Our Team

Member Profiles

McLean Volunteer Fire Department

Our Team

The McLean Volunteer Fire Department includes dozens of women and men from diverse communities across Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., who are committed to serving the residents of McLean and Fairfax County.

McLean Volunteer Fire Department

Member Profiles

Our objective is to deliver exceptional fire, rescue, and emergency medical services and provide life safety education.

Mike Paris

Our first MVFD Volunteer Profile of 2023 is Mike Paris, who just completed another season of “Santa Runs” aboard our antique Pirsch fire engine. Mike has been driving Santa around McLean for more than 30 years!

How long have you been a volunteer?
I joined in the summer of 1989, and am a Life Member.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I was a firefighter and EMT and I’m currently an administrative member. I have served on the Board of Directors and the House Committee.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I drive a bus for The Potomac School and I work at McLean Hardware. I also do odd jobs around the community.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
Helping the community and knowing that when you leave the department and go home at the end of a shift, you can look back and say you actually accomplished things to help the community. Most of all, it’s the joy I get from seeing the faces of the kids who come out to see Santa. They are so happy. And their parents, too. The look on their faces – that’s what gets me back up on that truck. That’s what keeps me going.

Deama Habibi

How long have you been a volunteer?
I started the application process during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and officially
started volunteering the Summer of 2020.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I am currently an EMT at McLean Volunteer Fire Department and have been working towards
becoming a driver. I enjoy riding with the C-shift career folk and ride supplementally on the
Medic unit.

What inspired you to sign up?
I had been working in the Emergency Room prior to signing up and I wanted to experience
what it was like in the field, in a pre-hospital setting. I also knew an individual who works for the
county who spoke highly of the Mclean Volunteer Fire Department in specifics, further inspiring
me to join.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I am currently working in the Emergency Room as a Clinical Technician and am hoping to be
accepted into PA school. I had started the Technician job after volunteering in the department.
Prior to that, I was a Medical Scribe at the same hospital. However, I realized I enjoy patient care
greatly and switched over.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
All the individuals I meet truly inspire me greatly. From other folks who volunteer and work for
the department to the patients and families I am able to interact with, everyone has had a
significant impact on my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet so many incredible
individuals. I am also very appreciative of how my knowledge in the medical field has expanded
from all of my experiences.

Timo Klotz

How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a volunteer for 19 years.

What is your role in McLean Volunteer Fire Department? What past positions have you filled?
I am a volunteer Firefighter and EMT. In the past, I have served as chief and assistant chief.

What inspired you to sign up?
I always wanted to help people and be involved in helping others. Also, I have always been
fascinated by the technology and equipment of Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I am Technical Emergency Services Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Emergency
Management and Security.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
Helping others is the biggest part — learning how to deal with emergency situations and what to
do when a bad day happens. But it also is the friends you make, and the people you meet. The
Fire Department is like a big family. All the years that I have been a volunteer, I have made
those personal connections. And the learning is important to me, too — all the things you learn
about how to fight fires and perform Emergency Medical Services in order to be able to help.

Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share with our community?
Volunteering with the McLean Volunteer Fire Department is a big part of my life. I would
highly recommend to anybody that you should get involved in volunteering, especially in
firefighting and Emergency Medical Services, for the things you learn and good memories you

Smith T. “Smitty” Banks II

How long have you been a volunteer?
I joined two years ago, during the first year of COVID.
Prior to joining the McLean Volunteer Fire Department, I worked for Fairfax County for 29
years, retiring as a Hazardous Materials Technician. In that position, I was a member of the team
responsible for responding to chemical emergencies for materials being transported or within
commercial structures and residencies.
Also, for approximately 16 years, I have taught for the International Association of Fire Fighters
(IAFF). As an instructor, I travel the country teaching other fire fighters how to respond safely to
chemical emergencies, whether accidental or intentional.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
My role is administrative. As a chaplain for the county, it includes the volunteers as well.

