At the 2022 CFSI Symposium and Dinner on Thursday, April 7, 2022, the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Masimo honored the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) with the 2022 Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award for their innovations in the delivery of emergency medical services. These two departments were recognized for their joint development of a novel pre-hospital blood program called FACT*R, which stands for Field Available Component Transfusion Response. This program enables emergency medical vehicles to carry whole blood to a scene allowing it to be used by Advanced Life Support Providers on trauma patients.
“I am extremely proud of our system members in Loudoun County and our partner agencies to include the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Inova Blood Donor Services and the Northern Virginia EMS Council, who assisted in taking an extremely tragic event and turning it into something positive that will go on to save countless lives in the future,” stated Fire Chief Keith Johnson about receiving the award.
On September 8, 2017, LC-CFRS responded to a call where a large food truck struck a passenger vehicle at an intersection in Loudoun County, Virginia. The extreme impact from the collision left the passenger vehicle and its occupants pinned underneath the bus for hours. The crash resulted in five critically injured patients, all with heavy entrapment and limited patient access. A lengthy and complex extrication ensued as four air medical helicopters gave their blood products to the critically injured patients, but more blood was needed.
Using on-scene medical direction, a request was made to local hospitals to send additional blood to the crash site. Blood products were mobilized and sent to the scene in coolers via both law enforcement and fire and rescue vehicles. When the incident was over, a Loudoun County mother had been tragically killed and her four passengers were critically injured. Those passengers, one adult and three children were finally extricated and transported to a Level-1 Trauma Center for definitive care, with all four surviving.
This tragic incident highlighted a gap in on-scene capabilities, as well as the need for a more organized plan for similar on-scene requests in the future. In 2019, FACT*R was launched in partnership with the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the Northern Virginia EMS Council and INOVA Blood Donor Services. FACT*R has since evolved to include carrying whole blood on Loudoun County Fire and Rescue units. This partnership has already saved countless lives to include a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy who was shot in the line of duty.
“This unique program highlights the importance of the emergency medical care first responders provide to their patients. It is an honor to be part of such an innovative collaboration,” said Fairfax County Fire Chief John S. Butler. “I am extremely proud of our firefighters and paramedics and grateful to our partners at Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, Inova Blood Donor Services, and the Northern Virginia EMS Council for undoubtedly improving trauma patient outcomes in Northern Virginia.”
The success of the FACT*R program is directly impacted by the availability of blood from Inova Blood Donor Services. Blood products donated through Inova stay local in the Northern Virginia region making your donation truly an example of neighbors helping neighbors. You can make a lifesaving appointment to donate at one of Inova Blood Donor Service's upcoming community blood drives by visiting InovaBloodSaves.org.