@PGFDPIO Twitter

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - SAFETY TIPS

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

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Prince George's County and surrounding areas.  Please take the time to read their most recent update and safety advice.  Remember, Stay Informed - Stay Ready - Stay Safe!!!

From the National Weather Service:

AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES WILL
  DROP SOUTHWARD INTO THE OHIO VALLEY WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY. AS
  THE UPPER LOW DROPS SOUTHWARD...LOW LEVEL FLOW IS FORECAST TO
  RAPIDLY INCREASE OVER THE AREA WEDNESDAY NIGHT RESULTING IN
  SIGNIFICANT MOISTURE TRANSPORT INTO THE AREA. PERIODS OF HEAVY
  RAINFALL ARE ANTICIPATED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY
  NIGHT ACROSS THE CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC. THE PERIOD OF GREATEST
  RAIN RATES IS EXPECTED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY
  AFTERNOON. WIDESPREAD RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE
  EXPECTED WITH LOCALIZED HIGHER TOTALS IN AREAS OF REPEATED
  ACTIVITY.

Safety Advice 

Precautionary/preparedness actions: A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

Flash Flood Facts...

Flash floods occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall or a dam failure. Flooding is a longer-term event and may last a week or more.

Most flash flooding is caused by (1) slow-moving thunderstorms, (2) thunder-storms repeatedly moving over the same area or (3) heavy rains from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges.

Densely populated areas have a high risk for flash floods. The construction of buildings, highways, driveways, and parking lots increases runoff by reducing the amount of rain absorbed by the ground.

Water can erode the roadbed creating unsafe driving conditions.

Many flash floods occur at night when flooded roads are hard to see.

2 feet of water will float your car, truck or SUV!!! 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.


Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto related. If your car stalls, leave it and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely.

Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into a flooded underpass can quickly put you in 5-6 feet of water.

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department wants you to stay safe during this potentially dangerous weather conditions.  Help us by helping yourself and heed warnings and safety tips.


Flash Flood Safety Tips...

Never try to walk, swim, or drive through swift-moving floodwater. Remember, 2 feet of water will float your vehicle and 6 inches of fast moving floodwater can knock you off your feet.

If you come upon floodwaters, STOP, TURN AROUND AND GO ANOTHER WAY!!

Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road.

If your car stalls in high water, DON'T PANIC, leave your car and seek higher ground, if you can do so safely and call 911.


Stay informed about the storm and possible flooding by listening to your NOAA weather radio, commercial radio, television or Internet.

Sign up for "ALERT - Prince George" and receive important information on your phone and other devices.  Please click here to sign up.







Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Congressional Flag Ceremony Honors 112 Fallen Firefighters




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: DONNA CLARK   240-723-0615

MEDIA ALERT

Congressional Flag Ceremony Honors 112 Fallen Firefighters

WHO:             Leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus will present 112 American flags flown over the U.S. Capitol to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).
WHEN:           Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:         Upper Senate Park

WHY:              These flags will be given to surviving relatives at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 9 in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Seventy-nine firefighters who died in the line-of-duty 2015 and 33 who died in previous years will be honored during the weekend.

Members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus will address attendees and several Fire Service Survivors will be available for interviews.


The event is open to the public.

Monday, September 26, 2016

PGFD Fire Prevention Events

Fire Prevention Week



This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is,
 “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”


This year Fire Prevention Week will be October 9th through the October 16th.



The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA’s) survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.
As a result of those and related findings, we’re addressing smoke alarm replacement this year with a focus on these key messages
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
Lets take a look at your smoke alarm.



First, remove your smoke alarm by twisting it off of it's base which is attached to your wall or ceiling. Examine your alarm and look for a manufacture date.  If your date is within 10 years, move on to the next step.  If you can not find a date and you believe your alarm is 10 years of age or older; time to replace your alarm with a new 10 year alarm.

Next, push the TEST button on the front cover of your smoke alarm.


An audible beeping noise SHOULD sound.  If it does, congratulations, your done until next month.
If it does not sound an audible alarm - replace the battery.  Push the TEST button again - still no alarm - remove the alarm and immediately replace with a new 10-year, tamper proof, with hush feature smoke alarm.

If your alarm is about 10 years old or you don't remember if you ever replaced the alarm, do it today!!!  Smoke alarms work all day - every day and will wear down over their 10 year service life.

County Law requires a working smoke alarm in your home.  Over the next two years the law will continue to evolve to require a working 10-year smoke alarm on every level of your home, primarily outside of sleeping areas.