What inspired you to sign up?
When I retired from the department, to maintain my status as a chaplain for the fire service, I
needed to be affiliated with the department in some manner. To satisfy this requirement, I joined
McLean Volunteer Fire Department in an administrative capacity. During my career, for
approximately 8 to 10 months, I was assigned to McLean, and that made the decision easy to join
Station 1.

What do you do in your”day job”?
After retirement I have no plans to start working anywhere — just Pastor for the church I grew up

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
It is always rewarding doing the best you can to make a difference in people’s lives in their worst
and sometimes best moments. Outcomes are not always successful or end the best for the people
you help, but doing your best makes it rewarding.

Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share with our community?
As a volunteer for the department, I have been called to assist citizens during their emergencies.

R.J. Fogelson

What is your role in the McLean Volunteer Fire Department?
Member of the Board of Directors, Operational EMT

What Inspired you to sign-up?
I started volunteering when I was a junior in high school after an individual was thrown from his
motorcycle and died in our front yard. I really wanted to support the community and was very
interested in medicine. I never looked back. I studied night and weekends and passed my first
EMT exam in high school. Upon moving to a different state for college, my EMT was not fully
recognized (there was limited reciprocity). Two months into my freshman year of college, the
university notified me the local ambulance service had gone out of business and the town was
looking for EMTs to put through medic school to create a brand-new volunteer ambulance
company. Two of us at the college fit the bill and we were put through medic class and began
covering the county. Outside of our tiny community hospital, we were 45-60 minutes from the
closest trauma-like facility, and so being a medic allowed me to support the community in a way
I had never even imagined. I will always be eternally grateful to that community for the trust
they put in us. I moved to Virginia with my future fiancé after law school and immediately
signed up for classes to obtain my Virginia medic certification. I am now 36 years, and
volunteer EMS work has become part of my genetics.

What do you do in your ‘day job’?
I am the Chief Executive Officer for America’s Poison Centers.

What do you find inspiring about the work?
1) Being part of a dedicated group of professionals from ALL walks of life that come together in
common purpose to support their community
2) Life-long medical learning that can be used to tangibly help people in their hour of greatest

What have you learned in addition to the EMS skills?
The real-life impact of continuous education and life-long learning
In an era when we more often see what divides us, the EMS/Fire community can be a powerful
and unifying force creating diverse teams working for common cause.

Bob Flores

How long have you been a volunteer?
I began my volunteer rescue career at VA Tech in 1972. The Tech Rescue Squad is the 2nd
student-run rescue squad in the US. I became a member of the McLean Volunteer Fire
Department in November of 1977. I’m a Life Member of both rescue squads.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I’m currently the Treasurer, a role I’ve had since 1986, with one year off. Since joining, I’ve
EMS Captain
CPR Instructor (and Instructor Trainer)
I was in the 2nd Paramedic class taught by Fairfax County Fire Rescue.

What inspired you to sign up?
At VA Tech, I did hundreds of hours of training and didn’t want to lose that. After grad school,
I came to northern VA to work for CIA and joined McLean Volunteer Fire Department.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I spent 31 years at the CIA and retired from government service in early 2009. I now own a
cybersecurity consulting company and I’m an advisor to several tech start-up companies.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
It’s my way of giving back. And, I really like the camaraderie. Back in the day, I was sent to
many other fire stations in the County as an EMS Officer. I always found the career staff at those
stations to be welcoming.

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
Lots of other training, including:
Firefighter I, II, III
Pump School
Trench Rescue
Emergency Vehicle Driving Instructor
Building Construction
Non-profit Finances

Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share with our community?
Being a volunteer first responder is a very rewarding experience. The training helps you in your
everyday life, as well. For example, I never felt panic when my kids would get hurt because I
knew I was equipped to handle pretty much any injury that came along.

Adrienne Hogan

What is your role in MVFD?
I am an EMT, and I recently completed the training process to drive ambulances. I also serve as
the Chair of the MVFD Board of Directors and have participated in multiple committees.

