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Saturday, July 31, 2010

PGFD Contingent Attend Funeral in Bridgeport CT





Approximately 35 career, volunteer and retired personnel representing Prince George`s County were in Bridgeport Connecticut to honor the passing of Lt. Velasquez at his funeral on Friday, July 30, 2010.

Andy Pantelis, President of IAFF Local 1619 stated, "It was with great sadness that the Officers and Members of IAFF Local 1619 announced the death of Brother Steven Velazquez and Brother Michael Baik of the Bridgeport, Connecticut Fire Department earlier this week. The two firefighters were killed while battling a house fire on the afternoon of July 24th. Brother Velazquez was previously a career fire fighter with the Prince George's County Fire Department prior to moving to Bridgeport sixteen years ago. Steve was a graduate of Career Recruit School #23 and his last county assignment was at Kentland Station #33."

"However, it is times like these that we are reminded of the camaraderie of the fire service. We are proud of the thirty brothers and sisters who made the journey to Bridgeport to pay their respects to our fallen brother. Our membership was well represented and we thank you for supporting the Bridgeport FD and the Velasquez and Baik families during this trying time."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Incident Summary - Week of July 18, 2010


incident summary and dollar loss 7-18 to 7-24 -

Firefighter Seeks Life-Saving Assistance for His Son

“Tre” Price is the son of Woodrow “Woody” Price, a Prince George’s County Volunteer Firefighter and a career Firefighter in the District of Columbia. Woody is reaching out to his comrades in the hopes of finding a donor match for his son. Please read the letter from Tre’s mom, Crystal Price, about how you can help.


Mark Brady
PGFD PIO
240-508-7930

Greetings to All,

My name is Crystal Price, on February 19, 2008, our only child, Woodrow Bernard Price, Jr. or as we call him, “Tre’” was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After about two weeks of treatment, he went into remission until now. Woodrow has had a relapse and the Leukemia has returned, because of this, he is having to endure very aggressive treatment and will have to undergo a Bone Marrow Transplant. These treatments consist of Spinal Taps, Bone Marrow Aspirations. MRI’S and Chemotherapy just to name a few.

Our son is just one of many who need a Bone Marrow Transplant, but find it difficult to locate a donor match. Until his diagnosis, Woodrow was an active child with a passion for football, on and off the field. It is time that our community comes together to give back in a significant way to help those in need of this donation.

I was speaking to one of the doctors here at the hospital who informed me that out of approximately 8 million donors, only approximately 600,000 are minorities. These numbers put us in a very difficult position as a minority trying to find a donor match.

The National Marrow Donor Program has a foundation called: Be the Match. This foundation organizes Donor Registry events in the community as well as assists you in organizing your own if you are interested.

Please check out this link: www.marrow.org to learn more about this program. To find out about events in our area, just click on the "Join the Registry" tab and then click on the tab to the left that says, "Join in Person" and then enter in your zip code. Please check the website for more information or contact me by e-mail.

Please, please pass this information along to everyone you know, even if they do not live in our area, they can check the website for events being held where they live by entering their zip code. It does not matter where you register, anyone and everyone who registers will be listed on the main “Donor Registry” for anyone in need of finding a donor match. I cannot express enough how important this registration is and what it means to many possible recipients. Please go out and register. Your donation can save a life. Thank you.

Crystal K. Price ~~ tolaff2@yahoo.com

 

PGFD Contingent Departs to Pay Respects to LODD's in Bridgeport CT

A contingent of Prince George's County Firefighters will depart at midnight tonight to attend funeral services for two Bridgeport, CT Firefighters that lost their lives in the line of duty.  One of the firefighters, Lt. Steven Velasquez, is a former member of our Department and maintained numerous friendships in this area. 

The Prince George's County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619, posted this information on their website:

We ask that everyone keep the Velasquez and Baik families in their hearts, thoughts and prayers. A caravan of Prince George's County Career and Volunteer Fire Fighters will be making the journey to Bridgeport, Connecticut to pay tribute to our fallen Brother. Two vans will be leaving from the Union Hall at Midnight on Friday morning to go to the Funerals in Bridgeport and will return Friday night after the ceremonies. Please give VP Crisman a call at 410-365-2813 to reserve your spot.


Funeral Services are as follows:


Calling hours for the public will be held on Thursday, July 29th for both firefighters:

Lt. Steven Velasquez: 12-4 PM @ Klein Memorial Auditorium. 910 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport. 

FF Michel Baik: 4-8 PM @ Abriola Funeral Home. 419 White Plains Road in Trumbull. Private funerals will be held separately on Friday afternoon.

The Congregation of Firefighters, a service open to all firefighters, will be held Friday, July 30th at the Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street in Bridgeport after the second funeral service. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oxon Hill House Fire Ignites Just After Power is Restored - 3 Firefighters Injured


Just after 3:00 pm firefighters from Oxon Hill and surrounding communities were alerted to a house fire.  Fire/EMS units arrived at 5604 Miles Drive in the Forest Heights subdivision of Oxon Hill.  The house is a 1 1/2 story, with basement, Cape Cod, single family home which has been without electrical power since the powerful storm of Sunday afternoon.  About 5 - 10 minutes of power being restored to the area residents noticed smoke inside the home and called 911.  When firefighters arrived they encountered heavy smoke and fire on the first floor with extension to the second.  The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes by first arriving personnel and additional firefighters were called to the scene to replace personnel experiencing exhaustion and minor injuries. No civilian injuries were reported, however, two firefighters were transported to the Burn Unit with minor burns and one firefighter went to an area hospital suffering from exhaustion.

The cause of the fire is accidental and appears to be related with the restoration of electrical power.  Fire loss is estimated at $200,000.  Seven adults and three children will be displaced and making their own arrangements for housing.

It is important to remember that when you lose electricity for any period of time to turn off and unplug electrical appliances. By doing so will protect elctrical appliances when power is restored and it will reduce the risk of an accidental fire.




5604 Miles Dr in Forest Heights-Oxon Hill

1 1/2 story single family home. Firefighters encountered heavy fire on arrival. Getting a knock on fire.
Mark E. Brady

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Powerful Sunday Storm Cause Death and Damage

A powerful storm rolled through Prince George’s County Sunday afternoon packing high winds and rain. The storm left a path of destruction in its path and 1 death. Clean-up efforts continued into Tuesday with public works and utility companies clearing trees and lines downed by the storm. Thousands lost power and phone service and commuters struggled with roads blocked by trees and large intersections with no traffic control lights.  The National Weather Service conducted a survey of affected areas and determined the damage surveyed was consistent with very strong thunderstorm outflow staight line wind.  Widespread winds of 60 to 75 MPH were assessed with sporadic narrow focused swaths of 80 to 90 MPH winds. 



Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson opened cooling centers Monday for residents whose homes were still be without power and opened the County Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts.

As of 10 p.m. Sunday, approximately 65,000 county households were without power as the result of a thunderstorm that swept through Prince George’s County about 3:30 pm. Power service has been slowly returning to normal through Tuesday.

A 44-year-old College Park mother of two was killed and her mother-in-law was seriously injured in a freak and tragic crash when a tree fell onto their minivan about 3:30 pm on Sunday in the 10100 block of Rhode Island Avenue in College Park. The Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation received reports of 70 fallen trees on county streets. Crews were dispatched to clear the roadways.


