Road To The Games


Final Push for Volunteers to support the 2015 World Police & Fire Games

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b2ap3_thumbnail_interns2.jpgOver the last several months, the Fairfax 2015 Volunteer Services Team has worked tirelessly to recruit the 4,000 plus volunteers needed to put on the 2015 Games. The finish line is in sight with thousands of volunteers already signed up.

There is still time to join the team! There are volunteer roles available in Protocol, Venues and Competition, Registration and Accreditation, Media Relations, Logistics, Transportation and Special Events. If any of those areas sounds interesting or they are part of your professional life, visit and join the team!

Over the next few months, things will be moving fast and furious for the volunteer program. A few weeks ago it was announced that all volunteer applications will be accepted pending a background check! So, if you’ve filled out the volunteer application and your background check comes back clean, then the next steps for you begin in May with shift selection.

Volunteers will receive a note that they can sign up for the volunteer shifts they will work during the Games. Please note, those volunteers who sign up for four or more shifts will be given priority during scheduling. In addition, volunteers will be required to attend at least one general training session. Some volunteer roles will require specialized role specific training. All training information will be shared once shifts have been selected.

“Volunteer recruitment has been robust for the last several months and we are finalizing the shift assignments, planning training sessions and selecting uniforms. Over the next several months our team will be working directly with volunteers to prepare them for the week of the Games. It is a very exciting time!” said Director, Volunteer Services Diana Rothe-Smith

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Battle Of The Badges: INOVA Blood Donor Services

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b2ap3_thumbnail_redshirt.jpgBattle of the Badges is a blood collection competition to rally the most blood donors in support of Fire & Rescue or Law Enforcement.  We need you to donate blood, host a blood drive* and encourage your communities to participate in this event. 

Men and women in uniform help save lives every day. As a proud sponsor of the 2015 World Police & Fire games, Inova Blood Donor Services has organized a friendly blood collection competition called Battle of the Badges, to rally blood donors and save lives! All badge carrying personnel, along with their families and friends and the general public will have the opportunity to choose which team their donation benefits. It’s Law Enforcement vs. Fire & Rescue, saving lives…on and off the job. Let’s save lives together, one pint at a time.” Terri Craddock ~ Director, Inova Blood Donor Services

Battle of the Badges runs from May 1 to June 26, but this joint venture will last a lifetime, as we help to increase the blood supply for patients in the diverse community we are all privileged to serve.

Each donor will receive a t-shirt representing the team their blood donation benefits.  Fire & Rescue participants will receive a red t-shirt and Law Enforcement will receive a blue t-shirt.  Our collection goal is set for 4,000 units of blood! 

The best way to support the Battle of the Badges by hosting a blood drive.  Challenge another agency by hosting a blood drive during the competition at your precinct.  Blood drives run a minimum of 4 hours to a maximum of 7 hours and can run from 6 AM to 6 PM. 

While the competition does not officially kick off until May 2015, the Fairfax County Public Safety agencies held the first official blood drive on Monday, March 23 at the Fairfax County Public Safety Offices – the Massey Building. The turnout was better than expected and Law Enforcement is already leading the competition with 39 units collected to the Fire Services 28 units.

There are already two additional blood drives scheduled in Fairfax County. On Thursday, May 14 at the Fairfax County Government Center and a re-match at the Massey Building on Monday, May 18, so the Fire Service can redeem themselves!

INOVA Health System is looking for other public safety agencies to host a blood drive and take part in the Battle of the Badges. So, if you know of a law enforcement or fire and rescue agency interested in getting involved, please share this information!  

To make your lifesaving appointment today please visit www.inova/donateblood and click on Schedule a Donation, then click on Donate Blood, and use our code Sponsor Code 1300 or you can call this number 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372).  Please see the schedule below for available blood drive dates.

To schedule a blood drive today please contact the Account Manager for Inova Blood Donor Services, Toba Azimi at the Direct Line: (571) 434-3636 or by email at:

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ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Drew Huerter, Badminton

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b2ap3_thumbnail_drew300.jpgThinking he would never be big or strong enough to fulfill his childhood dream of being a firefighter, Drew Huerter decided instead to pursue a career in physiotherapy and started working in the field of massage therapy. He assumed that a job with the fire station was out of reach and imagined he could never fulfill the recruitment requirements, especially when thinking about carrying a 200 lb mannequin up the stairs. When he attended a firefighter information session however, he learned that he could indeed make his dreams come true.

