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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Paramedics Return to Full Duty - Protocols Updated

Two paramedics assigned to limited public contact since last Friday have received medical clearance to return to full duty. The actions of the paramedics were called into question after their initial assessment that a patient was presumed deceased was not accurate. The patient was transported to the hospital about 1-½ hours later by another EMS unit where he succumbed to his illness the next day.


The Emergency Medical Services Operational Program moved swiftly to initiate a clinical Quality Assurance Review of this incident. The Jurisdictional Medical Director, Dr. Terry Jodrie, interviewed both paramedics on Friday, just hours after the incident occurred. A Provider Action Notice was issued within 24 hours of the incident requiring all EMS personnel to review the Presumed Dead on Arrival (PDOA) protocols. This includes an update that most PDOA determinations must include a medical consult between the EMS care provider and a base station physician by EMS radio or telephone.

While the two paramedics have returned to full duty with clearance of the Medical Director, the Office of Professional Standards continues their review. This comprehensive process includes a review of applicable Departmental General Orders, Standard Operating Procedures and interviews of everyone involved. These reviews could take up to 2 months before being completed.

Friday's incident in Glenarden is extremely regrettable for everyone involved and the Fire/EMS Department is doing everything possible to avoid any reoccurrence.

Fire Chief Presents Yearly Awards

Largo, MD…On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones presented four prestigious Departmental awards during a State of the Department Address. The event was held at the Fire/EMS Department Headquarters on Basil Court in Largo.  These awards, Fire Chief's Special Achievement Award and the Manager and Employee of the Year, are in recognition of the work and dedication demonstrated by these individuals during calendar year 2009.  The four awardees will also have their name added to plaques for each category.  These plaques adorn the walls in the Office of the Fire Chief.

(pictured from L to R) Chief Spokesman Mark E. Brady, Fire Chief Eugene Jones, Lt. Col. Angela M. Peden, Administrative Assistant Spencer A. Stevenson and Acting Lt. Col. Steven L. Hess during the award presentation. 
(Photo by: Fire Technician Steve Williams)

Fire Chief’s Special Achievement Award

Lieutenant Colonel Angela Peden

Lt. Colonel Peden’s leadership and management skills have transformed the way we do business in the Fire/EMS Department. Her professionalism and dedication were particularly helpful to the Fire Chief through this very difficult fiscal crisis. Chief Jones stated, "I am sure my being able to weather the fiscal storm was in large part due to her support of me as Fire Chief. I have not asked anyone to be supportive of me personally or loyal to me however, Lt. Colonel Peden has been supportive and loyal while remaining a true professional. I have the utmost respect for her and her work."

Chief Spokesman Mark Brady

In making this presentation Fire Chief Jones stated, "Very few individuals have the ability to transcend time and space to reach others. Spokesperson Mark Brady has a remarkable talent of communication and that is borne out by the response I get from the citizens of this County as they recount to me the impact he has on them. His impact has been felt nation wide as he is a leader and truly effective at what he does. As my Chief Spokesperson he has gotten my message out to the community in ways that I was truly impressed with as well as other community leaders. When we think of the truly successful people and their roles in this Department I believe Mark Brady should be named among them. Mr. Brady has not only gotten out the message he continues to add to the professional image of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department."

Manager of the Year Award

Acting Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Hess

While describing his selection for Manager of the Year, Fire Chief Jones described his reasons for his selection by saying, "For his developing, implementation and constant support of the Volunteer staffing Utilization plan. The efforts Lt. Col. Steve Hess have generated a considerable savings to the Fire/EMS Department when it was needed the most."

Employee of the Year Award

Spencer A. Stevenson

In what is sure to be remembered by every member of this Department, Fire Chief Jones explained his choice for Employee of the Year by explaining why the video of this particular incident may have gone undetected except for Spencer Stevenson.  Fire Chief Jones stated, "Mr. Stevenson showed us how one individual’s expertise can have an impact world-wide. While Mr. Stevenson goes about his daily work with pride and devotion he has a passion for the Department. In the midst of personnel struggling to deal with furloughs and budget cuts he focused his energy on his work. His awareness of the technology that he helps maintain assisted the Fire/EMS Department in chronicling the explosion of the Penn Mar Shopping. The information gathered through the video drive cam was so valuable words cannot express the impact the information gleaned from the video will have on how we respond to natural gas leaks. His actions and the subsequent information helped validate our efforts to improve the safety of our operations."

Monday, March 29, 2010

3107 Good Hope Avenue - First Floor Damaged by Fire

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

Firefighters battled a fire on the first floor of a Temple Hills condominium building today requiring dozens of evacuations. At about 12:30 PM, Monday, March 29, 2010, residents of the Lynhill Condominiums at 3701 Good Hope Avenue called 911 to report smoke on the first and second floors. Firefighters arrived at the seven-story apartment building and soon located a fire in a first floor storage room. A second-alarm was sounded bringing additional firefighters and resources, including units from the District of Columbia Fire Department, to the scene when fire fighters discovered the fire had extended into the pipe chase and was running through the first floor hallway ceilings. There were 50 firefighters and paramedics on the scene. It required about 45 minutes to completely extinguish this work intensive fire as the ceilings and walls had to be opened to expose and extinguish the fire. Occupants on the first three floors were evacuated while those on upper floors were directed to shelter-in-place. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported. Fire loss is estimated at $200,000 and the cause is under investigation. Two apartments will be uninhabitable and families are being assisted by the Red Cross.


The Lynhill Condominiums have had compliance issues with fire and life safety codes in the past. The buildings fire alarm did not operate during this incident and officials from the Fire/EMS Departments Office of the Fire Marshal are following-up with management on the non-compliance issues.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Actions of Personnel Are Under Review

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has initiated a Quality Assurance review of the actions of two paramedics that resulted in a delay of care. On Friday, March 26, 2010, Fire/EMS units were requested by the Glenarden Police Department at around 12:00 PM to assist on a possible deceased person call. A paramedic unit arrived on location at a residence in the 8600 block of Glenarden Parkway within 4 minutes and concurred that the adult male was deceased.

At about 1:30 PM, an official from the County Police Department’s Forensic Services summoned the Fire/EMS Department to return to the scene as the adult male was displaying signs that he was alive. A different EMS unit arrived shortly thereafter and transported the patient to an area hospital.

