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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recipe for Holiday Safety

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department offers the following safety tips, to ensure that all citizens and residents will enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, fire safety and injury prevention guidelines are often overlooked during the holidays. Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, "By using fire-wise common sense, citizens and residents can avoid tragedy and disruption of their holiday festivities. While these tips may not make Thanksgiving dinner taste any better--they will aid in avoiding potential disaster.
  • Keep your family and overnight guests safe with a working smoke alarm on every level of the house, in each bedroom and in the halls adjacent to the bedrooms. Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Overnight guests should be instructed on your home’s fire escape plan and designated meeting place for your family.
  • Have a fire extinguisher available not more than 10 feet from the stove, on the exit side of the room.
  • A standard Class ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher is recommended. Know how to use your fire extinguisher.
  • Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
  • Keep the kitchen off limits to young children and adults who are not helping with food preparations. This will lessen the possibility of kitchen mishaps.
  • When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry. Clothing can catch on fire and jewelry can become entangled with pot handles, causing spills and burns.
  • Cook on the back burners when possible, and turn pot handles inward so they don’t extend over the edge of the stove.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch what is being cooked. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires and fire-related injuries in Prince George’s County.
  • Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.
  • Candles are often part of holiday decorations. They should never be left burning when you are away from home, or after going to bed. Candles should be placed where children will not be tempted to play with them, and where guests will not accidentally brush against them. The candleholder should be completely non-combustible and difficult to knock over. The candle should not have combustible decorations around it.
  • If smoking is allowed inside, provide guests with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After guests leave check inside, under upholstery, and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

Fire Fighter/Medics Receive Awards for Ingenuity

Fire fighter/Medic Keith L. Downing, Fire Chief Jones and
Fire Fighter/Medic Leonard S. Simmons.
Two Prince George’s County Fire Fighter/Medics received Emergency Services Awards for their quick thinking and actions on a recent incident. Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones presented the pair with the awards on Thursday, November 12, 2009, at the Landover Hill Fire/EMS Station #830.

On July 11, 2009, at about 10:15 PM, Fire Fighter/Medic Keith Downing and Fire Fighter/Medic Leonard Simmons, on-board Paramedic 830 from Landover Hills, were dispatched to an emergency medical call involving a diabetic patient. Little did the providers realize that while judiciously treating the patient, a house was on fire on the same street, totally separate from the medical emergency. Unfortunately, both incidents were on a dead-end street and the paramedics were unable to utilize their medic unit to facilitate the transport. Over seven pieces of apparatus, having arrived after the medics, were blocking their means of egress, and it was not possible to move any of the apparatus.

Downing and Simmons quickly realized the predicament, and were creative in developing an alternate method of removing the patient from the scene and transporting to the hospital. Creative, yet not easy. FF/Medic Downing and Simmons took the patient via stretcher over rough terrain, through the patient’s backyard, over a fenced area, and eventually made their way to an adjacent street. Once there, they took custody of another unit which was standing-by for the working fire dispatch, and utilized their unit to complete the transport.

The on-duty Paramedic Supervisor, Paramedic Captain Mary Crampton commended the crew and nominated the team for this award by writing, “Due to their quick-thinking and their ability to think ‘outside the box’, the patient was able to get definitive care in a timely manner.”

Fire Chief Jones presented each of the crew members with an Emergency Services Award and encouraged them to keep up the good work and resourcefulness they displayed on this incident. He stated, “Your actions reflect favorably upon yourself and the entire Fire/EMS Department.”

GAZETTE ARTICLES - November 12, 2009

Firefighters indicted for arson

Upper Marlboro Fire Ruled Arson

CO Leak sends 13 church-goers to the hospital

Woman saved from car fire by two “good samaritans”