The Seven Springs Apartment Complex in College Park and the Emperian Village Apartment Complex in Greenbelt each had building damaged with high winds. A total of 16 building and nearly 200 apartment units, between the two complexes, were forced to evacuate due to damage to roofs from high winds and falling trees.

Firefighters and Medics responded to 723 calls for service on Sunday and 565 calls for service on Monday. An average day would generate 350 calls for service.

Johnson said he decided to open additional cooling stations in the county to provide relief from the expected 90 degree temperatures predicted for Monday.

“The thunderstorm impacted residents in every part of Prince George’s County,” Johnson said. “We wanted to give our residents an opportunity to get out of the heat until their power is restored.”

“Until power is restored, I ask everyone to check on their neighbors to be sure they are safe,” Johnson said.

Johnson said six fire stations and all community and recreation centers will be open as cooling centers on Monday. He also said that residents are also urged to get out of the heat by using the public libraries throughout the county. All community and recreation centers will be opened from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Fire stations used as cooling centers were open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The stations included:

• Station 810, Laurel Volunteer Fire Department No. 1, Inc. 7411 Cherry Lane, Laurel.

• Station 855, Bunker Hill Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association, Inc. 3716 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood.

• Station 818, The Glenn Dale Fire Association, Inc., 11900 Glenn Dale Boulevard, Glenn Dale.

• Station 820, Marlboro Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., 14815 Pratt Street, Upper Marlboro.

• Station 829, Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, 3900 Old Silver Hill Road, Silver Hill.

• Station 832, Allentown Road Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., 8709 Allentown Road, Fort Washington.







Pet Alerts Family to Fire with a Back-Up Alert from Smoke Alarm

An Upper Marlboro family benefited from two early indicators of danger in their home early Monday morning. Just before 4:00 am, Monday, July 26, 2010, an apparent electrical malfunction ignited a fire in the basement of a home in the 17800 block of Central Avenue.


As the fire slowly spread, smoke started to fill the 1-story single family home. The first indication of danger came from Enzo, an Olde English Bulldog. The family pet alerted the sleeping family just moments before a smoke alarm activated. The two early warning signs of dangers allowed the family to escape the home without injury. Firefighters from Bowie and the Upper Marlboro area and surrounding communities, including units from Anne Arundel County, responded and arrived to find a fire in the basement with heavy smoke billowing from the structure. Thirty firefighters had the fire knocked down in about 15 minutes after arrival. One firefighter was treated and released from an area hospital for a minor injury to his hand. Fire loss was estimated at $5,000.

While the few extra moments of the pet alert are certainly precious seconds when it comes to escaping your home safely; the standard of having a working smoke alarm on every level of your home in addition to a planned and practiced home escape plan is the best proven method of surviving a home fire. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed; a smoke alarm should be installed in your bedroom as well. Your home escape plan should include 2 ways out of every room and a designated meeting place outside the house.

Citizens and residents are reminded to have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, test the alarm monthly and replace the battery at least once-a-year. The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will install a smoke alarm in your home; free of charge. Citizens and residents can contact our Smoke Alarm Hotline at 301-864-SAFE to make arrangements.

VERIZON UPDATE - PHONE OUTAGE - COLLEGE PARK/GREENBELT AREA

Prince George's County Public Safety Communications officials have been in contact with representatives from Verizon about the on-going issue of phone service outage within communities in the Northern section of the County. 

On Monday, July 26, 2010, Verizon was experiencing a central office-based wire-line telephone outage in the Greenbelt, Berwyn, College Park area as a result of the storms on Sunday. Wireless phone service in the area is not affected. Verizon has been working to restore service and has made some progress.

The phone outage does affect access to 911 service by wired telephone. Any resident that needs to report an emergency can do so by cellular phone or at the closest fire station. We are asking that residents not call 911 to test their service. On Monday the specific exchanges affected by the outage were:

In the 240 area code

624
684

In the 301 area code
220
286
313
344
345
397
441
446
474
486
488
489
507
513
614
615
901
982
993

The most recent update from Verizon was received on Monday evening at about 11:00 pm.  Verizon reported that they are still trying to get equipment in to fix the existing problems.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Several Residents Evacuated as Crews work to Control Natural Gas Leak

Firefighter/Medics stand by as Washington Gas Officials work to shut off a 3 inch natural gas line ruptured by contractors. As a precaution, several residents were evacuated in the area of 43 Ave and Usange Street in Beltsville. No injuries have been reported
Mark E. Brady

Verizon Phone Issues Could Affect Calling 911

 

VERIZON PHONE SERVICE OUTAGE
 

Verizon is currently experiencing a central office-based wire-line telephone outage in the Greenbelt, Berwyn, College Park area

As as a result of the storms last night in Prince George's County. Wireless phone service in the area is not affected.  Verizon anticipates that the phone service will be restored to the area in the next 2 – 3 hours.  

The phone outage does affect access to 911 service by wired telephone.  Any resident that needs to report an emergency can do so by cellular phone or at the closest fire station.  We are asking that residents not call 911 to test their service.  The specific exchanges affected by the outage are:

 

In the 240 area code

624

684

 

In the 301 area code

220

286

313

344

345

397

441

446

474

486

488

489

507

513

614

615

901

982

993

Mark Brady
240 508 7930
Mark E. Brady

Additional Storm Damage Discovered - Hundreds Displaced

Sundays strong storm has damaged 16 apartment buildings in 2 complexes displacing 194 apartment units and hundreds of residents.

Six buildings with roof damage in the Seven Springs Apartment, 9300 Cherry Hill Road, in College Park have forced 74 apartments to be vacated.

Ten apartment buildings in the Emperian Village Apartment Complex, 9300 block of Edmonton Road, in Greenbelt also sustained roof damage forcing the displacement of 120 apartment units.

No injuries occurred and additional assessments on damage will occur on Monday morning.

At 7am Monday property managers of Seven Springs Apartments in College Park will allow 1 pool camera and 1 pool reporter on the property to document the storm damage to 6 buildings. The residents of 72 apartments have been displaced due to the damage. Damage includes roofs blown off, roofs partially blown off and several large trees blown up against buildings. The complex is located in the 9300 block of Cherry Hill Road.

Management stated that other then this media will not be welcome on their property.

Mark Brady
240 508 7930
Mark E. Brady

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Additional Storm Info

During the storm and its aftermath, from 3 pm until 8 pm, firefighters and paramedics handled nearly 400 calls for service. A normal 24 hour day would yield an average of 350 calls for service.

A portion of a roof of a mid-rise apartment building at 9334 Cherry Hill Road in College Park was blown off at about 3:30 as the storm started to move through. The Seven Springs apartment management, the Fire/EMS Citizens Services Unit and Red Cross are assisting 24 families that are displaced as a result of the damage.