The Fire/EMS Department, upon being made aware of the incident, immediately initiated a Quality Assurance review and notified the jurisdictional Medical Director. The Medical Director took quick action and has already interviewed the personnel involved.

The Fire/EMS Department has also launched a review of the incident by the Office of Professional Standards. The Quality Assurance review ensures that medical protocols were followed while the Professional Standards investigation will review compliance with Departmental General Orders and Standard Operating Procedures. While these reviews are on-going the two paramedics involved have been placed on a limited public contact status.

Actions of personnel are taken very seriously by the Fire/EMS Department. We will ensure a complete and through review and if warranted take whatever corrective action is called for to avoid any reoccurrence.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fire Ground Survival Training


Personnel from the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department are participating in a Train the Trainer program at the Fire/EMS Training Academy (FETA) in Cheltenham.  This training is actually a beta test for aprogram that will be taught around the Country.  The training program, “Fire Ground Survival” is designed to teach firefighters how to survive on the fire ground and is presented by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Fire service instructors from around the Country and Canada are providing instruction during the 3-day training program which will conclude on Friday, March 26, 2010.


The IAFF began developing the Fire Ground Survival training program in December, 2007 to ensure that training for MAYDAY prevention and MAYDAY operations are consistent between all fire fighters, company officers, and Chief Officers. Fire fighters must be trained to perform potentially life saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air, or trapped. These training exercises must be consistent throughout the fire service. Traditionally in the fire service we train for success. We are taught how to put out a fire or mitigate other hazards, but what we haven't done is train our fire fighters for when we get in trouble and failure does occur. Our guiding philosophy has been that fire fighters must be trained in and practice a standard set of skills and procedures they can rely on when things do go wrong.

Funded by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and assisted by a grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security through the Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant Program (AFG), the IAFF's comprehensive Fire Ground Survival training program applies the lessons learned from the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigations conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and is being developed by a committee of subject matter experts from the IAFF, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and NIOSH.

This initiative relies on the experiences that our members have faced on the fire ground so fire fighters in the same situation will be able to perform standard, potentially life saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air or trapped.

Through classroom and hands-on exercises, the Fire Ground Survival training program provides materials on Preventing a Mayday, Being Ready for the Mayday, Fire Fighter Self Survival Procedures, Fire Fighter Self Survival Skills, Skills Necessary to Self Rescue, and Fire Fighters Expectations of Command.

By February, 2008, the IAFF had completed most of the program content and began working on an outline for video production to support the course materials. In May of 2008, they began video production to support this program at the Warner Brothers Studios in California. Over the next several months, video segments were edited and the students and facilitator manuals were created.

In September, 2008, the Fire Ground Survival Committee began conducting beta classes to test and evaluate the curriculum and the delivery methods. To date, beta tests of the class have been conducted in New York, Los Angeles County, Austin, TX, Tucson, AZ, Frederick County, Maryland and now, Prince George's County, Maryland. These classes included members from more than 30 IAFF affiliates. Feedback from these beta classes was used to update the curriculum and enhance the quality of the program. The program was also highlighted at the IAFF's 2009 John P. Redmond Symposium.

The next step in the development of this program is determine the best delivery method to provide the greatest access while maintaining the quality of instruction and most importantly, providing the highest degree of safety. The IAFF is currently evaluating various methods of providing the classroom portion as an online or distant learning module where members can progress through the curriculum on their own pace.

The IAFF's final challenge is the hands-on or practical evolutions. To provide the proper supervision and safety requires a significant instructor to student ratio. Accordingly, the IAFF is developing procedures and course instructions to make the program available to all members with minimal costs and without compromising quality and safety.

The IAFF is confident that the entire program and the delivery system will be established and available by the summer of 2010.

Retired PGFD Battalion Chief James Brinkley, now the Director of the Department of Occupational Health and Safety for the IAFF was instrumental in allowing the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department to be one of the beta test sites. One of the factors that proved to be a significant influence on this decision was the fact that we have 36 recruit fire fighters will begin the fire fighting portion of their career recruit school training on April 5. The direction that the Administrative Services Command and the leadership at the Fire/EMS Training Academy wants to focus on is not just "saving your own" but as this training provides, how to avoid getting into a precarious and dangerous predicament by recognizing the warning signs in advance. It seemed appropriate to begin the training of our personnel by incorporating this very important topic into the career recruit school to evaluate the various delivery methods and training concepts and get "in-house" feedback on how to make this training successful for the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, its career employees and volunteer members.

Eighteen personnel, spanning all experience levels and ranks within the Department, are involved in the Train-the-Trainer portion of the Fire Ground Survival program. It is our goal that once this training program is implemented, the cadre of instructors is comfortable with instructing this material, and all props and resources are in place, an in-service training program will commence at the FETA for all personnel and members. The anticipated start date of this delivery is sometime this summer.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene Jones feels this is an excellent training opportunity and is proud of the personnel taking advantage of this opportunity. He stated, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the entire Fire/EMS Department. I commend Acting Lt Colonel Steve Hess, commander of the Administrative Services Command and FETA staff for undertaking this project with great zeal and to IAFF Local 1619 President Andrew Pantelis for helping to bring this class to our County.” He concluded by saying, “This training will improve our chances of everyone going home after every call.”





Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning May Have Prevented This Home Fire

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters made a quick knock on a fire inside of a Suitland home this morning. Just before 10:00 AM, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, Fire/EMS units were dispatched to the 5900 block of Cable Avenue for a 911 report of a fire in a house. Firefighters from Morningside and Silver Hill were the first to arrive and encountered a 2-story split level home with fire and smoke showing from the lower level. Firefighters confirmed that the 3 occupants that were home were outside and safe. The fire had started in the lower level furnace room and had extended up to the upper level when firefighters arrived; they extinguished the fire in about 10 minutes. No injuries to civilian or firefighters were reported.


A total of 9 residents, 5 adults and 4 children, will be displaced as a result of the fire. The Departments Citizen Services Unit is assisting the family with temporary arrangements. Fire Investigators from the Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal determined the cause of the fire was combustible material too close to the furnace. Fire loss is estimated at $85,000.

Citizens and residents are reminded that at least 3-feet of space must be provided to furnaces, space heaters, water heaters and other appliances that could spark a fire. Now is a good time to perform a spring cleaning checklist that includes removing all materials from around your appliances, checking smoke alarms and planning and practicing a home escape plan. For additional information on home safety tips contact our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE (7233).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Get Involved in Baskin-Robbins 31 Cent Scoop Night




Baskin-Robbins® and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) are again partnering to create an event to benefit local fire service organizations nationwide.

