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Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Sickened by CO from Generator Inside Home

At about 7:45 am, Friday, October 15, 2010, Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics from Silver Hill Fire/EMS Station #829 were dispatched to check on the welfare of an adult male that requested his neighbor call 911. Firefighter/Medics arrived at the single family home in the 3500 block of 29th Avenue in Temple Hills to find a family of six outside of the structure complaining of sudden illness including headaches. Firefighter/Medics quickly assessed the patients as having been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and initiated treatment. Firefighters searched the home and found a gasoline powered generator had been operating in the attached garage. The generator was being used for electricity as the house had no power.


Atmospheric testing conducted by firefighters indicated that CO levels inside the home were at 200 parts per million (ppm). A normal atmospheric level of 0 up to 30 ppm is considered healthy. Prolonged exposures to CO can be fatal as was the case when three Hyattsville residents died of CO poisoning in late May of this year.

Paramedics treated and evaluated the patients on the scene and consulted with emergency room physicians that concurred that the patients could be transported to a local hospital. If the patient’s condition were considered “serious” they would have been transported to a medical facility in Baltimore for hyperbaric treatment. Two adult females (20’s) and three children (between ages of 1 up to 13) were transported to a local hospital in “good” condition. The adult male refused transportation to the hospital.

Gasoline powered generators produce a large amount of CO in a very short period of time and should not be used inside of any structure. CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and is referred to as the “The Silent Killer.” CO results from incomplete oxidation of carbon in combustion and/or the inadequate ventilation of CO after normal combustion. Sources of CO are unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment including automobile exhaust.

With the cold weather season approaching the men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department want to keep you safe and offer these safety reminders. We encourage our citizens and residents to have their heating system checked and have chimneys and flu pipes cleaned and inspected annually by a certified professional. Additionally, never use a fuel based generator or cooking grill inside of a home or attached structure such as a garage.

Because the properties of CO (colorless, odorless and tasteless) make it nearly impossible to detect without monitoring equipment. A working CO alarm is the best method citizens and residents can use to detect the presence of CO. CO alarms are inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores.

County Firefighter/Medics Participate in Capital Shield 2011

The Prince George’s County, Maryland, Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department

participated in Capital Shield 2011, a D.C.-area full-scale (realistic) exercise to test the regions
ability to respond to a mass casualty terrorist attack. The exercise was conducted over a 2-day
period with the first day, Wednesday, October, 13, 2010, held in the County at the Cranford-
Graves Fire Services Building in Landover Hills.

In addition to Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics, more than 80 federal, state, and local agencies exercised together to test overall response. First responders performed mock rescues, triage, treatment procedures, and practiced transporting victims by helicopter and ambulance to area hospitals. Victims were made-up to look as if they are seriously injured and have just been pulled from the rubble of a large explosion and building collapse.

The goal of the exercise is to ensure that government agencies at every level are prepared to take coordinated action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the National Capital Region. This is a joint exercise conducted with Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington and local and state response partners.

Overall, the Prince George’s County portion of the exercise went smoothly and re-enforced the Departments readiness to handle mass casualty incidents (MCI). The University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security was on site to evaluate medical surge response and regions ability to respond to an MCI.

Images are provided courtesy of Acting Battalion Chief Kristen Angell and Denice Dickens.







Forestville Ledo's Pizze Re-Opens with Tribute to Firefighter/Medics

The Ledo Pizza and Pasta in the Penn Mar Shopping Center in Forestville, Maryland, sustained significant damage when an explosion occurred in May of 2009.  The restaurant, along with 5 other businesses were not able to re-open due to the destruction.  The Ledo's celebrated a Grand Re-Opening on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at a new location within the same shopping center.  A wall inside the restaurant was dedicated to the Firefighters and Paramedics that responded to provide assistance the day of the incident in May 2009.  The wall is adorned with firefighters gear along with newspaper articles and pictures from that day.  On the day of the Grand Re-Opening Ledo's provided free cheese pizzas to all firefighters and medics.

Prince George's County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones and a host of Firefighter/Medics attended the Grand Opening and were grateful of the recognition provided by the dedication wall.  Fire Chief Jones stated, "That day will live in the memory of this Department forever and I am proud of our men and women that saved dozens of lives by evacuating the stores just moments before the explosion.  Thank you to Ledo's for this special recognition."

The following images are provided courtesy of Battalion Chief Denice Dickens (disregard date stamp)





 


Off-Duty Fire Captain Bestowed with National Award

James M. Jiron was presented with two awards yesterday for his actions in September 2010. Jiron was attending a family function in Woodstock, VA when he came across a house fire. Without the protection of personal protective equipment or a hose line he immediately went to investigate and provide assistance. He entered the structure, searched and located two sleeping men and alerted them that their house was on fire and then assisted in their safe removal from their burning home. For the full story from that day, click here.

On Thursday, October 14, 2010, representatives from the Police and Firefighters Insurance Association (PFIA) visited Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Jiron at the Beltsville Fire/EMS Station #831 and presented him with their Heroes Hall of Fame Award. This is a National Award that provides special recognition to Fire Fighters for their heroic actions to save the lives of others while risking their own. Presenting the award to Captain Jiron were Mike Tersigni, PFIA Regional Manager and Christopher Cunningham, PFIA Account Representative for Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.

Acting Fire Fighter/Medic Captain Jiron also received an Emergency Services Award from Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones. Fire Chief Jones stated, “Your quick thinking and selflessness, evidenced by your willingness to provide assistance despite being off-duty, likely saved two lives. Your actions reflect favorably on you, the Fire/EMS Department and Prince George’s County as a whole.”

For additional information on the PFIA contact Chris Cunningham at 410-739-7191.

Fire Chief Jones, PFIA Regional Manager Mike Tersigni, Captain Jiron and PFIA PGFD Representative Chris Cunningham.

PFIA HEROES AWARD PRESENTED TO JIRON