Mark Brady
240 508 7930
Mark E. Brady

CORRECTION-College Park Fatal Crash

The deceased is the daughter-40ish years of age. Transported to a trauma center is her mother-60ish years of age. Sorry for the confusion.
Mark E. Brady

----- Original Message -----
From: Brady, Mark E.
To: 'Charlie.bragale@nbc.com' <Charlie.bragale@nbc.com>; 'Wttg.desk@foxtv.com' <Wttg.desk@foxtv.com>; 'bbell@wjla.com' <bbell@wjla.com>; 'ctv76news@ctv76.com' <ctv76news@ctv76.com>; 'dcfdnews@yahoo.com' <dcfdnews@yahoo.com>; 'dstatter@wusatv9.com' <dstatter@wusatv9.com>; 'metro@ap.org' <metro@ap.org>; 'mrauck@capitalgazette.com' <mrauck@capitalgazette.com>; 'newsdesk@wjla.com' <newsdesk@wjla.com>; 'newsroom@wtopnews.com' <newsroom@wtopnews.com>; 'wjlanews@yahoo.com' <wjlanews@yahoo.com>; 'wusa-assignmentdesk@wusa9.com' <wusa-assignmentdesk@wusa9.com>; 'mebrady1.pgfdnews@blogger.com' <mebrady1.pgfdnews@blogger.com>; '6mtfgz@twittermail.com' <6mtfgz@twittermail.com>
Sent: Sun Jul 25 17:13:18 2010
Subject: College Park Fatal Crash

Firefighters and paramedics have concluded their extraction of two adult females. A tree fell on their min-van on Rhode Island Avenue at Odessa Road as a powerful storm system rolled through around 3:30 pm. There were only 2 occupants inside the van. A female, 60ish, was pronounced deceased on the scene. The other occupant, 40ish female, has been transported to a trauma center.

The County Police are conducting the crash investigation.
Mark E. Brady

College Park Fatal Crash

Firefighters and paramedics have concluded their extraction of two adult females. A tree fell on their min-van on Rhode Island Avenue at Odessa Road as a powerful storm system rolled through around 3:30 pm. There were only 2 occupants inside the van. A female, 60ish, was pronounced deceased on the scene. The other occupant, 40ish female, has been transported to a trauma center.

The County Police are conducting the crash investigation.
Mark E. Brady

Storm Damage Heavy in College Park

Strong storms have left a trail of damage and injuries in College Park. At 9334 Cherry :ill Rd a part of the roof was ripped off of an apartment building.
On Rhode Island Avenue at Odessa Rd a tree fell on a mini van trapping the 4 occupants. Injuries are critical and possibly fatal.

Numerous trees down and power outages.
Mark E. Brady

Former Career Firefighter Suffers Line of Duty Death

A former career firefighter with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department who relocated to Connecticut 16 years ago lost his life with a fellow firefighter while battling a house fire in Bridgeport, CT. Steven Velazquez was hired as a firefighter by Prince George’s County in 1990 and was a member of Career Recruit School #23. He remained with PGFD for 3 years before moving to Connecticut and taking a job as a firefighter in Bridgeport. He spent the majority of his career in Prince George’s County at the Kentland Fire/EMS Station.


Lieutenant Steven Velazquez and Fire Fighter Michael Baik of the Bridgeport, Connecticut Fire Department lost their lives while battling a house fire on the afternoon of July 24th.

Chief Billy Goldfeder filed the following report on http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/:

Lt. Steven Velazquez and Firefighter Michael Baik were found unconscious on the top floor of the house, following Mayday calls. They were found by the department's rapid intervention team, and were given immediate treatment at the scene. However, the Mayor said they were unable to revive the men and they were pronounced dead at the hospital.


At a press conference Saturday night, a somber and distraught Mayor Finch talked about the two, both family men with young children. Velazquez was Finch's neighbor and the mayor recalled pinning his badge on him when he was promoted to lieutenant in February. Baik, he said, was a rookie with 2 years on the job.


The last time the department lost a member was in 1999, when FF Walter Flyntz died in the Line of Duty at a fire on Fairfield Avenue.


The initial report of the fire at the multi-family wood structure was called in to officials at 1553 hours.


Deputy Fire Chief Bob Petrucelli said he arrived on the scene 15 minutes into the job and found heavy smoke coming from the second and third floors.


"Firefighters were making progress on the fire," Finch said, "knocking down the flames."


He said Velazquez and Baik were the furthest inside the house, doing search and rescue and ventilating the house.


There's no immediate word on what caused the fire and Finch said the State Fire Marshal's office will be investigating not only the cause of the blaze, but are also looking at the equipment used by the deceased firefighters. Details from various sources.

After moving to Connecticut Steve Velazquez maintained close friendships with numerous firefighters here in Prince George’s County. He was a constant figure at the annual MDA Softball Tournament sponsored by the Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association IAFF Local 1619 held each year in September.

IAFF Local 1619 will provide additional information and service details as soon as they become available and will be organizing arrangements for members who wish to attend the memorial service.

The members of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department offer our sincerest condolences to the family of the Steven Velazquez and Michael Baik and to the Bridgeport, CT Fire Department.

Additional information can be located at:

http://www.statter911.com/

http://www.iaff1619.org/

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chillum House Fire Injures Firefighter

Firefighters and medics from the Chillum Fire/EMS Station and other departments from surrounding communities, including Montgomery County, fought a house fire today at about 2:30 pm. Firefighters arrived and found a 2-story home in the 6800 block of Chillum Manor Road with fire showing from the both floors and roof. It required 30 minutes for 35 firefighters to knock down the bulk of the fire.

One firefighter, a member of the Riverdale Fire/EMS Station, was transported to a Burn Unit and has been admitted for observation of injuries sustained from an electrical shock. One civilian was also transported to an area hospital for possible heat related illness.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Mark E. Brady

Bicyclist May Be Victim of High Heat

Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics responded on a call this morning involving a 20-year-old male and a possible heat related illness. At the time of the incident, about 11:15 am, Saturday, July 24, 2010, temperatures were in the mid 90’s with humidity at 43%. Firefighter/Medics from Oxon Hill and a Paramedic Unit from Fort Washington were alerted to an unconscious person in the Potomac River Park. A 20-year-old male bicyclist was on a bike path that runs between the Oxon Hill Farm and the National Harbor when apparently he went unconscious and fell from his bike. Witnesses reported seeing the male hit his head on a tree as he fell from the bike causing some abrasions.

Upon arrival, firefighter/medics found by-stander CPR being administered. Personnel assessed the patient and quickly confirmed that he was in cardiac arrest and continued advanced life support measures. During application of pre-hospital care, medics noted the patient was displaying possible signs of heat related illness. The patient was transported to the Fort Washington Hospital Center. Despite the best efforts of firefighter/medics and emergency room staff the male was pronounced deceased a short time after his arrival at the hospital.

While an official cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, paramedics feel that high temperatures and humidity more then likely played a role in this young mans death. The Unites States Park Police and the Prince George’s County Police Department will be conducting a joint agency death investigation.

The weekend forecast is for high temperatures and unhealthy air. Stay cool by staying indoors and drinking plenty of water. Check in with senior citizen neighbors and relatives, you might just be saving a life!!!

The volunteer and career men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you to stay safe during this current heat pattern. It is important to recognize symptoms of heat related illness and take action quickly.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:

Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath or wet towels. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.

Follow these safety tips to help keep you safe.

HOT WEATHER TIPS:

• Drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices to prevent dehydration -- be aware that alcohol can impair the body's sweat mechanism, as can fairly common medications such as antihistamines and diuretics;

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes;

• Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade and by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses;

• When possible, stay in air-conditioned areas. If your home is not air-conditioned, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library.

