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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firefighter/Medic Completes Scott Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIRE FIGHTER GLENN TRAVIS LAMBERT

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AWARDED THIS DATE: February 20, 2010

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

Additional information:

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


PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY FIRE/EMS DEPARTMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AWARDED THIS DATE: February 20, 2010

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

District Heights Apartment Fire - Alarms Failed to Work


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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