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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Penn-Mar Shopping Center Explosion Emergency Services Award Presentation
Emergency Services Award Presentation for members of the
Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department
Media Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones presented 49 Emergency Services Awards to deserving personnel for their actions on the scene of three incidents.

The first presentation was made at the District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826 that included personnel on the scene of an incident when an explosion occurred at the Penn Mar Shopping Center in May, 2009. Fire Chief Jones read the certificate saying, “This award is in recognition of your actions on Thursday, May 7, 2009, while operating at a natural gas leak at the Penn-Mar Shopping Center, 3400 Donnell Drive, in Forestville. Upon arrival, forty-five civilians were evacuated from stores and protected from injuries and for your reaction and handling of the scene when a natural gas explosion occurred. The explosion injured eight firefighters and destroyed five stores. Despite the devastation of property and potential for serious injuries, everyone went home. Your actions are held in the highest regard of the Fire/EMS Department and are commendable.”

The following personnel were presented with Emergency Services Awards:

Battalion Chief KENNETH D. MCSWAIN
Fire Captain ROBERT W. ROUSE
Fire Fighter Captain GRADY A. VALENCIS
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain SCOTT A. WILLIAMS
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain JOHN A. MACK
Fire Fighter Lieutenant RICHARD W. ANDERSON
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician CARLTON A. ARCHER
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician SHAUN P. DUPPINS
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician ERNEST S. LINDQVIST
Fire Fighter/Medic ANTWAN D. HOLBERT
Fire Fighter/Medic JULIUS W. LIPSCOMB III
Fire Fighter/Medic JOSEPH W. KRAKOSKY
Fire Fighter/Medic AMIR L. BARNES
Fire Fighter/Medic CHRISTINE L. BURLEY
Fire Fighter/Medic GERALD A. DESHIELDS
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain JOHN L. GATLAND
Fire Fighter/Medic MICHAEL S. WILLIAMS
Fire Fighter/Medic WILLIAM B. DESCUTNER
Fire Fighter/Medic RACHEL M. EDNEY
Fire Fighter CURK M. SMART
Fire Fighter KELLI D. KIVETT
Volunteer Fire Fighter BRYAN PURNELL
Volunteer Fire Fighter GREG POWELL
Volunteer Fire Fighter ANDREW YANG

Fire Chief Jones presented Emergency Service Awards to several members of the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department during a monthly meeting of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association meeting held at the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station on Wednesday evening. These awards were for two separate incidents.

Making the first award presentation Fire Chief Jones stated, “On Saturday, October 17th 2009 at 0847 hrs, Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications dispatched Box Alarm 14-12 for an apartment on fire with people trapped at 5925 Cherrywood Terrace, which is located in Empirian Village Apartment complex (formerly known as Springhill Lake). The first arriving unit, Truck 814, reported heavy fire showing from the second floor and immediately asked for a second alarm to be transmitted. Due to the early morning hour of a weekend day, the Truck crew quickly encountered several residents who were trapped on balconies and in the interior stairwell of the first and second floors. Without hesitation and without the protection of a charged hand-line, the crew from Truck 814 rescued seven occupants from the fire building. Your actions are held in the highest tradition of the fire service and are commendable.”

Emergency Services Awards were presented to the following personnel:

Volunteer Chief Charles Fusco
Volunteer Deputy Chief Danny McCoy
Volunteer Captain James Kiernan Jr.
Volunteer Fire Fighter John Schunk
Volunteer Fire Fighter Ben Ross
Volunteer Fire Fighter David Cooper
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brian Eldridge
Volunteer Fire Fighter William Heiney
Volunteer Fire Fighter Randy Piper
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brad Badali

The second award presentation to members of Berwyn Heights was for their challenging extrication of a victim trapped by his vehicle after being ejected and being partially submerged under water. While making this presentation Chief Jones stated, “A full sized SUV had traveled off a ramp from the Capitol Beltway Route 495 to Interstate 95 approximately 100’ into a 25’ deep ravine. The SUV overturned and then came to rest in approximately four feet of standing water. A teenage male patient was trapped beneath the SUV and partially submerged underwater. The patient was only visible from the neck up. Surrounding the ravine, were several trees and a dense brush which prevented initial access for all providers. Once stabilization of the vehicle was complete, a crew member entered into the water and began to work beneath the water to extricate the patient. This was a particularly difficult task. Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey, who was operating the Amkus equipment under the water, had to feel for the victim and then feel for the proper place to cut. Prior to making his cuts, he had to hold the victim away from the blades of the cutters to ensure he did not cause any further harm to the patient. The teen-aged patient was extricated and transported to a trauma center in critical condition.”

The following personnel were presented with Emergency Services Awards:

Volunteer Chief Charles Fusco
Volunteer Deputy Chief Danny McCoy
Volunteer Captain James Kiernan
Volunteer Captain Sean Dwyer
Volunteer Lieutenant Christopher Wipprecht
Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey
Volunteer Fire Fighter John Schunk
Volunteer Fire Fighter Joseph Dirusso
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brandon Hool
Volunteer Fire Fighter Paul Burley
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brandt Woodhouse
Volunteer Fire Fighter Milton Harrod
Volunteer Fire Fighter Billy Robertson
Volunteer Fire Fighter Anthony Medlock
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brandon Hool

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