• NEVER leave pets or young children in a car, even with the windows cracked;

• Check on elderly relatives or neighbors at least daily; and

• Take it easy when outdoors. Athletes and those who work outdoors should take short breaks when feeling fatigued. Schedule physical activity during the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Multi Vehicle Crash on Beltway

At least 3 passenger cars and a truck carrying raw sewage have been involved in a crash on the ramp from south bound Capital Beltway (RT495/RT95) to go east bound on Route 50. Four people are being transported to an area hospital, injuries are not considered life threatening. The Fire/EMS Departments haz-mat team is on the scene dealing with the raw sewage spill as well as a diesel fuel spill from the trucks fuel tank. Expect major traffic delays in the area.
Mark E. Brady

Hot Weather Continues - Save a Life and Check on Senior Citizens!!!

The population of the National Capital Region does not need to be told that it is HOT outside; they can feel it themselves. What does need to be reinforced is the message to check on elderly relatives and neighbors during this period of hot weather. Across the State of Maryland, many of the heat related deaths involve people found in a non air conditioned environment with an existing health ailment contributing to their death. Please, take the time and visit homes and ensure our senior citizens are safe and healthy.

Does the Fire/EMS Department need to remind residents how stupid it is to leave people and pets in hot cars??? It is criminal to do so and shows a lack of common sense and compassion.

The weekend forecast is for high temperatures and unhealthy air. Stay cool by staying indoors and drinking plenty of water. Check in with senior citizen neighbors and relatives, you might just be saving a life!!!

The volunteer and career men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you to stay safe during this current heat pattern. It is important to recognize symptoms of heat related illness and take action quickly.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:

Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath or wet towels. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.

Follow these safety tips to help keep you safe.

HOT WEATHER TIPS:

• Drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices to prevent dehydration -- be aware that alcohol can impair the body's sweat mechanism, as can fairly common medications such as antihistamines and diuretics;

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes;

• Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade and by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses;

• When possible, stay in air-conditioned areas. If your home is not air-conditioned, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library.

• NEVER leave pets or young children in a car, even with the windows cracked;

• Check on elderly relatives or neighbors at least daily; and

• Take it easy when outdoors. Athletes and those who work outdoors should take short breaks when feeling fatigued. Schedule physical activity during the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Read the Washington Post Article of 7/23/10 about heat related deaths in Maryland.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Valiant Rescue by Firefighters But Drowning Victims Succumb (edit on 7/23/10)


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

Despite the valiant rescue by firefighters and paramedics of two people from a residential backyard pool, both victims succumbed shortly after their arrival at the hospital. A 911 call was received just before 2:30 pm, Thursday, July 22, 2010, reporting a 12-year-old male was motionless in a neighbor’s pool at Midland Turn and Fairhaven Avenue in the community of Marlton, in Upper Marlboro, MD. Firefighters and Paramedics from Croom Fire/EMS Station #845, Marlboro Fire/EMS Station #820 and Battalion Chief 807 were dispatched for the possible drowning at 2:23 pm. Staff from the nearby Fire/EMS Training Academy heard the dispatch and headed in the direction of the incident in the event that additional staffing was needed. The 911 caller later advised dispatchers that her uncle was on the way over to the neighbors pool to see what was going on.


Fire Battalion Chief Butch Leonhard was the initial fire/EMS unit to arrive followed by Major Leroy Smith and Fire Captain Grady Valencis from the Training Academy.  All personnel went immediately to the pool. Battalion Chief Leonhard witnessed not one but two victims in the deep end of the swimming pool and radioed for additional resources. Realizing this was a life or death situation, Fire Captain Grady Valencis immediately entered the water and within seconds was joined by Battalion Chief Leonhard and Fire Technician Daryl Bullock from Engine 845.

Prior to the Fire/EMS Department arrival, it is believed that the 12-year-old male’s uncle saw his nephew at the bottom of the pool and went in to save him. The 59-year-old male also soon became a victim.

Major Smith coordinated rescue efforts on the pool deck as firefighters and paramedics stood ready as the trio went to the 8-foot deep end of the pool.  The two victims were lifted to the top and handed off to awaiting personnel. Paramedics quickly assessed both patients were unconscious, non-breathing and had no pulse. The patients were loaded into two separate transport units and taken to nearby Southern Maryland Hospital where Emergency Room staff worked feverishly to revive the pair. Tragically, both victims were pronounced deceased a short time after arrival at the hospital, apparent victims of a drowning.

The County Police are conducting an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the discovery of the victims.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.


http://www.wusa9.com/video/default.aspx?aid=92268&storyid=105025#/WUSA%2DNews/Uncle+And+Nephew+Drown+In+Residential+Pool/46371336001/45927990001/207659606001

BREAKING NEWS - Possible Double Drowning

Just prior to 2:30 pm, Thursday, July 22, 2010, firefighters and paramedics from the Upper Marlboro area were alerted to a possible drowning at a residential pool. Fire/EMS units arrived at a home in the 9200 block of Fairhaven Avenue and discovered 2 people in the pool. The victims were removed and both were found to be non-breathing and without a pulse; CPR was immediately initiated.


Initial 911 calls indicated that a teen-aged male had jumped into a neighbor’s pool and went motionless and that an adult male was on the way to help.

Details are still sketchy and updates will be provided as soon as possible.

Safety Advocates Recognized

Safety of all personnel is vital for the Fire/EMS Department to provide the very best services to our citizens and residents. Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones devotes a large majority of his time focusing on safety concerns of the Department and has recognized similar efforts of individuals working together towards the same goals. At a Safety Committee meeting held at the Fire Services Building on Thursday, July 22, 2010, Fire Chief Jones recognized individuals that represent the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619, and the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (PGCVFRA) and presented each of them with Fire Chiefs Awards.


Representing Local 1619:

Vice-President Christian B. Wargo and

Executive Representative Steve Tabak

Representing the PGCVFRA:

Tom Flint and Chuck Walker

Christian Wargo summed up the combined safety effort by saying, “I want to be able to go home after every shift and I want to see everyone go home after every shift. The Safety Committee collectively is working to make this a continued reality.”

In making the presentation Fire Chief Jones stated, “In recognition of your commitment to the safety and wellness of our Fire/EMS personnel through your diligence while participating on the Safety Committee. Your dedication to keeping our personnel safe is held within the highest regard of the Fire/EMS Department and is commendable.”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fatal Beltway Crash

At around 4:15 pm, Wednesday, July 21, 2010, a single vehicle crash occurred on the Capital Beltway (RT 495/RT 95) in Oxon Hill. For unknown reasons a vehicle left the Inner Loop (southbound) Beltway over the right hand side of the road. The vehicle rolled over off of the hard surface and onto the grass. The vehicle sustained significant damage and the adult male driver was trapped inside. The Maryland State Police Helicopter was summoned to the scene to transport the critically injured patient once he was extricated from the wreckage and preparations to close both loops of the Capital Beltway were underway to allow for a safe landing zone. Fire/EMS units from Silver Hill, Oxon Hill and Fort Washington arrived and used heavy-duty hydraulic tools to extricate the patient.


Once the adult male was removed from the vehicle paramedics were able to conduct a full patient assessment and declared, with medical control, the patient deceased. Paramedics completed the transport of the deceased to an area hospital. The MSP Trooper 2 med-a-vac was cancelled and traffic was allowed to move slowly through the area. After operating on the scene for about 30 minute’s fire/EMS units started to return to service. The Maryland State Police-Forestville Barracks will be investigating the crash.

