. We'll need you to participate for the entire time. However, if you need to leave early due to an emergency, just let a facilitator know so we can account for you. Due to limited parking, it is requested that you carpool as much as possible.

The schedule for the date usually goes something like this:
7:30 am - Arrive and park. Check in. You'll be registered and your contact information taken. You'll be given a card with a set of "injuries" you are to act out.
You'll start in the makeup process. While this doesn't take much time, there is a wait to get through. The lead instructor will give you a brief presentation on safety issues, what to expect, and what CERT is all about! This is a great time to sign up for a class!

8:30am – 8:45 am - You'll be escorted to the area that you'll be "trapped" or laying.

9:00pm - The Drill begins. The rescuers will search, sort the victims by severity, extricate those that are trapped, and transport all victims to a treatment area.

NOON – Lunch, debrief, "thank-you" from the students and Victim checkout.

We prefer adults, but will gladly accept minors 15 years and older with signed parental consent (attached) with a full understanding of what's involved. At checkout, those that would like them can receive a certificate signifying 6.5 hours of community service provided. Please give your name, phone number and E-mail address to the person who provided you with this request. Bring the attached form to the exercise.

REQUIREMENTS: You must wear long pants and closed end shoes---no exceptions here! Also bring a water bottle for the exercise and a folding chair for lunch (put your name on your chair). Do not bring iPods, phones or any electrics that may get wet or damaged. Also wear sunscreen and bug repellant is recommended

This training is a very comprehensive class providing "real world" hands-on skill training in the above areas. Unlike traditional classroom training or task-focused practicals, Fairfax County CERT training provides a full disaster simulation every class! Our students receive practice in fitting all of their skills together and honing them under the stress that only our realistic training scenarios can provide. Our unique 32-hour curriculum includes easy remember mnemonics and simple to use and implement processes that provide our graduates with superior tools, judgment, and skills to truly make a difference in a disaster. Our instructors are experts in the fields of emergency response, terrorism, building collapse, command and control and more. Our instructors have been around the world responding to large-scale disasters.

With the full support of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, our CERT classes are conducted at our large and modern Fire and Rescue Academy. Here our training props include buildings, high rises, apartments, collapsed structures, vehicles, live fires, hazardous materials and more.

At the end of this training is a "big" final exercise in which they will have to respond to a "disaster" (This is where you come in). This disaster will encompass approximately four square blocks of area with multiple hazards within. These citizens will have to locate, extricate, treat, and evacuate the victims found within this disaster zone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

CERT National Newsletter for October 2010

Dear CERT Community,

The CERT National Program Office is pleased to announce the release of the October 2010 quarterly "CERT National Newsletter." This edition features stories on Haiti CERT’s response to the devastating earthquake and national emergency response efforts during natural disasters from local CERT programs across the country. Click on the following link to read and download the newsletter: CERT National Newsletter for October 2010.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter. If you know of others who would be interested in receiving CERT news and updates, please have them subscribe at the following website:


CERT National Program Office
Individual & Community Preparedness Division

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Friday, October 15, 2010

72 hour kit form COSTCO -- Great Price

I received this link from a fellow FFXC CERT member. This is a great deal. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Call for Operation Capitol Shield

This exercise is Wednesday 10/13 and Thursday 10/14. Wednesday is victim day from 0800 hrs to 1500hrs. Thursday 10/14 is CERT operational day, being victims in the morning and rescue & medical operations in the afternoon. All at the infamous Lorton Prison. DON'T MISS THIS! We don't always get invited to work with the professionals. Contact for details and info

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

National Capital Region Exercise

The National Capital Region (NCR) received funding to expand their capacity to care for critically injured patients across their 28 hospitals in the event of a traumatic disaster scenario. To validate this enhanced capability, the NCR is participating in a full scale exercise, which will test the hospitals within the Region.

Volunteers are needed to play as victims in the exercise. Mock victims will be asked to act out as if they were injured, and may be applied with moulage (application of mock injuries using make-up and latex). Victims will be provided information regarding their ailments, so that the response demanded of the exercise participants can be more realistic.

Exercise Dates:
October 13 & 14, 2010

Participation: Volunteers will be asked to participate as mock victims for a full scale emergency exercise. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in one OR both days of this exercise. Volunteers will be triaged and transported to an area hospital and subsequently transported back to the volunteer staging area. Before the event, you will be given a complete orientation to the incident site, the type of injury or symptoms you should simulate and what actions are expected of you.

Volunteer at

Melissa Kim
CHHS Volunteer Coordinator

National Fire Safety Month - Local Fire station Open Houses

Fellow CERT members,

Here is another up-date on CERT support for our Outreach effort supporting The Fire Station Open Houses.

We have been graciously invited this year to 5 fire stations. Here is the current status of manning for these stations:
Burke - 5 CERT members
Centreville - 1
Vienna - 1
Mclean - 1
Fair Oaks - 0

Are there any CERT members that live in the Fair Oaks area that, could cover this station? this is a great way to get to know your local Firefighters.
If not we will have to drop this station. this is the first time that I know, that they have asked us it.

These Open Houses are from 10 am to 4 pm.

Please, email James or myself to let as know.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Update on Fire Station Open Houses - 9 October-

We have added Fair Oaks VFD. Thats (5)five, fire stations now. So, lets sign up to help at these stations. Please, let me know which is closest to your home. These Open Houses, not only get us great CERT exposure to our neighbors, we educate the Fireman at these stations on who we are and what our scope of training allows. We are not there to replace them but, to be there for our community until they can get to our neighborhood.