Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Feb. 23, 2011
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Feb. 23, 2011. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, learn about an award for a local search and rescue team, fire safety for children and cooking safety tips. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) recently selected Virginia Task Force 1 (VATF-1) to receive the America Secure Award in recognition of its contributions in making the United States a more secure and prosperous nation. The NDIA presented the award at a luncheon earlier this month at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Academy. Last January, Virginia Task Force 1 – based here in Fairfax County – deployed two urban search and rescue teams to Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake near Port-au-Prince. They assisted in the rescue of 16 people during their 14-day deployment. For over 20 years, VATF-1 has deployed throughout the United States and internationally to manmade and natural disasters, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Pentagon, Hurricanes Katrina and Isabel, the bombing in Kenya, and earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan and Iran. VATF-1, under the sponsorship of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), consists of search and rescue specialists, physicians, paramedics, structural engineers, hazardous materials specialists, and a search canine and handler. As the federal sponsoring agency, USAID pays for all costs and expenses incurred by VATF-1 when members are activated or undergo training. All training, equipment and personnel costs of VATF-1are paid for by the federal government on a regular basis. Congratulations to Fairfax’s own Virginia Task Force 1.
With home fires on the rise in winter months, and a new study showing that young children are at an especially high risk of getting seriously injured or dying in residential fires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Commission on Children and Disasters recently announced a new public awareness campaign to help keep children and families safer. FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration new report on the risks fires pose to children – based on the latest available data released by the National Center for Health Statistics – found that young children face the greatest risk of death or serious injury in home fires, with 52 percent of all child fire deaths in 2007 involving children under age 4. For more information on fire safety for children, visit www.ready.gov/kidsfiresafety.
Many home fires begin in the kitchen. Here are some cooking safety tips from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department:
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
- If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.
Additional fire safety information can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fire.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.