Four Fires Keep Firefighters Busy

Firefighters handled a number of unrelated fire incidents Tuesday evening and early this morning involving a variety of structures causing nearly $260,000 in estimated fire loss and the displacement of two families. Despite the high potential for injuries to both civilians and firefighters, fortunately, there were no injuries reported on any of the incidents.


On Tuesday, July 20, 2010, at about 7:30 pm, Firefighters from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties responded to a reported building fire in the 6800 block of New Hampshire Avenue in Chillum. Upon arrival they found a detached garage well involved with fire. The blaze was quickly extinguished. Fire Investigators have labeled this fire as “Under Investigation” and estimated fire loss at $1,000.

About 1 hour later many of the same Fire/EMS units were alerted to a fire in a 6th floor apartment of a high-rise building at 1836 Metzerott Road in Adelphi. Firefighters arrived and carried their equipment and hoselines to the area of the fire. After connecting hoses to the building stand-pipe system the fire was quickly extinguished. Numerous residents evacuated the building while many others sheltered-in-place while firefighters extinguished the fire and ventilated the smoke from the upper floors. Fire Investigators determined that "faulty electrical” was the cause of this fire with an estimated fire loss of $10,000. The occupants of the apartment of origin were displaced and assisted by the Fire/EMS Departments Citizen Services Unit.

Just before midnight, firefighters from Silver Hill and surrounding communities were alerted to a townhouse fire in Temple Hills. Fire/EMS units arrived at 2212 Anvil Lane and encountered a 2-story townhouse with fire showing from the basement. A Task Force brought additional Fire/EMS units to the scene as the fire was extending to the first floor. Initial arriving firefighters advanced hoselines in an aggressive interior attack on the fire and had the bulk of the fire contained and extinguished in about 20 minutes. One firefighter fell from the first floor into the basement after the fire had been extinguished; he was not injured. It is believed that the hole in the weakened floor was caused by the fire in the basement. Fire Investigators say this fire is “accidental” and estimate fire loss at $240,000. The displaced occupants will stay with other family members. No injuries were reported.

At 4:30 am, Wednesday, July 21, 2010, firefighters responded to automatic fire alarm activation at the Green Valley Park School located at 2215 Chadwick Street in Silver Hill. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fire that appears to have started on the exterior of a temporary classroom and extended into the structure. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and limited damage to an estimated $5,000. Fire Investigators continue to investigate this fire and have it listed as “under investigation.” No injuries were reported.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Landover Crash Critically Injures Two

A motor vehicle crash in Landover has critically injured two people. Just after 10:00 am, Tuesday, July 20, 2010, a crash occurred, involving at least 2 vehicles, in the 400 block of Brightseat Road. There were three occupants in one of the vehicles; two passengers in this vehicles sustained critical, life threatening, injuries and were trapped within the wreckage upon firefighters and paramedic’s arrival. It required about 10 minutes to extricate the two patients. Paramedics initiated advanced life support on the two patients and transported to an area hospital. An adult male, 40ish years of age, was a passenger in the vehicle and sustained the most serious injuries with his condition being extremely critical and life threatening. A second passenger, adult female, 40ish years of age, sustained critical injuries which are also considered life threatening. The driver of this vehicle refused to go to the hospital. The driver of the other vehicle involved was not injured.


The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the crash and have summoned their accident reconstruction team.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chillum Fire/EMS Station Adds Additional Services

The Chillum Fire/EMS Station had not run an engine call in nearly a year. The engine company was removed in August 2009 as part of the Fire/EMS Departments redeployment of suppression forces. Up until Sunday, July 18, 2010, a paramedic unit was the only unit to respond from the station at 6330 Riggs Road. With the recent graduation of 32 firefighters from the Fire/EMS Training Academy, a decision was made to place the Chillum engine company back in-service. Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “It is time to return a suppression unit to the Chillum Fire/EMS Station. I appreciate the support that the citizens and residents of the greater Chillum area have shown for their firefighters and paramedics in the year since they were removed. ” The Chillum engine company also has the added bonus for the community by being a Paramedic Engine. This means that the engine has personnel on-board that are trained as paramedics and have the equipment required to perform advanced life support in a pre-hospital setting. The Chillum Fire/EMS Station now has a Paramedic Engine and a Paramedic Unit.


Their first day back proved to be eventful; the Paramedic Engine was dispatched on 12 incidents and the Paramedic Unit on 7 incidents. A string of incidents occurred starting at about 10:15 pm. According to Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Michael J. Marino, Chillum Fire/EMS Station Commander;

“Paramedic Engine 844 (Chillum) was alerted along with the Medic unit from Chillum to respond for a report of trouble breathing at 4922 LaSalle Road, a local skilled nursing facility. Once arrived, Paramedics assessed the patient with severe trouble breathing and initiated life saving measures while transporting the patient to a nearby hospital. Due to the severity and complexity of the illness a firefighter from the Engine crew assisted the medics and drove the unit to the hospital so both medics could concentrate on patient care. The engine crew proceeded to the hospital to pick up their third crew member after transport where they were then alerted to a report of a house fire in their first due. The reported address was 6033 10th Place which is extremely close to the Chillum fire/EMS Station. Paramedic Engine 844 responded with three personnel and advised Public Safety Communications to alter the assignment order due to their slightly extended response time. Upon arrival units reported and confirmed that a single story single family dwelling was heavily involved with fire and units from the surrounding area went to work battling the blaze. While the Captain and firefighter from the engine crew were involved with command and suppression operations it was found that one of the family members from the residence was having trouble breathing. The driver/paramedic from the paramedic engine company who had completed his fire ground duties now made himself available for patient assessment and began to treat the patient prior to the arrival of additional EMS units who assumed patient care.”

The fire on 10th Place caused an estimated $30,000 in fire loss and remains under investigation. A family of four were displaced and assited by the Fire/EMS Department Citizens Services Unit with temporary shelter. The family member that became ill was not transported and there were no additional reports of injuries.

Fire Chief Jones stated, “I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of surrounding fire/EMS stations for handling the additional call volume during the past 11 months. The efforts of Hyattsville, Takoma Park (Montgomery County), Adelphi, Bunker Hill and others have not gone un-noticed and your service to the citizens and residents has been superb.”

Retired Firefighter Helps to Save Young Child From Drowning

According to Anne Arundel County authorities, a 2-year-old male nearly drowned at the North Arundel Aquatic Center, however, was rescued by lifeguards and a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter. On Sunday afternoon, July 18, 2010, the Aquatic Center on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie was crowded and fortunately, Lashawn Jackson, a retired Prince George’s County Fire Fighter, was there with her family.


Her attention was drawn to a far area of the swimming area by the sharp whistle from a lifeguard. She watched as the young lifeguards pull a lifeless child from the pool. Trying to resist interfering with the lifeguards efforts, Lashawn hesitated jumping into action, allowing the lifeguards the opportunity to do their jobs. Instinctively, she knew that quick and effective resuscitation efforts were needed to save the young child’s life. She joined the lifeguards and identified herself as knowing CPR. She described the child as not breathing, no pulse and being blue in his face and extremities. After a rapid assessment she assisted with resuscitation efforts and ensured that 911 was notified. After four minutes of CPR the child aspirated and displayed some efforts at breathing. Anne Arundel County Paramedics arrived quickly and found the child to be unresponsive and was making attempts at breathing. A Maryland State Police Helicopter flew the child to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Center where he is listed in “critical” but stable condition.