County Law currently requires a working CO detector on every level of your home, primarily, outside of sleeping areas.  This law includes all homes with a gas service (natural, propane, oil, etc), a fireplace or an attached garage.  This law also requires that all hotels, motels, dormitories and all apartments and condos have working CO alarms.

Have you ever noticed that it is sometimes a challenge to reach your alarms installed on your ceiling or high on the wall.  Perhaps you use a step-ladder or stand tall on your toes to reach the test button.  Think about your senior citizen neighbors and relatives that may have difficulty even reaching a light switch.  Test their alarms for them every month, change their batteries at least once-a-year and contact 311 for them if they need a new 10-year smoke alarm installed by firefighters, free of charge.
Don't wait for a firefighter to knock on your door.  If you need a working smoke alarm and can not afford to purchase one, call 311 and ask about the free smoke alarm program.


Several Fire/EMS Station in Prince George's County will hold Open House events around Fire Prevention Week.  Everyone is invited to attend one of these events to learn more about fire prevention and the life and death importance of working smoke alarms.

The Glen Dale Volunteer Fire Association, Inc.
11900 Glen Dale Boulevard
Sunday, October 2, 2016 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.
For additional information visit their website at www.GDVFD18.com

Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc.
4905 Branchville Road, College Park
Sunday, October 9, 2016 Times TBD
For additional info visit their website at www.BVFCO11.com

Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department Open House
St. Joseph Fire/EMS Station 806
2901 St. Joseph Drive, Springdale
Saturday, October 15, 2016 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
For additional information Email TACrisman@co.pg.md.us

Bowie Volunteer Fire Department
15454 Annapolis Road
Saturday, October 15, 2015 11:00 am until 4:00 pm
For additional information visit www.bowiefire.org

Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department
6200 Belcrest Road
Saturday, October 22, 2016 10:00 am until 2:00 pm
For additional Information visit their website at www.hvfd.com

Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department
6061 Central Avenue
Saturday, October 29, 2016 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
For additional information click here.

Check back often as we will update this information as new Open House dates are announced.




Updated Law Concerning Fire Pits and Related Devices in Effect

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

The popularity of fire pits and chimneas have created a need to update the Prince George’s County laws concerning the safe use of these devices.   Prince George's County Fire Safety Law (Subtitle 11) – Section 11-268 “Open, Burning, Recreational Fires and Portable Outdoor Fireplaces” has been updated and is in effect.

IN GENERAL WITH ALL RECREATIONAL FIRES

Recreational fires must be attended at all times by a person 18 years of age or older who is in direct view of the fire until it is completely extinguished.  No fire should be left to smolder.

A water hose, fire extinguisher or other means to extinguish the fire must be available.

Only dry natural wood (firewood) can be burned in a recreational fire.  No yard waste materials.

Recreational fire will be prohibited during drought conditions, strong winds, or air pollution events (Code Red or Code Orange).

Thick smoke and visible smoke that steadily crosses property lines are prohibited.

FIXED or PORTABLE FIRE PITS, FIREPLACES and CHIMNEA’S

Fires in these devices must be 30 feet away from any road, sidewalk or public way.

Fires must be 30 feet from any structure. 

Fires are not allowed on any balcony or deck.






PROPANE and NATURAL GAS FUELED FIRE PITS

Fixed or portable fireplaces or pits fueled by natural gas or propane are permitted at single-family dwellings and townhomes when used according to manufactures guidelines.  

Any such device used on a deck must be at least 10 feet from the house and the combustion area cannot make contact with combustible decking.





These laws are designed to keep you safe.  If found guilty of violating Section 11-268 the maximum penalty is up to $1,000 and/or 6 months in jail.


For additional information on the regulation of  open burning and recreational fires, please contact the Prince George’s County Office of the Fire Marshal at 301-583-1830.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

PGFD Child Safety Seat Check on Thursday - By Appointment Only

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

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 18-24.  According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 59 percent of car seats are not installed correctly. Safe Kids officials feel that number could be as high as 73% of car seats are not installed correctly.  Is yours??

If a parent or caregiver wants to check to make sure their car seat is installed correctly, they can attend an event hosted by Safe Kids coalitions across the country. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will guide parents on proper car seat and booster seat installation.

The Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department is proud to represent Safe Kids as a coalition member.  The Office of Community Risk Reduction and Outreach will hold a Child Passenger Safety Seat Check on Thursday, September 22.  This event will be held in Greenbelt and is by appointment only.  Plenty of appointments are currently available between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.  To make your appointment please call 240-508-3960.

To learn more about correct child safety seat installation in your vehicle, please, visit Safe Kids by clicking here.