What inspired you to sign up?
I wanted to be an EMT ever since I was a kid – I still remember the excitement of touring
ambulances at my hometown’s Memorial Day fair. I got my start in EMS while in college by
volunteering with the EMS group on campus. I paused my EMS involvement when I graduated
college to focus on launching my career, but quickly realized I missed being in the back of
ambulances. My search for an inclusive, top-tier volunteer program in the DC area landed me at

What do you do in your “day job”?
When I joined MVFD, I worked at law firms in DC in administrative roles like recruiting and
professional development. Right now, I’m pursuing my MBA at the University of Michigan (Go
Blue!), participating administratively from afar and volunteering on ambulance shifts at MVFD
during school breaks.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
I’m rewarded and humbled by the chance to serve members of the community in need of
medical assistance. I’m inspired by the professionalism of our career and volunteer staff alike
through even the most fast-paced days. I’m grateful for the community of volunteers at the
department, many of whom are among my closest friends.

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
I entered EMS expecting to learn about emergency medicine and was excited to find that was
just the beginning. EMS relies on many interpersonal skills as well – strong communication with
patients and crew alike, an inquisitive approach to get to the bottom of the problem at hand, and
a feedback-oriented mindset to keep improving as a provider. I can confidently say that I learn
something new every time I enter the station.

Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share with our community?
There are many exciting opportunities to get involved at MVFD. If you are interested in
learning more about EMS or firefighting, please reach out to us!

Gus Sawatzki

What is your role in the McLean Volunteer Fire Department?
Assistant Chief of MVFD. Within Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, I am a Volunteer Fire Medic

What inspired you to sign up?
I joined both my collegiate EMS Squad and local Volunteer Fire Department while in college on
Long Island. Very quickly, I fell in love with the work of the Fire Rescue Service. When I
moved to the DC Area, I was looking for a progressive, top-tier Fire and EMS Agency. I found
that with MVFD. The ability to operate in partnership with one of the largest and most
progressive Fire and EMS Agencies in the Country is a very unique opportunity.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I am the Chief Mate on an Oil Tanker that trades in the Far East. As Chief Mate, I am second in
command of the vessel and responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Deck Department and all
Cargo Operations. In addition, I am a reserve Naval Officer in the Strategic Sealift Community.
MVFD has been very accommodating with my work schedule.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
From the minute I walked in my first Fire House, I was inspired by the camaraderie. Despite the
differences in age or careers, when the tones drop and the apparatus roll out the door, the ability
for us all to come together and function as a team to help the public in their worst day is truly

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
The training never stops! Becoming an EMT is just the start of your Fire Rescue Career! The
opportunities are endless. Beyond the initial EMT Training, I am certified as a Firefighter and

Any other thoughts or ideas you would like to share with our community?
The ability to volunteer and serve your community as a First Responder is like no other. If you
have ever considered volunteering as an EMT or Firefighter, I strongly encourage contacting us!

Stacey Boyette

How long have you been a volunteer?
Almost 2 years.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I am a driver for Ambulance/Medic; Activities Committee Member in 2023 and 2024;
Responsible for Monthly Radio Inventory in 2023 and 2024; Open House Committee 2024

What inspired you to sign up?
When my mother had heart surgery in 2017, I spent a great deal of time with cardiologists and
others at hospitals in Richmond and Charlottesville (UVA). My mother would tell them to explain
it to me and then I would explain it to her. I was so impressed with the care and patience they
demonstrated that I wanted to learn more entry level medicine and to give back in some way.

What do you do in your “day job”?
I teach Chemistry (General, Applied and AP) and Forensic Science at the Madeira School
(private high school) in McLean.  I also live on campus and work in the Residential Life
Program as well as run a karate dojo for the Madeira students after school.

What other outside activities do you find meaningful?
I have been training in karate since I was 8 years old and continue that practice still, running the
karate dojo at Madeira and teaching and training at other dojos up and down the east coast.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this volunteer work at MVFD?
Educators talk about being “life-long learners” and I am definitely one. I love learning new
things and applying what I’ve learned to different situations. I have gained great satisfaction
and inspiration from being able to comfort or calm a patient (or family member) in crisis, in
addition to attending to their medical needs.