On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Baskin-Robbins® stores across the country will hold 31 Cent Scoop Night from 5 - 10pm to show their commitment to the firefighting community. The Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation is making a $100,000 donation to the NFFF to honor America's firefighters and Baskin-Robbins® shops will reduce the price of small scoops to 31 cents. The event also creates an opportunity for customers to donate to local fire charities in their neighborhoods - and that is where you come in!



Please help make the night a success -

get involved in 31 Cent Scoop Night !















On May 7, 2009, two captains, a lieutenant, and five fire fighters were injured during a natural gas explosion at a strip mall in Maryland. At 1254 hours, dispatch reported a natural gas leak inside a business at a strip mall. Five minutes later, the initial responding crew and the incident commander (IC) arrived on scene to find a gas company employee looking for an underground gas leak. Approximately 6 minutes later, a natural gas leak was found near the exterior rear corner of the structure. After 23 minutes on scene, approximately 45 civilians were evacuated from 7 occupied businesses.


A captain exited the rear door of the business that had called in the natural gas leak and noticed fire along the roof line. Crews in the front and rear of the structure had begun to pull hoselines as another captain was looking out the rear doorway of a middle unoccupied business and noticed the electric meter located on the exterior wall on fire. Anticipating an explosion, he tried to leap out the rear doorway. At the same time, a fire fighter had entered the front door of the unoccupied business, noticed the heavy smell of natural gas, and felt air rush by as the structure exploded. Debris and fire blew out the front, rear, and roof of the structure. The captain who tried to leap out the rear doorway was blown into the rear parking lot and the fire fighter who had entered the front of the structure was blown out the front door and covered with debris. Numerous other fire fighters, primarily near the front of the structure were blown off their feet and hit with debris.

An uninjured captain issued a Mayday, followed by the IC ordering evacuation tones and a personnel accountability report. Crews began to look for the captain who was blown out the rear doorway. He had walked around the side to the front of the structure, and radioed his location to command. Fire fighters began moving injured personnel to ambulances staged in the front parking lot. Eight fire fighters and a gas company employee were transported to local hospitals. The injuries ranged from third degree burns to an ankle sprain.

Key contributing factors identified in this investigation included: insufficient execution of the fire department’s updated standard operating guidelines (SOGs) on incidents involving flammable gas, e.g., apparatus and fire fighters operating in a flammable area (hot zone); the accumulation of natural gas in the structure’s void spaces; unmitigated ignition source; insufficient combustible gas monitoring equipment usage and training; and, ineffective ventilation techniques.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an institute within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. In fiscal year 1998, the Congress appropriated funds to NIOSH to conduct a fire fighter initiative. NIOSH initiated the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program to examine deaths of fire fighters in the line of duty so that fire departments, fire fighters, fire service organizations, safety experts and researchers could learn from these incidents. The primary goal of these investigations is for NIOSH to make recommendations to prevent similar occurrences. These NIOSH investigations are intended to reduce or prevent future fire fighter deaths and are completely separate from the rulemaking, enforcement and inspection activities of any other federal or state agency. Under its program, NIOSH investigators interview persons with knowledge of the incident and review available records to develop a description of the conditions and circumstances leading to the deaths in order to provide a context for the agency’s recommendations. The NIOSH summary of these conditions and circumstances in its reports is not intended as a legal statement of facts. This summary, as well as the conclusions and recommendations made by NIOSH, should not be used for the purpose of litigation or the adjudication of any claim. For further information, visit the program website at www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire or call toll free 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones thanks NIOSH and their investigators for their work in compiling this fact finding report.  He stated, "The NIOSH report has highlighted areas of improvement that will be addressed within my Department.  I hope that other Fire Departments take the time to study the report and use the recommendations to avoid injuires or line of duty deaths."

Fire Chief Jones is requiring the volunteer and career membership to read the report and commence drills on their findings.  He has also asked his command staff to review the recommendations and provide direction for compliance.

Read PGFD Original Press Release Here.

Read NIOSH Report Here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Clinton House Fire with Civilian Fatality

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

At about 11:15 PM, Saturday, March 20, 2010, Firefighter/Medics were alerted to a house fire with a child trapped inside. Firefighters and paramedics arrived quickly and immediately located the child; however, she had already succumbed to injuries.


An adult female ran to her neighbor’s house in the 6100 block of Parkview Lane in Clinton seeking help and telling neighbors that her young daughter was trapped inside of her burning home across the street. The neighbors called 911 with Fire/EMS units arriving soon after. Paramedics from Clinton Fire/EMS Station #825 and a ladder truck from Allentown Road Fire/EMS Station #832 were the first to arrive and encountered a 1-story single family home with heavy smoke issuing from the house. Having been updated with information about the trapped child the crew from Truck 832 entered the burning home, without the protection of a hoseline, to search for the child. They encountered a fire in a family room/den and quickly located the 8-year-old female. Her condition was immediately assessed and tragically pronounced deceased on the scene.

Paramedics tended to the child’s mother, an adult female in her 40’s, and treated her for burn and smoke injuries. She was transported by Maryland State Police Trooper 2 medevac helicopter to a Burn Unit. Her injuries were classified as serious and non-life threatening.

It required about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. There were 30 firefighters and paramedics on the scene. The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation, however, appears accidental. Standard operating procedure for fires that involve a fatality requires the County Police Department Homicide Unit jointly investigate the incident along with Investigators from the Fire/EMS Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal. Fire loss is estimated at $20,000. The identity of the deceased and the cause of the fire will be withheld pending autopsy results.

A smoke alarm was located; however, it did not appear to be working. Prince George’s County residents can have a working smoke alarm installed in their home, free of charge, by contacting our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE (7233). Remember, if you sleep with your bedroom door closed then a working smoke alarm should be installed inside the bedroom as well as in the hallway.


WASHINGTON POST STORY

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beltsville Home Fire Started in Van Under Carport

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

A Beltsville home suffered $85,000 in estimated fire loss and displaced 6 residents. On Thursday, March 11, 2010, at about 5:30 PM, firefighters from the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 arrived quickly to a 1-story single family home with heavy fire consuming an attached carport with smoke issuing from the entire roof. First arriving firefighters made fast work of knocking down the bulk of the fire and continued to check for extension. High heat and thick smoke filled the house and damage indicated it was just moments away from a flashover. The firefighter’s quick arrival and teamwork of performing coordinated ventilation and extinguishment were successful in limiting fire damage to the interior of the home.


