On Friday, June 4, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Loudoun County’s Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) has received a Governor’s Fire Service Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Services in recognition of the FACT*R (Field Available Coordinated Transfusion Response) program. The Governor’s Fire Service Awards, established in 2002, honor excellence in Virginia’s Fire Service and are facilitated by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, in partnership with the Virginia Fire Services Board.
LC-CFRS and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council, Inova Health System, and Inova Blood Donor Services, launched FACT*R, a novel prehospital blood program which provides blood via 911 resources to entrapped trauma patients., enabling a dramatic increase in the level of care paramedics can provide in the field. The FACT*R program came to fruition after a tragic auto accident in 2017 that took the life of a Loudoun County mother and critically injured and trapped her four passengers. First responders on the scene recognized that the extrication would be lengthy and arranged to get blood brought to the accident scene from area hospitals. As firefighters worked to free the family, paramedics were able to provide much needed blood to the most seriously injured patients inside the wreckage. From that incident, the concept of the regional FACT*R program was created to formally request blood on demand to an emergency scene. This innovative program was the first of its kind with this level of capability nationwide.
In September of 2020, LC-CFRS took the next logical step in the FACT*R program and became one the first agencies in the United States to begin carrying whole blood on our emergency vehicles. Whole blood is now being carried on EMS units in Loudoun, Arlington, and Fauquier Counties, a first for Virginia, and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan region. The Northern Virginia region is now the second regional coalition to develop this program in the nation, and the first on the East Coast. Carrying “forward-deployed” whole blood required research, training, policy development, new equipment and further partnership with regional hospitals and other stakeholders.
“Loudoun will continue to work with our Northern Virginia regional EMS partners to expand this program to other jurisdictions and benefit the 2.7 million residents of Northern Virginia,” said System Chief Keith H. Johnson. View a short video to learn more about FACT*R, the addition of whole blood to LC-CFRS EMS units and the paramedics who will deploy this potentially lifesaving treatment.