Attending Cambrian College in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada), Drew took the pre-service Fire Diploma course. After completing school, he volunteered at Station 218 in Brampton and two years later, he was successful in getting hired on full-time. Drew is studying this year to write and is currently working with mentors in his efforts at becoming a Captain.   

Drew has attended the Games in Vancouver, New York and Belfast. He has fond memories of so many new friends from the games in Vancouver: the Glennon sisters from Ireland, his fellow athletes from the Philippines who he says were “a blast”, new friends from Hong Kong, players from Germany and the Dutch team, the fellows from Switzerland and more. The most memorable opportunity was meeting Brian Woodhall, a Games volunteer from England who has had a large impact on top-level players, the world over.

During the New York Games, Drew suffered an injury to his hamstring, a second-degree tear, and to this day, remembers the kindness and amazing help they offered to immediately assist. He credits them with his short recovery time, in fact!

If you ask Drew which games were the most memorable, he’s quick to answer: Belfast. Again touting the quality of the volunteers in place for the Games, he applauds their efforts whether it was giving directions, or offering recommendations for the best fish and chips. If you allow him, he will continue to praise the line judges, umpires, draw desk personnel and more. It is a true testament to the spirit of the Games with consistently amazing and outstanding volunteers.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Drew-Huerter-5.jpgDrew’s sport for the WPFG is badminton. Playing since the age of 6, his father would take him to the Kodak plant where he worked and allow Drew to gain access to the badminton courts. As a young child, with excess energy to spare, he’s positive his father took him just so he could attempt to wear him out.

After improving at the game, he began playing in tournaments and progressed to the level of first competing in his province, then to nationals and finally, on an international level. He has won numerous titles, provincially and nationally and has trained in Denmark.

If you’ve got enough energy, try and keep up with Drew! If he’s not playing with his children, Carson and Chloe, you might find him out with his dogs, Digger and Boomer. If he’s not there, look to locate him in the gym, running the Firefighter Combat Challenge Tower, training for the World Challenge (being held this year in Montgomery, Alabama). If that isn’t enough, Drew has also become an avid yogi and appreciates the benefits of added flexibility and intentional breathing. At the end of the day, however, he enjoys relaxing with his wife and credits her above all for her support and encouragement.

Drew is a teacher and educator at heart and enjoys coaching badminton and strength training, he is also a former men's gymnastics coach Functioning as a shift RIT instructor as well, he loves helping people and especially enjoys watching people learn. Give Drew the opportunity to help ONE person with one new experience and it makes for a happy man!

When asked about one of the life lessons Drew has learned, he said, “You need to learn how to lose before you can learn to win. You need to make errors and learn from those errors before you can progress in any way.” 

MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN FAIRFAX: Having been to the Metro DC area as a child, Drew is looking forward to returning as an adult and spending time at the historical sites. Welcome to the area, Drew and enjoy all of the tourist attractions!


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ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Amy Harris, CrossFit®

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b2ap3_thumbnail_amyharris.jpgMeet Amy Harris, competing for the first time in the World Police and Fire Games. She also will be competing for the first time in CrossFit® on an international level and her love and passion will no doubt shine through during her competition.

Amy started training in CrossFit® two years ago and says it was “love at first sweat”. Loving that it incorporates so many varied movements and styles of training, she has been competing locally since the early days of her training. Although new to CrossFit®, she was no stranger to competing. She has since embraced the process of building her strength, her speed and improving her health. Amy has a past history with soccer, softball, track and rowing, all of which has given her a leg up (notably, the rowing experience) because of the endurance required. More than just the physical conditioning, however, Amy is appreciative of the mental toughness she has gained from the sport.

Amy earned her EMT/IV Tech after graduating from the Fire Rescue Academy and was then promoted to a Fire Specialist. She has been a firefighter with the Baltimore County Fire Department for almost 7 years and recently, was nominated to the Battalion Health Coordinator for her Department.

She takes full advantage of her opportunities for continuing her education and has earned professional qualifications including hazardous materials technician, rescue technician (vehicle extrication), high angle rescue, incident response to explosives for first responders, and more. She fully intends to contribute in any way possible to the forward progression of her department, especially in the fitness arena as she progresses to becoming an officer.

Amy is driven and with high levels of motivation, however, patience is not one of her strong suits. That drive and high motivation sometimes leave her impatient when new skills aren’t quickly mastered. She credits a 25-year veteran firefighter for teaching her to slow down and simply break down a situation into steps and proceed through them without short cuts. He went on to teach Amy that those shortcuts would only cost more in the long run and she uses that advice still to this day in her career.

