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Thursday, June 25, 2009

State Convention Generates Awards for Fire/EMS Departments

Glenn Dale, Bowie and Ritchie Win Top Awards

The Maryland State Fireman’s Association (MSFA) annual convention was held the week of June 14, 2009, in Ocean City, Maryland. Activities at the convention included election of officers, business meetings, elections, training, parade and new products and merchandise displays. Several Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) volunteer stations and units were awarded for fire prevention activities and “best appearing” during the parade.

The Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc. were recognized with the two top awards for their excellent Fire Prevention/Open House Day and year round fire prevention activities. The MSFA sponsors an annual contest to recognize fire, rescue, and EMS department’s efforts in promoting fire prevention in their communities. Contest awards are provided for companies who participate in a year-round fire prevention program as well as departments who participate in special projects, such as an open house or other fire prevention activities. An additional category recognizes departments who have shown an outstanding overall contribution to fire prevention and fire safety education activities. Starting in 1977, a seventh class in both Year Round Projects, and Single Projects was added.

A parade of fire/EMS apparatus from across the State of Maryland and some surrounding jurisdictions was held. In addition to fire/EMS units there was fire prevention displays, marching bands, pipe and drums corps and numerous other groups participated in the parade that travelled up Philadelphia Avenue in downtown Ocean City.

The Glenn Dale Fire Association won the top award for “BEST APPEARING SQUAD” for their 2008 Pierce Dash Heavy Duty Walk-In Rescue Squad. Rescue Squad 818 is a 2008 Pierce Dash with a large array of Rescue Tools ranging from a 6 tool Hurst system, Complete 2 car Rescue Jack System, and Large amount of Cribbing, Hand Tools and Rope Rescue Equipment. Rescue Squad 18 was placed into service on Aug. 16th 2008. Rescue Squad 818 and crews were also recently recognized with awards for their work during two separate incidents involving difficult extrications.

The Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department won first place in the “BEST APPEARING EMERGENCY APPARATUS” over 20 years old that is still in-service category. This award was for their entry and display of their 1987 Seagrave pumper. The same 1987 pumper also won an “Honorable Mention” for an engine, 1250 gallon per minute and over pumper category.

Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Congratulations to Bowie, Glenn Dale and Ritchie for being recognized with awards in competition with other departments across the State. This recognition demonstrates the hard work and dedication of the volunteer membership of these corporations.” He also thanked the many members of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department that assisted in the planning, coordination and execution of the MSFA Convention week’s activities. “This was my first year where I saw first-hand the amount of work it takes to make this convention a success. I congratulate and thank our membership, volunteer/career/civilian, which worked together in this effort.”