On Saturday, the Loudoun County Combined Fire Rescue System announced its first Operational Medical Director, Dr. Donald Sabella, has died.
According to Loudoun Fire-Rescue Chief Keith Johnson’s letter to system members, Sabella graduated from Georgetown University Medical School in 1972 and immediately got involved in emergency medicine, including joining a volunteer first aid crew. He came to work in the Loudoun Memorial Hospital’s emergency room in 1980, rising to the role of chair of the Emergency Department which he held until 2002.
He is credited as the driving force in the expansion of emergency services at the hospital. That included emergency room expansions, increase in staffing, the hospital’s move from Leesburg to Lansdowne, and the establishment of a free-standing emergency room. The Emergency Department at Loudoun Hospital Center in Lansdowne is dedicated to Sabella.
Sabella served as the Loudoun Fire-Rescue system’s operational medical director from 1984 to 2003. In 1990, he was recognized with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Virginia’s EMS System, according to the fire-rescue system, and in 1995 was given Loudoun’s Clark Deener Award.