Fort Myer Fire Department


IAFF Local F-253 is located on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, VA, which is home to the 3rd Infantry Regiment, US Army Band, Army Fife and Drum Corps, USMC and numerous civilian and military administrative personnel. We also provide response to Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC and the Arlington National Cemetery. On top of all of that, we also provide Aircraft Fire / Rescue at the Pentagon, as well as mutual aid to the Arlington County Fire Department and surrounding NOVA jurisdictions. We are a 31 personnel department in which the Assistant Chiefs, Captains, and Firefighters work a 48 on / 72 off work schedule. Our Apparatus fleet consists of 2 Engines, 1 Reserve Engine, 1 Battalion Chief, 1 Crash Truck, 1 Special Operations Unit, and several Utility / Support Vehicles.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014  At 0853 hours, Engines 161 and 110 were sent to the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) and 15th Street South for the reported vehicle fire.  Engine 161 arrived 1st on the scene reporting a recreational vehicle "well off".  Engine 161's crew deployed the 150' 1 3/4" bumper line.  Engine 110 arrived on scene also deploying a line to help extinguish the blaze.  Engine 161 remained on scene for a tow truck and did a wash down of the area before returning to service at 1027 hours. 

Engine 161: D/O Sullivan, Capt. Rearden, F/F Minor, F/F Grossman


Picture taken from Engine 161B crew at Fort McNair SW Washington, DC

Picture taken from Engine 161B crew at
      Fort McNair SW Washington, DC



Monday, April 7, 2014  At 2008 hours, ACFD ECC sounded the "Metro Incident" assignment to the Arlington National Cemetery Metro Station for a reported person struck by a train.  Engine 161 arrived 1st on the scene and headed down to the tracks.  Once to the tracks, information was gathered from the train operator and power properly secured to the third rail, personnel walked down the tracks to find a victim who was pronounced dead on the scene.  Units remained on the scene with police and Metro officials before returning to service 1 hour later.

Engine 161: D/O D'Agostino, Capt. Montgomery, F/F Grierson, F/F Leubke




Wednesday, March 26, 2014  Just before 0500 hours, Engine 161 responded to Box 71-20 for the reported structure fire in the 4400 block of South Pershing Court. First arriving Engine 101 reported a working fire and quickly went to work. Engine 161 arrived and set up the RIT on side Alpha of the dwelling, while the driver established a secondary water supply for E109 a block away. Engine 101 found a fire in a bedroom on the top floor and quickly knocked the fire down while crews vented and opened up. Crews operated for an hour before being released.




Wednesday, March 26, 2014   At 1645 hours, Boston Fire Alarm sounded Box 1579 for a structure fire, units arrived on scene reporting fire in the basement of a 4 story "Brownstone" located at 298 Beacon Street in the Back Bay portion of the City.  Heavy winds hampered conditions for Firefighters from the beginning.  A Mayday was sounded by Engine 33's Officer reporting to being located in the basement.  Despite the valiant efforts by Fire and EMS personnel, 2 members' lives were lost.  Lieutenant Ed Walsh a 9 1/2 year veteran of the Department assigned to Engine 33 and Firefighter Mike Kennedy a 6 1/2 year veteran of the Department as well as a USMC veteran assigned to Ladder 15.

Our own James Dansereau along with other members of the IAFF Burn Foundation from the United States and Canada are in Boston for a previously scheduled event and went by the Quarters of Engine 33/Ladder 15 located on Boylston Street not far from Fenway Park to pay their respects.  A photo below shows the group which was sent by Dansereau.  

Members of IAFF F-253 are keeping the Boston Fire members in our thoughts and prayers as well as the families and friends of Lt. Walsh and F/F Kennedy. 

Side C of 298 Beacon Street

Side C of 298 Beacon Street



Saturday, March 15, 2014  At 1544 hours, Engine 161 responded as the engine company on the RIT Level I assignment on this house fire on South Langley Street in the Nauck section of Arlington. E161 arrived and established the RIT and took a pro-active role in assisting other companies with completing tasks due to rescue efforts that were in place. Occupants on scene advised companies of other persons still inside the structure. One firefighter from the ACFD was transported to MedStar Burn Center for minor burn injuries while operating on this incident. Companies were forced back by rapid fire growth, and master streams were set up. After the fire was knocked down, crews performed thorough searches and mopped up. E161's driver handled a small mulch fire on an adjacent street while on this incident. E161 cleared the scene at 1824 hours. We wish a speedy recovery to our Brother in the ACFD, as we also send our condolences to the families and neighborhood affected by this tragic event.

