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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fire Chief Acknowledges Efforts with Letters of Commendation

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones has recently acknowledged numerous personnel with Letters of Commendation throughout the Department for their actions. Included is a Volunteer Chief that remained with a trapped occupant after a freak storm toppled a tree onto a car, a crew that was faced a challenging crash scene and a crew that performed a successful resuscitation.


  • Fire Chief Jones commended Beltsville Volunteer Chief Al Schwartz with the following letter:

Dear Chief Schwartz:


On Sunday, July 25, 2010, a severe and powerful thunderstorm rolled through Prince George’s County. It produced straight line winds of up to 90 MPH, leaving a wide path of death and destruction in its wake. Dozens of trees and power lines were brought down, and several days passed before there was any semblance of normalcy. Tragically, in the 10100 block of Rhode Island Avenue in College Park, one of the trees fell on a car occupied by two adult females. The fallen tree caused extensive damage to the vehicle, including intrusion into the passenger area.


Your assessment upon arriving on the scene of the incident revealed the driver of the vehicle was fatally wounded. However, the passenger was conscious and alert, although suffering from a large laceration to her head. In the 90 minutes that followed, you maintained verbal and physical contact with the passenger and learned that she was the mother-in-law of the deceased victim. You held the woman’s hand during an extremely difficult extrication, and explained to her everything that was going on. Throughout the ordeal, you engaged her in diverse subject matter that included exchanges about each other’s families.


It can be said with a reasonable degree of certainty that your compassion for the patient enabled her to make it through what was perhaps the most traumatic experience of her life. It has since been conveyed to me how she shared with her family and friends the story of “the fireman who held her hand the entire time she was trapped, while talking with her about his son and her family.” Soon after the incident, word of the woman’s desire to personally thank you reached our Public Information Officer. This led to an encounter at the funeral home, where the two of you spoke for some time about the event.

  • The Crews from Brandywine, Baden and Medic 825were commended for their actions at an extremely challenging crash:

On Saturday, August 7, 2010, Rescue Squad 840, Paramedic Ambulance 840, Engine Company 836 and Medic 825 that responded to 12304 North Keys Road for a reported vehicle accident. On arrival, Rescue Squad 840 performed initial fire suppression tactics in an effort to inhibit the flames, which were intruding into the passenger compartment. Upon E836 arrival, crew members rapidly extinguished the remaining flames while the victims were being extricated from the burning vehicle.


Crews from 840 and 836 performed seamlessly in an effort to extinguish the fire and speedily extricate the victims from the burning vehicle. Sadly, both patients succumbed to their injuries. Yet, they were afforded the best possible chance for survival, due to the immediate and efficient care provided by EMS crews onboard Paramedic Ambulance 840 and Medic 825.


Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for the outstanding manner in which you performed your duties on the scene of this incident. Your actions speak well of you personally and professionally, and of the caliber of service our Fire/EMS Department provides to the citizens and residents of Prince George’s County.

Personnel receiving Letter of Commendation:

Rescue Squad 840

Fire Fighter Lieutenant Anthony Salviejo

Fire Fighter Technician Davis Goldsmith

Volunteer Fire Fighter Matthew Thompson

Volunteer Fire Fighter Richard Clagett

Volunteer Fire Fighter Ernest Daniels Jr.

Engine 836

Volunteer Chief Wendy Baden

Volunteer Fire Fighter Wayne Winterwerp

Volunteer Fire Fighter Joseph Addison

Paramedic Ambulance 840

Fire Fighter/Medic Lieutenant Oluwafemi Balogun

Fire Fighter/Medic James Clem Jr

Paramedic 825

Paramedic Pamela Graham

Fire Fighter/Medic Aaron White

  • Fire Chief Jones acknowledged the commendable actions of an engine and ambulance crew from Riverdale Fire/EMS Station #807 which had a successful resuscitation:

On the morning of Saturday, August 7, 2010, Engine and Ambulance 807 responded to 4811 Queensbury Road for a report of a person not breathing. Your crew arrived within one minute after being dispatched, encountering a victim in full cardiac arrest and lying on the floor of the residence. Without hesitation, you and your fellow crew members assessed the patient and initiated CPR. Ambulance 807’s crew attached the AED, administered one shock and the patient was successfully resuscitated. Upon the arrival of Medic 812, the patient was loaded into their unit and transported to an area hospital.


Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your outstanding performance on the scene of this incident, in which the patient was successfully resuscitated. Your actions speak well of you personally and professionally, and of the caliber of service our Fire/EMS Department provides to the citizens and residents of Prince George’s County.

Ambulance 807

Volunteer Fire Fighter Galen Jones

Volunteer Fire Fighter Joel Gagliardi

Engine 807

Volunteer Fire Fighter Anthony Anastasi

Volunteer Chief Charles Ryan III

Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin Cole

Volunteer Fire Fighter Michael McClary

Volunteer Fire Fighter Christina Aguilar

Medic 812

Fire Fighter/Medic Ed Haaxma

Fire Fighter/Medic Keith Dowling

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