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Monday, April 15, 2019

Remembering Our Own (04-15-2016) "Skillet" by Fire Chief Barksdale

Remembering Our Own (04-15-2016)
Benjamin M. Barksdale
Fire Chief - Prince George's County, MD

      May the distance of time in no way diminish our resolve to ensure that our Fallen Heroes are never forgotten.  Let us pause to remember our Fallen Hero from the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, Lieutenant John E. Ulmschneider, known by most as “Skillet,” lost this day in 2016 while in response to a call.

      “Skillet” was born on February 24, 1979, in Baltimore, Maryland. He moved to Prince George's County at the age of 10 and graduated from Surrattsville High School.  He joined the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department on March 10, 2003, as a member of Career Recruit School 32.  Upon entering the field, Ulmschneider made great friends and became a great friend to many. 

      At approximately 1930 hours on the evening of April 15, 2016, Ulmschneider and his partner responded on Paramedic Ambulance 823 with Rescue Engine 827 to a “check on the welfare” call.  After several attempts to make contact with the home occupant, forcible entry was initiated.  Upon entry into the home, multiple gunshots were fired, leaving several wounded.  Brother Ulmschneider was fatally shot in the upper torso.

      John served the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department for 13 years.  At the time of his death, John “Skillet” Ulmschneider was 37 years old, andsurvived by his wife Dawn and their daughter Abigail.

      Let us learn from their stories so that our safety today stands as a lasting tribute to those who have gone before us....and let us keep their memory forever in our hearts.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Fire/EMS Recruits Receive Police Awareness Class

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

Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department Career Recruit School 59 receiving Police Awareness 101 class taught by Cpl. Alerte of the Prince George's County Police Department and Assistant Fire Chief Michael Marino.  Police 101 reviews the capabilities of patrol officers and expectations of how the Fire/EMS Department and Police Department interact on a daily basis to serve the citizens of Prince George's County.

Photo Credit: Capt M. Buffum, 4/11/19

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

MEDIA ADVISORY - Unit Citation Presentation for WWB Crash, Fire and Rescue

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

In June 2018, a horrific crash occurred on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that left several vehicles on fire and 3 workers dangling from the underside of the bridge.  First arriving fire, EMS and police personnel played an integral role and work collaboratively as a unit to save lives, limit damage and ensure the safety of everyone involved.  Tragically, a civilian perished in the crash and subsequent fire.  The initial personnel are being recognized for their actions with a PGFD Unit Citation. 

A Unit Citation is the highest level award bestowed upon a group of individuals that acted as a unit to mitigate the incident.

WHAT: Unit Citation Presentation

WHEN: Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 1:30 pm

WHERE: Stage at National Plaza, National Harbor (near entrance to Capital Wheel)

WHO: Prince George's County Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale, County Police Chief Stawinski and Fairfax Fire Chief Butler, Unit Citation recipients

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Message of Condolence - Christopher A. Slutman

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department stands with the many family, friends, co-workers and Americans grieving the death of Christopher A. Slutman.  Christopher was killed along with two other servicemen when their convoy hit a roadside bomb on Monday near the main U.S. base in Afghanistan.

Chris Slutman first served as a volunteer firefighter with the Upper Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department.  His father was a career firefighter assigned to the Croom Station, a sister station at the time to Upper Marlboro.  We have heard from other retired firefighters who said they remember seeing Chris grow up while visiting the station where his father worked.  

Chris later joined the District Heights Volunteer Fire Department, and then settled in at the Kentland Station on Landover Road.  He started his career as a firefighter with the District of Columbia before being hired as a firefighter for the City of New York.

The Department shares the words of Kentland Volunteer Chief Oleg Pelekhaty in describing Chris: “Through this trying time, we will remember Chris for the father, husband, brother, son, and friend that he was, the moral character he displayed daily, and the courage and conviction to serve his fellow Americans, both at home and abroad.”

We have communicated with many Fire Department members and friends about this tragedy, and we ask that you continue to pray for Chris’s wife and daughters as well as his family and loved ones.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief PIO, 240-508-7930

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

PGFD Firefighter/Medic Receives Two Awards for Tactical EMS

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

Firefighter/Paramedic III Lester H. Bascom, assigned to the County Tactical EMS program, received two unit citations for his involvement in two police involved shootings.  In one instance, Bascom provided immediate Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) at the point of wounding of two County police officers both of whom survived.  In the other incident, Bascom provided immediate hot zone pre-hospital care to a suspect injured before the execution of a search warrant.  The PGFD Tactical EMS program is one of the busiest full-time operational medicine programs in the country.

Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale attended the award ceremony and congratulated Bascom on his awards.  "Your actions are truly commendable and performed in the highest tradition of this Department," said Chief Barksdale.


L to R Public Safety Director Mark Magaw, Fire Chief Barksdale, Firefighter/Medic Bascom and Police Chief Stawinski

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Prince George’s County Firefighters Prioritize Performance & Wellness

O2X Human Performance to provide training and education for local firefighters 

O2X Contact: Alison Levy, 303-506-2943 or ali@o2x.com 

Prince George’s County, MD -- Over a span of 12 days this April, 250 members of the Prince George’s County Fire Department will participate in a comprehensive EAT SWEAT THRIVE workshop series delivered by O2X Human Performance, a Boston-based company started by former Navy SEALs.  All O2X training will be held at the Cranford-Graves Fire/EMS Services Building at 6820 Webster Street in Landover Hills.

During the sessions, firefighters will learn about nutrition, conditioning, sleep, stress management and resilience training from O2X’s team that includes U.S. Special Operations veterans, strength and conditioning specialists, yoga teachers, mental performance experts, PhDs in nutrition and psychology, and sleep scientists.

As tactical athletes, firefighters put themselves in harm’s way daily in order to keep their community safe. Along with facing adverse weather conditions and unpredictable dangerous environments, they deal with heightened levels of job-related physical and mental stress for the duration of their long careers. As a result, it is critical that they train properly not only to stay healthy and fit, but also to optimize their performance under pressure and to cope with chronic stress.

“Like all firefighters, our members face high injury rates, elevated cancer and cardiac health risks, poor sleep hygiene, and behavioral health issues - just as a product of the job.” Said County Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale. “This is where O2X comes in. They provide a comprehensive approach to performance that tackles every aspect from nutrition, conditioning, and yoga to sleep, stress management, and mindfulness. This program will help keep our members safe and effective.”

O2X has worked with hundreds of public safety agencies nationwide - including many in the DMV area - to provide innovative training and education aimed to help first responders finish their careers as strong as they started.

About O2X: O2X Human Performance provides comprehensive, science-backed training and education so tactical athletes can finish their careers as strong as they started. The results driven O2X EAT SWEAT THRIVE curriculum encompasses all areas of human performance: nutrition, conditioning, sleep, stress management, and resilience. The O2X team is comprised of U.S. Special Operations veterans, Olympic, professional, and All-American collegiate athletes, and 70+ human performance experts who teach the latest cutting-edge research in each of the primary fields of health and wellness.

More Information: https://o2x.com/ and Follow us at @o2xhumanperformance
Media Inquiries:
Alison Levy
303-506-2943 ali@o2x.com / press@o2x.com

Monday, April 1, 2019

PGFD Hosts Training for K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care

K9 Tactical Emergency Casualty Care
by: PGFD Assistant Fire Chief Michael Marino

Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department recently hosted area Police K-9 Handlers and Tactical EMS Operators to participate in a 3 day Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) program for operational canines.  Tactical Emergency Casualty Care is a medical and operational capability maintained throughout Prince George's County for atypical and high risk situations for both humans and now working K9's!  National K-9 TECC guidelines are best practices adapted locally which include specific pre-hospital lifesaving interventions. Dr. Lee Palmer DVM, who was the course facilitator, is a national expert in K9 medicine and TECC.  He summarized that Prince George's County has excellent traditional and special operations capabilities and being able to apply TECC to working animals prior to definitive veterinarian care is an important and worthwhile effort given that specialized medics and handlers are now properly trained and equipped.

“This training is part of a continued regional partnership across numerous police, fire, and emergency medical services departments to enhance medical care during high threat events," said Brian J. Frankel, Prince George's Fire/EMS Department Deputy Fire Chief.  "The course was sponsored by the Maryland Emergency Response System through a grant from the Urban Area Security Initiative, a federal program that supports efforts to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.”

Picture Credit: Assistant Chief Mike Marino

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