Engine 161: D/O Harris, Capt. McGillin, F/F M. Humphreys, F/F Hartman

photos courtesy of




Saturday, February 22, 2014  Just after 0900 hours, crews on the Northside of Arlington were sent to Yorktown High School for a reported fire in the HVAC system.  Units struggled to get to this stubborn fire and multiple units were specialed on the call.  Engine 161 was alerted to fill in at Station 8 (Hall's Hill) and then eventually sent on the 2nd alarm.  Engine 161 arrived on scene and staged until being released back to the fill in at 1017 hours.

Engine 161: D/O Sullivan, Capt. Long, F/F Drake, F/F J. Humphreys




Thursday, February 20, 2014  After serving 28 years of dedicated time to the Federal Fire Service, Firefighter Vance Valenzo is retiring from the Fort Myer Fire Department. Vance started his long career right here at "The Fort" in 1986. He has remained here throughout his entire fire service career. Vance started as a volunteer firefighter in New York before moving south to Maryland. He later joined the Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County. He served there for many years as a firefighter, as well as the 2nd Vice President. After moving to Washington County Maryland, Vance joined the Funkstown VFD, where he remains as a member today. A retirement celebration was held at the station this morning where members and colleagues were in attendance to enjoy some laughs and memories with Vance. The Joint Base Commander presented Firefighter Valenzo with his retirement certificate, as well as a Commander's Award for Civilian Service. Fire Chief Russell Miller made a speech and noted several benchmarks in Vance's career. IAFF Local F-253 President Michael Jackson presented a Length of Service award on behalf of the union commemorating Vance's career and the years he devoted to our Local. Vance closed out the event with a few words to his colleagues and friends, leaving everyone with a small token of his appreciation for allowing him the opportunity to do something he truly loves for so long.

It is noted that Vance has had a historic career. He was one of the first arriving responders to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. He was photographed several times that day working hard during the firefighting and rescue operations. His photograph is now on permanent display aboard the USS Arlington(LPD-24) in Norfolk, Virginia.

Vance will be truly missed by the members of this department for his charming humor and his ability to always bring a laugh to a rough situation. Vance, Thank You for being a part of our department and family over the years. We hope you enjoy every minute of your well deserved Retirement!!!





Wednesday, February 19, 2014  The Officers and Firefighters of this department would like to welcome Firefighter Paul Hartman.  Firefighter Hartman joins us after leaving the Sugar Grove Fire Department located in West Virginia.  We look forward to having you as a part of our team.




Sunday, February 16, 2014  Around 1230 hours, Engine 102 was sent to 900 North Taylor Street in their 1st due for an automatic fire alarm sounding.  Engine 102 arrived on scene and reported nothing evident from the street.  After investigating further, they found smoke conditions on multiple floors and requested that the box alarm assignment be struck out.  This brought Engine 161 5th due.  Engine 102 found a fire in the trash chute of the building which created residual smoke on multiple floors.  Engine 161 completed their assigned tasks as "lobby control".  After putting out the fire, crews worked together to get rid of smokey conditions.  Engine 161 cleared the scene at 1320 hours. 

Engine 161: D/O M. Humphreys, Capt. Long, F/F Grossman, F/F Minor




Picking Up

Picking Up

Tuesday, January 21, 2014  At 1844 hours, Box 7004 was sounded for the apartment fire located at 1860 North Quinn Street in the Rosslyn portion of Arlington County.  Engine 110 arrived on the scene to find a fire in a 2nd floor apartment.  Engine 161 arrived and streched the 400' 1 3/4" to the floor above the apartment involved.  No extension was found and Engine 161 returned to service at 1932 hours.

Engine 161: D/O D'Agostino, Capt. Montgomery, F/F Sullivan, F/F J. Humphreys



Search for news stories :

Select Year Select Month
Select Category Enter Keyword