Lashawn stated she had to help and despite being retired from the Fire/EMS Department since December 2008, her former training as a firefighter and EMT just kicked in and was as fresh as the day she learned it. Lashawn stated, “I’m glad I was there to help, it may have been the first rescue with CPR for the lifeguards. They did a fantastic job in the rescue and I think they were glad someone with experience was there to assist with CPR.”

This is the second time in two weeks that a retired Prince George’s County Firefighter assisted in CPR and resuscitation of a near drowning victim. On July 4, 2010, Retired Fire Fighter/Medic Melvin Batts assisted in the resuscitation of a young man at a backyard swimming pool.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “I am so proud of our men and women of the Fire/EMS service for quickly jumping into action when action is needed quickly and for keeping up with their skills despite being retired. Retired Fire Fighter Jacksons actions are commendable and I offer her congratulations on a job well done!!!”

Blooms Grocery Store Keeps Accokeek Area Firefighters Hydrated


With the recent run of high temperatures and humidity it is important for everyone to remain healthy and stay hydrated. Firefighters and Paramedics must constantly hydrate themselves through the course of their shift to remain prepared to respond to emergencies. In a community-based effort to keep their first responders prepared and ready, Bloom Grocery Store of Accokeek, MD, organized a donation of over 800 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade for area firefighters. On July 6, 2010, Bonnie Kohansby, Store Manager, and staff provided boxes filled with Gatorade to the firefighters of the Accokeek Fire/EMS Station #824. Fire Lieutenant Eric Hunt, Fire Fighter/Medic Technician John Mycka, Fire Fighter Danielle Lewis, Fire Fighter David Stream and Fire Fighter Patrick Gallagher graciously accepted the donation and distributed equal amounts to other fire/EMS stations in the Fifth Battalion in Oxon Hill, Fort Washington, Allentown Road as well as the volunteer station in Bryans Road.


While accepting the generous donation Fire Lt. Hurt stated, “This donation is wonderful since we are reaching record breaking temperatures. This will also keep us hydrated and healthy. Everyone should take precautions against heat related dehydration."

Blooms tagline is "A different kind of grocery store." But while this may seem like just another slogan, at Bloom it's a promise. A promise to be thoughtful. To be compassionate. To keep evolving. And, most importantly, to allow customers to do something they've never done before at a grocery store: Shop Happy. The firefighters and paramedics in Accokeek and surrounding communities certainly can attest to being happier and hydrated.

County Deputy Fire Chief Completes International Professional Designation Process

Acting Lt. Colonel Steven L. Hess of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of "Chief Fire Officer" (CFO). The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on May 5, 2010 to officially confer the re-designation upon Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess is one of only 693 CFO's worldwide.

The Chief Fire Officer Designation program is a voluntary program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate their excellence in seven measured components including: Experience, Education, Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Association Membership, Community Involvement, and Technical Competencies. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Hess received his original designation on July 11, 2007. To maintain the designation, individuals need to show they have continued to develop as a CFO in four areas: Professional Development, Professional Contributions, Active Association Membership and Community Involvement.

A Board of Review consisting of members of the fire and emergency services profession, academia, and municipal agencies review each application and recommends successful candidates for designation to the Commission.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reps. Hoyer & Edwards Announce $3,458,682 Grant Award to Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department

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

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4), announced today that the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will receive a $3,458,682 grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program (SAFER). This funding will be utilized by the County to hire an additional 24 firefighters.

“Throughout the nation, our local governments have been forced to make tough budgetary choices in the face of our recent economic downturn. I am pleased that this funding will assist Prince George’s County in ensuring that it has the staffing needed to adequately respond to emergencies and protect our citizens,” said Congressman Hoyer. “As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I am proud to have helped establish and fund the SAFER Program, and I am pleased that funds from this vital program will help the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department more efficiently and safely undertake their mission.”

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program has been a tremendous resource for ensuring that our communities receive 24-hour protection from fire and fire related hazards,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “I am excited that these funds are going where they are needed – to help the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department better serve our families and our friends.”

SAFER grant funds are awarded to fire departments and EMS organizations across the nation to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. These grants will help fire departments hire new firefighters, recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, and provide relief to stations currently operating short of staff. The FY 2010 DHS Appropriations Act provided $420 million for the SAFER Grant Program, which will go directly to departments around the country. The House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee recently marked-up their FY 2011 bill and again included $420 million for the SAFER program. Since 2005, Maryland has received more than $10 million in SAFER grant funding.

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones of the Prince George's County Maryland Fire/EMS Department stated, “The award of this SAFER Grant will allow us to hire 24 firefighters to staff our fire/EMS apparatus. The award of this grant equates to the saving of lives and property.”

Congressman Hoyer and Congresswoman Edwards have also been longtime supporters of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Grant funds made available through the AFG are awarded to fire departments and EMS organizations across the nation to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel. Since 2001, AFG has provided more than $60.6 million in assistance to first-responder organizations in Maryland for training and the purchase of personnel protective gear and response equipment and vehicles. The House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee included $420 million for the AFG program in its FY2011 bill.

For more information on grants available to fire departments and emergency responders, visit http://www.firegrantsupport.com/. This site also offers resources to help fire departments prepare and submit grant requests.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All in a Days Work for PGFD Firefighter/Medics

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E.  Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
During the first hour of their shift, firefighter/medics from the Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station were summoned to render aid for uncontrollable bleeding on the leg of a victim of a pit bull attack. At about 7:30 am, Friday, July 9, 2010, a 911 call was received reporting Pit Bull attack in the 5700 block of 66th Avenue in Riverdale. As per protocol, Animal Control officials and County Police were dispatched to the scene. The police arrived first and located the victim suffering from several bite wounds to his front and rear paws. Peluche, a 3-year-old, Cocker Spaniel was attacked by a Pit Bull and was bleeding from the bite wounds and with an extended ETA for animal control officers, the police officer requested the firefighter/medics to come into the scene to tend to the wounds and attempt to stop the profuse bleeding.


The crew of Fire Lieutenant Beardmore, Fire Fighter/Medics Yarish, Miller and Francis arrived on the scene and applied basic first aid measures to control the bleeding and dress the wounds. Veterinary surgery was required to repair the wounds and Peluche’s owner stated that her pet was doing fine and recuperating from her ordeal. She also conveyed her sincerest thanks to the members of public safety that responded and tended to her injured pet.

Providing first-aid to an injured animal is not common, yet, is another service Prince George’s County Firefighters and Paramedics are placed in a position to provide on an as-needed basis. Personnel understand the importance of pets to families and are grateful to assist when and where possible while keeping safety of themselves and others as a priority.

Pictures:  Fire Fighter/Medics Yarish and Miller tend to the injured Cocker Spaniel.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NASA - We Have No Haz-Mat Problem

At about 5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, officials from NASA in Greenbelt, MD, requested the assistance of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. A strange odor and a possible illness in an administrative office of Building #22 at NASA, which also houses radiation labs on the bottom floors, prompted a full-fledged hazardous materials response.

Upon the Fire/EMS Department arrival, all NASA employees inside the building were evacuated and were quarantined in an adjacent parking lot. Decontamination teams were established and prepared to de-con anything and anyone that came out of the building. Paramedics maintained vigil over the evacuees and no injuries or other illnesses were reported.