Four adults and two children are displaced from the home and receiving assistance with temporary shelter from other family members. Fire Investigators have labeled the cause of the fire as “accidental” and is attributed to mechanical work to a van parked partially under the carport.

In addition to the Beltsville Firefighters, Fire/EMS units operating at the scene included Calverton, Branchville, Berwyn Heights, College Park and Burtonsville (Montgomery County). There were 35 firefighters that required 20 minutes to extinguish the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firefighter/Medic Completes Scott Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge

On Sunday March 7th, 2010, Prince George's County Career Fire Fighter/Medic Stephen R. Langone completed the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge in Seattle, WA to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Firefighter Langone, 25 years of age, was one of over 1000 firefighters from across the country and the world to compete in this event. A spectator less, 69 story stair climb in full structural firefighting gear and breathing air, the climb challenges the lungs, legs and the minds of all participants'. This event is conducted within the concrete walls of Seattle's downtown Columbia Tower (formerly Bank of America tower). Firefighter Langone finished in an impressive 21 minutes and 58 seconds, placing him into the top third of all the stair climbers. At 788 feet of vertical elevation, the Columbia Center stands as the second tallest building west of the Mississippi. It takes 69 flights of stairs and 1,311 steps to reach the highly acclaimed observation deck overlooking the city.


The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb supports the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising money through sponsorships, individual and department fundraising, and entry fees. In 2009, the event featured over 1,500 firefighters from 244 different departments and brought in a record $640,000 for blood-cancer research and patient services.

While this was Firefighter Langone's first stair climb, he is no stranger to athletic events for competition or charity. In addition to local races for various causes, Langone has represented Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in a Firefighter Combat Challenge and as a three-time runner of the Marine Corps Marathon to benefit the IAFF Burn Foundation.

Firefighter Langone bore his own cost of travel and lodging expenses to participate in this charitable event. He is currently assigned to the Clinton Fire/EMS Station #825.

Upon hearing of Langone’s accomplishments, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “To posses the physical ability to compete at this level and that Fire Fighter/Medic Langone completed the challenge in such a timely fashion are both truly amazing. The only thing I find more impressive is Steve’s desire and choice to participate in this worthwhile charity event. I congratulate him for his efforts and performance.”

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, SACRED HEART COUNCIL, AWARD FIREFIGHTERS and PARAMEDICS OF THE YEAR

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

In late February 2010, the Sacred Heart Council of the Knights of Columbus honored several members of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.  Here the narratives from their ceremony held in Bowie, MD.

FIRE FIGHTER GLENN TRAVIS LAMBERT

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENT
CAREER FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2009

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, OUR NEXT HONOREE IS A MEMBER OF THE PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENT:

CAREER FIRE FIGHTER TRAVIS LAMBERT.
A DOG GONE “WELL” JOB


A RAIN SOAKED AFTERNOON IN THE BACKYARD OF A SUITLAND HOME WAS THE SETTING FOR THE RESCUE OF A BELOVED FAMILY MEMBER. ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2009 AT 2:00 PM PRINCE GEORGE’S FIRE FIGHTERS ANSWERED A CALL FROM A RESIDENT, WHERE HIS 3-YEAR OLD DOG, KUJO, HAD CRAWLED UNDERNEATH A WOODEN DECK, WHICH SAT ABOUT TWO FEET ABOVE GROUND, AND FELL INTO AN ABANDONDED WELL. THE DOG BARKED AND CRIED AS THE 30-FOOT DEEP WELL WAS ALREADY FILLING WITH RAIN WATER FROM THE CURRENT HEAVY STORMS.

INCIDENT COMMANDERS DECIDED TO ATTEMPT THE RESCUE WITH THE SAFETY OF PERSONNEL PARAMOUNT TO ANY OTHER CONCERN. ADDITIONALLY, SEVERAL BY-STANDERS, INCLUDING THE DOG’S OWNER, WERE PREPARED TO GO INTO THE HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT OF THE WELL. IF FIRE FIGHTERS DID NOT PERFORM THE RESCUE OF THE CANINE, THE POTENTIAL OF HAVING HUMANS TRAPPED IN THE WELL OR INJURED FROM ATTEMPTING A RESCUE WERE A REAL POSSIBILITY.

THEREFORE, THE DEPARTMENTS TECHNICAL RESCUE TEAM WHICH HAS TRAINING IN CONFINED SPACE RESCUE, WAS SUMMONED TO THE SCENE TO GO TO WORK IN RESCUING THE 140 POUND PRESA CANARIO (MASTIFF) KUJO. FIRE FIGHTERS UNDERSTAND THE EMOTIONAL AND IMPORTANT ROLE A PET HAS IN THE FABRIC OF A FAMILY, HOWEVER, THE RISK OF PLACING A FIRE FIGHTER INTO A POTENTIALLY HAZARDUS SITUATION WAS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AND CONSTANTLY EVALUATED.

AS FIRE FIGHTERS SET UP THEIR RESCUE OPERATION, THEY HAD TO DISMANTLE MOST OF THE WOODEN DECK TO ALLOW ACCESS TO THE WELL OPENING. OPERATIONS INCLUDED THE APPLICATION OF FRESH AIR TO THE CONFINED SPACE AND A SET UP OF ROPES AND PULLEYS.

FIRE FIGHTER TRAVIS LAMBERT, A MEMBER OF THE TECHNICAL RESCUE TEAM, WEARING A SAFETY HARNESS WAS LOWERED INTO THE 30-FOOT DEEP WELL (36” DIAMETER).

ONCE AT THE BOTTOM, HE WAS ABLE TO APPLY A RESCUE HARNESS TO A COOPERATIVE KUJO. UPON HIS COMMAND, AT ABOUT 5:00 PM (3 HOURS LATER), THE DOG AND THE DOG’S BEST FRIEND, F/F LAMBERT, WERE LIFTED UP AND OUT OF THE WELL WHERE KUJO WAS UNITED WITH HIS OWNER.

THOUGH, FIRE FIGHTER LAMBERT RECEIVES RECOGNITION HERE TONIGHT, ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE TECHNICAL RESCUE TEAM SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED FOR THE YEARS OF DEDICATION, TRAINING, AND ENERGY SPENT TO BECOME PROFICIENT IN MANY DIFFERENT SPECIALTY FIELDS.

THEREFORE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FOR HIS ROLE IN THE HAZARDOUS RESCUE, THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, SACRED HEART COUNCIL, HAS SELECTED AND IS PROUD TO RECOGNIZE, FIRE FIGHTER TRAVIS LAMBERT AS THE PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY CAREER FIRE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2009.

AWARDED THIS DATE: February 20, 2010

Knights of Columbus
Sacred Heart Council No. 2577
6111 Columbian Way
Bowie, MD 20715

Additional information:

Fire Fighter Travis Lambert appeared along with the dog “KUJO” and the dog’s owner on the Today Show in New York City the following week. When the dog was weighed in New York, it hit the scales at 150 pounds.


PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENT

CAREER PARAMEDIC, LIEUTENANT DALE M. GIAMPETRONI
CAREER FIRE FIGHTER/MEDIC WESLEY R. AULD
CAREER FIRE FIGHTER/MEDIC DAVID J. WILSON
CAREER FIRE FIGHTER DERIAN C. WHITTED

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OUR NEXT HONOREES ARE CAREER MEMBERS OF THE PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE AND EMS DEPARTMENT.

PARAMEDIC LIEUTENANT DALE M. GIAMPETRONI
FIRE FIGHTER/MEDIC WESLEY R. AULD
FIRE FIGHTER/MEDIC DAVID J. WILSON
FIRE FIGHTER DERIAN C. WHITTED.

THE ABOVE PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE FIGHTER/MEDICS
ARE CREDITED WITH SAVING THE LIFE OF A 23 YEAR OLD CLINTON, MARYLAND WOMAN, WHO WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT.

AT ABOUT 10:00 AM, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2009, SADE DAVIS LOST CONTROL OF HER VEHICLE AND LEFT THE RAIN SLICKENED ROADWAY IN THE 8900 BLOCK OF TEMPLE HILLS ROAD IN CLINTON. HER VEHICLE OVERTURNED AFTER STRIKING AT LEAST ONE TREE, AND LANDED UPSIDE DOWN IN A CREEK. FIRE/EMS UNITS FROM THE CLINTON STATION HAD ALREADY BEEN DISPATCHED TO ANOTHER MEDICAL EMERGENCY AT A HOME IN THE 8700 BLOCK OF TEMPLE HILLS ROAD. WHILE ENROUTE TO THIS CALL, THEY WERE STOPPED BY A CITIZEN THAT WAS WAVING FRANTICALLY TO GET THEIR ATTENTION. BOTH PARAMEDIC UNIT 825 AND AMBULANCE 825 WERE FLAGGED DOWN AND INFORMED OF THE VEHICLE THAT HAD JUST RAN OFF THE ROAD AND OVERTURNED IN THE CREEK ABOUT 30 TO 40 FEET FROM THE ROADWAY. THE CITIZEN STATED THAT HE DID NOT SEE ANYONE GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE.

THE ON SCENE FIRE FIGHTER/MEDICS NOTIFIED THE 911 CENTER OF THE SITUATION AND OTHER EMS UNITS WERE THEN DISPATCHED TO HANDLE THE ORIGINAL CALL THEY WERE ON.

WHEN THE PERSONNEL REACHED THE CRASH SITE THEY OBSERVED A VEHICLE UPSIDE DOWN WITH THE FRONT END AND DRIVER’S AREA PARTIALLY SUBMERGED IN WATER ABOUT 4 FEET DEEP. UPON CLOSER EXAMINATION, A MOTIONLESS FEMALE WAS SEEN INSIDE THE VEHICLE THAT APPEARED TO BE UNCONSCIOUS AND LIFELESS. SHE WAS SUSPENDED BY HER SEAT BELT WITH HER UPPER BODY UNDER WATER. THE CREW KNEW THAT THIS WAS A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION AND IF IMMEDIATE ACTION WAS NOT TAKEN, SADE DAVIS WOULD CERTAINLY DIE FROM DROWNING IF NOT FROM THE INJURIES SUSTAINED FROM THE CRASH. THE CREW OF FOUR FIRE FIGHTER/MEDICS ENTERED THE WATER OF THE SLOW MOVING CREEK AND MADE THEIR WAY TO THE VEHICLE. UPON REACHING THE LOCKED VEHICLE THEY MADE ENTRY BY BREAKING A WINDOW, ASSESSED THE UNCONSCIOUS OCCUPANT, AND DETERMINED SHE WAS NOT BREATHING AND HAD NO PULSE.

SADE DAVIS WAS RAPIDLY EXTRICATED AND MEDICS STARTED CARDIO-PULMONARY RESUCIATION (CPR). MEDICS ALSO NOTED THAT THE PATIENT APPEARED TO BE IN HER THIRD TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY. ANOTHER STAFFED FIRE UNIT FROM CLINTON ARRIVED AND ASSISTED IN THE REMOVAL FROM THE CREEK BED TO THE PARAMEDIC UNIT WHERE THE PATIENT WAS LOADED ON-BOARD AND IMMEDIATELY TRANSPORTED. WHILE ENROUTE TO THE NEAREST HOSPITAL PARAMEDICS WERE ABLE TO REGAIN A PULSE AND SPORADIC BREATHING. EMERGENCY ROOM PERSONNEL WERE ABLE TO STABILIZE THE PATIENT THEN TRANSFERRED HER TO THE WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER FOR EVALUATION AND TREATMENT OF HER NEAR DROWNING COMBINED WITH COMPLICATIONS INVOLVING HER PREGNANCY.

AFTER SPENDING FOUR DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL, SADE DAVIS WAS RELEASED AND SENT HOME. BEFORE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL, DOCTORS TOLD SADE THAT IS WAS THE ACTIONS OF THE FIRE FIGHTER/MEDICS THAT SAVED HER LIFE AND PROTECTED HER PREGNANCY.

SADE DAVIS GAVE BIRTH TO A HEALTHY BABY BOY IN EARLY DECEMBER 2009. BOTH MOM AND BABY ARE DOING JUST FINE.

THEREFORE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING LIFE-SAVING PERFORMANCE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR DUTIES, THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, SACRED HEART COUNCIL, HAVE SELECTED AND ARE PROUD TO RECOGNIZE FROM THE PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE AND EMS DEPARTMENT:

LIEUTENANT DALE M. GIAMPETRONI AS CAREER PARAMEDIC OF THE YEAR 2009. DAVID J. WILSON CAREER FIRE FIGHTER/MEDIC OF THE YEAR 2009. WESLEY R. AULD CAREER FIRE FIGHTER MEDIC OF THE YEAR 2009. AND TO DERIAN C. WHITTED CAREER FIRE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2009.

AWARDED THIS DATE: February 20, 2010

Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Council No.2577
6111 Columbian Way Bowie, MD. 20715

District Heights Apartment Fire - Alarms Failed to Work


An early morning District Heights apartment fire caused significant damage and had residents unaware that their building was on fire. An unknown Good Samaritan, described by apartment residents as a taxi driver, alerted the sleeping residents of the dangers of the fire because the buildings alarm system never sounded a warning. Thanks to vigilance and persistence of the taxi driver all the residents were alerted to the danger. Most residents escaped safely on their own, others retreated to their balconies seeking rescue.


An unattended candle left burning overnight ignited combustibles inside of a bedroom of an apartment on the terrace level of the 3-story garden style apartment at 6449 Hilmar Drive in District Heights. The residents in the apartment of origin were awakened by strange sounds and smoky conditions. The smoke alarm in the apartment did not work and was not able to provide the sleeping residents an early warning of the fire. Fortunately, the five family members, 3 adults and 2 children, were able to escape.

At about 3:30 AM, Thursday, March 11, 2010, firefighters and paramedics were dispatched to the apartment and 911 callers indicated that some residents were trapped and unable to escape via the stairwell. Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire conditions in the ground level apartment with several upper floor residents needing rescue from their balconies. As one team of firefighters effected the rescues, another team stretched hoselines into the building and initiated an aggressive interior attack on the fire. Firefighters worked for 20 minutes before knocking down the fire.

Firefighters and paramedics from the District Heights, Forestville, Silver Hill, Seat Pleasant, Morningside, Kentland, Tuxedo-Cheverly and Ritchie Fire/EMS Stations were on the scene.

Two adult female residents, from different apartments, sustained minor injuries and were treated on the scene by paramedics and did not go to the hospital. The five family members displaced by the fire were assisted by the Fire/EMS Departments Citizens Services Unit with temporary shelter.

Fire Investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal have labeled the fire as accidental and attributed to the unattended candle. Fire loss is estimated at $100,000. Fire officials issued a correction order to the apartment complex management mandating the repair of smoke alarms and the buildings alarm system. A follow-up inspection will be performed.

The failure of the apartments smoke alarms comes at a time of the year that firefighters across the Country remind everyone that his upcoming weekend is when clocks are adjusted forward 1-hour to reflect Daylight Savings Time. This is a good reminder that it is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarm. If you changed your batteries in the Fall then test that your alarm is working and practice your home escape plan. Testing your smoke alarm is so easy it can be done with just one finger; simply push the test button on the face cover of your alarm. If it does not emit a beeping sound, you need to act immediately to change the batteries or replace the alarm. Prince George’s County citizens and residents can have a working smoke alarm installed in their homes, free of charge; by calling our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE. Surrounding jurisdictions have similar programs, please, contact your Fire Department by calling their non-emergency number.

Citizens and residents should remember to never let a candle burn while unattended. Extinguish the flame before leaving the room where a burning candle is located and before going to bed. A candle should be based in a sturdy container and never placed near combustibles such as cloths, curtains, paper products, etc.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Firefighter/Medics Return to Bowie Home and Install CO Alarm

Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

On the morning of Thursday February 25, 2010, Bowie resident Naila Ferkic awoke and prepared to get ready for work. She did not feel well, perhaps the flu, she thought. She called her work to say she would not be in and lay back down. Later that morning, her fiancé, Dave Teat, arrived at their home in the 12200 block of Maycheck Lane and discovered Naila unable to talk or walk and was in obvious distress. He called 911 and an ambulance from the nearby Bowie Fire/EMS Station #839 was dispatched and arrived quickly. The ambulance crew conducted a patient assessment and at first thought they were dealing with a severe case of the flu. That assessment quickly changed when the Firefighter/Medics happened to see the family dog that was nearly unconscious and drooling. The crew immediately considered the possibility of carbon monoxide exposure (CO) and removed the patient from the house and initiated treatment for CO poisoning.


As the ambulance crew continued to treat the patient they summoned additional assistance to investigate their belief of CO inside the home. Firefighters from the Bowie Fire/EMS Station #839 arrived and began to investigate the atmosphere inside the 1-story single family rancher style home. Their gas meter detected a level of 400 parts per million (PPM) of CO. Any reading above 35 PPM is unhealthy.

The ambulance crew had departed the scene and was transporting the 36 year-old-female patient to a local hospital. They were notified by the firefighters on the scene that they were correct in the assessment and the patient was exposed to high levels of CO. After reaching the local hospital the patient was stabilized and transferred to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore for hyperbaric treatment. She was released later that night. Her dog, a 3-year-old toy poodle, “Trupco,” was taken by a neighbor to a local veterinarian and held overnight for treatment of CO exposure and was released the next day.

Firefighters determined that the high levels of CO were being generated by a malfunctioning furnace. The furnace was shut down and is awaiting repairs.

Firefighters from the Bowie Station returned to the home today on Maycheck Lane, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, and installed a combination CO and smoke alarm for the family. The house was already equipped with working smoke alarms and is now protected by a CO alarm. Naila told firefighters, “I have had sleepless nights since that day for fear of something being wrong. Now I feel better with the CO alarm.”

CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and is referred to as the “The Silent Killer.” Because the properties of CO (colorless, odorless and tasteless) make it nearly impossible to detect without monitoring equipment. A working CO alarm is the best method citizens and residents can use to detect the presence of CO. CO alarms are inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores. High levels of CO results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion and/or the inadequate ventilation of CO after normal combustion. Sources of CO are unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

• Install at least one battery-powered CO alarm on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, and make sure it is more than 5 feet from fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.

• Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect these appliances for adequate ventilation.

• Do not burn charcoal inside your house, even in the fireplace.

• Do not use gasoline powered generators inside of your house.

• Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting.

• Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.

If It Happens to You

• Never ignore your CO alarm if it sounds.

• Operate test/reset button.

• Determine if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning such as a headache, nausea, drowsiness or confusion. Call 911.

• Open doors and windows, or exit your home. Leave the CO alarm where it is.

• If you have an alarm with digital display, emergency responders can determine the highest level of CO present and decide how to treat victims.

• Do not return to your home until the emergency personnel have arrived, the home is aired out and your CO alarm returns to normal operation.

This weekend, when clocks are moved forward to Daylight Savings Time, is a good time to remember to change the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms as well. “Change your clock – Change your battery.”


FF/Medic Zach Myers, FF Technician Kevin Roberts, resident Dave Teat, resident Naila Ferkic and Trupco, FF/Medic Jonathan Coleman and Fire Captain John Beck after the installation of a combination CO and smoke alarm.  FF/Medic Myers and Fire technician Roberts were on the original call.

PGFD Personnel are Textbook Models for EMT

Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Numerous members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department are models for two recently released textbooks and accompanying workbooks. Dozens of volunteer and career members of the Department are depicted in photos throughout the textbooks including the cover of each book. The images show PGFD personnel correctly demonstrating a skill required of an Emergency Medical Technician.


The books, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN and EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDER, Second Edition of each, are authored by Barbara Aehlert and published by McGraw Hill were released in February 2010. The images of Prince George’s County personnel were photographed by Rick Brady. Rick is well known within the emergency service and healthcare textbook industry and is a veteran photographer with over 40 years of experience. As a matter of full disclosure; Rick Brady is the brother of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Departments Chief Spokesman and PIO Mark Brady.

PGFD, Pepco and Metro Partner for Fire Safety


Contact: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Pepco’s Emergency Services Partnership Program (ESPP) will sponsor a specially wrapped Metro bus to promote the critical safety message that “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives." This is part of Pepco’s continuing effort to support the vital partnerships that exist with our first responders in Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. Pepco’s sponsorship of this initiative further demonstrates our corporate commitment to public safety. The mobile message comes at a time when firefighters are urging residents to check their alarms and remind them that when they change their clocks this coming weekend to Daylight Savings Time to also change the batteries in their smoke alarms.

The wrapped Metro buses resemble a red fire truck and display the logos of the public safety units charged with delivering the life saving smoke alarm message to the greater Washington Metropolitan area. PEPCO is also sponsoring wrapped METRO Buses in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County as well. “Over the next three years, these buses will travel throughout the Pepco service territory to be seen by thousands of our customers, local government officials and our first responders to publicize and promote the importance of having a working smoke alarm,” said Joseph M. Rigby, Chairman, President and CEO of Pepco’s parent firm, Pepco Holdings, Inc

Mr. Rigby’s image is featured on the bus backs along with those of Chief Rubin, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Richard R. Bowers and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Chief Eugene A. Jones, who adds, “The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department are proud to be partners with Pepco in promoting fire safety and injury prevention. This is a pubic safety partnership designed to save lives.”

“I want to give a special thanks to Metro for their contributing three busses to the cause,” concluded Mr. Rigby. “We could not have this unique message without the vehicle to deliver it across the region. Metro is performing a life-saving public service that is greatly appreciated.”

Any Prince George’s County citizen and resident can have a smoke alarm installed in their home, free of charge, by contacting our Livable Communities Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE.

The men and women of your Fire/EMS Department remind you to:

 Place properly installed and maintained smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas and on every level of your home. In Prince George’s County, the law requires that every home have at least one working smoke alarm.

 Test your smoke alarm monthly and change batteries at least once every year. Use the reminder that when you “Change your clock – Change your Battery.”

Fire Chief Jones stated, “Everyone should have working smoke alarms and a home escape plan in the event of an emergency. Having a working smoke alarm increases your chances of surviving a fire by 50%. Also consider the installation of a residential sprinkler system and carbon monoxide alarms to further protect your family and home.”


Monday, March 8, 2010

Volunteer Paramedic Ambulance 849 Placed In Service

BY: Barry Johnson, Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad
and Mark E. Brady, Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department

On Monday February 22nd, the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad (LVRS) and the Prince George's Fire and EMS Department (PGFD) placed its first all Volunteer Paramedic Ambulance in service. This Paramedic Ambulance, staffed by a paramedic and specially trained EMT-B, allows for a greater coverage of Advanced Life Support (ALS) service to the citizens of Prince George's County while allowing volunteer paramedics to practice their hard earned ALS skills. LVRS is proud to have been chosen by PGFD to be the first company to bring this valuable life saving service to the citizens of Greater Laurel. The Paramedic Ambulance will be in service as equipment and personnel are available and will be in service more often as more paramedics are moved through the training. We look forward to having more volunteer paramedics work through the internship process so they too can provide this service to other parts of the county.

This new program is the result of many meetings, various strategies and countless hours of working through details. The Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad would like to thank Fire Chief Eugene Jones, Major Dennis Wood, Volunteer ALS Coordinator Jaime Simpson, Volunteer EMS Coordinator Brian Bregman, Past LVRS Chief David Morgan and current LVRS Chief Mark Arsenault for providing the means, time, equipment and commitment that allowed this partnership to provide expanded ALS coverage.

In 2009, the Basic Life Support (BLS) Ambulances from the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad responded on over 3400 calls for service. The Paramedic Unit assigned to the Fire/EMS Station, which provides Advanced Life Support (ALS), handled nearly 2400 responses. Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, "The addition of a volunteer staffed Paramedic Ambulance is a step in the right direction as we move forward in the delivery of advanced life support to the citizens and residents of Laurel and surrounding communities. I also look forward to additional volunteer personnel to work their way through the approval process with our Medical Director and begin staffing these life-saving services." He concluded his comments by saying, "I commend those personnel, volunteer and career, that are currently providing the very best in advanced life support, your dedication to service, commitment and compassion to patient care is evident on every call you respond to." The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department responded to about 130,000 calls for service in 2009. Of those calls about 80% were EMS related.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Two Early Morning Commercial Fires Remain Under Investigation

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

Prince George’s County Firefighters battled two early morning fires involving commercial structures with the cause of each fire still under investigation.


The first fire occurred just before 4:00 AM, Sunday, March 07, 2010, in Bowie. Firefighters were alerted to a fire on a construction site in the 12900 block of 11th Street. Fire/EMS units encountered a fire involving a small structure, 3 cement trucks and large amounts of debris. About 30 firefighters worked for about 45 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire. AMTRAK officials worked with firefighters as the site was adjacent to the tracks. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $2,000,000.

The second fire occurred at about 5:30 AM at a BP Gas Station at Addison Road and Martin Luther King Highway in Seat Pleasant. Firefighters arrived to find the 1-story structure well involved with fire. There were 35 firefighters on the scene that worked for about an hour to contain and extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $200,000.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hyattsville Resident Succumbs to Burn Injuries - Daughter Survives

A father rescued along with his young daughter by firefighters from their burning Hyattsville apartment last week has succumbed to his injuries. A 911 call from the management office of the complex reported the apartment fire just before 9:00 AM, Friday, February 26, 2010. Prince George’s County Firefighters from Hyattsville and surrounding communities responded to the 3200 block of Toledo Place, Toledo Plaza Apartments, and arrived to find a fire in a second floor apartment of the 3-story brick apartment building. Firefighters stretched hoselines into the apartment and initiated a search and rescue for any trapped occupants. Firefighters located two unconscious occupants in the apartment of origin. The father and daughter, an adult male and female child, were immediately removed to the exterior of the building where medics initiated medical care. A precautionary 2nd Alarm was sounded but never utilized as the fire was knocked down quickly and contained to the apartment of origin.


The adult male sustained critical burn and smoke inhalation injuries and transported to a Burn Unit. The female child was suffering from smoke injuries and transported to a hospital specializing in the treatment of children. Medics were successful in resuscitating her prior to arriving at the hospital.

Fire Investigators from the Fire/EMS Departments Office of the Fire Marshal determined the fire was “accidental” and attributed to an extension cord. An extension cord, powering a space heater, was underneath a couch and ignited the fire. Fire damage was estimated at $60,000.

The 3 ½ year-old-female spent the weekend in the hospital until her release on Monday. Her father, Mohamed M. Magassouba, 39 years-of-age (DOB 4/24/1970), tragically, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Citizens and residents should use this tragic incident as a reminder that extension cords should only be used when they are of a compatible rating with the appliance bring powered and never placed underneath carpets, furniture or inside walls or ceilings. A space heater uses a large amount of electricity to generate heat. The electric current demand by a space heater is typically higher then what a regular household extension cord can handle. An under-rated extension cord used to power a space heater could overheat and cause a fire.

Chapel Oaks Fire Displaces Family

At approximately 9:00 AM, Tuesday, March 2, 2010, Fire/EMS units were dispatched to the 800 block of Booker Place in Chapel Oaks for a possible house fire. Upon arrival units discovered a 2-story, duplex-style, multi-family structure, with heavy smoke showing on the 2nd floor. One occupant was home at the time as was able to escape unharmed. Firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire on the 2nd floor and stop any extension to the other side of duplex. A family of 6 (2 adults and 4 children) were displaced and assisted by the Citizens Service Unit and the American Red Cross. No injuries were reported.


The cause of the fire was due to an electrical appliance with a preliminary fire loss estimated at $60,000. The structure sustained $50,000 in damages and $10,000 in damages to contents.

Fire/EMS units operating at the scene were Chapel Oaks, Kentland, Seat Pleasant, Ritchie, Landover Hills and District Heights. There were a 45 firefighters/medics operating on the fire ground.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Family Displaced After Clinton Home Suffers Fire



Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Community residents of the Mary Catherine Estates in Clinton called 911 this afternoon alerting firefighters that a neighbor’s house was on fire. Just after 3:00 PM, Tuesday, March 2, 2010, firefighters from Clinton and surrounding communities arrived in the 3300 block of Accolade Drive and encountered a 2-story, non-sprinklered, single family home with fire on the lower level with extension to the upper floor. Heavy smoke was coming from the attic and windows as firefighters stretched hoselines inside the structure. Interior visibility was near zero from thick black smoke with high heat conditions as firefighters searched the house for any trapped occupants and for the location of the fire. The fire was soon located on the lower level and extinguished. No residents were home and no injuries were reported.

A family of four, 2 adult females and 2 children, will be displaced and are being assisted by the Fire/EMS Departments Citizen Services Unit and the Red Cross with temporary shelter.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and a preliminary fire loss is estimated at $200,000. The structure sustained $150,000 in damages and $50,000 in damages to the contents.

In addition to Clinton Fire/EMS Station, Fire/EMS units from Allentown, Accokeek, Brandywine, Oxon Hill #842, Morningside and a unit from Charles County assisted in the extinguishment and overhaul of the home. Incident Commanders requested a Fire Task Force which resulted in Fire/EMS units from Silver Hill, District Heights and Forestville as well as an ambulance, paramedics and EMS supervisors to the scene. There were 40 firefighter/medics on the scene that required 15 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire.


Technical Rescue Services Awarded


Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

The personnel of Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Departments Technical Rescue Services Team (TRS) received a commendation and acknowledgment for their hard work and dedication to the citizens and residents. Major Rudy Thomas presented the personnel with plaques recognizing the excellence of personnel for their work ethic and professionalism in several recent incidents. These incidents included the rescue of a teen aged male from a snow covered steep incline, the rescue of an unstable male from the Northwest Branch, the removal of individuals that had slid off the roadway and down an extremely steep incline in Largo; twice, and the rescue of 2 dogs from deep confined spaces on separate incidents. These rescues were in addition to the dozens of collapse calls responded to during the record heavy snowfall of February 2010.

The Departments Technical Rescue Services Team responds to incidents involving; confined space, high-angle, swift water/water, trench rescue, collapse and any rescue requiring the application of special knowledge, skills, and equipment to safely resolve unique and/or complex rescue situations. The primary response of personnel and equipment for technical rescue incidents reside with the Tuxedo-Cheverly Fire/EMS Station. There are two satellite stations that include equipment and personnel response from Fort Washington and Berwyn Heights Fire/EMS Stations. The Departments Water Rescue and Recovery Team Stations 856 and 857 and the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad Station 849 are included in the TRS efforts for water and swift water incidents.

Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones will present a Department Unit Citation to the Technical Rescue Services Team in the near future. This is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a group within the Fire/EMS Department. Chief Jones also acknowledged Major Thomas for his years of dedicated service to the citizens and residents of Prince George's County and for his coordination of special services for the Department. Major Thomas is scheduled to retire after 20 years of service at the end of this month.