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Monday, August 29, 2016

PGFD Firefighters Recognized for Heroic Actions

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO


On Wednesday, August 4, several firefighters, both volunteer and career, were presented with Emergency Services Awards for their actions on two incidents.  The first incident was for heroic actions during an apartment building fire where two residents were rescued from their top floor balcony.  The second presentation was for actions taken by a single member while off duty.  

Chief Deputy Ben Barksdale, Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Wood and Chillum-Adelphi Volunteer Chief Chuck Aldridge were in attendance while Fire Chief Marc Bashoor presented the awards at the Chillum-Adelphi Fire/EMS Station 834.









The first Emergency Services Awards were presented to Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Israel Tabak, Fire Fighter Miguel Ocasio, Fire Fighter Thomas Rhodes, and Volunteer Fire Fighter Allen Owen.  

        On the evening of January 13, 2016, units from Fire/EMS Station 834 were dispatched to 9205 New Hampshire Avenue.  You arrived on the scene to find fire showing from a fully-involved apartment on the top floor of a 4-story in front and 6-story in the rear mid-rise apartment building with a wood roof.  There were obvious rescues on arrival, with two residents trapped on the balcony adjacent to the fire apartment and flames extending into their dwelling.  
       
        Your performance on the scene of this incident that saved two lives is both commendable and worthy of recognition.  Therefore, you are hereby awarded a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Services Award.  Your actions reflect well on you personally and professionally and exemplify the excellent caliber of service we strive to provide to the residents of Prince George’s County.


The second Emergency Service Award was presented to Fire Fighter Thomas Rhodes whose wife and three sons were in attendance.



        On the morning of Thursday, June 30, 2016, you and your family came across an accident that had just occurred while traveling on I-81 North in Virginia.  You observed an overturned tractor trailer in the median, with smoke coming from its engine.  You immediately pulled over, exited your vehicle, and ran toward the incident.  Upon reaching the truck, you encountered two people attempting to break the front windshield and rescue the trapped driver.  At your suggestion, the three of you broke out the rear window and removed the victim from the truck.  Less than one minute later, the truck burst into flames.  You then proceeded to the other side of the tractor trailer and discovered three additional cars and an SUV were also involved in the accident.  You quickly climbed into the SUV to assist the young female driver who was trapped.  Once inside, you realized the victim was hanging upside down with her seatbelt on; her hair was trapped beneath the vehicle; and she was experiencing difficulty breathing.  Lying on your back, you were able to push up on her shoulders and relieve some of the pressure so she could breathe better.   You remained in the SUV and helped hold her up for approximately 45 minutes to an hour while she was being extricated.  Fortunately, all injured persons were transported to local hospitals and there were no fatalities.
       
                Your quick thinking and immediate action on the scene of this incident helped save two lives and is both commendable and worthy of recognition.  Therefore, you are hereby awarded a Fire/EMS Department Emergency Services Award.  Despite being on vacation and traveling with your wife and sons, you selflessly placed yourself in harm’s way on behalf of others who were in danger.  Your actions reflect well on you personally and professionally and exemplify the excellent caliber of service we strive to provide at all times and in every circumstance.    


        

PGFD Participated in WMATA Exercise on Sunday

On Sunday, August 28, the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department participated in a Full Scale Exercise with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The exercise is taking place on the "L" Line Bridge between Arlington Co. and Washington, DC. 

PGFD units participating include:

E805 - Capital Heights
A805 - Capital Heights
BC881 - 1st Battalion Command Officer
NEMSDO - Northern EMS Duty Officer
PA838 - Chapel Oaks
A826B - District Heights













PGFD Recruits Hold Boot Drive for Upcoming Memorial Stair Climb and Antique Fire Muster




Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department recruits assisted with a National Fallen Fire Fighters (NFFF) Boot Drive this past Saturday at the National Harbor from 12-2.  Collectively the group raised $2100.00 to support the upcoming Stair Climb on September 10th at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center at the National Harbor.

For additional information and to sign up to participate in The 2016 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & 5K Walk hosted by The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department click here.




Also being held on September 10 at the National Harbor is the 
St. Florian 9-11 Antique Fire Apparatus Muster and Bull & Oyster Roast.  For additional information about this event, click here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PGFD is no stranger to natural gas explosions

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Questions from citizens, residents and businesses continue to be asked about the dangers of natural gas.  The investigation into the cause of the explosion and fire in a Montgomery County apartment complex remains on-going.  Natural gas involvement is just one of the possible causes.

Whenever personnel of the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department hear of these types of tragedies we are reminded of two such incidents.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department is no stranger to the tragedy and devastation of natural gas explosions.  We have responded and dealt with the aftermath of natural gas explosions that have damaged and destroyed homes, apartment buildings and commercial structures.  The Department responds to several incidents every day that involve gas leaks both inside structures and outside.  The vast majority of these are mitigated without incident.

However, two such incidents have had a direct and lasting impact on the Department.

The first career firefighter to suffer a line of duty death was killed when an apartment building exploded and buried him with debris.  Thomas Graves was killed on April 16, 1980 in Greenbelt.

A dashcam on board a fire unit captured dramatic video of a natural gas explosion at a strip mall that injured eight firefighters and a Washington Gas Company employee.  We were extremely fortunate that no one was killed at this incident.  This incident occurred on May 7, 2009 on Donnell Drive in Forestville.

If you smell natural gas inside of a home or business, leave immediately with your door unlocked and call 911 from a safe location outside.

Do not use any device that could cause a spark; cell phone, light switch, lighter, etc.

Safety First Ensures Everyone Goes Home!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

PGFD Safety Tips - Natural Gas Odors

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
MEBrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

The recent tragedy on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, has generated many questions about natural gas and what should residents do if they smell it.  The investigation is on-going to determine the cause of the explosion on Piney Branch Road and the involvement of natural gas is just one of the possibilities being considered.

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department hopes these safety tips will answer the questions we have been hearing from concerned citizens.



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

No New Information on Bowie and Bladensburg Fires

On Sunday evening a house fire involving a civilian fatality occurred in the 12000 of Lofting Court in Bowie.  The cause of the fire remains under joint investigation by the Fire Investigators and County Police.  An autopsy of the victim was required to confirm the identity.  Autopsy results are still pending and no additional information is available.

On Tuesday morning a fire occurred in an apartment on Madison Way in Bladensburg.  A male occupant was rescued by firefighters and transported to a Burn Unit.  The cause of this fire remains under investigation.  The patients condition has improved from Critical while at the Burn Unit.  No additional information is currently available.

Mark E. Brady
Chief Spokesperson