The Fire/EMS Department Haz-Mat team gathered information about the contents of the building and the possibility of a radiation leak was quickly ruled out by NASA officials. A Haz-mat entry team made their way to a 3rd floor office and tested the atmosphere. They did find water dripping from the ceiling and a buildup of water on the floor above from a leaking HVAC pipe or roof leak.

NASA Command advised that a water leak from HVAC or roof area in an administrative office area is the only unusual thing found in Building #22. No Haz-mat was detected or oxygen displacement noted. At about 8:00 pm, after a through and complete investigation of the entire building with all safety precautions being utilized, the all clear was given and the nearly 60 firefighters and paramedics operating on the scene started to clean up and prepared to return in service.

PGFD Employees of the Month

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones recently had the opportunity to present Employee of the Month Awards to three deserving members of the Fire/EMS Department. Employees of the Month, Supervisors of the Month and Use of Technology Award are presented to individuals after being nominated by their respective Lt. Colonel.
Employee of the Month – June 2010

Fire Lieutenant Daniel R. Schrader

Awarded in recognition of his tireless and professional work in redrafting of Prince George’s County Subtitle 11. Your efforts are beneficial to members of the Fire/EMS Department as well as to the citizens and residents that we service.



Co-Employees of the Month for July 2010

Assistant Manager Diana B. Spears
Administrative Assistant IV Jerome A. Parker

Awarded for their tenacious oversight and assistance with the Management Services Command in providing the Department the capability to ensure that we control non-critical costs and spend at the proper pace, in order to maintain adequate funding for the entire year. The utilization of this fiscal tracking system also affords us an unprecedented level of transparency, accountability and more efficient management of both the 51 (career) and 52 (volunteer) budgets.

Congratulations to our Employees of the Month!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Two Civilians Injured in Departmental Crash

At around 4:00 pm, Monday, July 12, 2010, Fire/EMS units from the District Heights area were alerted to investigate smoke inside a house on Walker Mill Road. While en route to the incident an engine from the Seat Pleasant Fire/EMS Station was involved in a motor vehicle crash with a civilian vehicle at Addison Road South and Ronald Road. Two civilians, both adult females, were transported by an ambulance to an area hospital for a check-up of possible injuries. Five firefighters on-board were not injured; however, the operator of the Seat Pleasant engine will have a post-crash alcohol/drug screening performed which is standard operating procedure on this type of incident. Damage to the fire engine is minimal and limited to the front bumper.

The call to which the unit was responding to on Walker Mill Road turned out to be a malfunction in the HVAC and was quickly handled by the unit on the scene from District Heights. The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the crash.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Off Duty and Retired PGFD Medics Save a Teen's Life

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department recently became aware of life saving actions by two members. Fire Fighter/Medic Antonio D. Cole and retired Fire Fighter/Medic Melvin Batts performed cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a 13-year-old male drowning victim and were successful in his resuscitation. Antonio Cole, off-duty at the time and Melvin Batts, retired from the Department, are credited with saving the young man’s life.


Cole and Batts were attending a July 4th family gathering in Waldorf, MD. A 13-year-old male was swimming in the deep end of a backyard pool and accidentally swallowed a large amount of water and subsequently resulted in him losing consciousness and sinking to the bottom. It is not clear how long he lay at the bottom of the pool but when he was noticed, two of his uncles dove into the pool and brought him to the top. Family members described the unconscious teen’s condition as lifeless with no pulse, no respirations and a blue skin tone in his extremities. Cole and Batts immediately went to the teen’s aid and after a rapid patient assessment, initiated CPR. Bystanders estimated that CPR had been administered for nearly 7 minutes when the teen started to cough and display some signs of life. The two veteran medics loaded the teen into their own vehicle and drove him to the closest hospital.

The teen’s condition and vital signs were closely monitored while en route and prior to arriving at the hospital, the teen had regained a pulse and was breathing on his own. Emergency Room staff conveyed to family members that if it had not been for the skills of the EMS providers that the outcome would have been tragic. After stabilizing the patient he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC, where he spent two days in the Intensive Care Unit before being released.

While at home and being told of his ordeal, the teen cannot stop expressing his thanks to everyone involved in his rescue.

Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Congratulations to the victim who has survived a close call and congratulations to Cole and Batts for their quick actions that resulted in saving a life. Your actions are held in the highest regard of the Fire/EMS service and exemplifies that your firefighting and EMS training and skills are a valuable resource, no matter where you use them.”

High Temperatures Continue - Tips for Health and Wellness

A heat wave continues in Prince George’s County and the Atlantic Coast States as temperatures continue to reach into the upper 90’s. Humidity levels will push the heat indexes into the 100’s. This year 8 people, 1 in Prince George’s County, have died in Maryland from heat related illnesses according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Prince George’s County Paramedics have transported nearly 3 dozen people to area hospitals over the last six days with heat related illnesses. Other illnesses are often triggered by high heat and unhealthy air quality which are harmful to children and anyone with breathing or heart conditions causing additional responses by fire/EMS personnel. Call volume during the past 2 weeks has been up about 10-20%.


The volunteer and career men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department want you to stay safe during this current heat pattern. It is important to recognize symptoms of heat related illness and take action quickly.

HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES:

Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: a person can go from feeling apparently well to a seriously ill condition within minutes. Treatment of heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a cool bath or wet towels. A heatstroke victim should be kept in a cool area; emergency medical care should be obtained by dialing 911.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heatstroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area. If the persons condition does not show signs of improvement call 911.

Follow these safety tips to help keep you safe.

HOT WEATHER TIPS:

• Drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juices to prevent dehydration -- be aware that alcohol can impair the body's sweat mechanism, as can fairly common medications such as antihistamines and diuretics;

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes;

• Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade and by wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses;

• When possible, stay in air-conditioned areas. If your home is not air-conditioned, consider a visit to a shopping mall or public library.

• NEVER leave pets or young children in a car, even with the windows cracked;

• Check on elderly relatives or neighbors at least daily; and

• Take it easy when outdoors. Athletes and those who work outdoors should take short breaks when feeling fatigued. Schedule physical activity during the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cottage City House Fire - One Firefighter Injured

Firefighters from the Bunker Hill Fire/EMS Station were the first to arrive at a 1 ½ story single family house this afternoon reporting heavy fire showing. The fire appears to have started on the first floor and extended through the roof before 35 firefighters were able to knock down the bulk of the fire in about 20 minutes. A 911 call reporting an air conditoning unit on fire was received just after 4 pm.


No civilian injuries have been reported at the incident located in the 3800 block of 40th Avenue, however, one firefighter sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns and has been transported to a Burn Unit for treatment. His injuries are considered non-serious.