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?
None other than how much I appreciate the help and generosity of spirit of the volunteer and
career staff that I have interacted with, as well as the donors from our community who kees us in
top-notch equipment.

Liz KilCommons

How long have you been a volunteer?
I joined MVFD in September 2022.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled? I’m currently a Paramedic.
Next up is Driver Training. Being cross-trained in these roles facilitates staffing our volunteer
unit for service.

You are a certified Advanced Life Support (ALS) Provider/Paramedic level of EMS. Can
you describe the extensive level of training and practice that entails?
In retrospect, my ALS training began my first day in EMS. I certified as a Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider/EMT in
college, and joined the student volunteer EMS organization on campus. After college, I
volunteered with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS), where I learned about the
fire & rescue service. I eventually relocated for work, but my time at BCCRS was formative. I
enjoyed pre-hospital emergency care, and wanted to learn more. EMS education is cumulative,
so a strong BLS foundation helps with ALS training. Many emergency calls are BLS in nature,
so even a Paramedic must practice good BLS before ALS. One reason I chose MVFD is the opportunity
to volunteer as a Paramedic. MVFD provides the same standard of care as the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department (FRD).
Volunteering alongside FRD career staff motivates me to be a better provider. The commitment required to be
a volunteer Paramedic can feel like a full-time job. You have to want it.  Paramedics in Fairfax County, both career and
volunteer, must complete the ALS Internship. More than a requirement, it’s an investment in our training. Instruction
at the FRD Academy and practicing scenarios with direct oversight by the Fairfax County Medical Directors is the best
training I’ve experienced. Back on the unit, my assigned Preceptor – an experienced Paramedic,
provided guidance as we ran real-life calls I practiced at the Academy. At MVFD, I continue to learn from
our experienced Paramedics and EMTs.

What inspired you to sign up? What do you find rewarding about this work?
Public service. I value the camaraderie being a member of the fire & rescue service.

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
To leave my comfort zone. As I got more confident with BLS, I wanted to learn more. The
thought of pursuing ALS training while working full-time was intimidating. Even after ALS
certification, it’s challenging to maintain the perishable knowledge and skills, while adapting to
new protocols with advances in emergency medicine. It’s an ongoing education, but MVFD and
the Fairfax County FRD provide the training and resources to do the job, and do it well.

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?

In a transient area like the “DMV” joining a volunteer organization like MVFD is an opportunity
to meet like-minded people. You will better the community, and yourself.

Margarita Collantes

How long have you been a volunteer? 
One-and-a-half years.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled? 
My most rewarding role is riding the medic unit or ambulance as an EMT with either the
volunteer or career staff.  Every ride presents new challenges and tests your knowledge and
skills. I am also the chair of the Activities Committee, which allows volunteers to organize social
group activities and provide an opportunity to further support our Career Staff (Fire Fighters,
EMT’s and Paramedics) by cooking them a monthly dinner with a seasonal flair.  Our Career
staff often must prepare simple, quick meals as they never know when they may be called out.
Volunteers try to make these meals a little special by grilling or cooking a meal that they don’t
typically have time to make themselves and enjoy and getting to know one another and share the
comradery.  Most recently, I have become a member of the Outreach Committee.  As part of this
committee, we have initiated “Hands Only CPR” instruction for the community.  We will be
providing demonstrations and instructions over the next two months at various sites including the
Old Firehouse Teen Center, Mclean Community Center and our annual Open House at the
Mclean Fire Station.  It is our hope to expand training to the community by including
instructions in “Stop the Bleed” along with Hands Only CPR within the next year.

What inspired you to sign up? 
I considered various volunteer organizations in which I could use my knowledge, skills, and
continue challenging myself while giving back to my community after I retired.  When I saw
Lynn Clancy (paramedic, friend, and fellow mom) stepping up to the plate and taking an active
role as part of the MVFD, I was inspired to join the MVFD.

