RECOGNIZING THE GRADUATION OF THE FAIRFAX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT 143RD RECRUIT CLASS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 111
(Extensions of Remarks - July 03, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E963]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   RECOGNIZING THE GRADUATION OF THE FAIRFAX COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE 
                     DEPARTMENT 143RD RECRUIT CLASS

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. GERALD E. CONNOLLY

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, July 3, 2018

  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the Fairfax County 
Fire and Rescue Department and the graduates of the 143rd Recruit 
Class. As they prepare to join the ranks of the Fairfax County Fire and 
Rescue Department, I encourage the thirty-two graduates to reflect on 
the history of the department, and the contributions and dedication of 
the brave men and women who have served before them to protect our 
community.
  The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Recruit School 
consists of an extensive and demanding twenty-four-week program. In 
addition to two weeks of orientation, recruits complete seven weeks of 
EMT training and fifteen weeks of fire suppression training. Upon 
graduation, these recruits will be certified at the level of 
Firefighter I/II by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.
  These recruits have the distinct honor of joining one of the best 
Fire and Rescue Departments in the United States. The efforts of the 
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department have been recognized across 
this country. Members from the Department serve on the elite VA Task 
Force l, which is among the first units called to disaster zones to 
provide search and rescue support. Members of that Task Force were 
recognized by the International Association of Fire Chiefs with the 
Benjamin Franklin Award for Valor, as a result of their efforts in the 
aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015. 
Recently, they have seen extensive work in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, 
and the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of disaster relief and rescue 
efforts in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
  Fairfax County is fortunate to have such excellent ambassadors for 
our community, and I commend them for all they have done to protect 
lives and property not only here in Fairfax County, but around the 
world. As the newest members of the Fire and Rescue Department, the 
143rd Recruit Class graduates join the department as integral parts of 
our community's emergency response and public safety team. I am 
confident this graduating class will serve the residents of Fairfax 
County with honor and distinction. It is my great honor to include in 
the Record the names of the 143rd Recruit Class:
  Melissa A. Berkowitz, Richard N. Burton, Jasper R. Cooper, Megan E. 
Field, Heather A. Funkhouser, Danny E. Gallardo, Graham K. Gilbert, 
Matthew C. Harris, Shawn M. Jaret, Jacob W. Johnson, Aria 
Khodabakhchian, Juan D. Lopez, Daniel J. Mechling, Andrew L. Mullinax, 
Sarah M. Murphy, Luke F. Nuar, Christian S. Perdue, Natalie J. Potell, 
Jose L. Ramos Castro, Sean L. Sack, Jessica L. Salpini, Tyler T. 
Sevener, Matthew R. Sherwood, Corey J. Smith, Armando T. Solano, Thien 
H. Tran, Katherine L. Tripp, William H. Turk, William A. Wagner, 
Jonathan L. Wallace, Stephen M. Williams, Andrew T. Wycheck.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the 
newest members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. I 
thank them for their service to their community, and to all members of 
the Fire and Rescue Department, past and present, I say, ``Stay safe.''

                          ____________________