Child car seat installation safety tips can be found by clicking here.

The exact location in Greenbelt of Thursday's Child Passenger Car Seat Safety Check will be provided when you call for an appointment.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

PGCVFRA and LA Annual Convention Opens September 24th in College Park

The Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association will hold their 94th Annual Convention and 86th Annual Convention of the Ladies Auxiliary during the week of September 24 through October 1, 2016.  This years convention will be hosted by the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company Rescue Squad, Inc. in College Park.

Many of the convention activities involve business meetings, dinners and election of officers, however, there are several events open to the public that are quite entertaining to watch.   For instance, On Saturday, September 24th there are Extrication Contests and a Drivers Rodeo that will test the skills of firefighters in disassembling vehicles using the “jaws of life” and skill in driving large pieces of fire apparatus.

All the events below will be held at the Branchville Fire/EMS station located at 4905 Branchville Road in College Park.  Events held at a different location are noted.

Convention Schedule

Saturday, September 24, 2016 

* Extrication Contest 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

* Drivers Rodeo 10:00 am

* Cornhole Tournament 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 25, 2016 

Field Events 10:00 am Registration 11:00 am start

(Skill and Agility, 1st Alarm Dressing, Bucket Brigade, Battle of the Bucket, Tug O’ War)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Convention Bingo ---FREE ADMISSION

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Memorial Service Holy Redeemer Catholic Church 7:00 pm

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Past Presidents Dinner--By Invitation Only

Thursday, September 29, 2016 

* Dinner Upstairs Hall 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

* Opening Ceremonies, Hall of Fame, Association Awards

* 1st Session/ Meetings– Men-Downstairs, Ladies-Upstairs

Friday, September 30, 2016

 * 2nd Session/Meetings Men’s Elections

* Bull Roast

Saturday, October 1, 2016 

*Prayer Breakfast 8:00 am

* Parade – Line up 9:00 am, Kick-Off 10:00 am
(Line up REI Parking lot 9900 block Rhode Island Avenue)
The procession of Fire/EMS Equipment will go from REI down Rhode Island Avenue and end at the Branchville Fire/EMS Station.

* Hook up Competitions 1 hour after completion of Parade

* Men’s 3rd Session-Parade/Hook-up’s/Field Events Awards

* End of Convention Bash 6:00 pm

* Note: All Times are approximate


For additional information contact the Association office at 301-883-1910.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Firefighters rescue occupant from burning Landover home

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

A Landover woman was rescued from her burning home by firefighters this afternoon.  Just before 2:00 pm Public Safety Communications received several 911 calls from residents reporting a house on fire in the 6400 block of Country Club Court.  One of the 911 callers told the call taker that someone was still inside the house.  This information was relayed to responding firefighters by dispatchers. 

Firefighters arrived at the 1-½ story, with basement, single family home with heavy smoke and fire showing.  First arriving firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack on the fire with a simultaneous search for the trapped occupant.  Within a short period of time an adult female was located inside and quickly removed from the house as other firefighters continued to extinguish the fire.

The adult female was suffering from burn and smoke inhalation injuries and was transported by medics to a Burn Unit.  She is listed in Critical Condition.  The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes of arrival and no additional injuries were reported. 

Firefighters from Kentland, Bladensburg, Chapel Oaks and St. Joes were among the first arriving units.

Personnel from the County Office of the Fire Marshal have initiated a cause and origin investigation and their work is ongoing.   Fire Investigators will provide information on the cause and origin, estimated fire loss and if the house was equipped with a smoke alarm and if it was operational or not.

Firefighters will return to the same Landover community tomorrow morning to check smoke alarms and talk with neighbors about the fire and status of the injured female.  This is what our Department refers to as a Post Neighborhood Intervention Program (PINIP).  Whenever a significant fire occurs or fire related injury firefighters return within 24 hours to talk with neighbors and check smoke alarms.  If a home is found without a working smoke alarm, a new 10-year smoke alarm will be installed for them, free of charge.  County residents can also call 311 and ask for this same service.

County Law requires a working 10-year smoke alarm on every level of your home.  One should be installed just outside of sleeping areas.  The Fire/EMS Department recommends sleeping with your bedroom door closed and a working smoke alarm installed in every bedroom.


If you have a natural gas service, a fireplace or an attached garage you are also required by law to have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home.

Heavy smoke and fire can be seen coming from the house on Country Club Court in Landover.  The adult female occupant was rescued from the house a short time after this image was captured.
 (image provided courtesy of Ricky Riley, Kentland Volunteer Fire Department)