What do you do in your “day job”? 
After 35 years as a civilian government employee (human health risk assessor), I am thoroughly
enjoying retirement (volunteering as an EMT, training my two golden retrievers for Agility
Competitions, gardening, sewing, Hot Yoga and enjoying time with my wonderful, supportive

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
You never stop learning or refreshing your life support skills.  Every day can present a new
challenge.  I am constantly inspired by my colleagues (Fire Fighters, EMT’s and Paramedics)
and their dedication to being there when we need them most.  It is an honor to be included
amongst these amazing individuals.

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
I have a better understanding of the demographics (locations and types of businesses, facilities,
schools, parks, etc.) within our community and the individuals we serve.

Kevin Long

How long have you been a volunteer?
I’ve been a member for almost 17 years, having joined in January 2007.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I am currently a Volunteer Lieutenant, but have served in various roles over my time with the
department including Shift Leader, At-Large Member of the Board of Directors, and Assistant

What inspired you to sign up?
I joined MVFD shortly after graduating from my undergraduate studies at The Catholic
University of America. During my time there I was very active in various volunteer efforts. I felt
a continued desire to give back to my community. One evening I was leaving work and saw the
Rescue Squad zoom by responding to a call. On the side of the unit it said McLean Volunteer
Fire Department and I knew from that moment that I wanted to be a part of MVFD. 

What do you do in your “day job”?
I am a Principal Software Engineer at the MITRE Corporation. I lead software development
teams bringing to life the ideas and vision of our customers to assist in solving their toughest

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
While many calls are similar, every call is uniquely different. My nature is to solve problems,
and it is rewarding to help those in our community through whatever they are going through. It is
inspiring to work alongside talented and selfless individuals, some whom I call my closest
friends, who feel the same.

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
I’ve been fortunate to be an operational member of the department since day one, rising through
the ranks and maintaining my EMT and Firefighter certifications for over 15 years. In addition to
the many job-relevant skills learned along the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the
many life lessons I have also learned — the importance of teamwork, being physically and
mentally fit, and the ability act under pressure. These skills have helped me become a better
firefighter, a better leader, and a better person.   

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?
If you’re thinking about joining MVFD — just do it! I am immensely grateful for the
opportunities I’ve been afforded, the skills I’ve learned, and the people I have met.

Thom Shanker

How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a volunteer for just over 3 years.

What do you do in your “day job”?  
I’ve been director of the Project for Media and National Security at George Washington
University’s School of Media and Public Affairs for the past two years.
Before that I worked for The New York Times for 24 years as a correspondent
covering the Pentagon, the military and national security. I conducted dozens of reporting trips to
Afghanistan and Iraq and embedded as a correspondent in the field with a wide variety of
military units. That is when I developed a deep respect for emergency medical services. I also
served as Deputy Washington Editor for The New York Times, managing coverage of the
military, diplomacy and veterans affairs.

What is your role in the MVFD?
I am honored to serve MVFD as Public Information Officer and chairman of the Outreach

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
Working alongside the volunteer and career EMS personnel and firefighters at the McLean
Volunteer Fire Department is one of the great privileges of my life. I am inspired by how people
from all walks of life are drawn together by a shared commitment to serving our community.
There also is a personal benefit — valuable beyond words! — as I feel part of a new “fire family.”
My colleagues at MVFD are people who are serious in their dedication to serving ourcommunity,
but they also are totally fun to hang out with. And I learn so much from each of
them, every day.

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?
I think it is important for each us to not only be consumers of community services, but also to
contribute in ways big and small. I would urge everyone to consider what type of volunteer
service they and their families might provide, even if only a few hours a month, through your
school, place of worship, neighborhood service organization or, as in our case, the volunteer fire

Mac Reed

How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a volunteer for 5-1/2 years.