Paramedics are evaluating all firefighters operating at the scene as they progress through a re-hab area. Paramedics are monitoring vital signs and ensuring all personnel re-hydrate themselves. With the excessive heat today and the heavy workload on personnel it is possible that additional transports will be made.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. The Fire/EMS Departments Citizen Services Unit will assist the displaced family with temporary shelter.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tips for Your Plants During Water Restrictions

WSSC is providing these tips on collecting water to use on your outside flowers and plants. Also check out our Top Ten List of Fire Safety Tips to try during the mandatory water restrictions at www.pgfdnews.com

Draft-Tips on Keeping Your Plants Happy

During Mandatory Restrictions



Contact:

Kimberly Knox

(301) 206-8100

kknox@wsscwater.com <mailto:jneusta@wsscwater.com>



WSSC's Mandatory Restrictions require that WSSC customers NOT use WSSC water on their lawns, gardens and other landscaping. But here are some ways that your landscape can still keep green during the mandatory water restrictions:



1.Place one to two inches of mulch around your plants.
2.Use water from bathing or washing dishes. Soap will not harm plants
3.Use water from cooking vegetables or pasta.
4.Collect rainwater and use it on the plants that need the most help.
5.Collect water from your shower rather than letting it go down the drain.
6.While waiting for you shower to heat up, collect that water in a bucket for your plants.
7.In the kitchen, rather than letting the water run until the water is cold (or hot), collect the water and use it for your plants.
8.Use water collected from your dehumidifier on your plants.
9.In the future, drought-tolerant plants make a lovely garden. For an example, go to WSSC's demonstration garden at Brighton Dam Visitor's Center's parking lot.



Have an idea of your own? Go to WSSC's "Friends of Brighton Dam" Facebook's Discussion Page and share it with others.


Mark E. Brady

Thursday, July 1, 2010

CO Exposure Sends 4 to Hospital

At about 3:30 pm, Thursday, July 1, 2010, a carbon monoxide (CO)detector sounded a warning. That audible signal indicated that CO levels in the Emperian Village Apartment Complex building were unhealthy. A 911 call prompted the response of firefighters from Berwyn Heights Fire/EMS Station.

Upon their arrival firefighters found CO levels had reached 1000 parts per million (PPM). Any reading over 35 PPM is considered unhealthy. Additional resources were called to the scene and 11 occupants were evacuated from the 3-story garden style apartment building at 6101 Breezewood CT in Greenbelt. Paramedics treated and evaluated all those evacuated, including 5 children ranging in age from 3 months to 11 years old.

A basement level water heater exhaust pipe was found detached allowing the CO to escape into the building.

Paramedics transported 4 patients to a hospital for hyperbaric treatment. The 3 adults and 1 child are in good condition, however, their CO levels in their blood dictate treatment. Firefighters ventilated the building and the building was re occupied at about 5:45 pm.

Officials from the Office of the Fire Marshal are inspecting as many as 200 of these style water heaters throughout the complex tonight. It is possible that vandalism to the exhaust pipe may have caused it to separate from the water heater allowing the CO to vent into the building and causing the CO exposure. Fire/EMS Department officials want to ensure that other water heaters are safe and working properly.
Mark E. Brady

.Top 10 List of Things to do During the Fourth of July Weekend with Water Restrictions

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

Citizens, residents and business are under a water use restriction this Fourth of July Holiday weekend imposed by WSSC.  The men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department wanted to offer ideas on what to do instead of using water or otherwise help us to keep you safe and not use water at the same time. Using a late night talk show popular item we offer our Top 10 List of Things to do During the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend with Water Restrictions.



#10 Instead of running the dishwasher - If smoking is allowed inside/outside of your home, ensure you have large sturdy ashtrays inside/outside to dispose of extinguished butts properly.

#9 Instead of topping off your pool - Remove all matches and lighters to a safe place and out of reach of young ones

#8 On the Fourth of July - Instead of using illegal fireworks at backyard BBQ and starting a fire or having someone injured - Attend one of the many public Fireworks Displays located throughout the County.

#7 In the time you save by not flushing toilets – call our Call Center and arrange to surrender your fireworks. Call 301-583-2200.

#6 Instead of running your washing machine - Clean lint from your internal dryer vent and exterior vent.

#5 While you’re at #6 - Clean area around your furnace and water heater.

#4 Instead of watering your garden – Install a carbon monoxide alarm m in your home or business.

#3 Instead of doing the dishes - Ensure you have a smoke alarm on every level of home.

#2 Instead of watering your lawn - Develop and practice a home escape plan. Don’t forget to identify two ways out of every room and a safe place outside to meet and call 911

And the top thing to do during the Fourth of July Holiday while under water restriction??

#1 Instead of washing your car - Clean your smoke alarm, replace battery and test it to ensure it is working. Need a new alarm??? Call 301-864-SAFE

WATER RESTRICTIONS by WSSC

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is aware of water restrictions imposed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). These restrictions are a result of a potential problem with a water main in Montgomery County; however, effects the entire WSSC service areas of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. To ensure there is an adequate water supply for vital services during the next four days, water restrictions have been imposed. It is in the spirit of community and civic cooperation that we ask all of our citizens and residents to follow these water restrictions. These are in place so that in the event of a significant fire emergency there will be an adequate water supply to extinguish the fire.


Our engine companies carry enough water on-board to be able to extinguish most fire emergencies. Additionally, we have water tankers located throughout the County that can deliver thousands of gallons of water if needed. In the event of a fire emergency, that exceeds our on-scene water resources, WSSC can re-route water supply to the effected area. Fire service leaders will constantly monitor the activity level throughout the County and redeploy resources if needed.

WSSC has taken a pro-active approach to this disruption in service. They were able to detect a problem and initiate action before a larger problems occurred. To ensure interagency operability, they have opened up lines of communications with leaders of both counties and public safety agencies. These communications included a 2:00 am conference call followed up by a 9:00 am meeting at the WSSC Headquarters in Laurel and will remain open for as long as needed.

We are asking our citizens, residents and business to cooperate and comply with the restrictions on water use. The combined assistance will ensure that fire emergencies will continue to be handled in a fast and efficient manner.

Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Citizens and residents should use this time to remember basic fire safety habits and prevent fires from ever occurring. Instead of watering your grass and flowers or washing your car, check your home smoke alarms to ensure they are working and install a fresh battery.”

WSSC DECLARES MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS FOR ALL WSSC CUSTOMERS

RESTRICTIONS REQUIRED WHILE EMERGENCY REPAIR IS MADE ON A 96-INCH PIPE

Contact:

Jim Neustadt

(301) 206-8100

jneusta@wsscwater.com

John C. White

(301) 206-8100

jwhite@wsscwater.com



LAUREL – July 1, 2010: To ensure continued water supply for all WSSC customers and for fire protection and hospital/medical uses, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson today called for mandatory water restrictions for all WSSC customers. The goal is to reduce water usage by about one-third. The restrictions take effect immediately and are expected to last at least four days.

The mandatory restrictions are necessary after monitoring technology indicated a failing section of a 96-inch water main located near the corner of Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road in Potomac in Montgomery County. “This technology, an acoustic fiber optic monitoring system, detected the problem, allowing us to take preventative measures now,” says Johnson. “This proves the system works and helped us to prevent what could have been a much more serious situation. “ The fiber optics system was installed in the pipe three years ago and will eventually be installed in all of WSSC’s large water mains. The process to repair the pipe has already begun and will continue around-the-clock until complete. Until that time it is imperative that customers:



• Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools

• Use water only as necessary

• Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)

• Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only)



WSSC has been working with fire departments from both counties to make sure there is adequate fire protection, especially considering that this weekend is the 4th of July and there will likely be numerous fireworks displays. “We know this is a burden, especially on this holiday weekend. But if everyone can be vigilant and cut their water use by a third, we’ll be ok,” said Johnson. "We appreciate everyone's understanding, patience and cooperation while we work through this."



WSSC will notify customers once repairs are complete and mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary.



For additional information log on to the WSSC website at www.wsscwater.com or call the WSSC Call Center at 301.206.4002.

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