This lack of patience also affected Amy in the gym and while rushing to perfect technical lifts, she suffered a torn labrum because she was trying to keep up with veteran CrossFit® athletes. Moving too fast, increasing weight too rapidly and failing to listen to her body, she learned another important lesson about what happens when shortcuts are chosen.

When she’s not at work or training, you’ll find Amy spending quality time with her family. They truly are her balance in life and she says “they contribute more than they know to my happiness. It’s a foundation that I am not willing to sacrifice. People lose family members in the blink of an eye so I never hesitate to tell them I love them.”

You might be surprised to learn that Amy is extremely passionate about visual and performing art, playing classical music on the flute and piccolo as a child and even had her artwork submitted in congressional art competitions.

AMY IS EXCITED TO: meeting international veterans of the World Police and Fire Games, as well as watching athletes from departments all over the world compete at their sport.


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ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Jon Haase, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

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b2ap3_thumbnail_spotlight-jonhaas-1.jpg“Pinch me” is what Jon Haase will say if you ask about his experience with former World Police and Fire Games. “I was lucky enough to be paired with one of the best officers I've ever met AND came away with the ultimate prize!” Jon says when I asked him to describe his golf partner, Retired Officer Pete Lucas.

Jon has competed in FOUR World Police & Fire Games: Adelaide, Vancouver B.C., NYC and Belfast, as well as the 2008, 2012 and 2014 U.S. Police and Fire Games.  Jon was quick to mention that the most notable aspect of the Games involves the camaraderie of the athletes, the welcoming nature of the local residents and the competition. He still maintains his relationships with Police and Fire members from Finland, Australia, China, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Malaysia and Germany (not to mention the brotherhood of US team members he frequently travels to see during off years). He says “I would never have imagined the level of life enrichment I have experienced had I not seized this opportunity.”

Jon’s first love was not golf, however. Baseball occupied his life as a child and he even attended college on a full ride scholarship for the sport. After several injuries, his dream of playing in the major leagues was no longer possible, and while searching for a replacement sport, golf found its way to him. In the first ten years of golfing, he realized that his competitive streak was back and he began playing in tournaments. Lowering his handicap from 12 to 4, he states “Golf’s true challenge is competing within yourself, not playing against those in the same tournament. When I solely focus on my mechanics and not the score, I can invest myself in enjoying my playing partners while also performing at peak efficiency. A win-win situation!”

Jon is a 24 yr veteran of the Multnomah County Sherriff’s Office, assigned to the Corrections Division and currently a Sergeant, overseeing a staff of 12 to 40 Deputies as they provide a safe and secure environment for our clients.

b2ap3_thumbnail_spotlight-jonhaas-2.jpgJon is no stranger to service, above and beyond his job duties, including overseeing the Sherriff’s Office Honor Guard, managing the Peer Support Team, as well as serving on numerous committees for the betterment of facilities. “Being granted the opportunity to work with and evaluate new recruits is what I am most proud of.  The opportunity to regularly see this career through new eyes, witness their “ah-ha” moments and help them navigate through difficult learning lessons keeps me invigorated.  To know that I have been given the opportunity to pay my blessings forward and make a difference in a person’s development has become my absolute focus and will be how I measure my success here.”

When asked to share a struggle he’s overcome, Jon shared that after ten years of his career, he had begun relying on alcohol to alleviate job related stress. Realizing the toll it was taking on himself and the effects his family was also feeling, he committed himself to the gym a minimum of three times per week and completely stopped consuming any alcohol.  “With the help of several important people in my life I was able to implement and maintain these lifestyle changes.  I am happy to say that 14 years later I am still a gym rat and alcohol free.”

You won’t just find Jon in the gym, at work or on the golf course! He uses every possible minute of each day to the fullest and is an avid fisherman and owner of two boats, who also loves to camp and hike AND enjoys working in his yard! We like this motto: “I firmly believe that the fun one has while outdoors is directly proportional to the number of people you are participating with!”

Jon is consistently looking for ways to improve the lives of those around him and is giving back to others in an effort to pay forward the mentorship he himself was given throughout his life. We will be glad to welcome Jon and his family to Fairfax County for the Games!

On Jon’s MUST SEE list for Fairfax County and the DC Metro area: Most excited to see all of his World Police and Fire brothers and sisters! Jon hasn’t been in the area for over 18 years and is looking forward to experiencing the sites with his family.

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