What is your role in the MVFD?
I am an administrative volunteer and am currently a Co-Chairman of the joint History and House
Committee. The History Committee keeps — and continues to record — the over hundred-year-
old history of the MVFD’s fire and rescue support of the Mclean community.
The House Committee helps maintain and support the condition of the Fire Station and its
grounds on 1455 Laughlin Avenue.

What past positions have you filled?
For a brief time, I was an EMT-B. I then moved to the administrative side and became a member
of the History and House Committees.

What inspired you to sign up?
After I retired from the Federal Government, I looked for a retirement activity that would allow
me to serve my local community, learn new skills, and have flexible hours. I had seen the MVFD
in my neighborhood, checked out its website, and was intrigued by the first aid training and
service opportunities that were described.
As a retiree in my mid-60s, I was looking for ways to learn serious first aid skills, in particular to
help elderly persons in my own and friends’ age bracket. I did not want to be that person in the
crowd who was unable to respond to a health emergency because I did not know how or was
afraid of what to do.

What do you do in your day job?
I have been retired from the Federal Government for eight years. At the Federal Government, I
was employed by the Office of Management and Budget.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
The most rewarding part of volunteering with the MVFD is working with the wonderful people
that is the team at the McLean Volunteer Fire Department. The people at MVFD are true
professionals — highly skilled and practiced in their jobs. They share a deep commitment to
excellence in their public service work and they are proud of what they do!
I think that they are great people, I admire them and I like working with them!

What have you learned, in addition to the EMS skills?
In addition to the EMS skills, serving as a Volunteer has taught me more about bookkeeping,
public relations, internal organization processes, and building and grounds maintenance — all
skills necessary to help support a large community organization.
The life-saving skills that you learn as an EMT (CPR, AED use, choking treatment, stroke
recognition, EPI Pen application, stopping a bleed) can be used when out in the public.

Can you tell us about the day you were at the library and some of this emergency medical
training was put to use? You were so modest that you did not even talk about it. But (MVFD
President) Patricia (Moynihan) learned about it from some of the on-duty personnel. Please walk
me through what happened that day. It’s a very inspiring story.
In early February 2021 by the McLean Central Pubic Library at Oak Ridge Avenue, I saw an
elderly gentleman lying on the grass in between the sidewalk and the street.
An elderly lady was leaning over him giving him CPR while a man standing beside her was
holding a phone. I stopped my car, got out, saw that the woman was not pushing deep enough
over the heart for CPR, and the gentleman’s face was turning a pale blue because he was not
getting enough oxygen. I told her I knew CPR and began to rapidly press down the required two-
inches on the sternum over the heart necessary to achieve circulation.
Proper CPR is not all like you see on a TV show. On TV, we see patients getting gentle CPR
press-downs. In reality, to give CPR to an adult you need to lean directly over the patient’s
sternum, place your hands in the hand-over-hand position on the sternum, and rapidly push down
hard two inches into the chest and release back up before pushing down again.
After giving compressions, and in short order: (1) I saw that the gentlemen’s face was no longer
blue — having turned a bright pinkish/red color; (2) the Fairfax County police arrived and a
police lady asked if she could take over the CPR, which she did; and then (3) Arlington 106
Ambulance/Medic and Engine 401 (McLean) arrived to take over the patient’s treatment

So, the CPR and other lifesaving skills you can learn as a volunteer are worth knowing.
You may be able to really help someone in need!
I want to say thank you to (former MVFD President) Kay Hartgrove, (MVFD Vice President)
Ramzi Kysia and (EMS Captain) Lynn Clancy for teaching me the proper CPR.

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?
For fun, volunteers get to sign up to be “Santa Claus” and ride atop the decorated antique Fire
Engine “Santa’s Sleigh” around the McLean Community during the Christmas Season. People
stop and wave at “Santa’s Sleigh,” cars honk horns, parents and kids spill out of doors to see
Santa. If ever a person is “not feeling the love” in their day job, then be the MVFD Santa on the
Sleigh! It is a wonderful change!
So, if you want to be a part of a welcoming group of people that are dedicated to providing
practical Fire and Rescue service to their community, please consider the McLean Volunteer Fire

Ali Sepehri

How long have you been a volunteer?
Since June 2000.

