Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpHappy New Year! Amidst the hustle and bustle of the presidential election results and subsequent holidays, there’s some good news that might have been missed. I call them “Cheers for the New Year.”

• Got the dot? It’s easy to participate in the Yellow Dot program that the Fairfax County Fire Department launched in September. There is a “golden hour” after a vehicle crash or emergency for which medical help may be required. However, first responders need to know what medical conditions you might have, especially if you are unconscious or unable to speak. The Yellow Dot program could save your life.

• Simply visit your local fire station for a kit. Fill out the booklet in pencil so you can make future updates. Attach a current photo to the booklet, and place the booklet in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Place the accompanying yellow dot decal in the lower left of your rear window to alert first responders to check the glove compartment for vital medical information. The Yellow Dot program is especially useful for senior citizens or others who may have serious medical conditions.

• Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) was notified recently that it has achieved national accreditation by the American Public Works Association. DPWES is just the 114th agency, out of more than 3000 nationwide, to earn this prestigious recognition. Some benefits of accreditation include increasing safety, reducing liability, lowering insurance premiums, recruiting high quality personnel, and delivering the highest quality services to residents of Fairfax County. Among DPWES responsibilities are stormwater management, wastewater treatment, building safety, and construction permits of all types.

• Earlier this month, Fairfax County’s Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) celebrated its receipt of the Blue Seal of Excellence from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). At least 75 percent of DVS’ automotive professionals are ASE certified, earning the Blue Seal. DVS provides centralized maintenance and repair services for nearly 6000 county-owned vehicles, including the nation’s ninth largest school bus fleet, police cars, fire trucks and ambulances, as well as trash trucks. Keeping all vehicle registrations, inspections, and titles current, and ensuring that all vehicles are in conformance with federal, state, and county policies, regulations and procedures, for the largest municipal fleet in Virginia, is just one aspect of what DVS does to provide 24/7 service to the residents of Fairfax County.

• If one of your New Years’ resolutions is to serve your community as a volunteer, check out Volunteer Solutions on the Fairfax County website, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/olderadultservices/volunteer-solutions.htm, to find extensive opportunities to help. Some tasks take only an hour a week; others may be more intense, but there is most likely a task that fits with, and needs, your skills. You also may call 703/324-5406 for information. Fairfax County wouldn’t be the great place to live, work, play, learn, worship, and grow old gracefully without our volunteers!


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.