VATF-1 Grand Opening and Open House Tomorrow

Posted at 3:34 p.m.

Virginia Task Force One (VATF-1), Fairfax County’s urban search and rescue team, will host both a grand opening and open house, tomorrow, Friday, October 19.

A grand opening will be conducted at VATF-1’s new disaster training center, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., 9900 Furnace Road in Lorton. Task force members will be on hand conducting various demonstrations using a wide array of rescue tools. Equipment will also be on display. The 25-acre training site is now VATF-1’s primary training area, previously part of the old Lorton Youth Correctional Facility.

VATF-1 also will spotlight its new headquarters, deployment center and warehouse with an open house from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 14725-H Flint Lee Road, Chantilly. Tours of the facility will be conducted, including opportunities to talk with VATF-1 members.

VATF-1 is part of the federal government’s disaster response system, both nationally and internationally. VATF-1 is governed through federal partnerships with the United States Agency for International Development for international response, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for domestic disasters. VATF-1 is one of two internationally certified teams in the country. The team is also deployable within the Commonwealth of Virginia and may be used local events and disasters.

All costs for personnel, training and equipment are paid for by the federal government.

Team deployments include the Oklahoma City bombing, bombing in Kenya, earthquakes in Turkey, and Taiwan, the 9/11 response to The Pentagon, and numerous other national and international activations. The team consists of firefighters, paramedics, rescue specialists, physicians, hazardous materials and logistics specialists, structural engineers and canines.