What is your role in MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I’m a volunteer Firefighter and EMT. I have filled various positions from staffing coordinator, training officer to assistant chief (briefly before I went to police academy).

What inspired you to sign up?
I always felt being a public servant was my calling. One day, as I saw E429 going to a call, I told my uncle that I loved helping people, and asked if he thought I could become a firefighter. Since he always supported every idea or decision I came up with, he actually turned around and took me to Fire Station 429 and we were directed to Fire Station 401. We drove to McLean and I began my fire department/public service endeavor.

What do you do in your “day job”? Any experiences from your day job that you bring to MVFD, or vice-versa?
Becoming a firefighter and EMT gave me the great taste of what is like to be a public servant. Serving and caring for the community was a fire that was started in me because of me volunteering with MVFD. In 2003, I went to Virginia Tech where I joined Blacksburg Rescue Squad, as well. Upon graduating as a mechanical engineer, I returned to Northern Virginia and, since my passion was emergency services, I became a police officer. Today, I am a flight paramedic in Special Operations Division and truly enjoy what I do and have done for more than two decades.

What do you find inspiring and rewarding about this work?
Everything! You can write books about the how inspiring and rewarding public service is.

Any other thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with our community?
Police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel truly rely on their family’s and the community’s support in ups and downs. I encourage our community members to get to know their public servants every chance they get. There are many events and opportunities, like McLean Day, that showcase the great equipment and the amazing people that put their hearts in serving our community.

Patricia Moynihan

How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a volunteering with MVFD for 15 years.

What is your role at MVFD? What past positions have you filled?
I have been the president for the past 3.5 years. I’ve also served as the vice president, secretary,
and on the Board of Directors over the years. I was an EMT and keep my certifications up to
date, even though I am no longer operational.

What inspired you to sign up?
I volunteered when I was in college at a local fire department and always wanted to get back into
it, but was deployed overseas for several tours. Once I was permanently back in the U.S., I
looked for a department to join and MVFD was just down the road from my office at the CIA.

What do you do/have you done in your “day job?”
I retired after 27 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, where I served as a case officer and
then later as a senior executive in the Directorate of Operations, the clandestine arm of the
organization. I currently teach intelligence tradecraft to the military Special Operations Forces
(SOF) community and the intelligence community. I am finishing my master’s in teaching in
secondary education at George Mason University in June, and I hope to find a job teaching
middle school or high school social studies, which is something I have wanted to do for several

What do you find inspiring/rewarding about this work?
I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for MVFD in the community. The
Department started in 1921, so we have been a mainstay in McLean for 103 years. When I’m
out and about in McLean in uniform, I am often approached by people expressing their gratitude
for the high-quality medical care their loved one received in their time of need or for our quick
response to a fire or accident, which is super gratifying.

Any other volunteer experiences or thoughts you would like to share with our community?
Life member Mike Paris has been driving Santa around McLean on top of our antique fire truck
most nights from Thanksgiving until Christmas for over 30 years. This is a beloved tradition in
McLean, and our members really enjoy it. I generally play Santa 4 to 5 times per year, which is
loads of fun and not something I imagined I would ever do.
If you are interested in volunteering, please go to our website (www.mcleanvfd.org). We are
always looking for new volunteers.
Finally, I want to thank the community for all their generous donations, which we greatly

Local Businesses

We at the McLean VFD share this sense of community with local businesses.

Local businesses are the heartbeat of the community. We at the McLean VFD share this sense of community with local businesses. Since many of us live in McLean, we shop in and serve the residents of McLean. As a nonprofit entity, we rely on the generous contributions made to the McLean VFD. Businesses have long played an important role in the continued existence of McLean VFD. Any and all assistance is greatly appreciated, whether a financial donation or otherwise. If you are a business and would like to make a donation please do so on our web site or you may contact the President at: President@McLeanVFD.org