The following Letter to the Editor was written by Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley.
Like every emergency, the Alexandria Fire Department approached this pandemic with the mindset that we will win the fight, no matter the circumstances – and that is NON-NEGOTIABLE. We have found the courage to redefine ourselves and think outside of the box to try new things in response to something we have never faced before.
I believe that together we can all find that courage as we continue to adjust and hold on to some form of normalcy in this current situation.
When I was officially named the Fire Chief for the Alexandria Fire Department in December 2019, I would have never thought our city would be facing an ongoing, global public health crisis within a few short months.
As a new chief, this can seem overwhelming, and make no mistake about it, COVID-19 is one of the greatest nemeses I have ever encountered to-date.
However, I knew what I was signing up for and I want to be battle-tested for future challenges. But I am not facing this alone. Your Fire Department is a team of talented, skilled and prepared individuals who are risking their own safety to respond to every single emergency call we receive.
The inherent qualities of the fire service profession are compassion, care, preparation, adaptability and teamwork, and we get to demonstrate those qualities even more during this unprecedented global pandemic.
I have seen many AFD leaders emerge during the COVID-19 response, and that increases my passion for fire service and for helping the community. And that is the behavior and character I want to see spread throughout our department – especially in times of crisis. I am honored to be a part of the AFD team, and I could not be prouder of the work our members are doing during this emergency.
I want to reiterate that it is important that everyone does their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping your families and our community safe. We’re all in this together.
Over the past couple of months, we have developed new procedures for emergency calls to keep everyone safe as we continue to carry out our mission.
As you continue to do your part by staying home, maintaining physical distancing and donning face masks when in public spaces, your Fire Department is taking every necessary step to keep our members safe and healthy so we can continue to respond to emergencies.
I have served the public in various ways my entire adult life, including eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve, six years in the Alexandria Fire Department, and nearly 30 years in the National Capital Region. Like many of the members of AFD and our regional public safety partners, I have served my community through various local and national emergencies including major fire incidents, mass shootings, significant weather events, mass gatherings, 9/11, H1N1, and now the coronavirus.
Over the years and through all those incidents, I have learned that our response is only as good as our partnerships with the community and other stakeholders. As the city’s former emergency manager, I recognize that the very first responders are members of the community.
The Alexandria community has not disappointed. You have offered your assistance in helping to feed our firefighters and paramedics; identified gaps and developed ways to meet those needs; and created ways to obtain and/or clean our personal protective equipment (PPE).
Now, I acknowledge that after months at home you may be feeling stressed, anxious and even afraid. We understand, because during these unusual times we are experiencing those feelings as well. Through it all, AFD remains ready to assist the community. Because, like the rest of the Alexandria community, we are strong, courageous and resilient.
Stay encouraged. Stay informed. Stay safe and healthy and we will get through this together.
ALXnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity, at our discretion.
Staff photo by James Cullum
Where To Buy Or Cut Your Own Fresh Christmas Tree In Alexandria — “As the holiday season begins, here’s where to find a Christmas tree in and around Alexandria in 2022.”…
Mindy’s Catering, a catering company based out of the Berkley neighborhood in D.C., is moving to an industrial park just across the street from the Victory Center. A special use…
Zen kitty Callie is looking for a new home in Alexandria. The 13-year-old female domestic longhaired brown and gray tabby cat is up for adoption with the Animal Welfare League…
The Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Southern States Police Benevolent Association, ushering in a new era of collaboration with city employees. If likely approved…
High School Senior Anxious about College Life? Our amazing graduate interns, Meghan Damminger and Kelly Charwat are starting an affordable College Readiness group in early 2023. Working out day and time. Please email [email protected] to set up a free consultation after the Thanksgiving holiday. And yes, Meghan and Kelly have a few openings for individual clients as well. Their rate is $45 per session. [www.sarahmoorelpc.com](http://www.sarahmoorelpc.com/?fbclid=IwAR3ZlfQnSLVRCc78HbTZutDYZErTctC_5pl- zt4eo_wjQo1gF6uHS–k32g).
Monarch Montessori School, located in the education center at 218 East Monroe Avenue, is currently enrolling infants and toddlers for the 2022-2023 school year. We’re an authentic Montessori preschool with a STEM emphasis!
We Offer: Arts & Crafts, Yoga & Pottery, Language & Early Literacy, Botany & Culinary Arts, Music Appreciation, Chorus & Language Immersion, Mathematics, Geography & Science, Practical Life & Culture.
Full-time, part-time, flexible and drop-in options!
Don’t miss this toe tapping celebration!
The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA) presents “Brassy Jazzy Christmas,” a strong lineup of Christmas and holiday favorites. Inspired by Stan Keton’s album “A Merry Christmas!,” SONOVA has created a jazz band–substituting french
Join in Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition- the 47th Turkey Trot 5 Mile Race. Alexandria’s favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, the Alexandria Turkey Trot, returns to the streets of Del Ray on Thursday, November 24 at 9 a.m. In the spirit of