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Fire Safety
Commendation Medal - 2007

Chief Ronald Mastin


Fire Chief Ronald Mastin bringing greetings to those gathered at Vinson Hall

Fire Chief Ronald Mastin bringing greetings to those gathered at Vinson Hall

Chief Ronald Mastin is a 34 year fire and rescue veteran serving in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department from 1973 to 2001, then as Fire Chief for Henrico County (near Richmond) from 2001 to 2007, and then returned as our Chief in June of this year. He oversees 1,350 uniformed firefighters, 325 operational volunteers and 130 civilian employees in Fairfax County. With a $170 million annual budget and 37 fire stations to maintain he is more like a CEO of a Corporation. That Corporation happens to handle fire suppression and prevention, emergency medical services, hazardous materials abatement, technical rescue, life safety education, arson investigative services, and admin and support.


Chief Mastin says, “Fire-fighting recruits today must fulfill more training requirements and obtain more certifications. In addition to fire-fighting and life saving skills, firefighters must learn about hazardous materials and prepare for the dangers of terrorism, bio-terrorism, pandemic flu and other threats…” He goes on to say that, “A current challenge is to properly staff the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) ranks. About 75% of the 90,000 service calls the department responds to each year involve emergency medical services.” This is why cross-training in EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) skills is so important for all fire-fighters and having more paramedics assigned per station is priority.


Tom Speelman (middle) presenting Chief Mastin (right) the Fire Safety Award. Larry McKinley read the citation.

Tom Speelman (middle) presenting Chief Mastin (right) the Fire Safety Award. Larry McKinley read the citation.



John Loss


Through the efforts of dedicated Fire Service Professionals and Technicians covering development of equipment and techniques to detect arson, forensics, fire prevention education, Emergency Medical Treatment, etc. countless lives are saved. The Fire Safety Commendation Medal is presented to individuals for accomplishment and/or outstanding contributions in the area of fire safety and service.


Pres. Tom Speelman, John Loss and Chief Mastin

Pres. Tom Speelman, John Loss and Chief Mastin

Firefighter John Loss has spent his entire career, spanning 30 years of service, protecting human life and loss of property due to fires and chemicals. Mr. Loss grew up in New York City and was a member of the New York City Volunteer Fire Department in 1971.


He came to Fairfax County in 1977 and started with the Department in that same year. His nominator Joseph Kratochvil says, “John knows the streets he knows the buildings and the hazards in the buildings. This valuable knowledge is transferred in a mentoring way to new and experienced Firefighters.”


He is an expert in hazardous materials and participated in the first class taught on the subject in 1982. John is foremost a true Fire Safety Professional and as such insures adequate fire safety protection is available for the communities thus affecting the fire rating. Many of us in the community do not know what a Fire Safety individual contributes to, but there is one thing we all should be appreciative of and that is lower insurance rates based on the fire rating.


It is individuals like John and John himself that teaches, practices and mentors others in fire safety and Firefighting business that improves the life of the community. It was with great pleasure we presented the Fire Safety Commendation Medal Award and a special thank you was heard from all those he has mentored. He truly has made a difference in the lives of a new generation.




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2018 Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution