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Thursday, April 29, 2010

3 House Fires on Thursday Afternoon

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

Thursday afternoon, April 29, 2010, proved to be a busy time for firefighters as they fought three separate house fires within a 95 minute period. This rare occurrence of significant fire incidents within a short time frame displaced a total of 12 residents, caused an estimated $365,000 in fire loss; however, there were no civilian or firefighter injuries. There were just over 100 firefighters that operated on the scene of the three incidents, not including the personnel on the dozen pieces of apparatus transferred to fill-in at empty Fire/EMS stations.

The first incident involved a 2 ½ story home being used as a boarding house; Firefighters from the District Heights area were alerted at about 2:40 PM and arrived to encounter heavy fire conditions on the top floor. Thirty-five firefighters and medics worked for 30 minutes to knock the fire down. Fire Investigators believe an electrical malfunction ignited the blaze that caused an estimated $70,000 in damages. The Fire/EMS Departments Citizens Services Unit and American Red Cross assisted the 8 residents displaced.

The next incident was dispatched just 7 minutes after the initial incident while firefighters were aggressively battling the fire in District Heights. At 2:47 pm, Prince Georges County Firefighters from the Beltsville area and Montgomery County Firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 3400 block of Stonehall Drive in Calverton. Firefighters arrived to find a 1-story, with basement, single family home with fire showing from the roof. There were 30 firefighters on the scene that initiated a quick interior attack on the fire and had the bulk of the fire contained and knocked down within 20 minutes. The 2 occupants were assisted by the Citizens Services Unit with ensuring temporary shelter. Fire Investigators declared the fire as accidental and attributed to a malfunctioning electrical appliance. Fire loss was estimated at $45,000.

Firefighters and apparatus from neighboring stations were transferred into the Beltsville community to cover the area normally protected by the Fire/EMS units operating on the scene at Stonehall Drive. Those transferred units and additional firefighters from Anne Arundel County were soon dispatched to a reported house fire in the 8700 block of Oxwell Lane, a 2-story single family home in the Montpellier section of Laurel, at about 4:15 pm. Fire/EMS units arrived to find heavy fire through the roof of what once was a garage and had been converted into a family room. The fire extended quickly into the second floor and roof area with an eventual collapse of a portion of the roof structure. Firefighters were evacuated due to the collapse and increasing untenable conditions and the 40 firefighters on the scene continued to extinguish the fire and protect exposures from the exterior. Two residents are displaced from their home and were assisted by the Citizen Services Unit; the displaced will be staying will family members. Fire Investigators continue to investigate the cause of the fire and estimated fire loss at $250,000.

Fire/EMS units from the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Howard Counties transferred into Prince George’s County while firefighters battled these fires.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crash with Injury on Laurel-BowieRoad in Bowie

A multi vehicle crash with injuries and entrapment occurred at about 4:00 pm, Tuesday, April 27, 2010. The crash occurred on Laurel-Bowie Road (Route 197) near Grason Lane in Bowie, MD. Four passenger vehicles were involved in what started out as a head-on collision when, according to witnesses, a vehicle swerved to avoid hitting a school bus. No students were on the bus. The vehicle entered into the opposing lane of traffic resulting in a four vehicle collision. An adult female and an adult male were trapped in their separate vehicles before firefighters quickly extricated them. Those 2 patients were transported by paramedics to a trauma center with what appear to be serious, non-life threatening injuries. Five other patients; adult female, her pre-teen son, 2 teen-aged males and 1 teen-aged female sustained minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals. 3 adults were evaluated at the scene and refused transport. City of Bowie Police are investigating.

Laurel-Bowie Road (Route 197) was closed in both directions between Annapolis Road (Route 450) and Grason Lane.

School Bus Contacts Low-Hanging Utility Lines.

At about 3:00 pm, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, a school bus came in contact with low hanging utility lines and pulled them down onto the bus while travelling on Guilford Road in College Park. The approximately 40 students on-board from the Hyattsville Middle School remained calm as College Park Firefighters took all required precautions in dealing with downed overhead utility lines and stood-by awaiting the arrival of a utility company. PEPCO arrived just before 4:00 pm and removed the potential hazards from the bus. No injuries occurred.

EMS WEEK - Do You Have What it Takes to Handle a Shift????

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is preparing to honor our EMS personnel who dedicate their lives for our safety and well being. We want the members of the media to experience just a small portion of what our EMS personnel experience on a daily basis. See the dedication commitment, compassion and extraordinary level of pre-hospital care, up front and in-person, of our Fire Fighter/Medics and EMT’s. Do you have what it takes to handle this action???

National EMS Week is May 16 through 22, 2010, and we invite the members of the media and the general public to join us in recognizing our personnel for everything they do.

 We encourage all members of the media including radio, TV, print, internet in any job capacity to consider attending a ride-along with our EMS units. You pick the day and time frame and then experience a day that you will not soon forget.

 The Fire/EMS Department will make EMS personnel available to appear on your shows or be available for interviews during EMS Week. Personnel will be certified paramedics that will be well-versed about EMS Week and related activities.

 On May 17, 2010, Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones will award several deserving Fire/EMS personnel for notable actions.

Other activities are being planned and will be announced. We encourage everyone’s participation.

To set-up a ride-along or interviews with our EMS personnel, please, contact me via e-mail or call me at 240-508-7930.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Volunteer Captain Walter “Joe” Brown                        Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey
Gold Medal of Valor                                                       Gold Medal of Valor
                                                      Firefighter of the Year

Fire Fighter/Medic Jamieson Scarlata                                   Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel J. Robinson
Silver Medal of Valor                                                              Silver Medal of Valor
Paramedic of the Year                                                             Paramedic of the Year

Paramedic Captain Ernest “Danny” Hughes
Silver Medal of Valor
Paramedic of the Year

Presented to
Volunteer Captain Walter “Joe” Brown
Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey

Presented to
Fire Fighter/Medic Jamieson Scarlata
Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel J. Robinson
Paramedic Captain Ernest “Danny” Hughes

Presented to
Volunteer Lieutenant Curtis Patterson
Volunteer Chief Anthony Kelleher
Volunteer Deputy Chief Patrick Mann
Volunteer Lieutenant Peter Johnson
Volunteer Sergeant Timothy Moore JR

An early morning house fire in April of 2009 nearly claimed the life of Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel McGown if it had not been for the actions of fellow firefighters and paramedics. After attempting to exit a burning Kettering home, McGown fell unconscious and without the protection of his face piece sustained critical burns to his face and airway.

Alert firefighters heard a loud audible firefighter’s distress signal emitting from Fire Fighter McGown’s breathing apparatus. Firefighters tracked the distress sound quickly locating and removing McGown from the nearly untenable conditions. Paramedics assessed and treated his injuries and successfully maintained an open airway under extremely challenging conditions while transporting to the Burn Unit.

For extreme personal risk and the highest degree of judgment, zeal, and ingenuity;

Volunteer Captain Walter “Joe” Brown and Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey are awarded the GOLD Medal of Valor.

For great judgment and skills; Fire Fighter/Medic Jamieson Scarlata, Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel J. Robinson and Paramedic Captain Ernest “Danny” Hughes are awarded the SILVER Medal of Valor.

For unusual personal risk and ingenuity; Volunteer Chief Anthony Kelleher, Volunteer Deputy Chief Patrick Mann, Volunteer Lieutenant Curtis Patterson, Volunteer Lieutenant Peter Johnson and Volunteer Sergeant Timothy Moore JR are awarded the BRONZE Medal of Valor.


Let it be known that because of their unparalleled courage and skills used to save the life of others; Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones takes great pride in naming Fire Fighter/Medic Jamieson Scarlata, Fire Fighter/Medic Daniel J. Robinson and Paramedic Captain Ernest “Danny” Hughes as 2009 Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department’s Paramedics of the Year.


Furthermore, let it be known that because of his unparalleled courage and skills used to save the life of others in two incidents; Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones takes great pride in naming Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey as the 2009 Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department’s Fire Fighter of the Year

Presented to
Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Dale Giampetroni
Fire Fighter/Medic David J. Wilson, Sr.
Fire Fighter/Medic Wesley R. Auld
Fire Fighter Derian C. Whitted

This foursome of Fire Fighter/Medics is credited with saving not one but two lives on a Saturday morning in October 2009. This group encountered a vehicle that had driven off the roadway and overturned in a creek. The vehicle and the lone female occupant were submerged underwater. When Fire Fighter/Medics arrived they worked feverishly to free the female and found her to have sustained a head injury and had stopped breathing and had no pulse. Paramedics also noted that she was pregnant. CPR was initiated and the critically injured female was transported to an area hospital. While en route to the hospital, paramedics were able to resuscitate the victim. She was stabilized at the hospital and later transferred to the Washington Hospital Center for additional evaluations of her unborn child. After a week in the hospital she was released and in early December gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

For great personal risk, judgment, zeal, and ingenuity the SILVER Medal of Valor is awarded to these Fire Fighter/Medics.

Presented to
Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey

Presented to
Fire Fighter Captain Kenneth F. Fusco
Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin Brenner

During an April 2009 afternoon, Fire/EMS units were dispatched to a house fire in the 6500 block of Seat Pleasant Drive with a report of an occupant trapped. Despite high heat and zero visibility, Kentland Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey located the victim in a second floor bedroom. He was soon met by Fire Fighter Captain Kenneth F. Fusco who assisted in the removal of the victim while Seat Pleasant Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin Brenner directed his hoseline to protect the pair as they removed the victim. The victim, a 70 year old male, has since made a full recovery of his burn and smoke injuries.

For great personal risk and zeal - Volunteer Fire Fighter Timothy McCloskey is awarded the SILVER Medal of Valor.

For unusual personal risk and judgment - Fire Fighter Captain Kenneth F. Fusco and Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin Brenner are awarded the BRONZE Medal of Valor.

Presented To
Fire Fighter/Medic Rachel M. Edney

While off-duty, Fire Fighter/Medic Rachael Edney was a patron of an Edgewater Maryland restaurant in Anne Arundel County on Sunday, February 1, 2009. She responded to cries of help from the dock area and without hesitation went to offer assistance. When she arrived at the docks she saw a man was slipping underneath the water of the South River and he was unable to rescue himself. Without fear of her own safety she jumped into the frigid waters and grabbed the man as he sunk lower into the water. She supported herself and the victim before other patrons and Anne Arundel County Fire Fighter/Medics arrived and provided assistance. The 61 year old male was transported to an area hospital after the near drowning incident suffering from hypothermia. His prosthetic leg caused him to stumble as he walked along the docks and he fell into the water. He was admitted to the hospital overnight and has since made a full recovery of his episode.

For great personal risk and zeal - Fire Fighter/Medic Rachel M. Edney is awarded the SILVER Medal of Valor.

Presented to
Battalion Chief Kenneth D. McSwain
Fire Captain Robert W. Rouse
Fire Captain Grady A.Valencis
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Scot A. Williams
Fire Fighter/Medic Captain John I. Gatland
Fire Lieutenant Rich Anderson
Fire Fighter/MedicTechnician Ernest S. Lindqvist
Fire Fighter/Medic Antwan D. Holbert
Fire Fighter Curk M. Smart
Fire Fighter/Medic Kelli D. Kivett
Fire Fighter/Medic Technician Shaun P. Duppins
Volunteer Fire Fighter Andrew Yang
Fire Fighter/Medic Joseph W. Krakosky
Fire Fighter/Medic Julius W. Lipscomb III
Fire Fighter/Medic Amir L. Barnes
Fire Fighter/Medic Christine L. Burley
Fire Fighter Gerald “Andre” DeShields
Volunteer Fire Fighter Greg Powell
Fire Fighter/Medic Michael S. Williams
Fire Fighter/Medic William B. Descutner
Fire Fighter/Medic Rachel M Edney

For quick thinking and fast actions of these first arriving firefighters that evacuated 45 civilians from stores at the Penn Mar Shopping Center in May 2009, just moments before a large explosion occurred. Eight of these personnel and one Gas Company employee sustained injuries; however, not one civilian injury occurred thanks to these firefighters. The blast surely would have caused serious injury and death if evacuations were not immediately conducted.

For unusual personal risk, judgment, zeal and preventing injury and death to 45 civilians, the BRONZE Medal of Valor is awarded to these firefighters.

Presented to
Volunteer Captain James Kiernan, Jr.
Volunteer Fire Fighter John Schunk
Volunteer Fire Fighter Ben Ross
Volunteer Fire Fighter David Cooper
Volunteer Fire Fighter Bryan Eldridge
Volunteer Fire Fighter William Heiney
Volunteer Fire Fighter Randy Piper
Volunteer Fire Fighter Brad Badali

On Saturday, October 17, 2009, at about 8:45 a.m., 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, Berwyn Heights 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, as well as several injured residents lying on the ground. Without hesitation and without the protection of a charged hand-line, the crew from Truck 814 rescued seven occupants from the fire building. Numerous residents were transported to area hospitals with a variety of injuries; however, all survived. The quick actions of first arriving personnel prevented more serious and possible fatal injuries from occurring.

For unusual personal risk, judgment and zeal the BRONZE Medal of Valor is awarded to these firefighters.

Presented to
Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey

An early morning crash in September 2009 left a victim trapped underneath his SUV - with both submerged in a water filled ravine. Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey was assigned to operate the Jaws of Life to extricate the critically injured teen-age male victim from his precarious location. He began to work beneath the water to extricate the patient. This was a particularly difficult and challenging task that required a great deal of expertise and skill. McVey operated the Jaws of Life under the water while maintaining physical contact with the victim while simultaneously feeling 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 patient was extricated within 30 minutes of the Fire/EMS Department’s arrival and was transported to a Trauma Center.

For unusual judgment and ingenuity - Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin McVey is awarded the BRONZE Medal of Valor.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Overnight Fires Damage Two Homes

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

Two overnight house fires remain under investigation this morning. The first fire occurred late Tuesday, April 20, 2010, just before 12:00 am. Firefighters from the Upper Marlboro area were alerted to a house fire in the 10300 block of Duke of Wellington Court and arrived to find a 2-story, vacant, single family home with heavy fire showing from the second floor. Firefighters had initially staged an interior attack to extinguish the fire and conduct primary and secondary searches but were forced to evacuate to the safety of the exterior as conditions became untenable. Shortly after evacuating personnel from the burning home the roof collapsed. There were no injuries reported. It took about an hour to knock down the bulk of the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigations and no word from Incident Commanders about estimated fire loss.

As firefighters were still dealing with the fire in Upper Marlboro, another house fire was reported in the 8300 block of Rambler Drive in Adelphi. At about 12:40 am, Wednesday, April 21, 2010, firefighters and paramedics were alerted to a house fire and arrived to find a 2-story single family home with heavy fire showing from the rear of the house. The fire had extended to both floors and firefighters were aggressively attacking the fire when they were forced to evacuate the structure due to a collapse on the rear side of the home. All firefighters were accounted for and efforts to contain and extinguish the fire continued. It took about 30 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire. An adult male resident was transported to a Burn Unit with burns to his upper body as well as three firefighters that sustained minor burns. The resident is in good condition with 1st and 2nd degree burns, his injuries are non-life threatening. The three firefighters from the Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station were treated and released from the Burn Unit earlier today. The cause and origin of this fire is currently under investigation and fire loss is estimated at $250,000.

A family of 3 adults and 3 children will be displaced as a result of this fire. They are being assisted by the Citizen Services Unit and the American Red Cross with temporary relief and shelter.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


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

Firefighters from the Bowie area fought a well advanced fire in a Bowie home early this morning. Just after 1:30 am, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, firefighters arrived at the 1-sotry ranch style home in the 4000 block of Croydon Lane with heavy fire showing. About 10 minutes after the firefighter’s arrival a large portion of the roof collapsed. It required about 45 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire. The home was unoccupied and no injures were reported.

After the fire was extinguished, firefighters found a quantity of CDS inside the house. Police were immediately notified and reported to the scene. The City of Bowie Police Department and the County Police Department will be handling the CDS portion of the investigation while Fire Investigators will continue to search for the origin and cause of the fire. The case remains open and under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $200,000.

Monday, April 19, 2010

PGFD Personnel Catch AMTRAK Training

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

Nearly 400 members of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department have recently completed training with safety officials from AMTRAK. Companies and command officers throughout the Department have been participating in Amtrak training for the past two months. In March, AMTRAK officials conducted two weeks of classroom training sessions at area fire stations. Stations and personnel receiving the training are ones that would normally respond to incidents involving AMTRAK and MARC commuter trains. In April, safety officials from AMTRAK conducted the hands-on portion training at the Ivy City Yard Rail in Washington DC.

The CSX training was initiated by Second Battalion Chief John Keller after one of his first responses in a supervisory capacity was for a locomotive on fire. There were some awareness and training issues that occurred on the incident and he sought the guidance of a retired member of the Department. Keller contacted retired PGFD Battalion Chief Doug Osterhouse, former heavy rail liaison officer for the Department. As it turns out; Doug Osterhouse is currently employed by AMTRAK as an instructor in their Emergency Preparedness Department and offered to facilitate training for the Fire/EMS Department.

Between 150 and 200 passenger trains, AMTRAK and MARC, operate through Prince George's County each day, each having the capacity of carrying 1,250 passengers on one train. Battalion Chief Keller stated, “There exists a potential for a large incident that we need to be prepared for. This training has generated a lot of round table discussion at the fire stations on how to prepare themselves to handle such large incident.”

During the hands-on training, Jeff Wiegel, Manger of AMTRAK’s Emergency Preparedness Department and Doug Osterhouse conducted a walk through of the different types of commuter trains. Firefighters were able to visually see the escape windows, emergency brakes, solid train construction and different designs of the trains.

The training highlighted awareness and that operating on the scene of a railroad emergency is not a normal operation. Fire/EMS personnel will be faced with hazards they do not usually encounter. Crews need to understand the potential hazards around them while operating on a rail way, which would include but not limited to the rail traffic and electrical hazards. Instructor Osterhouse stated, “It is our desire that personnel attending this awareness training leave understanding the unique danger and potential for danger that heavy rail traffic brings into a firefighters operation.”

For additional training go to http://www.csxsafe.com/  for a 20 minute drill on Rail Safety.

Federal Funding Received for EMS Training Equipment

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin (both D-Md.) announced that the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has received $96,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP). Senator Mikulski is on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the AFGP and fights each year to increase its federal funding. Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee, which each year sets priorities for funding to federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security.

“I know how important this funding is to Maryland communities – often it’s the difference between life and death. First responders protect our homes and communities, and the federal government has a responsibility to protect them by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs safer and smarter,” said Senator Mikulski. “Every day when our first responders report for duty, they don’t know what they will face. That’s why I fight every year for the equipment, training, and staffing our protectors and communities deserve.”

Senator Cardin said, “First responders have always been on the front lines, keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe from harm. I thank these brave men and women for their continuing service and sense of duty to our community. I am proud to support federal investment through local grants like this, which is essential to ensure our community heroes have the equipment and training they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.”

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department received the award under the Operations & Safety program area of the AFGP, and will use the funds to purchase EMS training equipment, including simulation mannequins, an ambulance simulator and Audio/Visual technology. Prince George’s County, MD, has the largest and busiest combination Fire/EMS Departments in the Country responding on nearly 135,000 calls for service a year with a career/volunteer staff of just over 2,000 personnel.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene Jones acknowledged the attention to detail that is required to be successful in receiving federal funding. “I commend Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Brian Frankel and staff at the Fire/EMS Training Academy for successfully pursing this funding for EMS training equipment. These funds translate into being able to provide the best possible service for our citizens and residents.”

AFGP grants fund firefighting equipment, personal protection equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, firefighter/first responder safety projects, and staffing recruitment and retention, as well as public fire safety education. Since 2001, Maryland fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) units have received nearly $80 million in AFGP funding, over $10 million of which has gone to fire departments and EMS units in Prince George’s County.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

MD Govenor O'Malley Visits Capital Heights VFD

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley had proclaimed that Capitol Heights, MD, in Prince George’s County will be the first “Capital for a Day” destination for the 2010 series. The monthly program brings the State Capital to every corner of Maryland through a series of events across a diverse selection of Maryland cities, towns and communities.

“I’m very proud to continue the ‘Capital for a Day’ program, which has brought the State Capital and its cabinet to every region of our state and more than fifteen counties and jurisdictions throughout Maryland over these last three years,” said Governor O’Malley. “Strengthening our local partnerships is critical to continue the progress we have made in public education and public safety, and I’m proud that Capital Heights will serve as this year’s first Capital for a Day. It’s more important than ever for Maryland’s families to see that their state government is working for them each and every day and its equally important for us to meet and hear from people firsthand about the challenges and opportunities we face as a state.”

On Thursday, April 15, 2010, at 12:30 PM, after several stops within Capitol Heights, Governor Martin O’Malley made his way to the Capitol Heights Fire/EMS Station #805. Capitol Heights is one of five all volunteer Fire/EMS Stations and dozens of personnel were on hand today to greet the Governor. After walking up the front ramp of the station, O’Malley took time to greet the volunteer members before going inside the engine room which had been converted to accommodate the Governors Cabinet Meeting.

Capitol Heights Volunteer Chief Jim McClelland stated, “We are proud to host the Governor and his staff on this important day for the entire City of Capitol Heights. Our home is his home.”

St Joes Fire/EMS Station #806 on Schedule

Construction continues on the newest addition to the complement of Community Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Stations in Prince George’s County. St. Joseph’s Community Fire/EMS Station #806 is on schedule for a Grand Opening during the summer of 2010.

The new Fire/EMS Station is located on St. Josephs Drive and Ardwick-Ardmore Road in Springdale near Flowers High School. The location will enable the Department to meet demand for services and improve response time capabilities in the growing community and surrounding area.

The station design is nearly identical to our recently opened District Heights Fire/EMS Station #826 and Northview Fire/EMS Station #816; however, the St. Josephs Fire/EMS Station #806 is going to be larger to accommodate special equipment, apparatus and supplies.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones is proud to announce the official appointments and promotions of Fire/EMS Personnel. Derrick Lea and Scott Hoglander have each received an appointment to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Lt. Colonel W. Derrick Lea, of Glenn Dale, MD, is a 20-year member of the Department and is the Commander of the Emergency Operations. Areas of responsibility include: Fire/Rescue Operations, Advanced Emergency Medical Services, and Quality Assurance. These elements provide emergency fire and rescue services and basic ambulance services, the advanced life support and specialized fire and rescue functions, including high-rise, confined space, and underwater rescue. In addition, Quality Assurance focuses on monitoring, evaluating and adjusting the level of emergency and non-emergency service that is provided to our citizens through training and discipline. Colonel Lea has recently improved communications by posting EOC Colonels Notes on the Fire/EMS Department web page as well as visiting stations and participating in their daily physical training.

Lt. Colonel Scott K. Hoglander, of Laurel, MD, is also a 20-year member of the Fire/EMS Department and has served for many years in Fire Investigations. He played a key role in the investigation of the DC Area Serial Arsonist and the Spring Hill Lake Serial Arson cases, each ending with arrests and convictions. Hoglander will serve as the Commander of Support Services. His areas of responsibility include: Information Management, Life Safety Inspections, Hazardous Materials and the Office of the Fire Marshal, which includes; Fire Investigations, Bomb Squad, Special Hazards and Special Events. Lt. Col. Hoglander has received numerous awards including five Fire/EMS Department Unit Citations and several from Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement agencies.

Both Lea and Hoglander have been serving at these positions in an "acting" capacity for the past several months.

Fire Chief Jones also announced he is promoting two members to the rank of Captain. Phyllis T. Jenkins-Pierce has been promoted to Fire Fighter Captain. Her current assignment is Oxon Hill Fire/EMS Station #821.

Alan C. Doubleday has been promoted to the rank of Fire Fighter/Medic Captain. His current assignment is the Largo/Kettering Fire/EMS Station #846.

Appointments and promotions were effective April 11, 2010. Congratulations to all.

Lt Col. W. Derrick Lea and Lt. Col Scott K. Hoglander

Fire Fighter Captain Phyllis Pierce

Alan C. Doubleday has been promoted to the rank of Fire Fighter/Medic Captain

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deputy Fire Chief Communicates on the Run

The Emergency Operations Commander will soon visit your station and participate in physical training with personnel that are directly affected by his policies and decisions. Acting Lt. Colonel Derrick Lea started his new policy on Monday, April 14, 2010, and will continue with this initiative for the foreseeable future. This innovative and unique interactive policy will also allow Col. Lea to speak with members of the Department that he has not spoken to within the recent past and to greet  members he has not yet met.

On Wednesday afternoon, April 14, 2010, Col. Lea worked out with personnel from the Croom Fire/EMS Station #845.


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

Prince George’s County Firefighters and Paramedics had the opportunity to practice their skills today at a scheduled Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) exercise. The MCI drill was designed to test the response and performance of personnel from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department from the Largo area. The exercise scenario involved a collapse of bleachers loaded with concert goers at a local entertainment complex. Dozens of patients with simulated injuries were triaged, treated and transported by firefighters and paramedics. All the action was closely monitored and scrutinized by Fire and EMS supervisors that held a critique immediately following the conclusion of the drill.

The Fire/EMS Department exercise coordinators assessed the drill as a success in that weaknesses and strengths were identified and discussed. The post-drill critique provided areas that need improvement and also highlighted actions that were performed well. Overall, the drill demonstrated excellent interaction with other entities involved in the MCI exercise and the Fire/EMS Department within an Incident Command System and interoperability.


Monday, April 12, 2010

PGFD 40th Anniversary Challenge Coin

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

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has released a collectable to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Department. The Fire/EMS Department was formed under a Charter Form of Government in 1970. To celebrate the occasion, we have created a commemorative "challenge coin" that reflects the strong affiliations that comprise our Department. (Challenge coins, which originate in paramilitary tradition, are collectable medallions bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem which are often carried by the organization’s members. They are presented to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale.) The County Fire/EMS Department Seal is displayed on the obverse of the coin surrounded by 40 points and the letters "XL". The reverse side has the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and the Firefighters and Paramedics IAFF Local seal along with the designation of the Fire Commissions celebrating its 40th Anniversary as well.

The challenge coin was developed by Community Outreach Manger Jeff Callaway and was produced in cooperation with the Fire/EMS Foundation. Fire Chief Eugene Jones was provided with a quantity of coins to distribute in celebration of our 40th Anniversary. There are a limited number of coins still available and can be purchased for a minimum donation to the Fire/EMS Foundation.

For additional information on the purchase of a PGFD 40th Anniversary Challenge Coin contact the Community Outreach Office at 301-583-1883 or e-mail jlcallaway@co.pg.md.us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Troubled Condo Suffers Another Fire - Alarms Inoperable

For the second time within 2 weeks Prince George’s County Firefighters responded to a Temple Hills condominium complex and fought a 2-alarm fire which forced the evacuation of dozens of residents. On Friday evening, April 9, 2010, firefighters were alerted at about 8:45 PM to a fire on the fourth floor of a 7-story high rise multi-family building at 3107 Good Hope Avenue. Firefighters arrived and found heavy fire coming from a 4th floor condo with high heat and heavy smoke filling the hallways on the upper floors. The buildings fire alarm system did not activate and residents banged on doors to alert other residents of the danger. The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes with no injuries being reported. Fire Investigators continue to investigate the cause of the fire and estimate fire loss at $250,000. Three residents are displaced and receiving assistance from a combination of the Fire/EMS Departments Citizens Services Unit, Red Cross and condo management.

This building has a history of fire code violations and was most recently citied for an inoperable fire alarm system after a 2-alarm fire on March 29, 2010. Follow-up inspections have been performed since then by the Office of the Fire Marshal and the Department of Environmental Resources. Necessary repairs to the building were not completed and as a result a wing of the first floor was declared uninhabitable.

Another citation and correction order were issued after last nights fire due to the buildings fire alarm system being inoperable. Complex management must maintain a constant vigil over the building and call the Fire/EMS Department and check-in every hour. The Office of the Fire Marshal will continue to monitor the code compliance issues and take any necessary action to ensure the violations are corrected.

Hyattville Apartment and Ft. Washington House Fires

Firefighters from the Hyattsville area fought a fire in a top floor apartment that displaced the buildings residents. At about 7:20 PM, Saturday, April 10, 2010, firefighters responded to 3213 Toledo Place, a 3-story apartment building, and arrived to find smoke coming from the roof and a working fire in a 3rd floor apartment. A precautionary second alarm was sounded, however, the first arriving units had the fire contained and extinguished in about 20 minutes. Residents from 11 apartments, 30 people, were displaced and are being assisted by apartment complex management with temporary shelter and relocation to vacant apartments. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. Fire Investigators continue to investigate the cause and origin of the fire and have estimated fire loss at $200,000.

A Fort Washington home suffered $85,000 in estimated fire loss early Sunday morning. Just before 5:00 AM, Sunday, April 11, 2010, firefighters arrived at 604 Cedar Avenue, a 1-story, single family home with heavy fire consuming an attached garage with extension into the house. Firefighters were able to quickly contain and extinguish the fire within 15 minutes. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported and the cause of the fire remain under investigation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2-Alarm Beltsville Warehouse Fire with Explosions

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

Firefighters encountered more then heavy smoke and fire at a Beltsville warehouse fire. Fire/EMS units were dispatched to Precision Cycle Works, 11323 Old Baltimore Pike, Beltsville, Maryland, for 911 reports of an explosion and fire at about 1:45 PM, Thursday, April 8, 2010. First arriving firefighters from Beltsville Fire/EMS Station 831 and Greenbelt Fire/EMS Station 835 were the first to arrive and observed heavy smoke from the roof area, towards the rear of the structure, of a 1-story brick, middle of the row, commercial warehouse. These units established a water supply and entered the structure with charged hoselines in attempts to extinguish the fire. Firefighters were updated that there was a quantity of handgun ammunition and re-loading supplies in the area where the initial explosion occurred. There were rapid and continuous sounds of the ammunition discharging and larger sounds of explosions with percussions felt by everyone inside or near the structure. A 360 exterior examination of the structure revealed bulging of the front garage door and rear wall, as well as, the roof assembly displayed signs that it had shifted. All of these observations indicated that a significant explosion had occurred. With heavy blinding smoke on the interior and a maze of walls and obstacles, firefighters could not immediately locate the seat of the fire. Coupled with inherent dangers of a fire in a large automotive repair warehouse and the report of the structural instability of the structure; incident commanders ordered the evacuation of all firefighters.

Master stream devices from 4 ladder trucks and ground based monitors flowed thousands of gallons of water into the burning structure. A 2ND Alarm was sounded bringing about 80 firefighters and paramedics to the scene. Firefighters from Montgomery County assisted on the scene. The fire extended into another automotive repair shop in the attached warehouse at 11325 Old Baltimore Pike before the blaze could be extinguished. It took about 90 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire.

Safety considerations prevented firefighters from entering the structure for overhaul and complete extinguishment. Extensive overhaul and the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire will be delayed until equipment could be brought to the scene to secure the structure and allow firefighters and investigators to enter the building. These events could occur as early as Friday.

The building occupant of 11323 Old Baltimore Pike was an ATF licensed federal firearm dealer and had a significant amount of ammunition and firearms in a secured area in the rear of the shop. He is cooperating with Fire Investigators.

The Fire/EMS Department Hazardous Materials Team was called to the scene due to a quantity of petroleum products coming from the two effected warehouses and entering the sewer system along with the thousands of gallons of water used to extinguish the fire. The Haz-Mat Team deployed an absorbent boom across a creek where the water was being released into.

With high temperatures and intensive working conditions a key element in reducing firefighter injuries was the presence of the Canteen Unit and staffing by the Prince George’s County Ladies Auxiliary. Refreshing fluids and snack items were provided to maintain firefighter’s heath and stamina.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation with fire loss estimated at $1 million. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.